Marzipanknits

machine knitting midgauge standard bulky machknit knit machine-knit patterns

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Educats and Edudogs

I'm pretty proud.  Mary Ann Oger has used my Educat and Edudog baby blanket patterns a few times for gifts.  I designed it with DAK and used my Brother 970 machine to make them.  The pattern was in a Knitwords issue (can't remember which one).  I suspect her preferred machine is a Silver Reed standard gauge machine.  Somehow translating it to a SR from a Brother created some issues.  Or, it's just the way SR machines work.  I dunno.  She shows how she dealt with it on her blog:  http://knitwords.blogspot.com/    Still  pretty cute patterns, if I do say so myself!


Friday, September 6, 2019

DAK 9 update/upgrade

If you are a DAK user, no doubt you have heard that there is an update available.  Reading the description, I was not so sure about it.  But I admit, I haven't seen all the possibilities.  I'll upgrade anyway. It isn't so expensive, as software goes, to upgrade from 8 to 9. I have this feeling we should support the businesses that are involved with machine knitting or they will disappear.
One nice thing in the upgrade is that the lace module is included.  That should be fun to work with.  I opted not to purchase it last time.
If anyone already has it, I'd love to hear what you think.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

It warms the cockles of my heart

I haven't the faintest idea where that expression comes from and it's 90 degrees F here as I write so I don't need any warming.  But needless to say, I'm pleased.

The picture on the left is my grandson about 4 years ago and the picture on the right is his little friend who has a Peppa Pig themed birthday party coming up next weekend.  He passed along the Peppa Pig sweater I made him and it looks like it is in good shape still.
It probably didn't get worn much since California is not especially conducive to warm sweaters (or the other way around).  I still have the DesignaKnit pattern I worked up for the Peppa design if anyone wants it.  Just write to me.  I used an iron on nylon interfacing for the motif on the back side and it worked wonders to keep all the floats hidden and in line. It was knit on my 970 as a large motif so the patterning would be easy.

You know how many times you give yourself a B+ and wish you had done something differently?  Well, this time it was the drop shoulder.  I should have done a fitted sleeve or a raglan.  Those little 3 year old shoulders are just too small.  O well.  Live and learn.

Our knitting guild is participating in a challenge where we knit 2 hats  for charity per week ending up with 104 hats to donate for the year.  There are 9 people participating and many of us have done lots more than 2 per week so I imagine we'll end up with close to 1,000 hats.  They'll go to the charity of each person's choice.  There is a needy elementary school near where we hold our meetings so that's where mine will go.  So far I have 110 hats but haven't photo'ed them yet.  Last winter when it was so blasted cold I just stayed in and knit my little heart out.  It got kind of addictive and felt good to be getting that yarn stash down a little.  I found I could knit about 9 hats from one cone, so the stash is still there.  I mostly used the yellow hat pattern with the doubled brim, free on the right side of the blog in case you are interested. I did pom poms on all just because I like them.  Some members have made ear flap hats, some have made doubled so that there are 4 layers over the ears when the brim is folded up.  I just made sure the area over the ears was at least doubled.  Otherwise, they are useless in our extreme winter climate.

So that's all until next time. I hope to take a picture of those hats one of these days...


Monday, April 1, 2019

Experiment with artwork

If you remember, I was trying my hand at converting zentangle art to a knitting pattern using DAK.  (See previous post for tips.) I finally managed to produce something.  I seem to enjoy the fooling around with the computer as much as the actual knitting.

Learned a little along the way.  One tip is this:  after you download your (free) zentangle design and open it in Paint, go "save as" and when it gives you the option of different file formats, choose monochrome bitmap.  It doesn't always completely convert it to black and white, but it does save some time in combining all the whites and blacks to 2 single colors. Ignore the "warning". Sometimes it works great. If you are proficient with another image processing program, use that.  The second is the cardinal rule, which I ignored, is to do a swatch.   A little arrogance, you know?? Not so much as to size but in my case whether the colors go together.  I loved the colors each by themselves but am not so crazy about what they look like together.  O well, was an experiment.  Finally, I think the larger design elements show up better than little tiny details.  But this may be just personal preference or this particular design.  Now that it has been knit up, I can see some improvements that could have been made.

So, anyway, here's my experiment.  I didn't want to do a time-consuming long scarf, so I opted for a cowl.
I wanted the cowl to be about 30 inches around and 10 inches high after hemming.  In order to get the 30 inches, it had to be knit lengthwise.  I used my Brother 970 standard gauge. My dimensions at a gauge of 7 st and 10 r at T9 were 140 ( 10 inches doubled)  stitches x 300 rows.  I didn't pay attention to whether any of the design matched anywhere it was to be seamed.  I did knit a few rows of waste yarn then plain rows at the beginning and end to make the kitchener stitching join easier than using the fairisle stitches. I decided I could put the join at the back of my neck so it wouldn't show.

