Marzipanknits

machine knitting midgauge standard bulky machknit knit machine-knit patterns

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Using DAK to Create a Quilt

I have been looking at the quilts that have offset crosses or pluses and want to make a baby quilt using this pattern.  I'm a little challenged where patterns using geometrics are concerned so thought I'd use DAK to help me out.

I knew I wanted a quilt that was about 36" x 48".  DAK presents each stitch as a rectangle so I pretended they were square.  I don't know if you can change that.  So I needed squares that measure
3 1/2" inches to allow for the 1/4" seams and that determined how many "stitches" I would fill in.
12 squares wide and 15 squares long were what was needed counting the borders.  I left all the default colors in the palette in place so I'd have enough to choose from to make the pluses stand out.  Depending on the pattern being designed, a person could choose just those colors to match the fabric that would be used.

This might sound elementary to you or maybe even stupid (!) but it helped me see where the squares need to be placed to get the off- set pluses.  Here's what I got:
DAK wouldn't let me print out the design as is because it was too many colors for fairisle. But by going Options, knitting method, intarsia and saving it that way, DAK would print.  However, I needed to use the single tool to enlarge the pattern to 200% to make it useful.  This is printable this way.   One nice thing is that DAK numbers the columns.  Another help in placing your plus blocks. After the design is printed, you could number the blocks to match the fabric being used.

The picture shown here was a screen shot of the design in DAK and copied to the Paint program.  Any image processing program could be used.  You can also copy the design to the clipboard right from DAK and paste it.  The nice thing about Paint is that it is simple to use, most all pc's have the program and you can resize the picture as large as you need it.

From this point, a person would figure out the 9 patch blocks and draw them in.  It seems to me that there's no easy way to do this... but then again, maybe it's my little "problem" rearing its head again.  You could do your 9 patches this way:




or include the border patches this way?
just pluses or horizontal strips???
I guess I should go hunting on YouTube and find out the best way to do this.  At least now I know what the crosses are supposed to look like.  Some quilt patterns are just not going to work, though. 
Especially those with half square triangles.  But lots will work.  Maybe it can help you too. 





Sunday, May 22, 2016

Prayer Shawl

A very generous friend, Bonnie in Vermont, sent our guild (the Machine Knitting Guild of Minnesota) some luscious yarn.  Lots of luscious yarn.   She's downsizing and we are upsizing!  I wanted to show guild members what one single cone  would produce.  This one was from Webs. called Crystal and is made of acrylic and nylon. 2000 yards. There were many cones of this kind of yarn and sometimes people can't think of what to do with it since it is quite thin. 

 I knit a tuck stitch prayer shawl with a built in tuck pattern, 144 stitches x 900 rows.  (Yup, not a typo.)  Then I did a kind of twirly edging and ended up with about 2 yards of yarn left!!!

It's about 7 feet long by 24" wide.  Enough, I think, to wrap around shoulders.  If you want a little more specific directions, here goes. And, just about any yarn goes.

This one done on a Standard gauge machine but the idea could be adapted for any gauge machine.
Tension 7 (or whatever works with your yarn)  Start with waste yarn and knit a few rows to get going over 144 needles.
Ewrap cast on over these 144 needles with main yarn.  RC 000.  Knit 10 plain rows.  Set up machine for tuck using any tuck pattern built in or a punch card or hand manipulate if you are patient and persistent.  Nah, that's just crazy.  Knit to RC 890, turn off tuck, knit 10 rows plain and bind off using your favorite bind off.
EDGING:   Try it on a swatch of the same type of yarn to see if you need to skip some shawl stitches as you go around, especially on the long sides.  Skipping some prevents a ruffle.  Unless you want a ruffle, that is.
Begin at the far right of your needle bed.  With the wrong side facing you=== for tuck this would be the knit side==== starting in the middle of one side of the shawl, pick up and hang 3 edge stitches of the shawl with your 3 prong tool.  Don't just pick up a loop, but a little more to make it substantial.  Knit 6 rows.  No need for weights because the shawl weighs it down.  Pick up and hang 3 stitches to the left of those in work,  K6 rows.  *Pick up and hang  3 more stitches to the left of those in work, hang the far right 3 stitches onto the 3 stitches to the left of them.  (There will be 2 stitches on each of those 3 right needles.) 6 stitches in work now. Push emptied needles out of work each time.  Knit 6 rows.*   Repeat from * to *.  When you get to a corner, knit 8 rows rather than the 6  to get around the corner without a pucker.  At the end, bind off and join to the beginning stitches, leaving a 12" yarn tail.  Tidy up by sewing by hand with the tail of the main yarn.

