machine knitting midgauge standard bulky machknit knit machine-knit patterns

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Snowy times

Due to flu/bronchitis/colds at our house, I've been awol from the blog and most other things too! We had a fairly substantial snow storm, guaranteeing a white Christmas. Here's the view out our front door:

What we see out the back:

And the back deck:

The pictures don't make it look as fierce as it is. When we knew the storm was coming, we stocked up on provisions. Basically we stayed inside for 5 days and had some good times together as a family.

Now that I'm pretty much back to health, I'll be knitting again. Here is wishing a Happy New Year to you. Hope there is lots of knitting for you in 2010!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Free Pattern for child's earflap hat on the midgauge

As you can see, I'm using up a cone of wool for my charity knitting. Here's another really easy midgauge pattern for you. Once again, I hope you donate to the cause of your choice.
Machine: LK 150, KX 350, or SR 860
Yarn: Lt worsted abt 3.5 ounces
Tension: 5 st x 7 rows at T 7
Sizes: child’s sm (med, lg)
Note: when making the ear flaps, don’t wrap the end needles. Unwrap those that wrap ---the yarn will be on top. You will make little holes that aid in folding the doubled flap so that it lies flat.

Cast on over 71 (81,91) needles with waste yarn and knit a few rows. With main yarn T7 knit to RC 12 (14,16).
Make earflaps- Put 7(9,9) needles on right in holding position, next 17 (19,22) in working position and the rest in holding position. Cut yarn, set carriage for hold. Knit 2 rows. *put one stitch in holding position both sides, K2 rows*. As the flap starts to make a pouch, wt down with your hand or use claw wts and move them up every 2 rows. Continue from * to * until 3 st are left, K2rows. ^Put one stitch both sides back into work, K 2 rows.^ Continue from ^ to ^ until all ear flap st are back in work. Cut yarn, put carriage on other side and knit the other ear flap the same way.
Take machine off hold. Knit 12(14,16) rows on all Needles. Hang hem. T 10 knit one row to seal hem. RC 000. T 7 knit to RC 36 (40, 44). Decrease for top- transfer every other stitch to neighbor and put emptied N out of work. T 3 knit two rows. Take stitches off machine one by one, cinch up tight and sew side seam. Hide yarn tails.

I cord ties: with inside of flap facing you, hang 3 stitches from end of ear flap. Set machine to knit one way, slip the other. At T4, knit 64 rows. Bind off by putting outer stitches on center N, cut yarn leaving a 6” yarn tail to sew the tassel onto the tie, pull through. Make a tassel for the end and use the 6” yarn tail to attach it to the tie. Repeat for other tie.
Optional---pom pom or I cords for the top. If you pull the yarn tight, the hole closes enough that you don’t need anything. This is a very cute, fast and warm hat for charitable or gift giving. You can add a fairisle pattern or stripes if you wish

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Clothing for children in Nepal

Diana Sullivan, of the wonderful videos on you tube on machine knitting, came upon this call for warm clothing for children of Nepal. It broke my heart seeing the two little boys huddled together trying to sleep in the cold. Our guild already does hats and mittens for the Salvation Army in Minnesota, so I'll continue to contribute to that, but I'd also like to give to this one. In the states there are lots of charitable organizations, but I'm not sure about resources in some of the poorer countries of the world. Here's the link to learn about it:
The request is for all wool items. Would be a great way to use up bits of sock yarn.
Here's my first one that I knit last night:

I'm still getting accustomed to the Silver Reed 860 midgauge, so the hat is made on that machine. Simple pattern---cute and knits up in a jiffy:
Sport yarn, midgauge, T 6. Cast on with waste yarn over 74 N, knit a few rows. Begin with main yarn and knit 15 rows, one row T 8, 16 rows T 6. Hang hem and knit one row T 9 to seal. Return to T 6 and knit 45 rows. Decrease every other st across, knit 3 rows T3. Remove on tapestry needle, gather and sew side seam. Put a pom pom or I cord ties on top. Looks cute with the hem folded up or down. Would also be nice in stripes or a fairisle pattern.
Note that gauge is not so important because it should fit some child. I hope you consider contributing some too.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Found this video on You Tube this morning. Since I use Marzipan as my moniker, I thought it appropriate to share this creative gal's crafty use of marzipan with you.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Free Machine Knitting Pattern

I recently purchased a Silver Reed 860 knitting machine with ribber and the Silver Link 4 to work with DAK. I've been knitting simple things just so I can get used to the machine and we can make friends. I've gone through the manual and tried almost all of the stitches. So far, my assessment is that it's more fiddly than the Brother machines, knits nice ribbing, the gauge has a nice hand knit look, the link to DAK is touchy, and good or bad I'm glad I bought it.