Once off the machine I joined it into a tube with the kitchener stitch, then folded it in half to make it double, thus hiding the many long floats. I seamed with a mattress stitch.  I was careful to not skew the edges.   I didn't find the long floats an issue, but I suppose you could deal with them as you are knitting if they bother you.  They are hidden anyway, and when you block the knitting, the stitches stay put. Maybe if you were using a silky yarn, the stitches would not stay put.   I put the seam in the middle so that it wouldn't be visible, then steamed it aggressively.

Was a fun and fast project.  I think I'll do more.  I have amassed about 30 designs to keep me out of trouble for a good long while.  As always, write to me if you need help converting the design in DAK or any other issue.

April 1st!  Yea, spring is arriving.  We had a terrible winter, so the milder temps are really welcome.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

It's for the Birds

As I write this, the wind chill in Minneapolis is -66 degrees F.  Tomorrow is supposed to be lots better, but in the meantime, this old girl is staying inside.

My MK guild has a challenge this year to knit 2 charity hats per week from November to November.  That's all I have been doing---and now I have 53 done out of the 102 we're supposed to do.  UGH.  This isn't that much fun, but somehow I'm hooked.  I gotta do it!  One nice thing is that I'm using up some of my stashed cones.  I'm doing them all on the midgauge so there's a lot of doubling up yarn with my Silver Needles cone winder.  By the way, LOVE that thing and highly recommend it.

I have lots of yarn ends as a result of all this knitting.  So, I'm thinking about all these little birdies outside and wondering how in the world they survive in this below zero weather.  I have chopped up some of these yarn ends into 1" pieces and will set this paper plate full outside to see if there are any takers.  (This is just the ends from yesterday's knitting.) I am envisioning colorful nests all over the woods.  If no takers, o well, I tried.  Good intentions.
Will let you know if my good intentions have done any good.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

15 Minutes of fame!

My Tomten/Gnome pattern from November, 2018 was posted on the Craft Gossip website.  I was tickled pink!
There are lots of fun ideas on that site.  I check it often, especially when I'm plumb out of ideas.
Here's the link:
https://sewing.craftgossip.com/

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Gnome or Tomten Ornaments for Your Tree

If your background is Scandinavian, they are Tomten elves.  If not, you can just call them gnomes.  I made several of these yesterday to put on my tree and to give away.  Must say they were really fast and fun to make (other than burning my fingers a bit...)
Here's how I made them.  
Supplies needed:
2 pieces of felt about 5” x 8” each for hat front and back~your choice of colors
Small amount of fake fur fabric for beard
Small pom poms for nose and top of the hat
Sewing machine, thread to match color of hat
Hot glue gun.
Scotch tape or painter’s tape
Ribbon to make a hanger

1.      Print and cut out the hat shape. (pattern below) If your printer shows the shape to be about half the width of the paper in landscape view, it’s about the right size. Either increase or decrease the pattern as needed.  Mine is 7” high by 4 “ wide.
2.     Lay the paper shape on your felt and draw around it. Do this on each piece of felt but cut out the back piece and leave the front piece  for now. (Makes it easier to sew the two pieces together.  Your pen markings won't show.)
3.     Embroider a snowflake or other design by hand or machine onto the front hat piece.  I did the snowflake by machine, but a name or the year would be cute either by machine or by hand.
4.     Onto the front hat, tape a 8” ribbon loop down out of the way of the seam but the ends included in the seam. Lay the cut out back hat piece onto the front hat piece. Pin around so it matches perfectly.   Sew around with a straight stitch using about a 1/8” seam leaving the bottom open.
5.     Cut out the front piece to match the back, trim and clip corners. Turn right side out. I didn’t, but you can stuff lightly with polyfil. Remove tape.
6.     Cut a piece of fur the width of the hat and as long as you want it. Glue onto the hat front (across, bottom and sides.) The dotted line can serve as a guide for placement.  Fold in the felt hat bottom and either glue or sew shut by hand.
7.     Glue nose pom pom and tip of hat pom pom.   DONE!

PS I got my miniature pom poms at a fabric store in the craft department.  You may want more of a flesh colored nose, but these colors were what I had on hand.  For the white one, I rolled up a piece of fur and glued it into a ball shape for the tip of the hat. As I mentioned, I burned my fingers a bit…   we do suffer for our art…sigh. So be careful if you are using the glue gun.

Here's my white one.  It was so cold where he lives that his nose turned blue!!!

I tried to do the whole thing with my embroidery machine, in the hoop as they say.  All went well until I tried to attach the beard.  The foot just wouldn't go across the thick fur and got caught.  Hence this method by hand with the glue gun was born.  Still fast.

Hope you enjoy!