Saturday, January 24, 2015

Five Seminars This Year!

This year, I'm booked to do five seminars - San Francisco, CA; Waynesboro, PA; Monroe, MI; Princeton, MN; and Dallas, TX.

Right now, I'm working on the knitting curriculum for the classes.  I like to do detailed handouts so attendees don't have to take extensive notes.  I'm trying to freshen up everything in my classes.  I think I'll have a long session of "just for fun" things like the cable join and the twisted fringe.

Also, I've been knitting a sweater in a very nice mohair.  I have the parts knitted, and blocking and assembling come next.

I'm playing around with Design A Pattern charting software (from Ilene Levy) and I put a big, fat cable up the center front.  I wanted a design that would show up in the very fluffy mohair.  This yarn is really a teal, that is a dark turquoise, and to my surprise, it looks quite green in the photo, at least on my monitor.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Great Article on Yet Another Canadian Artisan - How to Sell a Knitting Machine

This is an article about how to sell a knitting machine that I noticed at the Canadian Artisan blog.  What wonderful information for non-knitters who find themselves with one of these complicated setups to sell.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year - And January's Video, Early

And, here we go again...I need ideas for possible videos for this year, and while I've brainstormed a fairly interesting list of ideas and pulled some ideas from emails, your suggestions are most welcome! 

I decided a great way to start the year as a machine knitter was by giving my machines a little LOVE.

In this video, I quickly run through the steps for a little preventative cleaning and maintenance.   A lubricated, oiled machine makes knitting easier, helps prevent stuck buttons and levers, and stops a lot of wear and tear on the machine caused by rubbing metal and gunky yarn fluff.  This TLC takes only a few moments, and it's a good idea to a quick clean and lube after each project, and a more thorough job every few months. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Year 2014 in Review!

Mile Markers
  • I kept up my dedicated effort to encourage and teach knitters using this blog, my YouTube channel, the Knit Natters club, and my seminar schedule.
  • Slimmed down, and maintained the loss so far, after many years of struggling with overweight.  The story is in this "I Got Slim" blog post, and since them, I've responded to dozens of emails with additional information about the group that helped me.  I still love being small - wearing pretty clothes, having more energy, feeling great, and getting around more easily.
  • Published my newest pattern book, "Best Baby Blankets," after working on it many months.  I tried to cover as many machines as possible and produce both easy and innovative projects, well worth knitting and awesome for gifts.
  • From December 1 to 10, we took a Holy Land tour with our church, an inspirational and joyful experience all around.
  • December 21 was our 40th Anniversary!  John is a wonderful husband.
  • I taught at a number of knitting seminars in 2014 and have several planned for 2015.  Because I work full-time as an accountant, I only do four or five at most in a year.  I hope to see you at one of mine in 2015!  So far, I'm booked for San Francisco, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Michigan. 
Video Content Posted in 2014
  • Good-looking tapestry needle bind off technique.  Get an ending bind-off to match your beginnings made with e-wrap.
  • The Faster, Flatter Mattress Stitch video shows a very seldom-taught and super easy and useful seaming technique.  Try this - it isn't the typical Mattress Stitch.
  • You can use this Mitered Ribbing to go around all kinds of edges.  This is also great practice to improve your ribber short-rowing skills.
  • Do you know what industrial ribbing is?  Here's a little piece teaching Knit 2, Purl 1 Industrial Rib.
  • Here's an interesting dropped stitch fabric, Wavy Dropped Stitch Lace.  Combining dropped stitches with ribber fabrics gives a great, three-dimensional texture.
  • Talk about 3-D textures - try out the warm Waffle Stitch technique.
  • The easy Ruched Cable is knitted separately from your garment, attached either by hanging as you knit or by sewing into position.
  • Here are Two Diagonal Trims to spruce up edges.
  • If I had only put up one video in 2014, this fold-over edging would be it! I probably got the most comments about it being just what knitters need.  You can put this around a project (like I did), covering all your frizzy little yarn ends and making the edges lie beautifully.  I saved lots of time by applying it on my baby blankets with a sewing machine on one side, then just hand-sewing the other side.
  • Here's a cabled edging, while we're on the edging kick.
  • Winding up the year, here's my Knit 2, Purl 2 Drop Lace video.
Best Blog Posts in 2014 - Okay, so the videos are always the "best," but here are some others worth consideration:
  • A story about how I knitted a round yoke sweater with almost no seams on a Bulky 8 (which doesn't do any automatic patterning) using a hand knitting pattern.  Good grief, I moved the yoke stitches with transfer tools!  When I was young and fearless...
  • A Sewer Drain Pipe for Mother's Day is about a storage idea.  It's worked out rather well for my tall skinnies like extra sponge bars and long cleaning brushes.
  • Tips to Eliminate Wavy Ribber Edges is a little how-to essay with a few of my edge fixes.

Dianaknits Knitting Channel on YouTube
  • I now have 2.7 million views and 8.7 thousand subscribers.  I am encouraging knitters to subscribe for convenience; that way you get the new videos as soon as they're up.
  • This year, I put up five playlists covering special areas, like project videos and my courses.

