machine knitting midgauge standard bulky machknit knit machine-knit patterns

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Dreaded Static

Recently I've had a couple of inquiries concerning what to do about the awful static that can attack our machines this time of year.  I know I've listed some remedies before, but it bears repeating. 

I usually do contract this dreaded static disease  right about now when my furnace is going full blast and the house is dry.  I have to employ most of the tactics listed below---- all at the same time---- to get it under control.  My craft room is carpeted so I think that makes the situation worse.

1.  Buy a humidifier and keep it running in your craft room.
2.  Put 2-3 small magnets (mine are disks about 1" in diameter) on the mast.  Keep them attached with a clothes pin if necessary.  I contacted Sean at Knit and Sew World to make sure this wouldn't negatively affect the electronics and he said it was a safe thing to do because the mast is far enough away from the electronic part of the machine,
3.  Oil the machine bed, needles, rail and underside of the carriage with a fine layer using a paint brush.  Not too much, tho.
4.  Put your yarn in the freezer overnight.  If you can plan ahead, that is.
5.  If you still have some Lori Lyn yarn spray, use that.  If not, Distinctive Knits has a new brand to purchase to help eliminate static and make the yarn slide through more smoothly.  I spray the cone several times during a project.
6.  There is a commercial anti static spray you can purchase.  I can't remember the name now.  Spray your yarn (if you don't have the stuff in #5)  and spray a cloth to wipe over the needle bed. Or use dryer sheets.
7.  Purchase an anti-static mat  (try an office supply place), cut it up so the yarn can sit on one piece and you can put your feet on the other.
9.  Lather up your hands with lotion every 15 minutes of knitting.
10.  Try  copper grounding wire.  I bought some, but I didn't notice it helping.  Could have had it attached wrong.  Maybe you or someone who understands what is happening could help.
11.  LIGHTLY mist the floor with a spray bottle mixture of one part fabric softener or hair conditioner to 20 parts water.  Shake well.
12.  Purchase and wear one of those anti static bracelets used by computer repair people.

This is all I can come up with right now.  Hopefully some of these tips will help you.  I know how frustrating it can be.  First you can't believe it's happening, could my machine be broken????,  then it gets worse, everything comes to a halt and then you search for answers.  If you have some suggestions that worked for you and I haven't mentioned, please let me know.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Machine Knit Flower Hats

My friend, Bonnie, sent me two pictures of hats she has made with the flower top technique (I guess you would call it that.)  The purple one follows the pattern.
  And here's what she has to say about the pink one:
I was going to make another one of your Flower hats the other day and ended up turning it into this hat. I knit up to where I make the eyelets for the cord, knitted the extra rows after the eyelets and started to make my curly things. Pulled all the needles into hold except for 4 of them and I was having an awful time. I was not using the best yarn and it kept getting caught on the needles in hold. Fooled around with it for a while and decided to give up but hated to give up on the hat as I had gotten that far with it. Guess I am cheap and hate to throw out yarn. So I just knitted several more rows (next time I think I would knit a few more) and then bound it off. Sewed up the side of my hat, ran a cord through the eyelets and just gathered it up. I think it is kind of cute so I thought I would share it with you. Cute hat that knits up fast.

I like the pink one too and it would be much faster than the petals.  One tip about the petals:  as you knit each one, hold it down with one finger while you run the carriage with the other hand.  That way it stays out of the way and won't get hung up on the gate pegs or get snagged.

We are experiencing an early winter here in Minnesota.  A lot of groaning going on about it.  Only 6 months to go before we have warmth again....  I guess it's great for knitting anyway.  Oh, and if you missed the instructions on how to knit the flower top, they are here: