machine knitting midgauge standard bulky machknit knit machine-knit patterns

Monday, December 29, 2008

Machine Knitting Video on Increasing and Decreasing

Three more minutes of fame. Here's the second video and it's on increasing and decreasing. I'm a little embarrassed because these are in no way very professional looking, they aren't really comprehensive and they originally were intended for just the sister. Also, to me it sounds like I have marbles in the mouth. The truth of the matter is that I usually have jelly beans, not marbles, in the mouth but not this time. o well. As long as it helps her progress...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Machine Knitting Ewrap Video Tutorial

I have a dear sister who is learning how to machine knit on a Brother KX350 midgauge. It's her first machine and she hasn't really seen anyone use a knitting machine. Maybe years ago when I got my first machine, but not lately, anyway. I had planned to visit her in Colorado last summer and do some instruction, but my husband got sick so I couldn't go. Trying to explain stuff through emails is difficult at best. So, this Christmas vacation my daughter is home and together we decided to try our hand at movie production. (Ha!) This isn't so great, but it's a beginning. Now let's see if I can embed the video into this post. doesn't sound like me. But, that was fun and a good learning experience. I tried putting it on You Tube as a private video because I don't feel that it's worthy of broadcasting around. But it was cumbersome allowing a list of people --- I didn't really spend the time to catch on. So I changed it to a public video and that seemed to be much easier.

We're all about video this month. A few members of the family have gotten webcams and are communicating with Skype. It has its drawbacks, but all in all, it's been fun seeing and hearing the person you're communicating with. Since it's free, there's nothing really to complain about.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Warming the neck

Colder than Hades here. When I took the dog out this morning it was below zero. It's an adventure breathing when it's that cold. Gertie, the Keeshond, loves it, though. The colder the better. She is perfecting her snow angels and snow plowing routines. She gets on her back and does a reasonable imitation of snow angel-making, then hops up and jumps around 180 degrees, and finally puts her nose under the snow and runs. It's comical. Or, would be if it weren't so cold. I have to offer all manner of treats to get her to come inside. Thinking of knitting her some booties though. She has to lift one paw off the ground until she's made the rounds of all 4, trying to keep her feet from freezing to the ground. Ah....Minnesota winters.

I'm still knitting. Bought some yarn that looks a little like rag wool, except it's cotton and brownish instead of gray. It's a neck warmer thing. On any machine that works with your yarn, Cast on 7 inches worth, knit for 23 inches. Hang beginning stitches on the machine and push to the back of the bed. Hang a bottom side in the hooks of the needles, push stitches through and bind off. I did an attached I cord around the neck to bring it in a little, but it probably wasn't necessary. You can't really see the I cord in the picture. The edges roll anyway, but it doesn't matter. I had two buttons in my stash that go well. If you make it, you might want to make sure you don't twist into a moebius when you hang the second set of stitches. Or maybe you do want to twist it. Up to you. Didn't take long to knit at all!

Two more days and the daughter comes home from Califoria. Even though she grew up here, it's going to be a shock to the system.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Textured Scarf - aka The Easiest Scarf in the World

This morning I knocked off another Christmas present. I combined some slubby mill end yarn with lace weight and used a tuck stitch to keep the stitches open and show off the yarn. This scan doesn't do it justice. It's nice! Here is the tuck stitch.

I used 100 stitches at T 10 on the standard and did 800 rows. Originally I was just going to steam it and leave it single layer, but it rolled too much. So I sewed it into a tube on my sewing machine, turned it right side out and steamed a little. I liked the purl side best. If you were to make this on a midgauge or bulky, you'd need less stitches and rows. Any slubby yarn or combination of yarns would be nice. I love that knitting machines give you almost instant gratification. Love to hand knit, but when you need something in a hurry, this is it. I think the scarf took about an hour to make once I decided on the yarn. How long would it have taken me to hand knit a scarf 6 feet long by 12 inches wide??? I hate to think how long...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tiny Christmas Sweater Ornament

