machine knitting midgauge standard bulky machknit knit machine-knit patterns

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Mar's Magnificent Minnesota Midgauge Felted Mitts

"Magnificent" if I do say so myself.  I have tried a zillion mitten patterns and have been disappointed in all for various reasons.  I finally came up with a pattern that is easy, quick, warm and looks great.

It's supposed to get up to 90 degrees F today and I'm knitting wool mittens. Go figure. 

  These will go to the local Salvation Army for their coat drive and distribution.  I'm debating whether I should knit I cord strings for them---hate to think they'll get lost, but wondering if the kids will think they're cheezy.  I think I'll do it and if they hate the strings, they can cut them off.  Anyway, here they are with the disclaimer that, if you use different yarn, you may need to experiment and then adjust stitches and rows.  

Mar’s Magnificent Minnesota Midgauge Felted Mittens   ©2014

Machine:  LK150, SR 860, no ribber required
Yarn:  Mary Lou’s Schuss Plus or any 100% wool that knits to the same gauge (If you use a different yarn and gauge I can’t guarantee they’ll come out to the same size as mine did). And felting adds another variable.  Schuss Plus is about the size of hand knitting sport weight yarn or light worsted.
Gauge:  At T10.. (loosest possible) 4.5 st and 6 r = 1” before felting
Other materials needed:  Size F crochet hook (or use the one that came with your machine), large eyed needle for seaming
Finished size:  Average women’s hand or older child, large in parenthesis

Directions:  (Both mittens are knit the same)

      1.  Ewrap cast on over 21-0-21 (24-0-24) needles.  T10..  RC000.  Knit to RC18 (22) and put a yarn marker on both sides.  Knit to RC 34 (40) and put a yarn marker on both sides.  (This is the thumb placement.) 
     2.  Knit to RC 56 (62). Starting the tip of the mitt.   CAR.  Set machine to hold.  Put left 21 (24) stitches in hold position. 
3      3.  Decrease one stitch both sides, knit one row.*  Repeat  from * to * 7 (8) more times. 7 (8) stitches left in work.  Take the 7 (8) st off on several rows of waste yarn.  Note, it is not necessary to do a full fashioned or fancy decrease, because once felted, the stitches disappear. 
4      4.  Take machine off hold.  On the other half of the mitt, repeat #3.

1.     Locate the bottom yarn markers both sides.  With purl side facing you and the cuff down, pointy tops up, hang this stitch on needle #1. Locate the same spot on the other side and hang the stitch on the same needle #1.  Two stitches are now on needle 1 and the mitt is a tube.  You can tell if you've hung it correctly when purl stitches are toward you/ on the inside of the tube and purls are what are about to be knit.  Confession;  i knit two thumbs upside down until I got a grip on myself...SO double check.  Twice!!!  Air was as blue as the mitt.
2.    Splay the sides of the mitt out, With your 3 prong tool pick up 9 (10)  more whole stitches to the right, up to the top yarn marker and do the same for the left side.  You now have 19 (21) stitches in work.  You may need to skip a few stitches as you hang because you are matching up rows to stitches.
3.    Set the machine to hold.  All needles except the center doubled one are in hold.  Hang a claw weight under the doubled stitch.  Knit one row.  Push a needle opposite the carriage in the middle, next to the stitch that just knit, into working position. Knit one row.  Continue putting a needle opposite the carriage into work one at a time, knit one row, until all needles are working.  (No need to wrap, but work slowly and check each row to make sure the new needle did knit.  If necessary, knit the stitch through by hand.) 
4.    All thumb stitches in work now.  Knit 8 (10) rows even on all 19 (21) stitches.
5.    Decrease for thumb tip:  Transfer every other stitch to its neighbor and move all the stitches in so there are no empties.  Knit one row.  Repeat once more.   Leave an 8" yarn tail for sewing. Take the remaining stitches off on a large eyed needle and cinch up.  Don’t seam yet.

1.     With right side (stockinette side) facing you, hang the top 7 (8) stitches on waste yarn of one side and then picking up whole stitches using your 3 prong tool as a gauge, pick up stitches down the curve.  Pick up the same number on the other side curve.  Hang claw weights.  Push stitches to the back of the bed, needles all the way out with latches open.  Remove waste yarn.  Hint:Write down the number of stitches you picked up so that when you knit the second side and second mitt, it will be identical.
2.    Fold over so the purl side is facing you and hang the same stitches as you did on the other side but into the hooks of the needles.  Hang more claw weights so the stitches don't jump off.
3.     Close latches.  With a straight edge that is at least as wide as the stitches you are working with, push the front stitches through the back in one fell swoop.  Don’t be timid.
4.    Pull needles all the way out and push the stitches back at the same time to make it easier to bind off.  Bind off loosely with your favorite technique. (It won’t show.)
             Before felting...

1.     Seam all open seams from the right side by whip stitching just half of each stitch loosely.  The seam won’t show after felting, but picking up just half a stitch each side reduces bulk.  You could also mattress stitch from the right side taking just half a stitch.
2.    Secure yarn ends and cut about 2 inches. (Can trim after the felting process.)
3.    Crochet cuff edge:
a.      Single crochet into each stitch around
b.    Secure to beginning stitch and chain one.
c.     Single crochet in each of 3 stitches, then  4 chains.  Secure bottom of chain into same stitch.  Repeat around. (Picots made)
d.    Secure to beginning stitch then single crochet in each stitch but do 2 sc into the picot point.  This makes the edge a little firmer.
e.    Pull points out hard.  A lot of the nice stitches will get obliterated, however, after felting.
4.     Put through as many hot/cold washes with a little bit of detergent as needed and some jeans.  Keep an eye out so that they don’t get too small.  I checked mine half way through a hot wash and to my surprise they were done!  You can shape them a little and pull out the picots while they are drying flat.

