Sunday, April 13, 2014

Make a bunny (or several!) in time for Easter

Hi, everyone!  I had a great time at Knit Knack's Spring Fling, but just got home this afternoon and no time for much of a blog post.  The knitters at Spring Fling liked the machine knitted bunny, so that reminded me it's a week until Easter, and there's still time to make some.  (These are quick! You could say they "multiply.")

Start your engines!  It's time to make some Easter Bunnies!  Here is my YouTube that shows how to make a cute little toy out of a simple square of knitted fabric.

Oh, and friends, if you come up with something imaginative, please send a photo!  I'd love to see one in stripes, or fair isle, or perhaps this little soft toy could become a frog, puppy, or some other critter.  Email pics using the envelope icon on the left-hand side of this web page (scroll down a ways). and let me know if it's okay to run your pics on the blog.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Inspiration at Art Machines

Knitted roses!

http://www.art-machines.ru/2014/03/8.html

New Video - Mitered Ribbing

Have you ever short-rowed ribbing?  Want to try it out on something easy and useful?

This mitered ribbing sample is great for a button band or an edging.  This one is easy, I promise - you will set both carriages for short rows, and you'll use the edge weight hangers to keep pressure on the needles in work.  You could do this on any machine with a ribbing attachment.

I first hand knitted it in about 1979 for a button band, and I subsequently started using it in machine knit projects.   I've demonstrated this simple technique at seminars for several years:


Monday, March 24, 2014

Updates

We just finished the seminar at Newton's Knits in Anaheim, California, and I'm in recovery mode (I get tired traveling and teaching). 

A thousand thanks to everyone who attended and to Norman, Helen, and their wonderful staff.  This is an incredible seminar for both demonstrators and participants, and if you can ever attend one, you ought to!

Here are a few things they do that I especially loved:

1.  They have cameras and big screens for each demonstrator so folks can really see exactly what is going on at the machine.

2.  They have fantastic shop items as well as a big parking lot yarn sale!  (Yes, I bought items; as a matter of fact, I'm having a few things shipped.  Are you kidding?  I could not resist.)

3.  They don't charge folks very much for classes, and they even get walk-ins, since they're in a big city having a parking lot yarn sale.  Boy, was I surprised when I had some people in my class who were just beginning to explore machine knitting!

4.  They have raffles every day, which the participants love, with great prizes.  Most seminars do this, but it bears mentioning anyway, because attendees enjoy it so much.

I wish I had taken some photographs, but it's a busy time, and John and I were really swamped with things that needed doing. 

I am doing three more seminars this year!

Next up:  Spring Fling at the Knit Knack Shop

April 11 and 12, I'm teaching, along with an incredible lineup of other teachers, in Indiana at the Knit Knack Shop's Spring Fling.  Learn more about it here!

I have redone all my curriculum for this year, and Newton's was my first run through it.  I think you will really enjoy the new material. 

I don't publish comments with links

I know it will probably do absolutely no good, but here I go again, announcing that:

1.  All my comments are moderated.  I look at them before I let them be posted to this blog.
2.  I do not post a comment with a link.  Why?  Because they are usually miserable deceptive links that might send my readers to evil websites with viruses, other malware, porn, or who-knows-what rotten content.  Do not include a link in any comment, please.

Yep, it goes without saying that I'm deleting this kind of spam every day.  I am afraid I'll miss one and let it post accidentally.

If I miss one someday, and there's a link in one of my commenters' posts, please don't click there.  Don't click anywhere unless you are certain it won't hurt your computer.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Newton's Knits Spring Fling - Next Week!

I'm teaching at Newton's next week!  The event looks just fantastic.  Here's a bunch of information at this website:

http://www.newtons.com/

At this big seminar in Anaheim, California, you can choose from an assortment of teachers and classes.  Here's a description of my ten classes:


Happy Feet:  In this class, I will feature two slippers from the slipper and sock book, which has patterns in twelve sizes for standard, bulky, and mid-gauge machines.  I'll demonstrate my moccasin pattern, which has so many essential techniques for your repertoire - a picot hem, an eyelet row, full-fashioned increases, short-row shaping, and a sew-as-you-go round cord edging and drawstring.  
I will also demonstrate her sew-as-you-go slipper.  Here’s a technique that results in a good-looking, comfortable seam and avoids tedious hand-seaming of socks. Yes, you can learn sew-as-you-go seams without fiddling with hairpins or other marking methods!
These two slippers can be made on any flatbed knitting machine, because no ribber is required, and the handouts include both patterns in a women’s medium. 