Note that you'll be traveling down the bed, so you will most likely have to take off stitches and move them back to the right a few times.  ok, quite a few times.  I just use a double eyed needle to put the stitches on and move them.

This edging has lots of uses, baby blankets for one,  and looks ok from both sides.  It tames the edges so they don't curl.  Don't know where I got it or what it's called.

I steamed the shawl quite aggressively and it turned out pretty nice.  I'll be donating it to a local nursing home.  Red is cheerful, don't you think?

Thank you yarn angel Bonnie---your yarn will be put to good use!


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Norwegian Sweaters

Here's a picture of some of the guild members who took my Norwegian sweater class.  Actually, another gal and I taught it together over a period of 3 months.  We systematically took one step at a time.   None of the class participants had knit fairisle before, much less a whole sweater.  I'm proud of them!!! They all did the same basic pattern with slight modifications.  All were done on the standard gauge machine.   Plans to knit more are in the works.


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Bitten by the Gimp Bug

It's hard these days to figure out a gift for little kids that isn't plastic or something 80 million other kids have.  So, for Christmas, I converted some relatives' images to knit stitches and made pillows.  (They are sisters.)


I used Gimp (free download) and Designaknit to create the images.  I paid attention to the number of pixels for the width but forgot to calculate length for the Ruby pillow.  Geesh.  It turned out Ok, but it's one of those little regrets when all is said and done. Her dad says she's in love with it----slept with it for a week in her little tent----so I guess that's all that matters.


For info on how to use Gimp, I followed the instructions here:  http://wiki.evilmadscientist.com/Producing_a_stippled_image_with_Gimp  an excellent tutorial.
Then I used DAK's Graphic Studio to convert the picture to a knit design.  It's not too difficult, but I think I did mess around a bit to get the amount of shading that looked good.  I did fairisle because it's so fast and the floats are hidden inside the pillow.  The back of the pillow is just plain stockinette in the darker color, then seamed on 3 sides.   Once steamed lightly the stitches stay in place.  I'm sure if you like double bed jacquard, that would work just as nicely. Also, there are other programs that work for this, not just DAK.  Ravelry and Facebook have a lot of examples.


Kind of fun, pretty easy.  You might want to give it a try.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Machine Knit Confetti Scarf

Wow, I see that it has been more than a month since I last posted something.  I have been knitting, but have neglected posting.  Maybe in the winter months I'll be more faithful.  Here's just one of the things I've knit lately.





 
Confetti Scarf  by MAR HECK    September, 2015
I took this to my mk guild for show and tell.  I introduced it by saying, “You’re probably going to think I’m crazy….” when I was interrupted by a dear but wonky friend who said, “Oh!  That boat has left already!”  REALLY!  We have a lot of fun in our guild mtgs, so I didn’t take it toooooo seriously.  This was from a person who made a quilt that consisted of more than 10,000 pieces.  So who’s cray cray now?
Here’s how I made the scarf.  Take a really thin yarn that you maybe can’t think of another use for and use it as your main yarn.  I used a cone of Tamm Spirit, which I doubt is made any more, as my main yarn.  The label says it’s 97% acrylic and 3% cotton.  I wonder why bother with the cotton since it’s such a minimal amount.  It looks and feels like a dress yarn.  Anyway, for the contrast yarns I took snippets, about 6 to 9“ long of seven colors of other yarns and doubled  them. (I used red, turquoise, blue, yellow, light green, purple and hot pink.)   I had a lot of cone ends that needed to be knit up.   I randomly ewrapped these snippets onto the needles in work.  The needles are pulled all the way out for the ewrapping.  I left ½”  hanging on each end and hung onto the beginning end when I pulled the carriage across .  No need to tie a knot at the beginning and no need to work in these ends.  Knitting with the thinnest yarn and a fairly loose tension makes the fabric almost lacy looking. 
Machine: any, but a midgauge or bulky seem to work best.  I used an LK150 midgauge.
Gauge:  doesn’t matter.  I used T 3 since the main yarn is so thin.
Yarn: as described in note above.  The contrast colors were Tamm Sky, Mary Lou Solo, mystery yarn, 7 colors.  A fancy novelty yarn would be fun to try too.
Skill level:  very beginner
Finished size:  for a scarf that is long enough to go around the neck and do some fancy tying, about 14” wide and 7 feet long.  Measure as you knit.   You could also make a circle scarf by joining beginning to end.  Twist or not. I seamed mine the long way so that the fringes and purl side were the public side.
Directions:
Ewrap on the number of stitches you need to get the width.  Mine was 60 stitches wide on the midgauge.  Choose a tension that knits smoothly with your yarn.  Add weight evenly distributed.  Knit 10 rows.  Grab one of your snippets, pull out some needles and ewrap the snippet doubled on as many needles as it will cover, right on top of main yarn.  If you pull out too many needles for the length of your snippet, just leave them.  Since you aren’t doing patterning, they will just knit.  If you didn’t pull out enough needles, pull out some more.  Knit 2 to 4 plain rows (or more as you wish) with the main yarn.  I knit different number of rows randomly too.   Add other snippets randomly color-wise and placement- wise across the needle bed---- as many as you wish across the row.  Don’t forget to move the weights up every 20 rows or so.  Repeat until the scarf is long enough.  The more snippets you add, the longer it will take to complete the scarf, but the more colorful it will be.  If your snippets are made of fatter yarn, you may not need to double it.
I laid out my snippets on the chair beside me so that I could make the color scheme look random.  I didn’t want too many sections of the same color. You will need a lot of them.   Trim ends so that they are basically the same length. Steam the scarf to control the edges if you’re not seaming.  It’s kinda fun to make and definitely different. 


