Sunday, December 30, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Monday, October 8, 2007
Vicki demonstrated a lot of different techniques that seemed to me to be focused on getting the garment made and wearing it. She said "There are no machine knitting police!" and told us that we don't have to follow the rules unless we want to. She was basically self-taught and worked out a lot of techniques on her own. She doesn't like sewing up, so she uses the machine as much as she can to join garments.
She says "If someone can see the mistakes in your garment they are "Too d**m close!"" If you make a mistake, keep going, fix it later. She showed us so many things, I can only cover the highlights. She had a fantastic faux suede, Fun-Fur trimmed poncho - she demonstrated the edging technique she used. She also had a smaller poncho made entirely of Fun-fur : Well, the one she showed was Cha-Cha, but she recommended using Fun Fur as Cha-Cha seems to catch on the gate pegs. She uses a standard-bed machine for Fun Fur and it works! She also demonstrated a unique and clever way to insert a zipper into a band, or to make a double band.
She showed her g-carriage 4-panel skirt (with matching top) that was in Estilo, and was very flattering. I was also impressed with her easy woven jacket. I tried on her jacket and I think it fit! I wanted to take her finished jacket home with me, but I contented myself with buying the pattern.
She also demonstrated making gloves in the round on a standard single-bed machine. Sounds impossible, but she proved it could be done, and also "invented" a way to do fingerless gloves right in the middle of the seminar. Vicki is from New York and can be contacted through her web site at http://vickis.org/
Charlotte (for me, it was Day 2) was also a fantastic demonstrator. She concentrated on several techniques using the ribber or double bed. By contrast to the previous day, she did seem to focus a little more on the "proper" technique. But that is quite understandable, given that she is a judge for knitting competitions. Maybe she is the closest thing there is to "knitting police"!!!
I wondered if she was a professional teacher in another life, but maybe not; she mentioned that she was training to be a nurse when she met her husband of 46 (I think) years.
She handed out notebooks with several of her techniques documented. I don't think I've ever had a demonstrator be so generous with the seminar attendees before. She handed out folding rulers to people who answered questions correctly. I didn't realize that she was from Ohio until she mentioned it later in the day, she said her guild is around the Youngstown area.
Everyone there was fascinated with the "release stitch" technique she worked out over a period of two years, and demonstarted for us. It looks like a textured double-bed jaquard until you drop the top row of stitches and pull- and voila! Like magic the fabric turns into a lacy mesh. The pattern used is a thread lace pattern, it requires the mesh background in order for the design to "pop" out. I have never seen this technique demonstrated before. It results in a fabric that is significantly "wider" than plain stockinette, so could be a good way to get plus-sized garments off a standard-bed knitting machine without having to resort to multiple panels. This technique was one of many documented in the book she handed out to us. As it turned out, after two years of working out how to do this stitch independently, she demonstrated it at a seminar and it turned out someone else had already developed and documented the technique. Just to prove that there is nothing new under the sun...
She mentioned that she was not going to harp on "gauge" but that she would mention it once or twice. She showed us her swatches, all in the same yarn, all in the same tension, all the same number of stitches (her preference is to do 100 stitches by 100 rows for more accuracy). It probably took a whole cone of yarn to do all the swatches, but it very graphically demonstrated the properties of each of the stitch patterns- some are much wider than they are tall, others are taller. Some were done on double bed, some were stockinette, some were tuck, some skip, some were done with the garter carriage. I wish I had taken photos. Most of these techniques were also documented in the handout, as was the "broken toe cast on" which everybody talks about, but I wasn't sure how to accomplish (without a broken toe!)
Charlotte doesn't have email "I have a beautiful uncomplicated life, why would I mess that up by getting a computer?" but if you would like to contact her you could contact any of the officers of GRAMKC - Grand Rapids Area Machine Knitters club for her contact info.
Last but not least I would like to thank the ladies of the GRAMKC club for arranging another well-done seminar. The demonstrators were awesome and the lunch was great both days. Without this group of wonderful women, I would not be nearly so inspired to keep on knitting!
Great job, ladies!