Monday, December 29, 2014

New Video - Knit Two, Purl Two Drop Lace

Well, better late than never on the December video:

This is another variation on drop stitch lace using the ribber.  Obviously, I love these stitches, which are three dimensional, easy and interesting.  It would make a good scarf or shawl, if you've got a luscious fluffy yarn, and the hand knitters will certainly wonder how on earth you did it.

I hope you'll try this one!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Under the Weather

I promised I was still around, right?  I'm afraid not much is getting done around here, though, on the blogging or knitting front.  But that's okay, right?  You're probably not doing much knitting either just now.

I've been a bit under the weather.  When we got back from our trip, I was starting to feel a little ill, and by the next day, I had a fever and the usual yucky flu symptoms.  The doctor gave me Tamiflu and I drooped around all that weekend.  This last week I managed to work all week, but still didn't feel very well, so went back to see the doctor on Friday, and he started me on a round of antibiotics. I'm still waiting for that day when I'm energetic again, but I'm back in action, anyway.

Our sons are coming for Christmas and we had to get busy, do some shopping and start getting ready.  At this point, there is a tree, there are some wrapped presents, and the fridge is stocked.  Whew! 

Today is out 40th anniversary!  I'm so grateful for my very own nice guy.  John and I had a good day.

I do pray that God blesses you with a beautiful, meaningful Christmas season, that you and your loved ones are well and in harmony this week.  May all the lights sparkle, the holiday meals turn out yummy, and everyone keep a sense of humor!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hello....I'm still around!

Say, I haven't blogged, and I thought I better at least give a quick update.

John and I just got back from a marvelous Holy Land tour.This was a church-sponsored tour with fascinating Bible history teaching.  I absolutely treasure this incredible experience we had. 

We got back last Wednesday, quite worn out, and on Thursday, I woke up with a bad fever and body aches.  My doctor put me on Tamiflu, I rested all weekend, and now I'm just starting to feel better.

Of course, now that we're back, we're into the middle of the Christmas busy-ness. 

I am considering putting my photos of the trip and some highlights on the blog as a Christmassy, non-knitting series of articles.  Is that interesting to anyone?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Enchanted Edgings On a Blue Ribbon Blanket!

Look at all Rita's gorgeous knitting, including a blanket with one of my automatic lace edgings around the edge:

Smart, huh, the way she curves the edge?  I think it's a sophisticated look, plus you don't have to deal with any right-angle corners.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


I don't generally link to them, because they're not knitting-related, but I love Carissa Knits' refashioning of garments.  I sew myself, and love to fix things up myself.

Today, I had to link to this one, because she did such a remarkable job on these garments:

Carissa Knits: Sunday Sew-Day: Simple Fixes

Monday, November 10, 2014

Tracy's Daughter's Knitting

Over at Knotty Knits and Naughty Kids, Tracy has a post with great photos of her daughter knitting, first a scrunchie and then a scarf:

Isn't it great to see a new generation knitting!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Taina's Cool Idea

Taina has made the tam pattern, which has short-rowed triangles to form a circle, and now she has cleverly used this idea to cover round pillows and make soft cushioned tops for some wooden stools. 

Here's a photo - didn't they turn out cute?

Tania wrote, "As I mentioned, it's based on your tam pattern but I used 32 needles on the bulky machine, beginning with 8 needles in work. T3. Sugar 'N Cream worsted. 6 wedges. Instead of the ribbed band I just used a couple of strands of the Sugar 'N Cream woven through the outer edge as a drawstring. I may do a proper i-cord... 

My stools are 12 inches across the top, so there's room for a 12 inch round pillow on top of the wooden seat. What relief! 

Ran out of the ombre so had to use white in the second cover. I guess it took around one and a half balls per cover, maybe a titch less, working with bits it's hard to tell exactly. I think the self-striping yarn would be cuter, but this is what I had, and I'm happy. More can always be made! I'm thinking seasonal now."

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Blast From the Past: Machine Knitting a Scrunchie

I'm just doing a little routine checking over and working on my YouTube channel, which I've been trying to make a little better, and I ran across this blast from the past:

This video is four years old, and today the Princess is a preteen.  She speaks like a young adult now, is getting quite tall, attends middle school, and guess what - she's still knitting!  I think it's so fantastic that her grandmother, her "Mimi," has kept on working with her patiently to help her with her knitting skills, but even more wonderful, the Princess continues to knit, enjoy it, attend knit club meetings, and even turn out amazing quantities of knitted items for charity.

Oh, yes, kids can knit! 

This was a very challenging video for me to make, absolutely one of the most difficult.  At the time, I only hoped I had done it adequately, since Princess and I had to do lots of "takes" to try to get everything filmed clearly.  I think we both got worn out!  Then I had to go home, edit, and hope that I could put together a coherent video. As I was engrossed in getting the video done, it was so easy to focus only on the technical side of things, but as I watch it now, I feel quite sentimental about her charm and enthusiasm.  She had just taught the project to our club, and you can see in the video how she understands exactly what steps to demonstrate for us so we can make the project.