Thought I'd share a simple fingerless mitt pattern that I came up with. It knits up in short order. Might make a good gift for someone for Christmas. If you don't have a ribber and have to latch up the ribbing by hand it won't go quite as fast. One size fits most adult women. If you need a smaller size, you could tighten the tension. Left and right mitts are identical. I keep typing "mtits" instead of "mitts". Wonder what that is all about! Anyway, here's the pattern:

Machine: 6.5 or 7 mm midgauge. Ribber for bands or latch by hand
Yarn: Lion Brand worsted wt wool, Ocean Prints, 1 skein (2 1/4 ounce) 143 yards
Tension: 3.5 st x 5 r =1”
Cuff--Cast on as per your manual over 34 needles. RC 000. Rib for 20 rows at T 7/7.
Hand--Change to main carriage if using a ribber. T 8 (knit 5 rows, increase one stitch both sides). Repeat from parenthesis one more time. Knit plain to RC 35.
Shape thumb opening: Carriage side bind off 5 st, K1 row 2 X.
Ewrap cast on 5 stitches at beginning of next 2 rows. Hang a claw wt on the ewrapped stitches. Knit to RC 44.
Change to ribber carriage, T 7/7 knit 6 rows. Knit one loose row at T 10/10 (or knit a loose row by hand). Transfer stitches from ribber to main bed. Chain cast off from right to left. Leave a 12” yarn tail for sewing up side seam.

Finishing: Make the purl side be the public side. Sew side seam leaving the opening for the thumb. Fold the cuffs down at the tops. If you start the yarn in the same spot for the second mitt, they should look the same. If you don't care, start anywhere!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Machine knit Minnesota StateFair entries

I just realized that I never posted my entries to the Minnesota State Fair in the machine knitting category. Not to brag or anything, but I entered 6 items, got 3 blue ribbons, 2 red and one white (3rd). Only spent about $200 on the yarn and won about $40 for the prizes. Um... I guess one doesn't enter for financial gain. Was some tough competition this year.

Here's my little gnome entered in the toy category. (Blue ribbon, yea!) I bought Alan Dart's Tomten pattern and converted it to machine knit and added my own Norwegian sweater to it. I've made two so far and thought I'd like to make more for Christmas to have sitting around. I kind of fell in love with him.
Reminds me of that children's story of the trolls under the bridge...clip clop...who's that walking over MY bridge? Is it a Scandinavian tale? I used to love hearing it over and over. Strange...
If I get ambitious, I'll post pictures of my other entries.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Machine Knit Lace

September is almost over and I've not posted to my blog once this month. Hopefully I'll reform here sooner or later. I have been knitting, but mostly trying out new things and doing swatches.

I decided that the lace patterns in the Stitchworld manual look a little different than when knitted in person. So, I'm making a notebook. Have just 4 done so far:

I'm working on a lace edged "shawlette" that will have about 4 inches of lace at the bottom. It needs a scalloped edge so I was looking for the most exaggerated scallop I could find. I won't be able to block it very much since the fiber content will be cotton, so I'm thinking the more scallopy the better. I guess I'm leaning toward the last swatch. It's a combination of normal lace and fine lace. In fine lace the stitches are transferred but there is no yarn-over type of hole left behind. That would be the straight stitch up the middle of the motif. Haven't done that before. I am not advanced enough in programming lace into the machine so I'm going with the patterns in Stitchworld II and III. I've learned that the lace holes pull up on the knitting and the stockinette stitches push downward. Some of the lace patterns make a straight edge, some have this natural wave. They're all pretty, though. It's hard to decide!!

The multi-colored swatch is the yarn I'll actually be using. It's pale green, but I plan to paint it with Dylon dye, as I did the swatch. Not sure of the colors I'll use, but something like this.

Some things I've learned about lace: 1) you can't program lace into the Brother 970 machine. You have to enter it as a fairisle pattern and then know when to run the knit carriage 2) If you enter a pattern into DAK and then from DAK to your machine, DAK can screw up things. Since DAK has been told it's a fairisle pattern, it flips it sideways. You have to flip it back to make it work. Your machine might be very unhappy knitting the pattern backwards. Found that out the hard way. 3) Even weight on the knitting is a must.

Mary Anne Oger figured out a way to use the ribber comb to weight her lace knitting evenly across. You cast on with waste yarn, every other needle, push the teeth of the ribber comb up between the stitches, push through the wire and let it drop. Hang the necessary weights, push the other stitches back into working position. Knit a few inches of waste yarn and then do a permanent cast on with the main yarn. It works like a charm. I haven't had dropped stitches since using her method. If you haven't already seen her blog, it's a great resource. Needles to say....

Once I decide on the lace pattern, it won't take long to knit my "shawlette". I've already charted out the shaping. More on my progress later...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

18" Doll Clothes

Husband thinks I've gone off the deep end to be making doll clothes. Don't know why I'm doing this, even though there's no grand daughter to knit for, but it's fun. Sometimes you just need a mindless project that goes quickly. There's the urge to knit, but not ready to do something substantial.

