Marzipanknits

machine knitting midgauge standard bulky machknit knit machine-knit patterns

Friday, October 17, 2014

Using DAK placing a single motif on the front of a sweater

I'm designing a sweater for my grandson with his favorite (English) cartoon character on the front.  (Peppa Pig)  It's been a while since I've worked with single motifs, so I had to review the process.  It's not very intuitive, so I'm keeping the steps in a DAK Tips and Techniques file on my computer for next time.

1.  Design your motif and your sweater first.  On your motif, make sure your background color (right mouse button) is the color you'll use on the sweater background. Also, make sure your motif includes only the height and width of the motif and check that it is the right number of stitches and rows to fit comfortably onto the front of the sweater.  Baby and children's sweaters can be small so the right motif is important.  Go Options...tensions to put in your swatch information.

2.  In Stitch Designer, go File...new pattern set-up.  Choose the pattern and choose either back or front.  It's probably just my program, but if I chose front first then the pattern, it would flip to back.  IF I chose the pattern first then the side of the sweater, it stayed where I wanted it. 

3.  On the next screen, Tensions and notes, fill in what you want. 

4.  A blank screen appears with the background color you specified and the number of stitches and rows needed.  Go Edit...Import a single motif.   Choose the motif.

5.  If you click the 4th icon from the right on the top bar, you will get a cut out and it's easier to see what your piece will look like.  Left click, hold and drag the motif to the location you want.  Save.

6.  You can either knit the piece interactively with the motif integrated OR you can print the garment notation pattern out to follow.  Then download the motif to your machine positioning it where you want it.  Set your machine for fairisle.  The machine will take care of the design and you will just need to follow the garment notation chart.

There will be long floats because I just want the outline, so I think I'll purchase some of that iron on stuff that stretches a little to enclose the floats.  Let's hope he doesn't change his mind about who's the best character before I get this knit.  If you're interested in Peppa, you can swipe a picture from this website    http://www.peppapig.com/  There are coloring book pages that convert nicely to DAK stitch patterns.  I think it's ok as long as you don't sell items made with those images but knit them as gifts.  Maybe  I'll do George instead:

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Machine Knit Flower Hat

I knit so many charity hats, I need a little variation on the theme sometimes...  this pattern has been around our knitting guild for a while.  It's easy and cute.  You can make it on any machine, but you would need to borrow the stitches and rows needed from another pattern for the size you want to make .  This one was knit on a Silver Reed LK 150.
Here are the basic directions:
Happy "gardening"!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Baby Ballet Sweater wasn't pointing its toes correctly...

My apologies to those who tried to knit the original midgauge beginner baby ballet sweater and found that the numbers just didn't match up.  I revised it back in May for a class for our guild and realized then that I needed to correct some of the math.   BUT I forgot to update the blog.  Here are the correct instructions:
http://marzipanknits.blogspot.com/2013/07/very-beginner-level-machine-knit-baby.html

Who knows where my head was????  I guess we're all entitled to make a mistake now and then.  If you caught the mistake(s), more power to you!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Machine Knit Shawl for an 18 inch Doll

This is a sweet shawl for an 18" doll.  The sample was knit on a standard gauge machine, but any machine could be used following the technique described in the pattern.  I would rate it as suitable for a beginner with just a little experience.  It knits up really quickly and the crochet picot edge is easy and goes fast as well.  The construction is sew-as-you-go, so there is no seaming to do and very little finishing.  I don't have a little girl and her doll to knit for, but I still like knitting these mini-outfits.  If you'd like the pattern it's for sale for $4.00.  Just click on the button below.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Shortcuts to Machine Knit Charity Hats



I'm on a roll, trying to get as many charity hats done before the September 23 deadline when we have to turn them in for the Salvation Army. (IT'S SEPTEMBER ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!) I came up with a couple of time savers.  You might benefit by them too if you do a lot of charity knitting.  I don't think they compromise the looks, so they are working out great for me.  Here they are (nothing earth-shaking, just tiny tips):

Pardon the pictures........hat is squished under the lid of the scanner and the yarn is softer than it looks........................................

1.  I made some cast on rags a few years ago and never used them.  Now I am and although they don't save too much time, they save on waste yarn. Just don't forget to use one row of ravel cord or crochet thread before you knit the main yarn or it's curtains for the cast on rag.  You'd have to cut it out.  Add some claw weights.

2.  When you get to the top of the hat and are ready to decrease, use the 3 prong tool and move three stitches over two needles.  Either left or right, doesn't matter.  This way you are decreasing twice as many stitches as you normally might. (Across the bed, you'll have 3 in work, two out of work with two stitches on the second and third needle.)  Keep the out- of- work needles at the back of the bed so they don't knit and knit two rows.  Then take off with your seaming thread.  Cinch up tight and seam.  It closes up nicely and if it doesn't look perfect, add a little something to the top, like the gender neutral knotted cord.

 

3.  The gender neutral knotted cord doesn't have to be knit as an I cord.  Just pull 3-4 needles to work, ewrap on, at tension 2 knit abt 100 rows (for the midgauge), hanging on with one hand as you run the carriage with the other,  and bind off.  Sew the two yarn ends into the tube that naturally forms, knot both ends, knot the middle and tack on securely. This is twice as fast as the regular I cord because every row knits.

