machine knitting midgauge standard bulky machknit knit machine-knit patterns

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.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Dreaded Static

Recently I've had a couple of inquiries concerning what to do about the awful static that can attack our machines this time of year.  I know I've listed some remedies before, but it bears repeating. 

I usually do contract this dreaded static disease  right about now when my furnace is going full blast and the house is dry.  I have to employ most of the tactics listed below---- all at the same time---- to get it under control.  My craft room is carpeted so I think that makes the situation worse.

1.  Buy a humidifier and keep it running in your craft room.
2.  Put 2-3 small magnets (mine are disks about 1" in diameter) on the mast.  Keep them attached with a clothes pin if necessary.  I contacted Sean at Knit and Sew World to make sure this wouldn't negatively affect the electronics and he said it was a safe thing to do because the mast is far enough away from the electronic part of the machine,
3.  Oil the machine bed, needles, rail and underside of the carriage with a fine layer using a paint brush.  Not too much, tho.
4.  Put your yarn in the freezer overnight.  If you can plan ahead, that is.
5.  If you still have some Lori Lyn yarn spray, use that.  If not, Distinctive Knits has a new brand to purchase to help eliminate static and make the yarn slide through more smoothly.  I spray the cone several times during a project.
6.  There is a commercial anti static spray you can purchase.  I can't remember the name now.  Spray your yarn (if you don't have the stuff in #5)  and spray a cloth to wipe over the needle bed. Or use dryer sheets.
7.  Purchase an anti-static mat  (try an office supply place), cut it up so the yarn can sit on one piece and you can put your feet on the other.
9.  Lather up your hands with lotion every 15 minutes of knitting.
10.  Try  copper grounding wire.  I bought some, but I didn't notice it helping.  Could have had it attached wrong.  Maybe you or someone who understands what is happening could help.
11.  LIGHTLY mist the floor with a spray bottle mixture of one part fabric softener or hair conditioner to 20 parts water.  Shake well.
12.  Purchase and wear one of those anti static bracelets used by computer repair people.

This is all I can come up with right now.  Hopefully some of these tips will help you.  I know how frustrating it can be.  First you can't believe it's happening, could my machine be broken????,  then it gets worse, everything comes to a halt and then you search for answers.  If you have some suggestions that worked for you and I haven't mentioned, please let me know.