Solar Energy Update

The system is working out great! We had a negative usage bill in October, generated 36 more kwh than we used, and so far we’ve saved about $600 in energy costs. We also got our first REC check in February for 2 kWh. The days are getting longer and we’re starting to see our production increase. Today will be about a 25kWh day. I wish we could do that well every day!

Socks, socks, socks

Whew, well enough past the holidays to get back to the blog updates.

I’ve done a few new projects, and am finally getting somewhere with the old sock machine.

I’ve learned how to position the weights, how much weight she seems to work best with and the right tension to make a sock that fits my foot:

This machine has a problem with the needles falling before they are supposed to, and if you are not watching and don’t catch it, you’ll have dropped stitches. Cutting a cylinder spring WAY too short and making it really tight seemed to help. Once the needles get yarn on them they are much better. You just have to manually hold the needles up in working position if they are not hung with yarn.

Hopefully a visit to Plum Cottage Crafts this month for a gathering will lend me some advice from a few of the ‘experts’ attending.

Maybe we’ll even get the ribber working! For now, I am just doing a hem-top sock. Removing every 4th needle gives me a nice mock rib effect. I tried a 2×2 mock rib but the old girl didn’t seem to like the spaces, the needles would drop and the cams would hit on the butt of the needle. I’ve also learned that when I add my heel weights, I need to remove one of the other weights or it pulls the knitting too tight.

I’ve pretty much gotten the basics of knitting a sock down, but there are some things I need to learn to do better. Still working on transitioning from a mock rib to full stitches. I’ve got a handle on kitchnering the toe closed working with the “missing” stitches, but I have holes at the transition point of the top to the heel. T