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Yesterday was fabulous. I sat in on the morning seminar with MaryAnne Oger. She chastised us for not wearing our knits (I was not), and talked about selecting coordinating wardrobe colors and knitting a nine-piece wardrobe. I think she showed us more than nine pieces, though, all in moss green, black and cream. She showed us a fairaisle black-and-moss Chanel-type suit, two more casual jacket sweaters in green, a cream shell, a black shell, a cream big shirt, two dresses, and a few prairie-style skirts. She also was wearing a camisole-type top. She seemed to favor Wool-Ray and Wool Crepe.
I had read a book a few years ago on a similar topic. I believe their advice was to pick two colors and two nuetrals. This way you can buy your accessories in matching colors and you don't need 52 pairs of shoes and purses to coordinate with all your outfits. Your dark neutral could be black, brown, navy or gray - and you buy your shoes, bag, and belt to match this dark neutral.
At the time I picked black, cream, red and tan. For some reason I thought that the red flattered my coloring. As I've gotten older, and my working wardrobe is more focused on a manufacturing environment rather than "office wear" I stopped trying to mix work and home clothing. I bought Oxford shirts and Docker-style pants for work and that's my uniform.
Lately I've noticed that greens and blues look better on me. Is it because I'm older or I've changed my hair color? Don't know, but I've been changing my casual and dress-up wardrobe to reflect greens and blues. (Mostly denim for the blue) Keeping the tan. Not too sure about the black. Might have to change to brown as a neutral.
In the afternoon, I attended a Garment Designer session and a "fashion trends" session, both with Susan Lazear. The color pallettes for next year are going to be - CHOCOLATE, PASTRY, and CANDY. I think what I could see were a lot of tans and browns, some deep purples, tomato red, and sage green. Hmmm. My colors will fit right in.
I haven't finished any of the garments I've started this year. I think I will make a sidebar to list them.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
If you would like to see photos of some of the flooding, here is a link to our local paper. Be sure to click "next" to see all the photos in the gallery. Our main post office for the area was closed.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
The article in the hard copy of the magazine is different than the one online. It tells more about how Sharon got started in machine knitting and what her business is like today, whereas the online article is Sharon's advice for others starting a cottage industry.
The magazine is free, stop by their store and pick one up!
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Monday, July 30, 2007
Row 1: Sl 1, K15, ssk, k1, turn.
Row 2: Sl 1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 3: Sl 1, knit to within one st of the gap, ssk, k1, turn
Row 4: Sl 1, purl to within one st of the gap, p2tog, p1, turn.
Repeat rows 3 and 4 until all heel sts are worked, ending last repeat of row 3 with the SSK, and last repeat of Row 4 with the P2tog. There are 16 heel stitches.
Knit 16 heel sts, pick up and knit 14 chain sts along right side of heel flap. Work 28 instep sts, following established pattern. With an empty needle, pick up and knit 14 sts along left side of heel flap, k 8 sts from heel needle. There should be 22 sts on needles #1 and #4, 14 sts on needles #2 and #3.
Round 1: Work to 3 sts from end of needle #1, k2tog, k1. Work instep sts in established pattern. K1, ssk at beginning of needle #4, work to end.
Round 2: With CC2, work even.
Repeat last two rounds until there are 14 sts on needles #1 and #3, 56 total sts.
Continue in established pattern until foot measures 3 inches less than desired finished length.
Work 3 rounds in stockinette stitch.
Round 1: Work to 3 sts from end of needle #1, k2tog, k1. K1, ssk at beginning of needle #2, work to end of needle. Work to 3 sts from end of needle #3, K2tog, K1. K1, ssk at beginning of needle #4, work to end.
Round 2: Work even.
Repeat the last 2 rounds until there are 7 sts on each needle. Work Round 1 (the decrease round) only until there are 8 sts remaining, 2 on each needle. Break yarn, leaving a 12-inch tail. Choice 1: Place the sts from needles 1 and #4 on one needle, and the otehr 4 sts onto another needle. Kitchener stitch these sts together. or Choice 2: Just put the tail onto a darning needle and run through all stitches twice, then darn in end (backstitch) through a stitch or two, securing tail. Cut off close to stitching.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
One skein was enough for both socks, but to keep pattern consistent, I rewound from the center of the ball into a new ball until I had at least 13 repeats of the color sequence. (Actually I did 12, and had to make a patch for the last.... ah, such is life!)
