Thanks to the generosity of our lovely friend Annette Smith, Caiti and I are now the owners of an Empisal Knitmaster knitting machine. It’s about as old as I am but in excellent condition and will go for another hundred years! I’ve been wanting a knitting machine for ages, so it’s a real treat to finally have one. At first glance, it was definitely scary.

Annette spent a morning teaching us how to set it up and do all the  basics – casting on, increasing, decreasing and casting off. She’s given us hundreds of patterns and enough spare parts to last the machine’s lifetime, and beyond.

Caiti took to it like a duck to water. She’s one of those people who are good at everything. She’s made several test pieces on it already. We’ll have to disassemble it tomorrow as the gite is booked and that’s where it’s set up at present. However, we’ll sort out a new home for it as quickly as possible and then we can carry on getting to grips with it. Benj may be off to Uni as early as 7th September so not too long to wait until we can turn his bedroom into a knitting studio during termtime!

On the theme of knitting, here’s my sock kit. Inspired to tackle socks by my fellow blogger Helen who produces quilts and socks at breakneck speed, I shopped around for a budget priced, foolproof set. This one is great. For 10.99 I got a set of 2.5 mm needles, 100g of beautiful wool/nylon mix, a very simple sock pattern, some pretty stitch markers and a handy plastic pouch to keep everything in. the vendor was Philippa Ross whose website is here. I’m delighted. The kit came in super quick time too. I shall have toasty warm feet this winter.

And finally, one of Annette’s drawings. As well as an expert knitter, she’s a talented artist. I love this llama picture.