Make it Fit:  In this session, I'll explore strategies to knit garments that become favorites because everyone loves a great fit.  First, I'll share fitting tips based on years of experience helping knitters succeed with their garments.  Next, I'll demonstrate the “practically perfect gauge swatch,” an easy-to-measure, washable swatch marked permanently with your tension dial setting. 
What do you do when you can’t get a pattern’s gauge?  Learn the simple formula that you can use to correct knitting patterns to work with your gauge – with your yarn and your machine!  The handout includes the formula and explanation for your reference later.
Finally, I will talk about the Knit Leader, the low-tech, inexpensive, practical charting device that helps you make just about anything for which you can get a sewing pattern!  
Skill Builders Session One:  In this class, I will go over the best cast-ons and cast-offs for different situations.  Do you know how to make your binding-off look exactly like a skilled hand knitter’s cast-off with a smooth chain edge?  Do you know how to make your cast-off match your e-wrap cast-on exactly?  Do beginnings and endings just seem to take too long?  Come to this class for some great tips.  Then I will do my students’ favorite garter bar techniques, including the basic flip for garter and Quaker stitch, increasing, decreasing, and speed ripping!
 
Fast and Fun on the Bulky:  I have several fun pattern books focused on bulky machines, and in this class, I’ll teach two creative patterns.  Whatever machine you have, get the most out of it!  These inventive patterns do not require a ribber or a fancy patterning system.
First, we’ll see how to make the Latched Watch Cap.  This pattern has a shaped crown that fits smoothly, with no lumpy gathers, and doesn’t require any waste yarn or re-hanging of the knitting.  For warmth, this hat features an attractive latched ribbing technique with a stretchy rolled edge and a latched cable for deep texture.
Have you ever experimented with diagonal knitting?  My Diagonal Striped Gift Bag will surely spark some ideas for diagonal designs in your mind.  This is a brand new pattern that is not yet in her books or videos.
Entrelac Workshop:  Have you tried knitting Entrelac on a machine?  Or would you like to give it a fresh look?  I am perennially fascinated with Entrelac, and I created two Entrelac pattern books.  While there are a number of practical ways to machine knit Entrelac, my two favorite, easy ways to do this technique are featured in my books and videos.  In this workshop, you'll see the simple waste yarn technique, the method used to make the Entrelac round yoke sweaters in "Wear Your Diamonds."  I'm including the dia gonal Entrelac tote pattern in the handouts.   We hope that after the workshop, while the technique is fresh in your mind, you’ll try it.
Basic Cut and Sew Neckline:  Do you use cut-and-sew techniques for assembling your knits?  Expand your horizons in this introductory session on a basic cut and sew neckband.
Cut and Sew is a great strategy for situations where it’s extremely difficult to divide and knit the neckline of a sweater.  Consider, for instance, trying to divide and knit a neckline in double jacquard knitting, or racked ribbing, or tucked ribbing.  How would you do that?  Maybe you’ve been shying away from some of the fancier stitches because you don’t want to deal with this problem, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the good-looking neckline finishes you can do with this method.
I'll teach a typical round neckband – how to mark, stabilize, cut, and apply the neckband for a professional-looking finish.
Skill Builders Session Two:  It’s tricky to sew a good-looking set-in sleeve seam.  In this class, we'll hang a sweater armhole on the machine and then knit a set-in sleeve from the top down.  The seam forms automatically as you knit the sleeve.  You’ll like this set-in-sleeve technique both for saving time and making better-looking sweaters.
I'm also going to demonstrate a waistband dart technique, which produces a straight line for an attractive, blue-ribbon finish and improved fid for your skirt or pants.

Fabled Cables:  The book's not out yet, but in this workshop, I will teach ways to add lots of texture and interest to your knits with almost magically simple appliqué cables techniques.  I'll show the Helix cable, the easiest popcorns ever, and her easy, deeply-textured V appliqué cable.

Ribber Workshop:  Get more use out of your ribber attachment!  After all, it cost almost as much as the main bed!  Why not make more than welts?