I'm on a roll! I decided knitting little things is more fun than knitting big complicated things---some times. After a few tries getting the proportions good enough, I came up with this little cutie. She's the plain version. I was thinking I'd add some fairisle motifs to the front of the next one(s). You are welcome to the pattern. I made it on my standard gauge machine. I think you could try it on a midgauge or bulky and if it turns out way too large, you could modify but use the techniques. I'm sticking with the (electronic) standard so I can do some fairisle stuff on it more easily. It takes a tiny bit of yarn, so if you have odds and ends you want to get rid of, this would be a good project to do just that. You could embellish the sweater a lot of different ways---one that is nice is to put the year on it, maybe some initials, or a snowflake. If you're going for quick and dirty, minimizing colors makes it easiest.
by Mar Heck
Machine: Standard Gauge (any machine, but larger gauge = larger sweater)
Yarn: Any that works with your machine– I used Symphony, small amounts of red and white
Finished size: body is 2 ½ “ long by 2 ½” wide excluding hanger
Gauge: not important, but mine was
Approximately 8 st x 10 r to one inch at T 8
Pictured is a plain version, but you could do tiny stripes, embroidery on the front, a fairisle snowflake or other stitch types or embellishments. Would be cute to incorporate a person’s name or initials and the year. (See below.) The more colors you use, however, the more ends there are to work in. But you don’t have to be as careful as you would with a life sized sweater. The body is knit in one piece from mock ribbing at the bottom, up over the shoulders to the back side, ending with mock ribbing again. The sleeves are hung from the body and knit downwards, ending at the cuff.
Body ---Cut a 12” piece of red yarn and set aside. This will be used for the neck. Bring out 23 stitches and push back to non-working position every other needle. With white, E wrap stitches in work. COR T 3 knit 10 rows. Hang a hem on every other empty needle. 23 needles in work. Hang claw weights. Change to red T 8, knit 10 rows. Bind off 3 stitches for underarm, k 1 row, bind off 3 stitches for other underarm, knit back to right. Knit 10 rows. With a separate piece of main yarn, bind off around the gate pegs the center 9 stitches for the neck opening. Wrap the yarn both sides around the adjacent needle to prevent holes. Push the needles all the way out and lift neck stitches off the gate pegs. With the same yarn piece, ewrap back on the same 9 needles. Wrap the adjacent N to prevent a hole and drop the yarn end for now. Keep N all the way out on the first row so the stitches knit off. Knit 10 rows. Ewrap 3 stitches, knit one row, ewrap 3 stitches for the underarms, knit back to the right. Knit 10 rows. Transfer every other stitch to its
neighbor and push the empty N to the back of the bed. With white, T 3 knit 10 rows. Hang a hem on every other empty needle and bind off all stitches by going around the gate pegs.
Sleeves—With wrong side of sweater facing you, pick up whole stitches of the armhole opening, 10 stitches each side of the shoulder. On the 20 stitches, knit 2 rows, decrease one stitch both sides x 2 (16 stitches). Knit 16 more rows. Transfer every other stitch to neighbor and push empty needles to back of the bed. With white, T 3, knit 10 rows. Hang a hem on every other empty needle and bind off all stitches by going around the gate pegs. Repeat for other sleeve.
Hanger---Pick up 3 stitches at the center back of the neck. Push in one part button. Knit I cord 80 rows (or desired length). Pick up beginning 3 stitches and hang on the stitches in work. Bind off.
Finishing—Seam sleeves and sides with matching colors, hide all yarn ends inside the sweater. Tiny motifs you could use on the front of the sweater:

The heavens sent us 4" of snow overnight. The world looks clean and pretty. I love snow---up until about December 31, then it loses its welcome somehow.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


I found two typos in the tiny mittens pattern. If you downloaded the pdf before 8:00 p.m. on Dec.8, please try again. Just click on the picture of the tiny mitts on the right side again to get the revised pattern.

(The typos were that I forgot to say every other needle for the cuff and also forgot to say to knit one row after you transfer stitches for the top of the mitt.)


