Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Doin’ the Monster Match

What fun I had designing and making this blanket for my grand-nephew, Kanon’s 1st birthday. The theme Kiefer chose for the party was “monsters” and asked me to crochet a monster hat. Well, do you think I could just make a hat? NO! Kanon had to have monster longies and a blanket too. It couldn’t be just any plain blanket, it had to be fun and maybe a little educational. Kanon will be able to learn colors, matching, a few shapes and counting to 5. I pray this will bring him many quiet hours of fun and will be something he can always remember his Great-Auntie Helen by.

Monster Match Blanket

(Pattern can be found at www.ravelry.com)

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Never really thought much about preventative maintenance until last week. Had an order with yarn that wouldn’t knit on the Brother 860 so out came the Studio LK140. All set up and ready to go, first pass of carriage……1 bent needle and a jammed carriage. Replaced needle and began knitting again. The carriage jumped around like on a carnival ride and again jammed. On the opposite side of the jammed carriage, goo was coming up through the end needle placement. What??????

Turning the machine over I discovered the problem. The needle placement sponge was brown slimy goo. Now the fun begins.

Remove all needles.

Remove the slimy gooey sponge. Clean all goo from the machine and needles.

My husband, being the handyman that he is, always has a role of insulation tape. And I, being a craft junky, had ½” wide ribbon and Fabri-tac glue. Glue ribbon to sticky side of tape.

Had to double the insulation tape. Sticky side to side without ribbon.

Let the glue dry for at least 24 hours before putting it into place.

Replace needles, making sure they are on the outside of sponge. This was done holding the machine in my lap and feeling with fingers, then checking upside down again.

Moral of story…….always check needle retaining bar if your machine has not been used for awhile. If your machine has the needle retaining bar (and not just the sponge as the hobby machine has), it is recommended to remove the bar daily after use and to remove while machine is being stored. There are several places to order parts and websites to temporarily replace sponges until you can order new. What I have just shown is a temporary fix, new sponge is on order!