This outfit is for the American Girl Doll-sized doll. I nabbed a copy cat at the local Michaels and only paid $10 for her with my 40% off coupon. The skirt pattern is available in an earlier post (June 10, 2009) and it's the same doll. The shell is improvised. I measured the doll, did a 7st x 10row gauge. The only nifty thing I did was to come up with easy edgings for the neck and armholes. I hung the armhole/neck with the RIGHT side facing me, knit 8 rows reducing the tension from 6 to 3 over those rows then bound off. It looks like a garter stitch but is really just reverse stockinette. It rolls a little, but with steaming is presentable. Might even look ok on an adult sweater. Here's the schematic if you want to knit one in your gauge: These dolls have kind of an odd shape---heads are huge so you have to make the neck opening really large. I did a shrug for her in the current issue of Knitwords, if you happen to be a subscriber. It's the same shrug that is in the June 9 post.

Other than this, I haven't done much knitting since the MN State Fair stuff. A friend and I delivered our things plus a friend's items last week. I think there will be a better showing for the Machine Knitting category this year. Stiffer competition too! If you live in the area, be sure to check out our display. It promises to be a good one.

Daughter and boyfriend just left after a week's visit. They saw friends, did a lot of interesting things, helped us around the house. It's always a big adjustment when they leave. Wish they didn't live so far away!!!

The garden is winding down. Nights are already cool to cold and some plants are not happy with that. I have 3 mini tomatoes on the vine. Planted too late this year. You'd think I'd know better after all these years of gardening. With the cooler weather, the urge to take on a bigger knitting project will overtake me I'm sure.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Short 'n Sweet

Hard to keep up with a blog when there are so many summer things to do.

I had a short 'n sweet trip to Colorado to visit my sister. She is a newbie on the Brother KX 350 midgauge, and not having even seen someone knit on one before became a tad frustrated without any help. We managed to slip in some knitting along with trips to Denver to eat at a new restaurant called "Boa" and a great lunch at Chataqua, attendance at her nice church among other things. Here is the sweater we worked on. It's called, oddly enough, "Short 'n Sweet", a pattern by Mary Anne Oger in Knitwords #28. It's a size 4.
It's very feminine and dainty. A bit of a challenge for a beginning knitter, but I always think that taking on a challenge gets you to a higher level faster than just plugging along at the basics all the time.
Here's a closeup of the neck and you can see the neat rope-like edging.

My sister is now finishing up a matching size 8 sweater for her other grand daughter. I hope they appreciate all the love and hard work that went into these sweaters!

Our Machine Knitters Guild of Minnesota members are busy knitting entries to the great Minnesota Get Together (the state fair). We didn't have a lot of items in the machine knitting category last year. Afraid that they'll do away with the machine knitting category, lots of us are knitting up a storm and will enter several items. I have completed a few, but won't be able to show them on the blog for a month or so. Talk about raising your knitting to a new level! Everything and every detail of your knitting is scrutinized, so you have to try hard to do things correctly and neatly. Not so easy. But it's fun and I can't wait to see what my friends are submitting.

Got my copy of Knitwords #50 in the mail yesterday. Check out the website---lots of nice stuff and good articles. click on current issue

It appears that our Minnesota summer is also going to be remembered as short 'n sweet. The nights are cold and the days are cool, a scarcity of rain. Not so great for the garden. Maybe we'll have a nice mild and extended fall. One can only hope.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Summer has arrived in Minnesota

Sorta. It's been the most cloudy and dreary spring and summer that I can remember. O well, can't complain about what you have zero control over. Seems to be an occupation---complaining about the weather---that humans like to indulge in.

I've been gardening some. This is my main garden. Reduced from days of yore, more manageable for me. Looks probably the best now that it will look, although photos are always disappointing. I struggle with deer, shade and tree roots being so close to the dense woods. My favorite flower---for lots of reasons, is dahlias. Here is one of the first whose tuber was saved from last year. The color is yummy. Upon recommendation from my sister, I bought some SpraynGrow. Haven't used it yet, but hope that does well by my roses (other side of the yard). Hers are out of this world and I don't expect to ever have roses that fine. I'm jealous. I'm thinking the lighter pink one is as close to perfection as is possible. Reminiscent of Georgia O'Keefe.

Have been knitting up a storm too, but can't show pictures yet because the items are going in the MN State Fair.

PS Windows Live Writer crashed my computer, so I'm back to the regular Blogger software. grrrrrrrrrrr is all I'll say. Didn't want to recommend it after all.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Trying Windows Live Writer

This morning I downloaded the Windows Live Writer.  You are supposed to be able to post to your blog from this application.  Always takes a bit to figure things out, but it seems easy.

DSC_02120003 Here’s a picture of my niece’s daughter wearing a coat I made her out of a recycled sweater.  Looks like she found a piece of something that doesn’t belong. Given that it was about 90 degrees when we tried it on her, she probably wasn’t so happy to be wearing it.

Ok, after a 5 minute trial, I like this so much better than posting from Blogger.  I’m one of those who would rather create a post like you would type in a word processing program.  Don’t need to see the html tags.

I suppose there are lots of other things I can do, but so far so good!  I might even post more often.