Christmas is coming and my machine is getting a workout!

I've been working hard on Christmas preparations. Did three solid days of power shopping and spent a ton of money. Now I'm doing stocking stuffers and ornaments. The easy stuff. I'll have a few patterns to share. Here's the first. It's an easy, cute and fast thing. The mittens are only 1 1/2" tall when made on a standard gauge machine. You don't need to have a ribber. You could try them on a different gauge and get larger mittens, of course. No need for an ornament hanger because you would just drape the mitten strings over a branch. So far I've made 3 pairs, but I'll probably get sick of them soon. I was thinking they would be cute as a topper for gift packages as well. 10 minutes max for a pair of mittens!
Machine: Standard (could use midgauge but mittens would be larger)
Yarn: Any that works with your machine. These were made with Mary Lue’s Symphony
Gauge: doesn’t matter
Finished size: Mittens are about 1 ½ inches in length
E wrap cast on with white, every other needle, left needle 7 to right needle 10. T3, knit 10R weighting knitting with your fingers. Hang hem on empty needles. Knit one row to seal hem. Hang claw weight.
Change to red. At T 6 K 5 rows. (6 for second mitten.) Knit thumb: Put all but 4 edge stitches into hold. (For first mitten use 4 needles on right, for second mitten use 4 needles on left.) Knit 16 rows on the 4 thumb stitches, pushing the thumb stitches down with your finger so stitches don’t pop off. Hang a hem from the first row of the thumb.
Hand: Take machine off hold. Knit 11 (10) rows across all 17 needles. Transfer every other stitch to its neighbor, knit one row. Cut 10” yarn tail. Take stitches off and gather into tip. Sew side seam of mitt and sides of thumb with the red tail. Hide yarn tail. Sew cuff with white yarn end. Hide these yarn tails inside mitt also.
Mitten strings (make 2): Pick up 3 st from cuff of one mitten. Knit one row. Set machine for slip (one part button), knit 80 rows. Put outer two stitches on center needle and bind that stitch off. Repeat for other mitten. Hide yarn tail into the string. Tie a bow with the two ends and this is how you’d hang the mittens on a Christmas tree branch. You could use these as a package decoration too.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Machine Knitting Guild of Minnesota

One of our talented knitters in the guild has started a blog for the group. She has done a really nice job. There are only a few entries so far, but it is packed with information about the craft of machine knitting. Every month we have a program so she has described the lesson and added lots of pictures. You will want to bookmark the site so that you can benefit from all the info. Click on the title of this entry or the link in the sidebar to get there. Thanks to Rebecca for a nicely done blog!!!

OH! and by the way, we would love to have you join our guild if you live within driving distance of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Our meetings are held in Richfield. Write to me if you would like more information.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hats, hats and more hats!

I finally finished 29 hats for the Minnetonka High School Alpine Ski Team. They were cute, and not hard to do, but knitting 29 of the same thing gets boring. I'm glad I'm done and they've been picked up. Now I can move on to other knitting. Aren't the tassels cute, though? And, how about the form on that skier?