4.  Make the hat adjustable for size and age by knitting a large cuff that can either be folded up or down.  This adds extra warmth around the ears.  The cuff is stretchy enough to accommodate about a 2 inch increase in head circumference. The length of the hat also helps in adapting to different sized heads.  Slouchy at first, more fitted later.

If you don't want the cuff so thick, knit 15 rows T5,  15 rows T6, hang a hem and knit the rest of the hat at T 7. Compensate by adding a few inches to the main part of the hat.

 

Here's the pattern I've been using of late:

YARN  Pound of Love Baby Yarn -generously gifted to me by my good friend Sandy--so far 4 hats with enough for 2 or 3 more out of this one skein.

MACHINE: any midgauge, no ribber required

GAUGE: 4.5 st and 7 rows = 1 inch at Tension 7

FINISHED SIZE:  3-6 months 15  inches circumference/8 inches height (12 months 16 inches circumference/8 1/2 inches height, 18 months 17 inches circumference/9 inches height)

Directions

Start with waste yarn or cast on rag with one row of ravel cord over 78 (80, 82) needles.  With main yarn (no cast on, just knit)  Tension 5, knit 30 rows, Tension 6 knit 30 rows.  Hang a hem.  Change to Tension 7 and knit 40 (44, 46)  rows.  Decrease for the top.  Transfer using the 3 prong tool and move three stitches over two needles. Knit 2 rows, take off on long piece of yarn, cinch and seam with a mattress stitch. Remove waste yarn or cast on rag.    Hide yarn ends, add embellishment cord to the top.

These have been taking me about 15 minutes to knit, 15 minutes to assemble.  Try one and see if you like it. 

 

PS----How to make a cast on rag-- any machine.  At the left side of the bed, ewrap cast on 2 inches worth of stitches.  Hang a claw weight.  Knit 2 rows.   *Decrease one stitch on the left by transferring the left most needle to the second needle, pull a needle out on the right to increase one, knit 2 rows.* Repeat.   Make as long as you like.  If you want one that accommodates the whole bed, you might have to remove the rag from the right side and place it on the left and keep going.  By just pulling out a needle to increase, you get a loop that you can hang when using it.  At the end, bind off.  Steam/ kill the strip so it lies flat and is floppy.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

To Wrap, or not to wrap. That is the question

I have been doing some charity knitting lately, mostly ear flap hats.  When I make them on the standard gauge machine, I don't wrap the edges of the ear flap because it goes more quickly and the holes are small.  They look ok.  But when I tried this on the midgauge machine, I got a totally different look.  It's not objectionable, could be called a design feature, but wrapping the edges gives a smooth look.  Compare these below:

I used my free pattern---- check out the right side of the blog and scroll down.  Thought I'd give another option in case you are using that pattern.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Time to Knit!



Clock Cozy
Machine:   I used 4.5 Standard (but any could be used)
Gauge:  Doesn’t matter as long as you measure what is needed
Yarn:  Coordinating colors abt the same wt.  You might be looking at it a long time, so use your faves.
Clock:  purchased very economically at Target—Clock circumference 31 ½ inches; rim abt 2 ½ inches.  Comes in red, turquoise and black; takes one AA battery. 



DIRECTIONS:
Cast on with waste yarn and knit a few rows.  I used 23 stitches, T6.  My gauge was roughly 7 st and 10 rows to the inch.
Knit 29 ½ inches, about one to two inches shorter than the circumference, alternating colors randomly. It’s important to make the cozy snug, but not so short that the stitches are stretched and distorted.

 Leave a yarn tail of the main color either at the beginning or the end of the strip to seam with. Always change colors on the right side of the bed and knot the old with the new so it doesn’t unravel.  This will be on the back of the clock so it won’t show.
Start and end with the same color after (at the beginning)  and before the waste yarn (at the end).  Measure frequently while the strip is on the machine, without weights.  When it’s the correct size, take off on several rows of waste yarn.



FINISHING
No need to run in the yarn ends, (except maybe on your kitchener row, but make sure they are secure.  Trim ends to abt 2 inches.  
 Kitchener stitch the beginning to the end.  Don’t twist the circle.  Fit over the clock rim with knots on the back side and situated so it stays put.  The stockinette naturally rolls, making a nice edge.  You can tuck the ends inside the band if they bother you. I used the non-hook end of a crochet hook to gently urge them into hiding once the seaming was done and the cozy was placed onto the clock.  (Of course, they bothered me!)
Remove waste yarns.  I love the color red, so I let part of the rim of the clock show.   A dab of glue here and there wouldn’t hurt if you’re having trouble getting the cozy to stay put.  Actually, once you get the cozy on and hung on the wall, it’s not going anywhere so it doesn’t have to be fitting so precisely.
 Voila’, an original, funky clock that makes a statement about how you spend your time!
Some examples I have seen do a single color chain stitch, crocheted, around the front inside of the circle, presumably to make it fit better.  I liked mine plain.

I wish I could say that this was my original idea.  I saw it on Ravelry (hand knit)
Retrobaby
by Inger
Website
Check out the examples on Ravelry for design ideas.