If you are interested, here's where to get the program:!D85741BB5E0BE8AA!1533.entry

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

18" Doll Skirt

My friend Carol lent me her 18” doll so that I could design a shrug for Knitwords to fit her. (If all goes well, the doll and adult shrugs will be in the next issue.) I decided she looked indecent without a skirt, so I whipped one out. When I give her back she will look dressed. Doesn’t she look cute???? She needs a camisole or something for underneath the shrug, but we’ll leave that for another day. Recognize that pink yarn? I rescued it from the waste yarn bin to make the hearts and match the shrug. (I used it to make the shrug "prototype".)

Here’s how I made the skirt.

Machine: Standard gauge
Yarn: Bramwell 4 ply acrylic; small amounts white and pink (many other yarns can achieve this gauge)
Gauge: 7 st x 10 r at T 7
Other: ½ inch elastic, 10”

Over 131 needles, cast on with waste yarn and knit a few rows at T 6 1/2. Change to main yarn and knit 5 rows. Use the lace carriage to transfer every other stitch, making the picot edge. (Or, transfer the stitches by hand.) Leave emptied needles in work. Knit 5 rows T 7 and hang a hem. Change to T 10 and knit one row to seal the hem. RC 000. Change back to T 7 and knit 3 rows. Set up the heart pattern and knit it for 3 rows. Knit plain to RC 40. Decrease the stitches by half, either with the lace carriage or by hand. Take off on waste yarn and rehang over every needle. Knit 11 rows T 7, one row T 10 for a turning row, 12 rows T 7. Hang hem, bind off. Thread the elastic through the waistband and sew ends to make a circle. Seam with main yarn to enclose waistband elastic and the back seam. Hide yarn ends.

Even with change of tensions for the hem, it tends to flip up. Steaming it judiciously helps, but acrylic melts so easily you need to be careful.

I could get into this doll clothes thing. The knitting goes really fast and you don't have to worry about her complaints about color, fit or style. She pretty much smiles through it all.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Three More Charity Hats - Easy, free patterns

No big projects this week, but am continuing to work toward my charity hat goal. I'm up to 14 now. Seems like it should be more, but those are the ones I can remember and account for. I thought in case you wanted some really simple patterns, I'd share what I made.

Green and white stripes, top left:
Machine- midgauge
Yarn – any that works with your machine, small amounts of two colors to make stripes
Gauge – depends on the yarn and tension you choose. At Tension 5, with Mary Lou’s Solo, 5.5 st x 7 rows = 1”. Makes a loose knit, but cooler, hat.
Size- mine fits a 3-6 month old. 16” wide x 7” high. You can make one with my dimensions and then adjust if you want a different size.

Directions: Cast on with waste yarn over 90 needles, hang weights, knit a few rows. Ewrap on over the waste yarn with color 1. RC 000. T 2, knit 10 rows for the rolled brim. Change to color 2 and T 5. Knit 8 rows color 2 and 8 rows color 1. Knit 6 rows color 2, 6 rows color 1. Knit 4 rows color 2, 4 rows color 1. Knit 2 rows color 2, 2 rows color 1, 2 rows color 2. Knit 2 rows color 1. (RC 54.) *Decrease by half by putting every other stitch onto its neighbor. Knit one row. Take off on waste yarn, rehang main yarn stitches, knit one row.* Repeat decreases one more time. Knit one row. Cut a matching yarn tail 10” and thread onto sewing needle. Gather up stitches tightly and seam the side.
Note: nice in cotton for a light weight hat.

Pink snowflakes, center:
Machine: Standard gauge with programming capabilities (electronic or punch card)
Yarn: Whatever yarn works for your machine, small amounts pink and white.
Gauge: At Tension 6, with Bramwell 4 ply, 7 st x 10 rows = 1”
Size: 20” wide x 8” high (teen or adult small); you can make one with my dimensions and then adjust if you want a different size. You will want to have a full repeat of the snowflake.

Chart for brim: 24 st x 23 r

Cast on with waste yarn over 144 n, hang weights, knit a few rows at T 5. Change to main yarn and knit 24 rows. Change to T 6 and knit one row to set up pattern and then knit the 23 rows of pattern. Hang first row of main yarn to make a hem. Knit one row at T 10. RC 000. Change back to T 6 and knit 54 rows. *Decrease by half by putting every other stitch onto its neighbor. Knit one row. Take off on waste yarn, rehang main yarn stitches. Knit one row.* Repeat decreases one more time. Cut a matching yarn tail 10” and thread onto sewing needle. Gather up stitches tightly and seam the side. Make a pom pom for the top with the two colors. The long floats are nicely hidden inside the band.