Last night I knit a tam on my midgauge.
I don't look so spiffy in ski hats myself, so this one looks a little better on me. It's starting to get cold here, so when walking the dog, a hat is needed. I don't have a good picture of it. Just shoved it under my scanner, so you can't even see the whole thing at once. It is there, tho. In case you can't tell, the pic on the left is top-down and you can kind of see the little nubbin on top. On the right is the underside showing the brim. I didn't do any ribbing. I just knit several plain rows the size of my noggin and let it roll. Easy---the hat took about an hour to make.Machine: Midgauge. I used Brother KX 350 Yarn: Medium worsted weight. I used Patons Merino Wool
Gauge: Body of the hat 4 st x 6 r at T 10. = 1”
Directions: You will start with the body of the hat and rehang the bottom to make the brim. You can either knit the brim in stockinette and let it roll, or knit 1-2” of ribbing.
Body of hat- Cast on over 130 needles with wy and knit a few rows at T 10. (Loosest T.) With main yarn knit to RC 22. (If you want a floppier hat, knit more rows here.)
Begin decreases:
1. Transfer N 4 to 5 across (3 n in work, one out of work across). Remove on WY and rehang so there are no empty needles. Knit 6 rows.
2. Transfer N 3 to 4 across (2 in work, 1 out of work across). Remove on WY and rehang so there are no empty needles. Knit 6 rows.
3. Transfer N 2 to 3 across (every other n in work). Remove on WY and rehang so there are no empty needles. Knit 4 rows.
4. Transfer every other st to neighbor (every other n in work). Remove on WY and rehang so there are no empty needles. Knit 2 rows.
5. Double up stitches and K 2 rows.
6. Double up so that you have 4 stitches in work. Knit one row. Don’t break yarn.
“Nubbin” - Push in one part button. Make an I cord at T 10. with the 4 stitches, 10 rows. Transfer all st to one N and bind off. Leave a 12 inch yarn end to sew up the seam. Set carriage to normal again.
Brim- Decide which side you want to be the public side. Turn hat upside down with your wrong side facing and hang stitches decreasing to 74 stitches. At T 5 knit 12 rows. At T 2 knit 2 rows. Bind off around the gate pegs.
Finishing- Tidy up the little nubbin at top and seam the side with a mattress stitch. Reverse on brim to hide seam.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Give it to Kari! She likes it!

It's not easy for a mother to knit something that the daughter likes. At least that's been the case at our house. I finally hit the jackpot with the Circle of Life sweater. On Kari, it's more like a coat since she is a little vertically challenged, as my husband teases. You can turn the coat upside down and it is a waist length, large collared sweater. You can see the sweater on another model at Mary Anne keeps the pictures from the current issue up until the next one comes out.

I really had fun designing and knitting this garment. It's different from anything else I've made and it combines a lot of techniques. I made it out of Forsell's Pure New Wool, which is a very nice yarn. (Maybe I said that before when it was in progress.) Needs steaming now and then, I noticed.

If I were to knit this again, I might make it as a semi-circular shawl and omit the sleeves. The swirls created by the short-rowing are graceful. If you click on the smaller picture, you will get a larger pic that shows the swirls better.

So now, I'm on to another project. Pictures to follow. Stay tuned!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Hibiscus Cocktail

And/or, fun with Photoshop. This is the last of my beloved hibiscus blooms. I figured out that, if I placed the bloom in a wine glass with water filled to the top, it would last almost 3 days. Whereas, if the bloom is left on the plant, it typically lasts only one day.
Photography is one of my hobbies. I have a dandy camera (Nikon D80, with a great lens) but I definitely don't use it to its full capacity. I keep reading the manual and falling asleep. Besides, Photoshop does a lot of the things that you can do inside the camera. Here are a few of my "experiments" with Photoshop. (If you click on the smaller picture, you get larger, more clear view.

Almost as bad as a slideshow of a family vacation. I did spare you about 10 more versions, though.

It's fun to fool around, but a great time waster.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Last flowers of summer

We've had such lovely weather in Minnesota. The leaves are gorgeous this week. I always mourn the demise of my garden, though. Have picked the last of the tomatoes and cucumbers, dug up the few measly potatoes. Yesterday was the average first frost date for my area of Minnesota, but I think we'll have another week or so before the season ends. I used to have a gigantic flower garden. For a few years, I couldn't seem to stop planting both perennials and annuals, borders and pocket gardens, raised beds and pots. Couldn't get enough. What I have now better matches my (diminished) energy level. The bees are still really busy. They haven't seemed to die off around here, thank heavens. They love the dahlias especially. Anyway, it was a good year for gardening.