Cast on 56 stitches evenly (14 stitches per needle) over 4 needles, using a stretchy cast-on such as the Continental Long-tail cast on. Join into round, being careful not to twist stitches. The join is the center back of the sock.
K 1 round, then work in K1, P1 rib for 13 rows. P 1 round. Begin pattern rows as follows:
Needle 1: Knit
Needle 2: 1st ten stitches form cable. Last four are knitted.
Needle 3: 1st four stitches knitted, last ten stitches form cable.
Needle 4: Knit.
Row 1: P1, K2, K2 tog and leave on needle, K first st again, slip both sts off needle (stitch travels to right); k second st tbl, k first st, slip both sts off needle (stitch travels to left) , K2, P1
Row 2: P1, K1, K2 tog and leave on needle, K first st again, slip both sts off needle;K2;k second st tbl, k first st, slip both sts off needle,K1, P1
Row 3: P1, K2 tog and leave on needle, K first st again, slip both sts off needle; P1, K2, P1 ;k second st tbl, k first st, slip both sts off needle, P1.
Row 4: Repeat Row 3
Row 5: P1, k second st tbl, k first st, slip both sts off needle (stitch travels to left); K4; K2 tog and leave on needle, K first st again, slip both sts off needle (stitch travels to right); P1
Row 6: P1, K1; k second st tbl, k first st, slip both sts off needle; K2; K2 tog and leave on needle, K first st again, slip both sts off needle; K1; P1
Row 7: P1, K2; k second st tbl, k first st, slip both sts off needle; K2 tog and leave on needle, K first st again, slip both sts off needle;K2; P1
Repeat rows 5 - 7 until sock measures 6 inches. (I had 12 repeats), ending last round ready to begin needle #4.
Begin with first stitch on needle #4. Knit 14 stitches on needle #4 and 14 stitches on needle #1 onto one needle, turn. P28, turn. These stitches form the heel flap. The remaining 28 stitches on needles 2 and 3 will be held for the instep.
Row 1: *Sl 1, k1; repeat from *
Row 2: Sl 1, P27.
Repeat these 2 rows 13 more timesfor a total of 14 chain stitches at each edge of heel flap.
Take a break, I'll post the 2nd half of the instructions tomorrow!
It's important to try the sock on as you reach the end. You don't want to do all your decreases and finish the toe, cut your yarn, and then find out it is 1/2 inch too short.
I made this baby romper for my sister who just had a baby. Little Elijah weighed 10 lbs. 14 oz. when he was born, so he MAY be able to wear it once before he grows out of it. Must remember to heed DH's advice next time - MAKE IT BIG!!!
Friday, July 6, 2007
Using the same size needles, and a different pattern (of my own invention!) and Lion Brand yarn. Instead of 80 stitches cast on, with the Lion Brand yarn I am using 14 stitches on each needle (total of 56) so the sock is knitting up much faster.
I picked up a book at the library with a pattern for a hand-knit shopping bag using mesh stitch. After knitting 4 rows of 50 stitches in mesh stitch, I don't find it relaxing at all, so switched to the machine to GET IT DONE. I knit a bag on the bulky machine, with the same yarn, using every other needle, except for a few rows of stockinette at the bottom and at the top. I think perhaps it would be better with 100 stitches, dropping EON.
Will post pictures ASAP.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
I have been working on the travelling socks - while travelling. I think about 3 or 4 more rounds on each one - then I can start decreasing for the toes. I am using the pattern from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road book. I think I made the legs a little longer than the pattern called for. I was surprised by the toe pattern: not having read all the way through the pattern, I didn't realize that it calls for a decrease on each of four needles up to the end, rather than the usual paired decreases on top and bottom. I can put off the decision of whether or not to deviate from the printed pattern for a few more rounds, then will have to decide!
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Got called away, to cook lunch or something. I decided I wasn't going to get this one finished in time to wear it this weekend, so decided to start another one, similar shape, but in the bulky cotton I purchased at the GLS&WS...
Made the swatch in stockinette, blocked it, brought Garment Styler up to recalculate the pattern with another stitch gauge, and spent a bit of time playing with the software to change the curved bottom hem.
I endured the comments from my DH that I should finish one project before starting another. Then thought, I could knit a few more rows on this green sweater before I go back downstairs. ONE ROW!
