Tuesday, December 6, 2016


I am sorry for the delay in posting.

I recently had a couple of  surgeries which haved caused me some "downtime" while I recover.

I've been adding to my library in Ravelry - my Ravelry ID is Brightmeadow.

There don't seem to be a lot of machine knitting publications already in their database, but I have found a few.  I have several years worth of KnitWords hardcopy magazine on my (real world) bookshelf.  I also have the digital version that Mary Anne Oger published when she closed the magazine, if I can find the CD. It is somewhat clumsy to add  the magazine covers by photographing them, and then rotating the photo 90 degrees, then uploading it to Ravelry.  It would be really good to know if others have already posted these.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Pokeweed natural dye

We were at the farm over the weekend and, although it was raining, I delighted to discover that the pokeweed berries had not totally dried up and blown away.  I picked them from two plants and brought them home.  I wound off and mordanted one pound of DK weight with cider vinegar.  I heated the pokeberries up in several quarts of water until the berries burst when the water was almost boiling. Then I threw in most of the ice from the icemaker in my freezer to get the dyebath back to room temperature.  Added the wet, mordanted yarn to the dyebath and brought it back to simmer, then let it cool and finally hung outside to dry.  I am pleased with the color, but we will see how light-fast it turns out to be!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Full STEAM ahead

On a lark, I signed up for a class at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids.  The class meets on a weeknight, so it is a stretch for me to drive across the state to attend and then back again for work the next day, but so far, I am managing it. 

The title of the class is "Inside the Studio" and the subject matter is a peek into the studios and lives of artists who exhibited at the FED gallery at KCAD during the recent exhibition of The land of Here and Now.

When I first walked into the gallery, I was amazed to see a giant beach blanket that I knew at first glance just had to have been machine-knit, so I felt right at home.

The instructor, Eliza Fernand, was the host of the artist residency program which was the subject of the exhibition.  She was the co-curator of the exhibition.  She is fellow textile artist, a quiltmaker, and is amazing.  

Last night she shared some local events with us that are directly related to machine knitting: Knit It, in Grand Rapids, and a maker pop-up event in Detroit.

If I get anything out of this class, it is going to be that I have the RIGHT to call myself a fiber artist, there is no exam to pass or portfolio to amass.   

Our assignment this week is to find inspirations to post on our vision boards in the classroom.
I've posted my 1-hour prayer shawl and my pink-and-purple sweater and swatches for it, so far.  I want to post the following:
  1. TKGA Machine Master's Program
  2. Fashion Illustration course
  3. Fashion sketches - plus-size
  4. Pattern from Sewing expo
  5. Zaragoza photos
  6. Woodland Native American quillwork inspirations for shawl
    1. swatch - felt
    2. swatch - applique of fine knit a la Mariette
    3. swatch - couched design
  7. Create Pattern designs for publication
  8. Write magazine article
  9. Publish this blog!
  10. Inspirations - slow versus fast
  11. Inspirations - industrial versus domestic
  12. Inspirations - tension between present and the past
  13. Inspirations - physical versus virtual
  14. STEAM education (Science Technology Engineering Art Math)

Sunday, July 31, 2016

maker Fair

Ed and I went to Maker Faire at Henry Ford Museum today.  I was hoping to find other machine knitters and did not.  However I did find TNNA giving away drop spindles.  Laura, who was sight-impaired, helped me with my drop-spindle spinning.  I think she helped quite a bit.  I probably will never be proficient at drop-spindle spinning, however.

When we got home I tried to do a tuck-stitch version of the one-hour prayer shawl with ladder yarn.  It is not working so I am giving up for today.
At the Monroe seminar, Diana Berns demonstrated the 1-hour prayer shawl technique.  Basically, this:

Set two needles at left of bed to working position and one needle a distance away (for fringe).  E-wrap cast on and hang weights.  Knit, increasing one stitch on right every two rows. When you reach the width the shawl should be, set the carriage for hold and hold one stitch on the right every two rows.  When you are back down to one stitch, start putting one needle back into work every two rows.  When you reach the end, start decreasing one stitch on right every two rows.  When back down to one, cast off one stitch.  Block before or after "unworking" the fringe.

I did this with a cone of my all-natural yarn.  Decide the angle was too narrow on a stockinette stitch.  Thinking about embellishments, perhaps an Iriquois-insprired woodland theme? Or perhaps a Spanish Mantilla?   

Monroe Machine Knitting Seminar

As always, a fantastic time at Monroe Machine Knitters' Seminar in July.   Cathy reports that due to the temporary relocation to another building at Monroe Community College, she was able to accept more registrations this year, and there were 100 machine knitters there this year.  Several were new.

Demonstrators were:
I learned something from each demonstrator.  I did not walk away empty-handed, either.  I won a door prize both days and purchased either a pattern, yarn, or a tool from each demonstrator.

An announcement was made at lunch concerning TKGA's management company deciding to stop the relationship, and the subsequent conversion of TKGA to an all-volunteer organization.  Due to lack of machine-knitting volunteers, machine knitting certification program will be dropped as of the current time.  We were encouraged to join the conversation on Ravelry to offer our support to perhaps influence a differernt decision.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Knitting machine users are "makers"

This team of young people has put together an excellent video to demonstrate how the millennials are using knitting machines. 

See it here.

More work in the queue

I have been buying knitting machines from Craigslist again.  I added some more to my "inventory" a few weeks ago.  All these machines are awaiting my tender loving care to check them out, put new sponge bars in them, and try knitting on them. 

One of the last ones started shedding gate pegs while it was still in my car. It is a Singer ribber, and the gate pages are apparently held on by a rail, and all the nuts were missing from the little tiny bolts that held the rail on.   I think I gathered them all up, and put them in a plastic bag,  but not sure, so it may end up being used as a parts machine.   

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Matrix sweater

I could make this: But why?

The matrix sweater

Monroe DesignaKnit Seminar

Here in Monroe this weekend with Charlene Shafer, learning about DesignaKnit.  Due to a miscommunication, I ended up uninstalling DK7 from my old computer.  I am waiting for Knitcraft to open to get the key back to reinstall it!   So I will just watch the class instead of participating, at least this morning. (Update: one of my fellow students pointed out that as long as I put the CD in the drive, I don't need the key -- the key is just for installing the software without needing the "key" disk.)

Last weekend I found a Craigslist posting, for an estate sale.  I rescued 5 machines from going to the landfill at a very reasonable price.  Of course they will all need cleaning and replacement parts and new sponge bars, but I hope to have some of them working very soon.  

The booty also included back issues of News and Views from the 70's and 80's.  I opened up one to find Julie Esterlin's face looking me, and she is across the room from me at this workshop.  There is a wealth of information in these back issues.  Techniques and patterns.

So now I have added to my inventory.  I really need to take stock, with the last 10 machines I really don't know much about them yet.  Lots to explore!

As usual, Charlene's presentation is very informative.  The new crafty ideas has some really nice pieces she showed us yesterday.