I practiced my weaving this week in anticipation of my Iris Bishop patterns arriving. Knitweave on the knitting machine can be kind of ho-hum. Iris has elevated it to a much more artistic level....but at least I have the weaving part down pat. I used some dark green wool (undetermined brand) for the main yarn and light Lopi for the weaving yarn.As usual, you can't see the texture from the scan. It's a little better looking in person. Can't wait to get going on an Iris Bishop shawl.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Texture and drape a la Iris Bishop

The seminar was wonderful. I think there were ten of us from the Machine Knitting Guild of Minnesota who attended. There were 40 some attendees in all. Everyone came away enlightened, impressed, energized, enthusiastic and raring to knit. Iris has such an engaging personality and a great teaching ability. She starts with the basic concept of her Kaleidoscope shawl and builds with the details so that you understand the construction. If you have seen this design, you know how complicated it looks. She uses a basic machine and makes wonderful fabric with it. Texture is her forte' achieved by sparing use of expensive hand knitting yarns and weaving them into the design. She's into knitweaving and the various possibilities with that these days but says she's also itching to get back to fairisle designs. Her garments look like very high end boutique things or one of a kind arty pieces that only the really wealthy could afford. But we can make them on our machines!!!!! Our heads were spinning by the end of the second day because she offered so many neat ideas. Was fun to hear her history in the commercial textile world, too. What an artist! Wow.

The only slight disappointment was that she didn't have enough of her books on hand to sell to all who wanted them. It's understandable that she wouldn't want to haul tons to the States, so she took orders and will mail them to our homes. I ordered the Helix sweater and the Kaleidoscope Project, the two in the pic above on the left. No way can a photo do her knits justice. The texture is soooooooooo yummy and the drape she achieves is out of this world. It was cute---she called her expensive, one ball novelty-type collection as "pets". You fall in love with the yarn but it's so expensive you probably only buy one or two skeins. I think I need MORE pets.

Until my books arrive, I think I'll practice some of the techniques by making scarves. Will share my attempts.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Iris Bishop

Going to an Iris Bishop seminar tomorrow and Saturday. It's being held in Princeton, MN, just north of the Twin Cities and is being hosted by Cindy Schmatz. If you live in the area and would like to sign up, there's still room. You can register for one or both days. Cindy's email address is and her phone number is (763) 389-4309. I'm excited to go. Iris is such a fine artist. One of our guild members saw her demonstrate in Kansas City years ago and said she is also a fantastic teacher. Pictured are covers of some of her books. Sorry you can't see the detail very well. If you click on the pic here, you'll get a larger one and will be able to see the designs better. I have been impressed with her ability to articulate her designs for 24 st punchcards and not have them look like 24 st repeats. Since the electronic machines have come into existence, she doesn't need to restrict herself. But I think those early designs were so clever. I plan to bring cash to buy her latest and greatest. Always nice to be inspired by someone else's creativity. Fun to get away for a couple of days too with like-minded addicts.
This one is going to miss me.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Walking the dog, the 'Smiling Dutchwoman'

Although I don't walk the dog as much as I probably should, I do get out in all kinds of weather. She needs to be on a leash, so I thought I'd do up some felted fingerless mitts to get the job done easily--- for my paws, that is. They turned out pretty nice and I know they'll be warm. I used worsted weight wool on the midgauge machine. Before felting them, I embroidered some flourishes with loose stitches as an experiment. At worst, I thought, they'll pucker up around the embroidery and at best, the embroidery would kind of sit on top of or sink into the rest of the top of the mitt. The later turned out to be the case. So, I'm pretty satisfied with them.
The dawg in question is our Gertie, aka Queen of Holland, as she is called by the hubby. She does look like she's smiling, happy to be on the blog, doesn't she? She's a Keeshond, pronounced KAZE hund. Did a little research on her breed and found lots of info from the American Kennel Club and other places. The Keeshond was named after the 18th-century Dutch patriot, Cornelis (Kees) de Gyselaer, leader of the Dutch rebellion against the House of Orange. The dog became the rebels' symbol, and when the House of Orange was returned to power, this wonderful breed almost disappeared. The word 'keeshond' is a compound word: 'Kees' is a nickname for Cornelius (de Gyselaer), and 'hond' is a Dutch word for dog. In Holland, "keeshond" is the term for German Spitzes that encompass them all from the toy or dwarf (Pomeranian) to the Wolfsspitz (Keeshond). The sole difference between the German Spitzes is their coloring and size guidelines. You might see them referred to as "The Smiling Dutchman".