I forgot to put the yarn in the carriage. I lost all my slipped stitches, about every 3 out of 5 stitches. ARRRRGH. Rather than try to rehang all those stitches and then figure out where I was in the pattern, I thought it would be easier just to start this piece over.
But I learned something about my curved hem. Next time I use a slip stitch and a ravel cord, I will knit at least one row of stockinette before changing to pattern mode. I thought I would just be able to re-hang the ravel cord - no, it is buried in the pattern. So it is going to be easiest just to start completely over.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Ahhh. This convention is in Baltimore on October 11-14. I probably will not be going. I see there are two Stitches Midwest in August in Chicago, this might be more affordable for me - it is only about a 5-hour drive to Chicago. I attended Stitches East in King of Prussia, PA several years ago. I had a wonderful time, and learned a LOT. Between the travel expense and the stash enhancement I spent a LOT more than I wanted to. If only hobby expenses were deductible!
Sunday, May 27, 2007
The green yarn is quite a bit lighter weight- it is also a mill end, labelled 15/2 Rayon/Cotton. I paid $2.50 per pound. I think perhaps I bought this at R&M yarns in Adairsville, Georgia during their "dollar days" sale several years ago. I experimented quite a bit until I got a texture I liked. Initially I used the yarn as a single ply and it was much too light. I then wound off quite a bit, and used it double in stockinette at tension 6 and found it still a little light weight for my liking. Then inspiration struck - I have never knitted a slip-stitch pattern on my machine. Why not try now? I picked the Brother punchcard #6 (from the bulky machine) which is kind of a tumbling-block pattern. 40 stitches and 60 rows in the swatch yielded a much shorter swatch. 40 stitches = 5.25 inches, 60 rows = 3.75 inches! That is 7.6 stitches per inch, and 16 rows to the inch! I will be knitting a lot more rows to achieve the same length, but I am happy with the fabric weight in the swatch. Material cost will be much less for the cotton/rayon blend, but the labor cost will be higher. So, plugging in the numbers into the shell pattern I put in Garment Designer the other night, I see I am to cast on 150 stitches, and the bands are supposed to be 8 rows tall.
I have cast on using the weaving cast on (EON in work, K 1 R, All needles in work, knit several rows of waste yarn), then knit 1 row of ravel cord. Theoretically this will make it easier to hang the hem. (ha! Garment Designer doesn't tell me what kind of hem or band to use! My choice!) I am going to knit 8 rows at 1 tension tighter than the garment tension (5) , Knit 1 row at T10 for turning row, then knit 8 rows at tension 6 and hang the hem. I am going to do this in stockinette, which will contrast with the garment body. hmmm. No, that won't work at all. Looking at the body pattern, I am to knit 10 rows then cast on additional 6 stitches each side. Hmmm. This is getting complicated.
OK, thought about it a while. I will go ahead and knit the body, then rehang the bottom for the edging. This will give me more options to trim anyway, and I can think about the edging while knitting the main pieces.
Monday, May 21, 2007
She has a fourth one out - Knit Fast, Die Young.
I sometimes read mysteries when I am stressed out. Sometimes I knit. For mysteries I tend to stick to female detective stories, like Sue Grafton, Joan Hess or Earlene Fowler's, for example.
At any rate, Kelly, the amateur detective, CPA and novice knitter, is still knitting the same sweater in book 3 that she started in book 1, a rose-colored cotton and silk blend. I hope she gets a knitting machine in book 4!
While reading about her cotton and silk shell, I remembered a couple of cones of yarn I have in my stash. I think they are cotton/rayon blend. One is a variegated yarn with pink, ivory and moss colors and the other is a mossy green, if I remember right. I think a shell would be just right for this yarn, maybe in a two-color tuck. hmmm.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
At any rate I found a topic on the MAFA web site entitled "How to Keep Excessive Travel from Impeding Your Weaving and Textile Interests" that listed how to do fiber projects on an airplane, the airport, or in a hotel. I thought, what a great idea!
The article listed specific things you could do: For example, bring graph paper and do design work. Download fiber-related podcasts to play while waiting. Finishing work, for example, fringing. Small knitting projects (socks, anyone?)
I've already got two projects in the car, but the traffic jams here are so small I couldn't even finish a row before I have to move the car...
