A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

January 11, 2008

It’s Off to Colorado We Don’t Go

Today I was supposed to be leaving on a trip to Westcliffe, Colorado where Allie Neas of Eye Dazzler Alpacas is putting on a class on Knitting Machine How-To’s.  Unfortunately the promise of some snow along my route to Westcliffe and Ric’s nasty virus has made me change my plans and so now I will be staying home.

I am naturally disappointed that I will be missing the class.  I have had a knitting machine for a several years now and it just loves to test my patience.  I bought the knitting machine with the hopes of being able to churn out all sorts of lovely pieces using alpaca yarn.  I still remember how my mother laughed and ask me if I was looking to lose my sanity when I told her of my knitting machine purchase.  Apparently my mother had a knitting machine when my brothers and I were small children and she says that between it dropping stitches and the needles on the machine constantly breaking it nearly drove her to distraction.

Not put off by my mother’s comments I persevered with my knitting machine.  It came with a handy project book and the suggestion that all the projects be completed before branching out into freestyle knitting.  Well I made it to project four but along the way started to understand what my mother had been trying to tell me. 

I would be merrily working the machine when boom without any warning all the stitches would come off and the piece I was working on would fall to the floor.  I then had to spend time reattaching the unfinished piece to the knitting machine.  At other times the carriage would jam and despite following the instructions for clearing a jam I usually ended up having to rip out a row of knitting and reattaching the carriage.  I started to wonder if using a knitting machine really was any quicker than hand knitting.

With progress being so disrupted on the knitting machine I lost the urge to spend so much time on it and turned to other projects instead.  Then one day one of our alpaca clients mentioned that in the two years she had been coming to see us I had the same project on the knitting machine without making any progress.  I was busted!

When I heard that Allie was having a Knitting Machine Class I was thrilled.  It is a bit of a drive from Clovis to Westcliffe (about 8 hours) but to me it was worth it if there was any chance I would learn how to have a better relationship with my knitting machine.  I was so motivated by the thought of the class that I actually finished the project that had been on the machine for 2 years.  I still encountered the same problems with my knitting machine as before, but I was determined to get that project off the machine so I could take it with me to Colorado.  Sadly though circumstances dictate that I need to stay home this weekend

For a little while now Allie has been developing her Dazzler’s Fiber School and offers interesting classes in Fiber Arts.  I receive Allie’s emails announcing the various classes and it’s a good job I don’t live nearer or I would be spending all my money having fun at Dazzler’s Fiber School.  I am sure that she will have another knitting machine class in the future or a different class that I will be able to attend.

Now I get to spend the weekend at home and I think as compensation for missing my class I will spend some time knitting.  I am currently making a hat using my circular knitting needles and if I am brave I will take the next step in making the projects using the knitting machine.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress!


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