Turquoise and white striped jester hat, lower right
Machine: Standard gauge
Yarn: Whatever yarn works for your machine, small amounts turquoise and white.
Gauge: At Tension 7, with Mary Lou’s Solo, 7.5 st x 10 rows = 1”
Size: To fit 6-12 month; 18” wide x 7.5” high; you can make one with my dimensions and then adjust if you want a different size

Directions: Cast on with waste yarn over 136 stitches, hang weights, and knit a few rows at T3. RC 000. E wrap with main yarn and knit 10 rows. Change to T 7 and knit 72 rows alternating 4 rows turquoise, 4 rows white. Knit 2 rows turquoise. (RC 84.) Take off on several rows of waste yarn. With right side facing you, hang ½ of the stitches, fold the knitting over so that right sides are together and hang the other half on top of these stitches. Knit one row and bind off with the latch tool around the gate pegs to make a seam that won’t pucker. Seam the side seam and hide yarn tails. Make a 4 stitch I cord at T10, bind off. Make and attach a tassel to the corner of the hat. Repeat for other side. Easy!

PS---I have about one ounce of that pink yarn left. It is going to waste yarn heaven. Finally!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ribbed Baby Jacket

This is Debbie Bliss' hand knit pattern that I converted to machine knitting on the manual midgauge machine. You can find the pattern here:
Some hand knitting patterns are easier to convert to machine knitting than others. This one was very easy. She even tells you how many rows to knit, which is unusual in a hand knitting pattern. So, I didn't have to use any math to convert length to number of rows. Makes one wonder if it really was a machine knit pattern to begin with!

If I were to knit it again, I would do a couple of things differently. For one, hand latching all that ribbing on my Brother KX 350 extended a 40 minute knit to a 5 hour one. I'll do it on one of my machines that has a ribber next time. Also, I should have picked up the neck and front stitches from the wrong side rather than the right side to make a nicer join between pieces. Is ok, but nothing you'd take to the state fair. Navy doesn't photograph well, but in person you can see that the place where stitches were picked up could have been smoother.

I'd say this is about a 3-6 month size. (I used the smallest size in her pattern.) The yarn is Caron Simply Soft, less than one skein. I used T6 and got pretty close to the pattern's gauge of 18 st x 24 r to 10 cm (4 inches). I temporarily pinned on a mini flower corsage. I think the sweater really is suitable for a boy or girl.

We had a guild "knit-in" yesterday so this is what I got done plus a charity baby hat. Machine knitters know the satisfaction of producing a lot of knitting in a short amount of time!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Toddler Tam

I think this is hat #8 to be donated. Is a lot cuter in person, but being squished under the lid of the scanner does nothing for it. I'm thinking it will fit a toddler, made to go with the loopy edged scarf. I temporarily sewed the hat to the scarf so that the two don't get separated when donated, in case you were wondering what those loose yarn ends were for.

TODDLER TAM DIRECTIONS I used my never-ending cone of pink Tamm Trenzi (acrylic). The tam is made by doing 9 short-rowed wedges, band knit separately and hung to the edge of the wedges, side seamed on the machine.

CO with waste yarn over 66-0-66 N and knit a few rows. Change to main yarn, carriage at the right, T7 knit one row. Set machine to hold. *Carriage on the left. At side opposite the carriage, hold 2 stitches. Knit 2 rows. (No need to wrap the end needle. Can make a decorative line between wedges.) Repeat until you have 14 N remaining in work. Cancel hold, K 2 rows.* Repeat for 9 wedges. Take off on waste yarn. You have a circle with an open edge. Make a band: 65-0-65 st, T 4, cast on with waste yarn and knit a few rows. With main yarn knit 14 rows, change to T 10 (for a turning row) and knit one row, T 4 knit 15 rows, remove on waste yarn. Hang bottom edge of the hat, knit side facing you, evenly over 132 needles. Push to the back of the bed, hang band in hooks of needles with wrong side facing you. Push stitches through, hang bottom band stitches. Knit one row at T10.. and chain cast off. Hang open sides of end wedges with right sides together, one set of st behind latches, the other in hooks. Push through, knit one row at T10.. and chain cast off. Seam the band by hand and hide the yarn ends. Make a little loopy for the top as described in the earlier scarf pattern with the loopy edge.

Or make an I cord loop.

........and I still have yarn left. I guess it is destined to be waste yarn.......

Monday, April 27, 2009

Purls of Joy!

I attended the Purls of Joy seminar in Moundsview, MN this last weekend, held at the AmericInn, attached to the historic Mermaid bar, grille and bowling alley. This mermaid is awesome, probably the largest land-locked mermaid in the world and she spends her entire time atop the roof. Not sure,but I think she's 20 feet tall. Just awe-inspiring. But... can you imagine how cold those boobs get when it's -20F?

The seminar is put on by the Upper Midwest Knitting Machine Dealer Club. Its members come from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin. This was their 25th annual seminar. The guest demonstrators were Uyvonne Bigham, Mary Anne Oger and Charlene Shafer. Sandee Cherry was also scheduled to come but was unable for health reasons. This dealer club began as a Brother Knitting machine dealers' club. In 2002, the name of the club was changed to the Upper Midwest Knitting Machine Dealer's Club. In 1995, the seminar name was changed to Purls of Joy from the Brother Dealer Seminar. There was lots of food, lots of shopping and lots of pearls of wisdom (as relates to knitting on the knitting machine). It ends up to be a bit pricey when shopping, motel and registration costs are totaled, but worth going to considering there aren't a lot of resources for machine knitting these days. Besides, it's fun being around like-minded addicts.