But I did make a major start on a pair of socks on our last vacation. Excellent project for the airplane!
So, please leave your idea for maximizing your knitting time as a comment!
Monday, May 14, 2007
1. Green ripple afghan - inherited from a farm auction
2. Shopping bag knit from plastic shopping bags (have to hide it or DH will throw it away)
3. Pair of socks in "Dancing" yarn from Knit picks
4. Pink sweater - just sew it together and block it, darn it!
5. Baby all-in-one in cotton - (in the back seat of my car)
6. Navy blue prayer shawl - (need to rip out about 30 rows that dropped one yarn)
7. Teal and raspberry sweater (at the farm in Michigan)
8. Burgundy jacket
That's all I can think of at the moment, although I have lots of other ideas percolating around in my brain. I wonder what order I should attack these? I really, really want to finish them! Maybe I should start in order of most complete, working down to the ones that are least complete..... Of course I am most excited about the newer projects and the old ones have gotten tedious.....
The other "unfinished" thing I need to do is give all my knitting machines a deep cleaning. Ilene demonstrated this at the Grand Rapids seminar. I think I can actually do it. If her demonstration wasn't enough, I also have a DVD from Frank Sanders from last year's workshop... Maybe I should play it...
And one more thing, Charlene Shafer recommends transferring all diskettes into DAK. I have all the tools, including the workbook.... So that's really a UFJ. An unfinished JOB.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
For the back I am supposed to cast on 53 stitches either side of zero. Got to decide if I am going to rib first, though.
Perhaps this would be a good time to mention that the last sweater I knit, I used a much lighter-weight yarn on the standard-gauge machine. I did not double the yarn for the ribbing, or do a hem. The sweater body was in fairaisle, and I am very unhappy with the floppiness of the hem. (I learned a lot of lessons on that sweater, someday I will have the courage to show it to you..maybe when I knit its replacement.)
Charlene mentioned that when she is doing a crochet trim on the edge of a garment or afghan she often doubles the yarn to give it more body. This probably would have been a good idea for the ribbing on that fairaisle sweater. But this one is going to be plain stockinette in the body. hmmm. I will have to knit some samples.
I have been trying to do Kitchener stitch from the right side, and have been having trouble. My method was to knit waste yarn at the end and then try to follow the path of the waste yarn through the open stitches. I had trouble at the beginning and at the ending.
Ilene's method was much simpler. There are only a few steps:
1. Knit 1 row of ravel cord and then several rows of waste yarn
2. Turn the sock inside out - perform Kitchener stitch from the purl side.
3. Thread an eyed needle with the tail of the main yarn
4. Insert needle into first open stitch on far side, away from the tail.
5. Stitch back and forth, getting one stitch from each side. The stitch to insert the needle into will be the the NEW stitch on the side where the yarn is coming out and the OLD stitch on the opposite side.
6. Go to the end and secure the last stitch by a backstitch or two.
7. Pull out the ravel cord.
Melva Bass explained this method in fewer words on Roz Porter's page at this web site.
The subject of kitchener stitch came up because Ilene also demonstrated cotton spandex for socks. OH MY GOSH these socks were so soft and stretchy. Ilene knit a baby sock for us, using tension 10, then demonstrated the "shrinky-dink" technique of steaming them. The size was reduced significantly! She used two strands of cotton spandex. She brought several cones for sale in many colors to the seminar. I broke down and bought one.
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
* When joining in a new cone of same color color on an afghan or something where the seams will be visible, make the join several stitches in from the edge - you might unknit a few stitches and knit them again with the new cone. This prevents the tails from ending up doubled when making the seam and leaves your edge nice and smooth.
* When hanging a row of your lining onto the fairaisle (or vice versa) you can use every other needle or every third needle, you don't necessarily have to hang every stitch. It is important to be consistent, though, don't start one way and finish another.
* Trenzi is a good yarn for an afghan that will get a lot of hard use (around kids?), it contains nylon.
* If you are using a lining, use 2 tension #'s looser than you would for a garment or sweater. The second layer gives the afghan plenty of body.
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
Ilene's first seminar had to do with measuring yourself for use with her Design-a-Pattern software package, which is a charting package.