NOTE:  If you don’t want to do the crochet edge, knit extra rows for the cuff, as you might for a male.  Once you do that, you can turn the row counter to 18 (22) and follow the pattern.  When felted, the edge won’t roll.  Nice! Just make sure you do the exact same thing for mitten #2.
NOTE #2:  I have been searching for a long time for the “perfect” felted mitten.  Tried lots, was disappointed lots.  Finally, I believe I have crafted up the perfect felted mitten.  In Minnesota, acrylic mittens don’t fill the bill.  Even doubled.  Our winters are just too cold.
The felted ones will keep you toasty, however, even in below zero weather. They seem to be warmer if they aren't skin tight.  There's a little room for insulation. 

 You can do all sorts of things with these mitts as far as decorating if you are moved to do so.  Embroidery, ribbons, fairisle, more crochet, lace cuff, cotton lining, etc.  I have to say, they are actually fast and fun to do.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Aaarg.....It's a Pirate Sweater!

I think I mentioned a while ago that I bought an LK150 to take to knit-ins and to knit camp.   I'm having some fun with it.  My grandson is turning 3 in a couple of months so I thought a pirate sweater would be really cute for him when he comes at Christmastime.  I'm selling the pattern for $8 if you are interested.  You can use an LK150, a Silver Reed 860 or a Bond (provided you can achieve the same gauge.)   A bulky machine might work at a lower tension, once again given that you can get the same gauge. The gauge I used is 5 st and 6 rows to one inch.  The pattern can be knit plain for a really quick project or spiced up with fairisle, stripes or the pirate option.  There are descriptions of various hems you can try.  The split neck is nice because you don't have to worry about buttons or buttonholes.   I've done three sizes: toddler 1, 2 and 3.  Click on the Buy Now button and as soon as Pay Pal notifies me, I'll email you the pattern.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Machine Knitting Abbreviations

Two people recently asked what the machine knit abbreviations mean.  Typically they are listed in most machine knit patterns, but I usually forget to add them to mine.  Here is a list of the most common ones used for almost all machine brands.  (Passap has its own.)   Hope it helps.

Using DAK to print graph paper

Perhaps you seasoned DAK users realized this a long time ago, but it just dawned on me.  I wanted to create my own lace patterns to use with my new-ish LK150---hand manipulated lace, of course.  There are some really nice projects on Ravelry in the Mid-gauge Machine Knitters group.  I'm especially inspired by hookmeup's lace.   Check out his projects.

Anyway, you can use a free program on the internet for creating knitter's graph paper, or use an Excel spreadsheet too.  This is just another easy way.

I tried using a basic graph and typing in the symbols typically used in hand knitting lace patterns.  Probably due to my ignorance, I couldn't get the symbols to print dark enough.  So I decided plain graph paper would work fine and I would draw in my own symbols by hand.  

Here's how to get some nice graph paper;
1.  Open Stitch Designer.  

2.  Accept the 40 st x 40 row default or add/subtract stitches and rows to suit your purpose.

3.  Use the paint bucket to dump white into the work space.

4.  Under Options, change your tension to 4 stitches and 5 rows to the inch so that the grid is large.  You may be able to control the size of the grid by just adjusting in the print options (#6 below) regardless of the tension your file is set at.  Haven't tried it.

5.  File...print.  Save as graphpaper  in a place you can find it again.  I have a misc file for that purpose.

6.  You have some options--- before actually printing--- under Available Formats.  Choose stitch pattern picture,  under page setup choose portrait for vertical lace and landscape for horizontal repeats.  Choose 100% or larger.  You can choose which way the rows and stitches are numbered.  I asked for darker color demarcation, but it didn't seem to make a difference when I printed it out different ways.

7.  DAK may use several pages to print out what you have specified.  I chose the one that made the most sense for the design I planned to do and printed out only that page. (The one starting in the lower right corner for stitches and rows made the most sense to me.) Fianally, click Print.  If you don't get exactly what you want, fiddle around with the settings.

Hope this helps someone.  I'm going to a knit-in in Princeton on Saturday and wanted a chart for a project I want to try.  If it turns out, I'll report.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Machine Knit Pocket Doll

Still fooling around.....................
Pocket Doll Directions  Another fun machine knit toy to make.  Nice to accompany a baby gift or give to charity. 

Any machine, any yarn---Tension to match yarn
Body  Main yarn, cast on so that you have 6 inches in width.  Knit 5 inches.  Change to skin color of choice.  Knit 1 ½ inches.  Bind off.  No need to shape the top of the head.
Arms – Cast on 2 inches worth in width.  Leave a yarn tail.  Knit 2 inches.  Take off with a large-eyed needle and cinch in for the hand end. Seam up the arm and stuff it.  Wrap yarn around to make hand.  
Hat  -  Ewrap cast on with main or contrasting color the number of stitches in the head plus 4 stitches.  Knit  1 ½ inches.  Decrease by half across, rehang on every needle, knit 2 rows.  Continue decreasing until you have about 5- 6 stitches left.  K for 1” more, bind off.  Tie a knot in the top of the hat.  Seam hat.  Seam the head, stuff the head then hand sew hat to head just under the roll.  Neck- hand sew in and out of stitches where head meets body.  Cinch in for neck and knot.  Stuff the body and seam up back and bottom.  Seam around arms as you attach to the body.  Leave arms sticking out or secure to the belly.  Embroider two tiny eyes with dark yarn going sideways over just one stitch each eye..   Hide all yarn ends inside body.  Dip a q-tip in some blush and make cheeks.

Good beginner project ===  fast, easy, learn how to use your gauge, easy to modify.