Mary Anne is always popular. Her main focus was tailoring so that your garments have a professional finish. Seeing her garments in person is always so much better than viewing them in the magazine. She showed us how to do some of her nifty edges that are unique to Mary Anne. Her skills are truly awesome. Among other things, Uyvonne had some cute beaded purses done on the machine that were very popular. One of my friends bought three or four of her kits. She had a garter carriage sock that looked interesting. Charlene Schafer of Knit Knack Shop fame (Tricia Schafer's mom) had good sessions on DAK and demo'ed some of her tricks of the trade. To fill in the last minutes of one of her sessions, she told us how to do a fancy trim making use of the garter bar.
I had to try it when I got home so I wouldn't forget how to do it. For once I didn't use unkind words about the garter bar. One of her newer books is doll clothes for the American Girl doll. The clothes are sooooooooooo cute. Little details make the clothing special. No grandchildren to knit for here, so I passed on it, but not before drooling. She explained one of the options in DAK to print the neckline shaping so that the numbers aren't on top of each other making them unreadable. I'm pretty good at DAK, but that little option had escaped me to this point.

I bought a new sponge bar for my 970, a garter carriage book: Did you know that the turtle knits without a needle in it? Why don't they say that in the manual? Nabbed two cones of Poodle yarn and a 60 stitch ribber comb. I was prepared to spend more money, but was a bit restrained this time.

There was lots more to talk about, but I thought i'd share the highlights. I'd say if you have a chance to go to a mk seminar, you should spend the energy, time and money to get there. It's fun and you'll learn a lot. Besides, we need to support the dealers and demonstrators!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The never-ending cone of pink acrylic

There must be some kind of Murphy's Law associated with a cone of yarn you want to use up and can't quite allow yourself to throw away. The other day I made a 1 x 1 rib little girl's scarf and there's still enough yarn to make another hat to go with it. I think out of this one cone I've made 3 hats, two scarves, a doll-sized shrug and a baby sized shrug. And the final thing will be one more hat. Geesh.
I made a different edging on this one.

The scarf is 50 some stitches of 1 x 1 rib at T 6. I think it's about 320 rows. After binding off, I picked up 3 stitches on one side, set my carriage to slip one way. Knit 30rows, T6, (which is really 15 rows of actual knitting) to make an I cord. Picked up a whole stitch 10 rows back and hung it on the middle needle ro make a loop. Knit another 30 rows, picked up a whole stitch 10rows back and repeated one more time. Bound off by putting the two outer stitches on the center needle and bound that off. I spaced 5 more across and repeated on the other end of the scarf. Sewing in the ends and neatening up the loops took a little time, but I don't mind doing that while watching a movie. Onward and more hat and I can call this cone a done deal.

I'm really pleased that my ribber is knitting so nicely. I had tried the credit card test where you pull out 10 end needles and two credit cards are supposed to fit under the needles and on top of the ribber gate pegs. Mine isn't as close as it should be. After trying several adjustments vertically, I decided since it was knitting ok, I'd let it be.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pattern for Baby Boy Booties

I decided I'm going to have to live a lot longer to use up this pile/mess/mountain/stash of mine. Although machine knitting would use it up faster, I'm also doing little hand knitting projects because they are portable for sitting and waiting for appointments. If you're a hand knitter, perhaps you can make use of this easy bootie pattern. I always think it's hard to come up with cute things for boys, but this one came out pretty good. I apologize for not telling you the brand of yarn, but I misplaced the band and can't remember what it was. Anything worsted and heavier would approximate my sample. Another couple of ounces of yarn constructively disposed of !!! Who are they for? One can only hope...

BABY BOY BOOTIES--- an old hand knit pattern
4-09 I found this pattern scribbled on a yellowed piece of paper when I was organizing my knitting patterns. There was no author indicated, so I’m assuming it’s one of those patterns that just got passed around and people knit it with their own variations. The booties take a very small amount of yarn and knit up really quickly. For my version, I used two kinds of yarn~ scraps from my stash. With size 6 American needles, the finished size is about 9 months. These two yarns were a little thicker than worsted, so of course a thinner yarn would make a smaller bootie…Directions (both booties the same):
CO 30 sts with color 1.
Knit 6 rows in stockinette stitch for a rolled top. Change to color 2. Row 7: Make eyelet row- K1, YO, K2 tog, *K3, YO, K 2 tog, * repeat from * to * across, ending K 2. Row 8: Purl. Rows 9-12: Change to color one and knit stockinette for 4 rows.
Next row: Change to color 2. K 20, leaving 10 stitches on the left needle, turn work, P10. Work on the 10 middle stitches only for the instep. Knit 14 rows stockinette, ignoring the 10 stitches both sides on the needles. Next row: Pick up and knit 10 sts from the side of the instep, then knit10 sts left on needle. Next row: Knit to the other side of the instep stitches and pick up and knit10 stitches from the other side of the instep. Continue knitting to the end. You’ll have a little pouch sticking out for the toes and foot.
Change to color1. Work in garter stitch over all the stitches for 5 rows.
Change to color 2. Decrease for toe in garter stitch:
Row 1: K 2, K 2 tog, K 20, K 2 tog, K 20, K 2 tog, K 2
Row 2: Knit
Row 3: K 2, K 2 tog, K 18, K 3 tog, K 18, K 2 tog, K 2
Bind off. Seam the sole and back of bootie with a mattress stitch, hide yarn ends.
Make a 2 or 3 stitch I cord long enough to thread through the ankle stitches and tie a bow.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Free and Easy Dishcloth... pattern for the midgauge machine

