It doesn't sound like much, but it was a fairly big deal.
To finish two swatches, first I had to pick up the power cord for the KH-930 at the house of the gentleman who sold it to me. He had inadvertently left it out of the box when packing up the machine. While I was there he offered me his late wife's steamer as he had not thought of selling it with the knitting machines.
It seemed like it was fairly heavy-duty, so I made an offer, and he accepted it.
Next step, set up the knitting machine. I had finished assembling the motor drive a few days ago, so it was ready for installation of the machine. Knowing I would eventually want to install the ribber, I decided to install the machine using the ribber clamps instead of the original clamps.
Maybe because the spanner and the hex key was missing from the motor drive box, and I had been wondering if anything else would be missing, it did not occur to me to look in the box with the ribber. Instead I panicked and went to the basement and rummaged through all the drawers of the toolcarts looking for ribber clamps. I found some, but two of them were in a plastic bag labeled "bulky" and the third seemed to be exactly the same size as those two.
Once I calmed down and realized that the ribber clamps would probably be in the box with the RIBBER, I went back UPSTAIRS (2 flights) and found them, clamped the machine to the stand.
Next, tried to move the needles. They seemed STUCK. Forgetting that I had read a paragraph yesterday warning the novice knitter not to remove the sponge bar with needles in hold, because they would ever after remember it, I pulled out the sponge bar (with some difficulty.) It was in terrible shape. And all the needles in hold flopped their ends out above the needle bed.
After inserting the needles one by one. I went looking for the long mailing tube with my extra sponge bars in it. (I have not used it since we moved here 5 years ago.) Wasn't in the 2nd floor knitting room. Wasn't in the basement knitting room. I came back to the computer and googled "KH-930 sponge bar" and found an article about how to repair an existing sponge bar. I briefly considered following the directions, but realized it would necessitate a trip to the hardware store. I remembered the Detroit metro-area knitting machine dealer was in Southfield, so I gave her a call.
After getting reassurance that she had them in stock and that she would be open for me, I drove 75 minutes to Southfield, paid for the sponge bar, and drove back home. I put the new sponge bar in. Then I realized that the needles and the carriage really needed a little lubrication. Guess where the Lori-Lynn cans are? All in the basement. Back to the basement.
Then back to the second floor knitting room. Finally, the machine is in workable condition.
Now to find a suitable yarn for the swatches. Because this is going to the TKGA for evaluation, I wanted to use a yarn from my stash that was labelled. I have some full cones, still in plastic, but didn't want to use them necessarily because I may need the yarn for actual projects some undetermined time in the future. And the instructions say to use either a pastel, beige, or white color of non-fuzzy, non-novelty yarn.
I looked in the coned yarn that came with the machine. I found two cones of partially used Tamm Diamante. Problem solved.
Then comes the actual knitting of the swatches.
Problems? Yes. I haven't been machine knitting enough lately, or maybe I have reached that stage in life where I no longer blindly follow instructions, and have gotten out of the habit. I pulled out 25 needles each side of 0, then pushed back every other needle to NWP. Fed the yarn through the yarn feeder, knitted the first row, pulled the other stitches into working position, knitted four rows as instructed, made an eyelet to mark the tension, changed colors, knitted 12 rows, hung a marker stitch on stitch 21 on each side, and realized that I had forgotten to pull out the 25 stitch on the right side, so I only had 24 stitches on that side. Sigh. Broke the yarn, pulled it out of the carriage, dropped that swatch off the machine. Well, at least now I have waste yarn for marking the needles for the tension swatch.
Next swatch, I forgot to mark the mast tension. Sigh.
Next swatch, the yarn looped and caught on the carriage more than once, leaving dangling broken ends. Sigh.
Next swatch. Forgot to put the needle back into working position after making the eyelet. After I latched up the eyelets a few rows later, I realized that I had made the first mistake again, I forgot about that pesky needle at position 25. I only had 24 stitches to the right of 0. Sigh.
OK. So, take a deep breath. Take your time, Brenda. Reach each instruction. Do it step by step.
FINALLY I completed Swatch 1.
Swatch 2 was a little easier.
Then the new steamer came out. It is simple to use and works great. Best steamer I've ever had. It was a good buy.