In this class, I'll feature a clever way to use the medium Brother comb as a weight buckle, so you simply slide the comb up as the knitting grows and keep your work weighted properly.
I also included two great little gift patterns in the handouts, and I'll demonstrate the techniques for each.  One is playful knitted necklace, knitted quickly using circular knitting, and the other, a warm fingerless glove pattern.   
Lace Class:  Perhaps you’ve admired “Enchanted Edgings,” which are automatic scalloped laces.  Did you know you can also make beautiful scalloped lace projects using Brother Stitch World patterns?  I'll show how in this session.  While we’re exploring lace techniques, we’ll also learn about mirror image lace, thread lace, and how to shape lace with short rows.
Skill Builders Session Three:  Edgings!  Could you use some new edgings for dressing up your projects, stopping edge rolling, giving a beautiful finish, or even covering up yarn ends?  I'm showing how to do a bunch of my faves in this Skill Builders workshop. 
For instance, I will teach the a fold-over braid that you can apply to one side of the knitting with a sewing machine, then hand-sew the other side.   

Automatic Scalloped Lace Edges:  Come to this class and learn
how “Enchanted Edgeings,” a technique that uses the Brother patterning system (electronics or punch cards), lace carriage, and slip stitch, to create amazing lacy edgings automatically.   You do not have to keep track of the shaping or shape the edge with transfer tools – the patterning system in the machine does all the fancy work!  This is one of those things that looks very complicated, but is quite easy in actual execution.  You’ll find plenty of uses for these exquisite trims on fashion, household items, and baby things.

 

 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Inspiration at Knotty Knits

I've felted my share of slippers, but never mittens - probably because it's generally rather warm here.  But aren't these great?

http://tracykm.blogspot.com/2014/03/more-mittens.html

More Inspiration at Marzipan Knits

I just love these...

http://marzipanknits.blogspot.com/2014/01/machine-knit-baby-mittens.html

Speedy Charity Hats at Marzipan Knits

Here's a set of excellent instructions for making a "string of hats" for charity:

http://marzipanknits.blogspot.com/2014/03/lightening-fast-baby-hats-for.html

This will really save you time!

Back when Knit Natters did bunches of hats for charity, my friend Barbara would make another "string of hats" pattern with the hats going the other way. 

If you don't mind a gathered top, you could make your strings of hats using circular knitting.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Inspiration at Tom - Knitting Machine Guy

Tom's got some great articles up right now.  Check out this one showing his Knit Leader diagram for a vest:

http://tommachineknittingguy.blogspot.com/2014/03/v-neck-button-down-vest-knit-leader-way.html

And another good one - placing fair isle letters into your design:

http://tommachineknittingguy.blogspot.com/2014/03/knitting-words.html

I have hopes of seeing Tom again in Anaheim!  He's an utter delight.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

It happens...

I wanted the next blanket for the book knitted up in something vivid.  People are buying brighter colors for babies than they used to, using lots of funky fun colors.  I picked out a fairly intense candy pink and a variegated that goes with it.

Then, I sat down to knit the next blanket idea, and I knew from making swatches that I would not like it with my yarn.  Swatching really does save me a lot of heartache - it's so much better to find out before I do all the work! 

This variegated is changing colors constantly and has a very stripe-y look.  After that I tried another idea, and another idea, and another, none of which I liked with my yarn.

I think I finally have a winner - I'll keep you posted. 

At the same time, John and I are preparing for Spring Fling at Newton's Knits in Anaheim, California.  I am so excited!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Another Baby Blanket

This one's a simple tuck, but uses lots of baby colors.  I alternated white with different colors from partial cones.  It takes a little patience to keep threading up different colors, but I enjoyed working on it, and just love the finished results. 

Note how different the knit and purl sides are, and notice the fold-over edging (which I machine sewed to one side, then hand sewed down on the other side):

After doing so many pastel blankets, the next baby blanket is a change.  I purchased louder colors!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Inspiration at Tom Machine Knitting Guy - and a few notes

Check out the great-looking socks at Tom's blog:

http://tommachineknittingguy.blogspot.com/2014/02/im-knittingstress-away.html

Socks are my go-to project for anti-stress knitting, too.  I love small projects!  (Lately, I've been feeling like doing more clothing projects, but too many other things in the finish-me hopper before I get to start a new project group.)

Next item:  Comments - If you're a real knitter and want to comment, I love to see your comments and I'll put them up.  For many machine knitters, the online community is the only available knitting guild, and I often hear how knitters enjoy seeing what other people think and are knitting.

My comments are moderated, that is, I approve them before they go up.  So, if someone's trying to use my blog to post links to non-knitting websites or even bad places, nope, I'll delete a comment like that.  It's probably not a good idea to click on links in comments, anyway, unless you know the commenter.

And finally - A reader clued me in that I didn't have a link to the fingerless mitts in the free project videos on the left-hand side of the blog.  I've added them, and a couple other projects, too.