Thinking of my sister, who is just starting to machine knit, I came up with this easy pattern to try. You could knit the whole dishcloth in stockinette, but why not add a little texture? If you are wondering why I'm starting out with the waste yarn, I like to do this with this particular machine because the weight bar is so darn heavy---intrusive---hole making. If you have a better way, certainly do it.


Midgauge machine (Brother KX 350)
Yarn: cotton - any that will knit easily on your machine
Tension: 10 (The dishcloth will most likely shrink in the washer and dryer.)
Cast on with waste yarn over 42 stitches. Hang ½ weight bar on the waste yarn. Knit a few rows, one row ravel cord.
Ewrap on top of these stitches with main yarn. RC 000. Knit 2 rows.
*With every other needle pusher, push the needles all the way out to E position, starting with the first N on the left and continue across. Set carriage to H position both sides. Knit 2 rows. Set carriage to normal knitting, Knit 2 rows. With every other needle pusher, push the needles all the way out to E position, starting with the second N on the left and continue across. Set carriage to H position both sides. Knit 2 rows. Set carriage to normal knitting, Knit 2 rows. * Repeat this sequence to RC 82 or however long you want it, remembering the shrinkage, and bind off. Pull on ravel cord to remove waste yarn.

Fancy it up a little by knitting 2 rows, doing the * to * pattern until RC 18. Knit 4 rows plain to make a little border. Resume pattern and knit 40 rows. Knit 4 rows plain, 16 rows pattern, 2 rows plain. Bind off. Pull on ravel cord to remove waste yarn.(84 rows total.)


I made a little swatch just to show the stitch definition.

The other day I threw away all of my machine knit cotton dishcloths and made 10 new ones on my standard gauge machine. I use a tuck stitch, so it looks a little different than this pattern. But it's really nice to have new, non-stained ones. Yes, I'm easily entertained and amused.

As an aside...this post has been sitting as a draft for a few days because I couldn't upload my little pictures. I tried a bunch of stuff, as suggested by Blogger, and nothing worked. Until...I changed browsers. Whatever! In case you are also a Blogger user and suddenly start to have problems, I thought maybe this would help. The problem probably lies with some plug-in where something is interfering, but I don't have the patience to disable the plug-ins one by one and check.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sarah Bradberry's Feather and Fan Comfort Shawl

I finally finished the Comfort Shawl. Usually I don't let projects go this long. I started it at the end of August and it languished in my closet for a while. Had to spend some time in the hospital waiting for my husband's treatment last week, so it was a good time to finally get it done.

Spring seemed to be on its way but it snowed overnight and turned cold. So, I'm sitting at the computer with this comforting shawl over my shoulders. There's nothing like 100% wool to do the job. I used a few skeins of Noro Kureyon and mixed it with some worsted that I needed to get rid of. The four skeins of Noro were a gift from my daughter. They were color #211, I think it was, and couldn't find more of that number so that's why the hybrid-ness. I like it anyway, even if the purist probably wouldn't. I used a size 8 circular needle to accommodate the width, but knit back and forth.The pattern can be found for free here:

There are almost 600 examples of this shawl on Ravelry. Pretty popular, I'd say!

Hard to take a picture without assistance. Looks like it would fit the shoulders of a football player. O well, you get the idea.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Going tubular!

Not referring to the ribber this time. But---how cool is this?! My husband, ever the faithful consumer, bought some shelves for his antique record albums (from the 50's) from Room and Board. They came in heavy cardboard tubes that are about 8" in diameter and 6 feet long. I asked one of the workmen who are remodeling a room for us to cut these two tubes in half. Their nice saws make a clean cut. Then I nabbed some leftover pieces of lumber and glued them onto the boards with "liquid nails" for stability. It took a few days for them to dry, but now they're like one of a piece. It would take a lot to dislodge them. Yesterday, I got the inspiration to paint them with some old leftover acrylics from some other dumb project---- and voila' I have storage tubes for my long knitting machine paraphernalia, like cast on combs, ribber combs and garter bars. They can sit right next to my machine(s) and the contents won't get bent just sitting around. And, I'm a proud repurposer!!!

