machine knitting midgauge standard bulky machknit knit machine-knit patterns

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Debbie Bliss Teddy Bear

About once or twice a year I get the urge to hand knit an entire piece.  I've admired Debbie Bliss's teddy because I thought the pieces were nicely shaped.  Wouldn't want to do it by machine since it's garter stitch so I "cheated" and knit it by hand.  ;=)

I combined 4 strands of thin-ish coned yarn, two of which are fuzzy.  They didn't rise to the occasion, so to speak and he doesn't look that fuzzy.  The resulting color is ok for a bear, though.  I checked out other examples of her bear on Ravelry and several said it was a "fast knit".  O MY!  I'm not a fast hand knitter, but I'm not that slow either.  Took me two weeks of nightly knitting to get him done.  Machine knitters and hand knitters have different definitions of the word "fast".  

I was faithful to the instructions except I omitted the muzzle and added a belly button.  Embroidering the face kind of gave it some shape.  Here are some more pictures of this cutie;
I think, but am not sure, that Debbie uses a machine for lots of her patterns.  Clues to me are that many things are knit flat rather than on circ needles, she gives row counts along with inches or cm's and the gauges seem to work on our machines.  Could be totally wrong, though.  I might do this  bear on the midgauge machine with stockinette and see if he turns out as nicely.  Some pieces might need to be knit upside down since changing the number of stitches so quickly is better done by decreases rather than increases.  A fairisle bear might be cute.  Her pattern is free, by the way.  There's a link on Ravelry.

Now, what should I name him???  I'm sending him to California along with some other little things for an Easter present.  Suggestions are welcome...

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Machine Knit George, Peppa Pig's Brother

 A while back, I blogged about taking a coloring page of Peppa Pig and converting it to a stitch pattern in DesignaKnit.        But, I don't think I showed you the end result.  First I did a pillow:

 Well, actually it's George, Peppa's brother.  I added some fairisle designs to his cheek, jacket and hat to help with floats a little. I also wrapped the edges with strands of the main color to keep it from separating.    I used new cotton dishtowels for the lining.  I find that making the lining after knitting the outside of the pillow makes for a perfect fit. I just placed the knit piece on top of the dishtowel and cut allowing for 1/2" seam.   It's stuffed with polyester material that you get at any fabric store. The lining was sewn on the sewing machine; the outside seamed by hand.

Encouraged by the results, I did a sweater, also for my grandson.

The long floats on the pillow didn't matter, but for the sweater they were bothersome.  So I bought some iron-on nylon stabilizer and affixed it to the back before sewing the sweater together.  The advantage of this nylon stuff is that it stretches with the knit a little  but keeps the floats in place.

You can kind of see on the left side where the interfacing was cut.  It's just a little larger than the fairisle pattern. You can also see where I hung a few of the floats, but it  got tiresome really fast, so I quit and opted for the interfacing.   Yes, dbj would be another way to go, but alas I'm still not doing it.

Closeup of the design.  Cute, eh?  I love how George's nose goes off to the side, kind of like a child's drawing.

And finally, proof that it fits.  Hard to get a picture of a constantly moving target!
If I were to make this again, I'd do a modified drop shoulder.  The regular drop shoulder is too bulky for a little kid.  I knew better, but sometimes the brain isn't engaged.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

What a difference a day makes!

Got the snow.  Luca is overjoyed!
The hat and mittens worked well.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

It fits!

The pirate sweater fits.  It's always a big guess but I hit the mark this time.  We live kind of on the edge of the woods and you can see that we have no snow.  Very unusual for Minnesota this time of year.  Many are disappointed.  But to the California people, it's not such a big discrepancy from what they are used to.  Having a wonderful Christmas with the family.  Hope you are too!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Machine Knit Pot Holders/Hot Pads/Trivets

I really love it when a knitter sends me a picture of things they have knit with my patterns.  Angela knit some hot pads using DAK, double bed jacquard and a neat edging.  Aren't they wonderful?!!!!


She said, "Thought I'd attach a .jpg of 4 of your hot pads I did recently as Christmas presents.  Ended up doing them in DBJ as I have a severe allergy to fairisle floats. :-)

Anyway, thanks for the awesome designs you do!

Happy Holidays!