The yarn I used:    main and fringes


 









Thursday, August 27, 2015

Free Machine Knit Lace Shawl



 

I knit this shawl for my sister.  Her favorite color is blue, so I dyed some pink and tan mystery, slubby yarn and this is how it turned out.  The pattern is pretty easy so I'd encourage you to give lace knitting a try if you haven't already done so.

Shawl for Kaky  ©2010   by Mar Heck

 

You can use any lace pattern that either is built into your machine or is on a punch card.  This one is in the Stitchworld III for the Brother 970.  (See end of pattern)  Use a yarn that has some stretch to make the lace transfers go nicely.  I always try out a few different ones to see which I like best and which behave well.


Directions:  (The shawl is knit from the narrow point to the other narrow point)

 

Main part:

  1.  Permanent cast on 4 stitches at or near the far left of the machine bed. (Some machines don’t like being on the very farthest needle, especially if you have swapped it out.)  Hang a claw weight, knit 2 rows.  Use a tension appropriate to your yarn.
  2. Set up the lace pattern according to directions in your manual for your particular machine.  Add weights as the piece progresses.  Since you are knitting sideways, the lace likes to be evenly weighted.
  3. Do the lace carriage passes. Increase one stitch on the right side by pulling out a new needle. Knit 2 rows with main carriage according to the pattern.  Continue this step until desired length from mid back to bottom point is reached.  Remember that you can’t have a needle in E position when running the lace carriage or you will break needles!!! So only pull out the new needle right before the knit-2 rows,
  4. When you reach the desired length, start the decreases.  Decrease one stitch  on the right side by placing the far right stitch onto its neighbor to the left. Do the lace carriage passes. Knit 2 rows with main carriage according to the pattern.  Continue this step until you are back to 4 stitches. Stop the lace knitting. Knit 2 rows.  Bind off

Edging:

(Add this to the two bottom edges or all 3) Use a tension slightly tighter than you've been using for the main part.

With wrong side facing you and starting at the middle of the machine, pick up 3 stitches (whole stitches, not loops) from the shawl at a corner.  Knit 12-20 rows.  Count out 4 stitches of the shawl (could use your thumb as a measuring tool) and hang 3 stitches from the shawl on top of those in work forming a loop .  Repeat knitting the cord and picking up the 3 stitches.  Do an extra loop at the bottom point.   When you reach the end, bind off.  

Try a practice run to see if you like the size of the loops and the distance between the places where you attach.  Adjust to your liking. You could make the loops with I cord, but this is faster and the knitting rolls onto itself looking like I cord anyway.


 

 

Once you get the correct amount of weight and get into a rhythm, this is a super simple pattern.  JUST THINK HOW LONG THIS WOULD TAKE TO KNIT BY HAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 I wouldn’t have the patience.
PS If you don't have a Brother machine, you'd have to consult your manual for directions but you should be able to use this basic idea.
PPS  If you want, you can use life-lines now and then to save ripping out the entire thing.  Take a contrasting colored yarn and weave it through the stitches on the machine at a point where you have completed the knit-2 sequence.  Do each stitch in the same direction make hanging the stitches easier if the need arises.  Write down the row number and position of the shawl on the needle bed.  Proceed with the knitting.  If you have to rip out, you only have to rip out to your life line.  Reset the machine for the correct row, hang on the proper needles and off you go again.  You can do this every 100 rows or so and use different colored yarn for each life line to keep track.  There's some kind of Murphy's Law that if you use life lines, you won't need them, but if you don't use life lines.... well, you get the idea.