Another, less popular story, is that way back-originally the breed is the result of a cross between a wolf and a chow chow, in China, a thousand years ago. Who knows? The more widely accepted version is that the Keeshond was developed from the northern sleigh dogs of the Arctic. These spitz type dogs have been around in Holland for hundreds of years. They are believed to have come from Vikings. A legend tells of a Viking ship which sank, with only the captain's son surviving. He was rescued by a Christian fisherman of northern Holland and his dog. The fisherman, the rescuee and the dog all landed on a foreign land and built a chapel to St. Olaf out of gratefulness for finding land. From here a village was built near the Amstel River, which later led to a dam being built. This dam led to the name of the town becoming Amstelredam, which is now currently Amsterdam. Today, the seal of the city shows a ship with a spitz type dog looking over the side of it. Because of this story and other legends, taking a dog on board a ship became good luck. The breed then served as dogs accompanying people to sea on boats and barges, and became known as the Dutch Barge Dog. (Our Gertie HATES water. Bathtub, lake, whatever. She thinks I'm torturing her if I give her a bath. Do you suppose they were bred to NOT jump off the barge into the water?)

First Registered by the AKC: 1930
AKC Group: Non-Sporting
Class: Non-Sporting
Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 5), KC (GB), UKC

Keeshonden tend to be very playful, (Gertie is a stand up comedian) with quick reflexes and strong jumping ability. (At dinner time, she invariably jumps about a foot off the floor to see what's on the stove top for dinner! Never gets close to it, just wants to see what's cookin'.) They are quick learners and eager to please. Because Keeshonden are quick learners, they also learn the things you didn't necessarily wish to teach them - very quickly. However, Keeshonden make excellent agility and obedience dogs. So amenable to proper training is this bright, sturdy dog that Keeshonden have been successfully trained to serve as guide dogs for the blind; only their lack of size has prevented them from being more widely used in this role.

They love children and are excellent family dogs, preferring to be close to their humans whenever possible. They generally get along with other dogs as well and will enjoy a good chase around the yard. Keeshonden are very intuitive and empathic and are often used as comfort dogs. Most notably, at least one Keeshond, Tikva, was at Ground Zero on 9/11 to help comfort the rescue workers. I read an article that said "Tikva" means "hope". The breed has a tendency to become especially clingy towards their owners, even in comparison to other dogs. If their owner is out, or in another room behind a closed door, they may sit, waiting for their owner to reappear, even if there are other people nearby. Many have been referred to as their "owner's shadow," or "velcro dogs".

I don't know about velcro, but this dog is more of a yarn dog. If she were human---she would be a knitter.
Probably a machine knitter. She loves yarn. Being kind of a yarn snob, she loves wool. I have to be careful not to leave any skeins of yarn or cones of yarn within her reach.

We got Gertie from a breeder in Kansas last summer as a 6 month old pup. She was destined to be a show dog like her parents, but the breeder said she had a bit of an underbite, which would cause points to be knocked off her score. O well, so much for glory. She is a beauty anyway and definitely the queen of our household.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Big Foot is Alive! And Well!

The felted slipper/boots turned out great! I was afraid I had overdone the size and they wouldn't fit anyone BUT bigfoot. Amazingly, they are perfect. Felting is so unpredictable, I feel lucky. And, the husband says the cuff is just the right height. The picture doesn't do justice to the quality of the felted fabric. They're nice and sturdy. I might look for some fabric paint to make the bottoms less slippery. For now I'm content to let them dry flat. We're going to be in for cool weather, it seems, faster than usual and will need cozy stuff like this.

