machine knitting midgauge standard bulky machknit knit machine-knit patterns

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.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Going around in circles

More on the adult circular sweater. It's been occupying my knit time of late. I spent many hours (days) knitting with the worsted weight wool using my Brother KX350. Actually knit the whole circle, which involved a lot of transfers and much patience, 12 wedges. When I got done, I hated it for a couple of reasons. The thing ended up to weigh a lot and I didn't even have the sleeves knit or attached yet. Was thinking I'd have to consider it a winter jacket, which was never my vision. Also, although the yarn was gorgeous on the skein, and ok on the swatch, I didn't like it at all when knit in wedges.

Why didn't I quit before finishing the whole circle, you ask? Very good question. I guess I thought the colors would grow on me and the weight wouldn't seem so impressive off the machine. The more time I invested, the more I hated to give it up. But, after sleeping on it a couple of nights, I decided to start over on my standard gauge machine. It makes beautiful, more intricate lace without eye- popping- brain numbing- hand transfers and the weight of the garment wouldn't be an issue.

I have some beautiful Forsell 100% Pure New Wool that knits up so nicely. Swatched a little, tried some different lace patterns for a border, and off I went. I had the opportunity to have dinner with Mary Anne last weekend and got some advice on finishing the thing. It's going to have cut and sew armholes for the sleeves. She suggested cutting an identical sized circle out of muslin or other throw-away fabric, as she did for the cover garment a couple of issues ago, and snipping into that for armholes. Using that method I can hopefully get the sleeve placement right. I think I have an old sheet I used to use to cover the garden to protect from frost--can use that. I would hate to cut into my hard earned knitting and make a mistake after all that. If they could move Thunder Bay to Minneapolis, I'd be one happy camper.

I still need to knit the scallops and haven't decided which color to use. Have knit a couple of trial runs that I can easily rip out. Am debating between white, blood red and a brown (not pictured). I'm pleased that this scallop makes the edge behave without curling. If this masterpiece turns out, I'm hoping MA will publish it. We'll see! Any preference for color?