machine knitting midgauge standard bulky machknit knit machine-knit patterns

Friday, April 30, 2010

Purls of Joy, a bad mistake and a machine knit tuck blanket

Wow, can't believe it's the last day of April. Time seems to fly ever faster and faster as a person gets older. Like how a roll of toilet paper disappears. Slow at first, then so fast that next time you look it's time to replace it. Elegant comparison, no?

The Purls of Joy seminar held a week ago in Minneapolis was great fun. It was the first time I had ever demonstrated so I didn't really know what to expect. I did 3 classes on DesignaKnit. One was an overview of the various parts of the software, one was on using text and one was on custom sizing. I sold a disk entitled "Doing DAK", a book I have written. It was well received. When I get additional copies made I'll offer it for sale here. There was a good variety of classes put on by the guest demonstrators and machine knitting dealers. The other guest demonstrators were April Mills, Teena Crawshaw, Pamela Pommerenke, and Carolyn Barnett. I got to meet two Ravelry friends in person: Elaine and Joey. Many of our guild membership were there. Got to talk with some people whose faces I recognized from years past. Too bad it's only once a year. I really enjoyed it.

However. I was exhausted when I got home and it took several days to recover. Feeling ok now. So, this afternoon I decided to knit a lap robe for donation. I was horrified to discover that I had left my CB1 on (the computer part of my 970). And it had to have been left on for 10 days. Grr. I was unbelievably mad at myself. Understatement. I think it will be ok, though. I do know one mker who left her machine on for a year when she was in the middle of a baby blanket. I think it was a garter carriage blanket. She was afraid if she turned it off she'd lose the pattern. Compared to that, 10 days isn't so bad. And I always (!) check to see if it's off when I leave the room. Chalk it up to old age, I guess.

Anyway, I did manage to knit a tuck stitch lap robe. I am still using up yarn so I decided to try "plying" two thin yarns together. Have never done that before. Here was my setup:
You can't see the two yarns at all coming out of the top (bad photo) but you can see the thicker white yarn in the cage with the second yarn on top. I threaded a needle with the white yarn, passed it up through the milk crate and dropped it through the gray cone on the top, then set the gray back right side up, threaded both yarns through the same eyelet on the yarn mast. It worked well. Wasn't as variegated as I thought it would be, but I didn't get the distinct stripes that you get when you just thread them up.

This is the pattern I used. Write to me if you have DAK and would like the complete blanket. The blanket including borders is 192 st x 460 rows. The stitch repeat, which would be suitable for a punchcard is 24 st x 60 rows. What surprised me was the texture the pattern produced. I expected the predominant thing would be the hearts. Instead these arrow head shapes are what you notice most. Never does a scan or photo do knits justice. Here's the border:

Feel free to copy the punch card. You'd need to figure out a border so it doesn't roll. And, like I said, if you want the .pat or .stp file, let me know.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Making your own variegated yarn

What do you get when you combine a slubby multicolored thread- thin yarn with a cream color (boring) thread- thin yarn? Something a little more interesting. Both of these are additional monster cones I'm trying to use up. I think I'll be able to get a lot more scarves out of this combo. It really is a lot more fun than either yarn by itself and it will go with coats of different colors.

I did 60 stitches and 810 rows of Fisherman's rib, T 3/3. The scarf is 7" wide and 56" long. Might be about the right size for a grade school child. Hope I burned up a few calories anyway.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What a 10 lb cone of chenille looks like...

I tried to take pictures of this humungus cone of yarn. But it's really impossible to show how big it is. Next to it is a 2 lb cone of woolray for comparison. Keep in mind also, from it already has come one shrug for a teenager, one shawl 3 ft x 7 ft (the disaster one) and one scarf 8 inches x 6 feet. The original cone was so heavy it caved in the thick cardboard inner cone.

I suppose this is what the cones look like in a knitting factory. Could an ordinary home knitter ever use up something like this? I wonder...

Chenille Success

There was a discussion on Ravelry today about the difficulties knitting with chenille. So I remembered that I forgot to post (and count!) my chenille scarf. I inherited a huge cone of yarn from my friend Dee. It is not the sweetest thing in the world to machine knit with. I did manage to get this charity scarf knit last week. I used my bulky machine with ribber, 40 stitches, T6/6, 1 x 1 rib for 300 rows. It ended up being about 6 feet long and 8" wide. Running serger thread along with it helps keep it from biasing.

I had made a scarf last winter with this yarn and washed it with disastrous results. So, maybe it's not nice, but I'm NOT washing this one. It is soft and is such a pretty color!!! Hope some child can make use of it.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Single Bed Tuck Baby Blanket

This is one of Charlene Schafer's Easy Tuck Baby Blankets. I used a pale green cotton, which is nice yarn, but am having a little trouble with curling edges. I haven't laundered it yet, so maybe the edges will behave better after washing and drying. Not going to spend the time crocheting around the edges. If it stays like this, it's not a disaster.

I like the tuck pattern--it looks like little bow ties inside of the diamonds. And in person, the texture is really nice. When the needles tuck more than 2 rows, the stitches really stand out, as in the lines for the diamonds.

After I downloaded the DAK pattern to my machine it took me 1 1/2 hours total knitting time. Love that! And another 1,000 yards to my total for the year.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Full Needle Rib Tuck Stitch scarf

I took Diana Sullivan's advice and tried a full needle rib tuck. Isn't this pretty? I used her example from Stitchworld. Easy enough to enter into the machine. Didn't check to see if it was in my Stitchworld III book because it only took a minute to enter the 8 stitch 7 row pattern. Here it is on Diana's blog:

This is some thread-thin mill end stuff, probably acrylic. But it's really soft when knit up and thread-thin worked fine for this scarf. It has a dressy look to it and is as light as a feather. What I like is that both sides look really similar. You'd have to study hard to distinguish one side from the other. I also liked the borders on the sides that it automatically made. And they don't roll. This color wouldn't be the best on me but maybe would work for someone else. Unfortunately, I don't think I can dye it.

Here are directions in case you want to make a similar one. I cast on 40 stitches in full needle rib at T 0/0. Did the circular cast on, knit 10 rows at T 1/1. Then I transferred stitches according to Diana's pattern, putting every 4th needle out of work on the main bed. (Those are the stitches that were transferred to the ribber.) Then I did my KC row to select needles, turned on the electronics, pushed in my tuck buttons and knit 500 rows. At the end, I switched back to fnr (every needle in work both beds by borrowing purl bumps to fill in), T 1/1 knit 10 rows, one row T 7/7. Transferred rib stitches to main bed and chained off. It dawned on me after all was said and done that I didn't engage the tuck brushes. Didn't seem to matter since I weighted it well and moved the weights up every 80 rows or so.

I think I'll make some charity shawls with this pattern. I certainly have enough yarn for several and I think they'd make a nice cover-up in air conditioning in the summer. Thanks, Diana!