Accurate body measurements are probably a number-one requirement for success in knitting, whether designing your own pattern or adjusting someone else's. (Obviously the gauge swatch is number 2!) Ileen was so motivating, she really made me feel that it's not quite so complicated at all, I came home and on Sunday, took out a cone of bulky yarn that has been sitting around for a while, and knitted a gauge swatch according to her directions. Only since I was using a bulky machine, my swatch was 20 stitches by 30 rows instead of 40 x 60, as I would do on a standard bed machine. Ileen's method is to leave a stitch out of work on either side of the 20 (or 40) stitches - she pointed out that on all the Japanese machines, there is a marking on the needle strip that shows which needles to leave out of work. (I think my Brother manual might have said to mark those stitches, I will have to look that up later, Ileen's method is simpler). She uses an e-wrap cast on for her swatches, and marks the tension setting with eyelets at the end. Irene then uses blocking wires (I didn't for the swatch above) and steams it. If wool or cotton, you may want to pre-wash before measuring. Acrylic is probably good with a steaming.
This yarn is labelled 1/95 (date?) in big letters it says 356, below that Ruby, Blend 7378/8434 Lot No. 2. I see no info on manufacturer. The yarn on the cone is kind of rough-feeling, which is probably why it is still in my stash, but once knitted into the swatch, and steamed, it actually feels soft. I have no idea if it is wool or synthetic. I will have to do the "burn test", I suppose. ***Update: it smelled like hair burning, must be wool or silk/wool blend.
This yarn yielded a gauge of 5.25" over 20 stitches, or 3.8 stitches per inch, and 5.125 inches over 30 rows, or 5.85 row per inch.
I am planning to make a jacket to replace this one:
It is a jacket that I loved and wore quite often - too often, as the stuffing is now coming out of the quilted section of the jacket. The jacket was silk, and the outer shell seemed to tear every time I turned around. The sleeves zipped out - I have removed one to cut the seam and measure the sleeve dimensions.
One tip that is useful regardless of whether you have Ilene's software or not - BE SURE TO BREATHE IN when measuring the bust measurement. She demonstrated this with our model, and sure enough, the "breathy" measurement was a full inch bigger. She also noted that when measuring the arm length, to be sure to do it with the arm bent, as it seems to be a slightly longer measurement. She also demonstrated using a clipboard or knitting pattern book or something similar over the "curvy" places when taking a hip measurement or underarm measurement, to make sure that the garment is big enough to encompass the lumps as well as the bumps.
Ileen's software looked interesting and I was sorely tempted. But I have Garment Designer and I don't use it enough, so I reluctantly kept my wallet in my pocketbook.
Monday, May 7, 2007
Why did I leave Ohio? To go to the Grand Rapids Area Knitting Machine Club Spring Seminar!
Sunday, April 29, 2007
I'll post more details later after the blanket is completed and presented, as it is a surprise for the recipient.
The navy is Solara acrylic - 2 strands of 2/24 (Deep Indigo) - from Atlantic Spinnery, and the pink is Cashmilon from Aurora Yarns - in Rose (1 strand).
I got 8 stitches to the inch in fairaisle at tension 7 on the KH864, so 64 stitches was exactly 8 inches, and I knit 77 rows to arrive at 8 inches tall. I think this is my very favorite machine.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
At any rate, work is progressing nicely, if slowly. I have memorized the pattern, and it is just the thing to work on sitting on the couch and watching TV - keeping my feet warm! I am using size 6 circular needles with stoppers on the ends, knitting back and forth to accomodate the many, many stitches. I have been afraid to count how many repeats - I don't want to know. I think I can knit about three rows at a stretch before my fingers start cramping and I get a knot in my shoulder. At that rate, if I work on it every day, I should be done around May.
Do you get credit in heaven for finishing someone else's UFO?
Monday, February 5, 2007
So this is the moral of my ode:
beauty is beauty
and good things are doubly
when you're talking about a pair of wool
in the dead of winter.
taken from Odes to Common Things
See the entire poem at http://www.forks.wednet.edu/FHSMAIN/LangArts/sanchez/Ode%20to%20My%20Socks.htm
Sunday, February 4, 2007
These socks don't exactly match. That is because after making the first one I tried it on and found out it was TOO SMALL, so I made the 2nd slightly larger. Next time I use Trekking I will make the tension slightly looser - maybe an 8/8 instead of 6/6? That may help with the dropped stitches also.
