machine knitting midgauge standard bulky machknit knit machine-knit patterns

Monday, February 28, 2011

Apologies are in order

I neglected to say that I won't have access to my own computer for a week. Hence orders that have come in during the last 3 days can't be filled until Sunday. I will send them out promptly, I promise.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tiny shopping trip

A friend called mid afternoon and wondered if I wanted to go to the huge JoAnn Fabrics in a suburb about 1/2 hour away. Not having much else to do, I said sure! It's a big store filled with stuff (to be polite). I always find things I didn't know I needed---especially with coupon in hand. Found these cute little buttons for kids' clothing. The butterflies were $.33 a piece there are actually 7 in the pkg) and the snow family .22 (10 in this one), Plus tax, minus 20%.

I also found another skein of the Deborah Norville yarn that I made my last cowl out of, a thread cutter pendant that I hope to be able to wear on the airplane and a yard of Insulbrite for hotpads.

The pendant was on clearance, so if I get it taken away, it won't be a huge loss. Really, you'd have to work very hard to cut anything with it other than thread..but we shall see.

Funny how these little purchases can make a body happy. Of course dinner afterward with a little complimentary wine sample helped round out the afternoon.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

New Old Rayon Yarn

Friend Sandy gave me some rayon yarn about a year ago (maybe longer?). I didn't know what to do with it, then remembered some other friends had made some attractive, slinky scarves with rayon. So I tried a couple of tuck stitches out of the Stitchworld book to see what they would look like. They all looked the same because of the variegated nature of the yarn! The color changes hide the stitches.

So, I just went with one of the patterns, cast on 45 stitches, knit at T 10 for 550 rows. Some of the needles are out of work, creating a lacey effect. Finished size is 7" wide x 7' long. What you can't see is the silky sheen of the yarn. I had to steam it pretty aggressively to uncurl it, but it did cooperate in the end. Very drapey, nice feel to it. I really like it---might have to get some more in different colors.

In case you were wondering, I like to fool around in Photoshop. Not that good at it, but it doesn't take much to entertain me while the blizzard rages outside.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Machine Knit Earflap Hat Success!

How absolutely adorable is this?!!! Iryna (Iris68 on Ravelry) posted this project, which is the free pattern on my blog for an earflap hat. Isn't her daughter the cutest? She looks so sweet.

Here's what Iryna said about knitting the hat: (used with permission)
I made it on Brother 260 machine. Used T4, knitted the small child’s size. Followed the pattern strictly. Took me about 1 to 1 1/2 hr to complete. The button-heart I made before, using Fimo clay. Could make it 4 rows shorter, but my kid likes it the way it is. I like how the yarn behaves in this hat.

She used one skein of Lion Brand Woolease Solids and Heathers. One skein has 197 yards and the size she made is a 4T.

Iryna said she is a new knitter, just learning her machine. So it's gratifying to know that she was able to follow the pattern and get such a nice result. The bottom right picture shows her neat finishing on the inside of the hat. Good job!!!

If you need the pattern, scroll down on the right side here to the free patterns. When you click on the picture, you'll be transported to the post containing the pattern.

Thanks to Iryna for posting the pictures!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Cheer for scarves!

As in, shake your pom poms! For a little change of this yarn on the cheap at Joanne Fabrics. One skein makes a hand-knit scarf. Size 9 US needles, cast on 7 stitches, knit every row, two stitches between pom-poms, until you run out of yarn. (Pattern is on the ball band for the yarn.)
It's a temptation to knit more than two stitches at times because this makes a really loose weave. But the pom poms cover up everything so all is good.

Reminds me of the chenille bedspreads from the 50's. So soft. Actually the pinks are even pukier, and wonderful than my scanner portrays. The yarn also comes in black/gray/white and blue/turquoise/blue combinations. I thought the pinks were the most outrageous/good.

And so the love affair with scarves continues...

Later: I found other yarn colors on Ravelry. They just didn't have them at my Joanne's. The pink/red combo is a more accurate representation of mine. The one with the arrow pointing to it would have been something I'd have been seriously interested in. Darn!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Circular knit scarf on the bulky machine

Weird day here. You can only see about 20 feet because of the dense fog. I guess it's a result of warm air meeting cold. Just kind of eerie. The snow continues to melt at a pretty fast clip, but we still have a couple of feet of it. Now it looks like someone seasoned it with coarse black pepper. Not a pretty sight.