It was in the 90's when the RNC'ers came to town. Quite a shock to have the temp drop 40 degrees.... to the 50's at night. Makes for great sleeping under the down comforter, but I'm not ready for the cold weather. Summer in MN is never long enough.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Roses and Big Foot

I planted three shrub rose bushes last summer. They haven't really bloomed like I thought they would. It's in spurts. That is, not all of the branches have buds and blooms at the same time. Had to take a pic of this one, though. The entire bouquet is just one branch. For some reason the deer have left them alone this year. I used a new repellant called Shotgun, and maybe that's the reason. (It's garlic, hot pepper and dried egg, no bullets. Smells like spaghetti sauce when you first sprinkle it on.) Perhaps the deer have decided to pick on someone else for a change or they don't like spaghetti. They've even left my vegetable garden alone. Amazing. In the past, I've been the local ---free--- salad bar for them.

On the knitting front, I am working on using up the misbegotten wool I bought. It felts well, so I'm making felted slippers for my husband, whose feet are always cold--- even when it's 90 degrees outside. They're ready to be popped into the washing machine. They look gargantuan. Note the lens cap for perspective. Before I felt them, I'm going to make some felted fingerless mitts and do the whole shebang at once. Am using the Brother KX350 and the knitting is lightning fast. Almost! Love that machine.

Happy Labor Day tomorrow!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Bradberry's Comfort Shawl...YUM!

Next project: a hand knit shawl designed by Sarah Bradberry. Thank you, Sarah, for the beautiful pattern. My daughter gifted me with some Noro Kureyon and it seems perfect for a shawl. Although we have had a wonderful summer weather-wise in Minnesota, from experience, I KNOW it is going to be cold again. (Understatement...) A shawl is a nice thing to have when that happens. The pattern is here:

There is a section on Flickr showing shawls people have made with this pattern. Go to the Flickr website and search on Feather and Fan to view. (Not sure if you need to have an account or not.) If you're a member of Ravelry, there are lots there too. Some very elegant and richly colored ones.

With the Noro, it's hard to go wrong with colors. Every now and then I'll put in a couple of rows of a contrast color from my wool stash to break up the pattern. I'm not at all a fan of fringe, so mine will have the undulating bottom edge. It should block nicely being 100% wool.

Even though machine knitting is probably my favorite of the two arts, every now and then I need to have some hand knitting to do. The blues and greens are a little easier on the eyes than my red stuff of late.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Tote is Finished!

Here are some pictures of my completed tote for the MKGM. We had our guild mtg last night and I brought it to show.
Not sure if all the members want to use the design and some may choose to make a garment instead. We'll see. Machine knitters are known for doing their own thing, I think. Which is perfectly ok. Was easy to make, anyway. These pictures look a little blurry, but if you click on them you can see a larger, more clear picture.
Wonder if I'll ever tire of red...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Moving on

Now that my sweater is done, I'm moving on to other exciting things. For one, I'm working on a proposal for our machine knitting guild. MKGM = Machine Knitting Guild of Minnesota. Most of us attend the annual Purls of Joy seminar in Minneapolis in the spring. We wanted something for the 2009 seminar to identify ourselves as a group, like some other guilds do. We've tossed around ideas: scarf, vest, sweater, tote, knitted earings, pin, socks... I'm leaning towards the tote idea because it's easy to knit, there aren't any sizing issues, we'd be able to take home our purchases in it, doesn't take much yarn, etc. So with the help of my trusty Designaknit program, I've come up with some variations on a theme. and finally...

So, one of those would be the front and one of these two would be the back:

Some of these jpgs got a little blurry, but hopefully you get the idea. The joke, such as it is, comes from a conversation one machine knitting member of our group had with a hand knitter. Lest I get into a diatribe about machine knitting vs hand knitting, suffice it to say we like what we do and produce some dandy stuff.

Since we have no obligations today, I'm going to knit up the tote, line it with some interfacing, batting and fabric and see what I think. I'll post a pic or two. Whew! That red gets a little overpowering.