I used this technique I saw on a painting show once. You take a fat (1") brush. Put a blob of one color on your palette, and another color next to it. Brush back and forth a few times so that the left and right sides are the original colors, but the middle is a blend of the two. Kind of looks like hand painted yarn, doesn't it?

I have been reminded, though, with this project that I have a weird thing going with my creativity. I can't seem to think through what I want the finished project to be. I just start out hoping that the muse hits me. I don't admire this habit of mine and wish I could change it. It actually wastes a lot of time in the long run. In this example, I'd try something, decide I didn't like it and ended up painting over it. O well, it's not a big deal, but I do that with so many things. Picasso in the blood? o ya.

These will come in handy, I think. I have two more---one is promised to my friend, Sandy. The other, I don't know. It might hit me one of these days.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Not so bahhhhhhhhhd

I saw this on Knitman's blog and thought it was soooooo cool, I had to nab it. I'm off to see if there are any more like this on Youtube.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Knitting more charity hats...

I can't believe it's March 11 and it's -2F at my house as I type. Where is global warming when you need it most? Just kidding. Spring has surely taken its time coming to Minnesota. I practically had to take out a second mortgage to pay the heating bill this month. Guess I shouldn't complain, because at least I could pay it. We were supposed to have a major blizzard yesterday, but the snow only amounted to a dusting. Weather surely takes up a lot of our thinking and ruminating time. Kind of dumb when you can't do a thing about it.

We are still in the throes of major remodeling here so it's hard to undertake a very big knitting project that needs concentration. There's a lot of comings and goings to get materials in the trucks, or to go purchase some forgotten part, etc. So, it's more charity hat knitting time and more using up yarn time for me. This has got to be one of the quickest knits ever. Just cast on 136 st with some lovely acrylic yarn and did 1 x 1 (yes!) rib for an inch. Then upped the tension a few numbers, did stockinette for 50 rows. I made eyelets then knit 2 inches more and bound off. When you thread an I cord through the top it gathers in and doesn't take any extra decreasing. The topknot is kind of cute. Once again, squished under my scanner cover:
This color reminds me of bubble gum. When will that cone be gone?????????????

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Swatching with a purpose

After doing all those little learning swatches, I felt the need to make something usable. I have some pink acrylic that's on my list to disappear. I think some little 10 year old might like the color. At least I hope so. So, this makes hat #5 and scarf #1 for the guild's charity drive. Always amazes me how slowly the yarn gets eaten up when you really want it to be gone. The scarf is the English rib racked. Mind numbingly boring to knit, but the edges don't curl. If you make a scarf, it is a good idea to start with waste yarn, then at the end make a hung hem on both ends. Otherwise I can't see a way to make both ends of the scarf look the same.

This little flower comes in handy to embellish things. It takes just a few minutes to knit. Here's how. Ewrap cast on 3 or 4 stitches. Knit one row and hang onto the yarn tail with your left hand. Push in one part button so that the carriage knits one way and slips the other to make the I Cord. Knit 30 rows (which is actually 15 rows of knit). Pick up row one and hang on the middle of the stitches in work. Repeat, making 5 "petals". Bind off. When you attach it to a hat or scarf, use the yarn ends to tidy up the flower. Sew to the back and out to the front again. Make a French knot for the middle of the flower and knot again on the back side. Hide the yarn end. Made larger, this flower looks good felted too.

Next up is to practice Mary Anne Oger's WarmUp SOX from issue #39. Hope I can make a sock without dropping any stitches this time.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Rolling on the ribber!

More swatches!

First I tried a racking pattern. You rack from zero to 10 and back again. I don't know if it was my yarn or what, but when I got to the 10 extreme side, the ribber stitch fell off. A friend tried it and had more success racking to just 8, so if I use this again that's what I'll do. I like it. I think it would make a cool scarf if I could figure out what to do with the curling edges.

Next I tried a tube. Ugly yarn, but got the concept. Need that for circular socks.

I really really like the English rib racking pattern. It lies perfectly flat. Interesting on both sides. Would make a great shawl or scarf.

I think I did something wrong when doing the 5 x 5 pattern. The knit stitch at the far right in each group doesn't look right. Will try that one again.

Spurred on by my meager successes, I tried doing a circular sock. Very good practice, and the thing even fits me. Looks like it belongs to Bigfoot, doesn't it? I did a short rowed heel, a circular foot and decreases for the toe, which I really liked. Just one small problem. I dropped 3 stitches when transferring to circular after the heel.You can't see the whole thing because it's squished under the lid of my scanner, but you can see where I lost my stitches. Using this as a prototype, I now have kind of an idea what size to make the socks. Now if I can just get that transfer right. I have a feeling I hung too much weight. Not going to bother grafting the toe stitches together. Here's another view of the toe. Looks better in person, honest.

Amazingly, I'm having a good time with this. Just hope I get better at it with practice. Sure helps that the static is gone!!! I realize this is a boring post, but somehow reporting on my ribber progress helps keep me on track. I might even make something with one of these patterns. Soon.