Still cold enough to wear scarves. This is one that I did with my circular technique mentioned in the previous post, but done on the bulky machine. If you're interested in purchasing the pattern, see the post below dated Sunday, February 13. I used 4 strands of thin yarn: one silk and 3 wool. The scarf is actually 4" wide x 6.5 feet long. I just stuck the ends in the scanner so you can't see the whole thing. The silk stank to high heaven when I washed it and the wool didn't smell much better. I think it was sitting around too long, but the slightly variegated look is nice. The silk is actually a burnt orange but it gets subdued with the blood red wool. I hand-washed the scarf in Oxyclean (being careful to not agitate too much to cause felting) and rinsed it with hair conditioner. Much better in all respects. This was just another attempt to use up some of the weird yarn around here. It's not like I NEED another scarf... but they're fun to make.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Stripster Revisited, a machine knit pattern

I always get a kick out of it when someone knits my patterns. Saskia from the Netherlands posted this project on Ravelry and credited me with the pattern. (It's the Stripster, which you can find on the sidebar at the right, a free pattern.) I wrote to her and she gave permission for me to post her scarf picture on my blog. I love the result! I didn't recognize the yarn she used. I doubt it could be purchased in the US, but the nice thing about the pattern is that any yarn is suitable. As is any machine, for that matter.

Here's what she said about her modifications to the pattern:
• I started every strip with 4 st., knit 4 rows
• (incr. 2 st and knit 4 rows) until 10 st.
• knit 50 rows before connecting the next strip.
• knit desired length. -stop connecting, knit 50 rows and decrease the same way.

Tension on Brother 260 (chunky) too low: 4. Next time with this yarn it should be on about 7, I guess. Scarf feels a bit stiff and doesn’t have a nice drape. Added some beads for embellishment.

Yea for the internet and yea for Ravelry. They connect people and ideas so easily.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Done with college stuff for a while

My Gustavus scarf didn't work out so well, because I was having such a time with static. Had to rip it out several times and got discouraged, so I decided to do hotpads instead.

By this time, I had done all my anti-static measures and they worked. If you've had static, try putting yourself and your yarn on anti-static mats. Northtipton also has some copper mesh that helps. I sprayed the yarn with Lori Lynn Yarn spray, put wax on the mast, ran a dryer sheet over the needle bed periodically, ran my humidifier and also slathered hand lotion on my hands every 15 minutes. The combination of all these measures evidently worked. No more mispatterning or dropped stitches. Man, hate that static.

The hotpads are 100% cotton and the floats are so numerous that they provide the insulation. Kind of dumb, but these were gag gifts anyway. I did them on the standard gauge machine with 3 strands of really thin cotton for each color. They're 70 stitches wide x 180 rows long, about 10" square. I started and ended with waste yarn, doubled them lengthwise and kitchener stitched the ends together. I mattress stitched the side seams and put a 3 stitch I cord in one corner (80 rows). Not so difficult!!!

This is the front of #1

This is the back of #1.

This is the front of #2

This is the back of #2.

Gustavus' roots are Swedish Lutheran, so I thought the snowflakes would be appropriate or at least ok. (Lots of good floats, anyway.)

Yea for DesignaKnit, but it's time to move on to something else.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Machine Knit charity stuff

It's been so cold here, all I feel like doing is staying in and knitting. I suppose that's a good thing, although this winter is getting mighty long. It was -12 F when I got up this morning. Brrrrrrrrrrr.

I've been using up some yarn, as usual. The scarves are just 60 stitches of 1 x 1 rib, about 600 rows. This time I've been using 3 strands of fine yarn: one tan, one gray and one variegated. Makes kind of a nice color combo. I think it would work for a boy or girl. The headbands are probably for girls, tho.

The hat is doubled, English rib. It should be toasty!

So, that's five more items to add to my charity goal. One of these days I'll count how many I have and how far I still need to go. Funny how those cones with the fine yarn never seem to get smaller.....

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Machine Knit Fight Song

Here are some scans of the Wittenberg scarf. Their colors are red and white.
I think I got pretty close to the shape of the letters in the logo. You can see with the capital letters in the main part of the scarf, the wrapping of the design was minimized.