They will make nifty Christmas presents---unique, not to be found in any store, that's for sure! An "allergy to fairisle floats"  HA HA!  Love the hot pink DELIRIOUS.   If you're interested, scroll down on the right side of the blog for purchasing info.  Thanks, Angela.  They really turned out great.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christmas Cowls

Sounds like "Christmas Carols" pronounced by a 2-3 year old!

  I knit these for my niece, who wanted cowls for her skiing parents as a Christmas present.  The man's cowl (black one) is 23" around by 10" high.  The woman's is 21" around by 9" high.  They gave the measurements to her, so I'm hoping they fit ok and don't feel like they are choking.  They're doubled, so even though they're acrylic, they should be warm.  I think these will cover the nose and ears.  Or, could be worn kind of bunched down.

Easy to knit---after I got gauge, I figured out how many stitches and rows I needed to get the measurements they wanted.  Then in DAK I designed filler, snowflakes, the skier and initials.  I started with waste yarn, then the plain stockinette at a click or two tighter than the tension for the fairisle and knit the same number of rows that the fairisle design is.  After the inside of the cowl was completed, I knit the fairisle without removing it from the machine.  The top is just a hung hem and a gate peg bind off, so all floats are hidden.  The seam was planned to go up the back.

 If you have some kind of program to download designs to your machine, it's a quick knit. Or, if not, you could just knit it plain or in tuck or knitweave.   Might make one for myself, probably looser though. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Machine knitting/ DesignaKnit Experiment

I've been admiring some of the things on Ravelry that were knit with Img2track, a computer aided program that works with some Brother electronic knitting machines.  Many are knit in double bed jacquard, which I haven't mastered yet, but I thought I could try the same thing with Photoshop, DesignaKnit and fairisle.

Here's my result.  The photo inset on the right is what I worked with.

Here are the steps I did in case you want to try it too.

1.  I use Photoshop Elements 10.  Changed a color photo to black and white (must be just two colors for our purposes.)  There are numerous applications out there to manipulate photos.  Some are free.

2.  The program has a feature where you can "dither" the photo.  I tried different settings to get something workable.  "Dither" means the computer program decides if something is black, white or gray.  If gray, it puts both colors in to imitate gray, kind of stipples it. Wikipedia describes it this way---

Dither is an intentionally applied form of noise used to randomize quantization error, preventing large-scale patterns such as color banding in images. Dither is routinely used in processing of both digital audio and digital video data, and is often one of the last analog stages of audio production to compact disc.

A typical use of dither is: given an image in grey-scale, convert it to black and white, such that the density of black dots in the new image approximates the average level of grey in the original image.


3.  I resized the photo's pixels to the size I wanted to make the pillow and the size that was knittable on the machine.  Mine happens to be 190 stitches by 234 rows.  About 27" by 24".  Saved the dithered photo in DAK's graphics studio folder.

4.  In DAK's graphics studio, I converted this dithered photo to a stitch design.  In the conversion, I made sure the stitch pattern would be the same number of pixels (width wise and length wise) as the photo.  DAK duplicated it exactly since there were only two colors and the stitches and rows matched.

5.  In DAK's Stitch Designer, I added a white stitch here and there to help with the lonnnnnnnnnnnnng floats.  I also added his name to the inside brim of his hat.

6.  Downloaded the stitch design to my knitting machine and knit the front.  The back is plain white, the same number of stitches and rows.

There are still tons of long floats on the back side, some of which I tried to hang on a same colored stitch a few rows up as it was being knit, but there were so many, I lost patience.  Instead, after it was off the machine, I gave it a good steam to set the stitches and now, a few days later, they have stayed put.  The one thing that I wasn't too happy about was the teeth.  The finished product looks a little jack-o-lantern-ish. But in order to have teeth and not a straight block of white, there had to be one stitch column between teeth.  I think the rest is a pretty good representation.

7.  I used the knitting to make a template for an inner pillow, stuffed and closed it.  Seamed the knitting on 3 sides, inserted the pillow, then seamed the 4th side.

This child has so many toys that it's hard to think of something unusual that will catch his interest.  I thought this would be nifty on his bed.  The heather blue and white are the colors of his bedroom.  And, after all!  How many people have their mug knit into a pillow???

So, anyway, give it a try.  It's fun, unusual and doesn't take a lot of skill, but makes you look a bit of a genius.