First dishcloth! I used Bernat Cot'nSoft - an old, old ball that has been hanging around here for years. I see there is a pink price sticker on the label - it was marked "Clearance - $1.00" so I didn't spend a lot of money on this project!
I modified the pattern I found for the dishcloth below, halving the numbers so I could knit it on the bulky (Brother 260) I cast on 37 stitches (I eyeballed it, I counted after I was done), set the machine for tension 8 and tuck, and off I went! I used a crochet cast on and bind off.
Initially I had problems with the carriage jamming and yarn breaking. If you look closely at the photo you will see my repairs. After spraying the carriage with Machine lube, the yarn with Lori-Lynn yarn spray, and adjusting the mast tension these problems mostly disasppeared. I don't think I would use this yarn again for a dishcloth. Probably it will be much nicer on the standard gauge with a finer yarn.
Saturday, February 3, 2007
I'll be trying these out soon, the deadline for the exchange is March 15.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
I asked why she isn't using them to make felted bags. I found this sweater at Goodwill and took it home to make it my own. Two complete cycles in the washer/dryer (Hot wash, cold rinse) plus an extra drying cycle shrunk and felted the vest down to at least half its original size. I liked the ruffly effect of the original ribbing, so decided to leave it at the opening. I used a leftover upholstery fabric for the lining. It is completely suitable because of the satiny finish and the tight weave. The zippered pocket on the inside was added as an afterthought so probably could have been engineered much better. The handles are attached by machine stitching to the lining, and then the lining simply hem-stitched inside the bag. This is my first felted bag, it was a fun, quick project. I used a sweater donated to Goodwill, but it would be simple to create fairaisle yardage on the knitting machine for felting, then you would have complete control over the colors.
Except for the handles, which were purchased on clearance for 50 cents, this bag was made completely of recycled materials. The zipper for the pocket was reused from an old pair of jeans. The zipper was a little sticky, from sitting around for several years. I used a little Lori-Lynn machine lube spray on it and now it glides back and forth effortlessly.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
I found that when doing the short-rowing for the heels and toes for some reason the stitches in position B tended not to knit, the carriage simply laid the yarn over the needles but did not pull it through. I have both carriages at tension 6 which results in a closely-knit sock, but is possibly contributing to this problem. I will need to ask the experts on the machine knit list why this is happening to me. A work-around that I found is, on each row, to use my tool to pull the needles to position "D" -making sure that the needles are far enough forward so that the stitches are behind the open latches. This is shown on the right side of the main bed in the photo below. The stitches on the left are in front of the open latches, and if not pulled forward, may not knit. It is much more tedious to hand-pull every stitch on every row than to hand-knit on four needles, so I want to be sure to do this on every row!
I finished the second sock in time to sew up the toe and the side seam of the ribbing while watching the State of the Union address.
Tomorrow I am going to look for the pair of antique sock-stretchers that I used to have around here somewhere. I will block the socks if I can find them.
Ships Project -- www.theshipsproject.com -- for soldiers in Iraq
Red Sweaters -- www.redsweaters.org -- memorial tiny sweaters (look for mine!)
afghans for Afghans --- www.afghansforAfghans.org
Shawl Ministry -- www.shawlministry.com
Sheila's Shawls -- www.silentwitness.net -- healing shawls
Warm Up America -- www.warmupamerica.com
Hugs for Homeless Animals -- www.h4ha.org
Native Elders -- www.anelder.org
Knit for Her Cure -- www.knitforhercure.com
cancer Chemocaps -- www.chemocaps.com
List of organizations with charitable knitting projects -- http://www.interweave.com/knit/charities.asp
Sunday, January 21, 2007
I have incentive to get that sock finished - I was the winning bidder a few days ago on eBay for two skeins of Wildfoote Sock yarn, color JUNGLE, dye lot 006. I NEEDED that yarn, because I knit one and three-quarters socks with that yarn plied with a lightweight cotton. Then I RAN OUT of the one skein I had previously purchased at my LYS on clearance.... And I need to finish the sock I have on the machine before rehanging the previous unfinished sock. Because I KNOW in my heart of hearts if I take this sock off the machine, unfinished, it will become a UFO forever.