The artistic license, if I can call it that, was to have the words wrap around the scarf so you have to know the fight song to realize what is being said. Kind of silly, but I hope she'll find it amusing. It will be warm for sure. It turned out to be 7 feet long and 10" wide, doubled. We're only half way through winter---so there are some challenging days ahead. Kind of depressing.

I hope they are not fussy about their logo---I'm not selling anything with it, so hopefully it will go under the radar. It's just a gift for a friend who is an alum from that school.

Do you like my funky "fringe"? I have an aversion to the stringy kind, so this is my substitution. Everyone has their weird things, right? That's mine.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

It Fits!

My daughter sent me pictures of Oliver in his sweater today. It's tighter than I thought it would be, but the puppy has grown since I saw him at Christmas. She said he likes to lie on the couch in his cozy new sweater and listen to jazz. How cute is that? He's a funny little pooch.

Here's the sweater sans dog:

Now that I have an idea of his size...I might need to knit him something else. California is cold in the winter. Ha!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

DesignaKnit Lettering

Now, why didn't I think of this before?

I am making these scarves with words on them. The first one (black and white) I used lower case lettering and capitalized where appropriate. With two plain rows between lines of text, I had rows with just a few stitches in them and gargantuan floats. Think the bottom of a 'y' or a 'g' or the tops of 't' or 'h' for some examples. So, thinking I could get more stitches to appear across the row, I moved the text up so some things sort of overlapped. Still had gargantuan long floats, had to do a lot of wrapping with separate lengths of yarn, very very tedius. Looks ok on the front, but harder than machine knitting is meant to be. I didn't want to do dbj so felt I was stuck.

Then, while fooling around designing the second scarf, I did all the text in capital letters. There are two plain rows between each line of text. Voila' no trailers hanging down or sticking up!!! Such a simple thing and it will make knitting the scarf 10x faster!!! See the screen captures below:

Even if you don't use DesignaKnit but use some other method of inputting designs (text) into your knitting machine, I'm thinking this might help you.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Near Disaster with my 970 knitting machine

Last night I was knitting away merrily on my 970, making a scarf for a friend. All of a sudden, the carriage froze to the needle bed---almost as if someone had soldered it to the bed. My heart practically sank to the ground. No kidding. No matter what combination of buttons I pushed, that carriage was not going to move. I had 407 rows knit out of 650, fairisle, lots of hand wrapping of long floats. Bah. I did manage to get the scarf off the bed by lifting stitches off the hooks that were frozen in time. Called a friend to see if she would go with me to St. Peter, to Knit and Sew World, to see if Shawn could repair it. She said she would and even called Amanda at her home (Amanda works there) to let her know we were coming in the morning.

It's about a 1 1/2 hour drive (on a clear summer's day) from my house to St. Peter. Miserably cold today with lots of arctic wind, below zero temps. I had some thoughts about maybe this was a foolish thing to do, to drive in this weather, but machine knitters are stubborn, doncha know. I met my friend a half hour from my house and we continued on together. The drive was slow, but not as bad as it could have been. A few cars were in the ditch on both sides of the road. We made it safely.

Shawn dropped what he was doing and worked on my machine for a good 3 1/2 hours. He replaced the timing belt (the cause of things not moving), did a general tune up, blew out mounds of fluff from the inner sanctum, replaced a few doohickys that weren't functioning optimally, cleaned and shined it up and gave it a new coat of oil. My CB1 had a stubborn #1 on its keyboard so I was either avoiding patterns with the number 1 or pressing that button long and hard. He fixed that too. He said my timing belt was getting close to cutting some wires for the electronics and it was good this happened when it did or the repair would have been much more extensive. For all he did, the bill was very reasonable. I would recommend him to anyone. He has tons of Brother and Silver Reed parts and knows both machine brands inside and out. They ship parts all over the world. He even repairs and advises Karen Allen with her mk business. (Karen -the actress in Indiana Jones series who also machine knits.)

Here's the address of Knit and Sew World's website:
When you click on the Knitting Machine tab, you'll find an informative article about a recommended routine for oiling your machine.

Anyway, I'm a very happy camper. Now I just need to unravel some rows and get that scarf rehung on the machine. I have a deadline to meet. Doesn't every machine knitter do gifts at the last minute???