Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Join me in Tennessee

You could still go to the Tennessee Valley Machine Knitters seminar that I'm teaching this weekend.

If you have never been to a machine knitting seminar, here's a wonderful chance.  I'm teaching Saturday and Sunday, the cost is $60/day, and the location is Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

So what am I covering?

Garter bar class - speed ripping, garter stitch, decrease or increase evenly across a row, move only desired stitches.

Lace clinic - automatic scalloped lace, mirror image lace, slant lace circle scarf, and scalloped lace scarf pattern from Stitch World. 

Tricks and treats - cap sleeve knitted in armhole, the practically perfect gauge swatch, Knit Leader tips, the easy anti-roll edge, the foldover edging, the 12-stitch seashell stitch, floatless, vertical fair isle, finishing tips, easy cable join, ruched cable trim, best cast ons, best cast offs, built-in I-cord edge, vertical dart, and sew as you go lined slipper.

Ribber workshop - the magical medium ribber comb, fingerless gloves, "bubble wrap" stitch, reversible English Rib stripes, vertical buttonhole, and scalloped ribbing.
The handout book includes the instructions for everything, in case I don't get to something, but I usually get through everything in the book.
The ladies in Tennessee are super nice, at lease the ones who have been emailing me!  I finally get to meet them in person.
John and I are staying several extra days in Pigeon Forge.  Why?  Well, this is a tourist destination.  We're going to Dollywood!  Even if we didn't want to go to that famous amusement park, there are many other attractions that have grown up around it, museums, shows, dinner theaters.  There is also an amazing national park!  Dollywood ought to give us a great amusement park experience, since it's off season and won't be so crowded.  The town seems to have lots of hotel capacity.  I found a lot of deals at Groupon.  We're staying at the place where the seminar is, and it looks great online.
I also hope to visit another important destination:  Stephanie's Studio and Yarns.  Stephanie has been a major asset to the machine knitting community for many years, and she sells wonderful 2/24 acrylic and other yarns at amazing prices.  She is closing down the business (sob) and having a big clearance sale.  If I can't fit things in my suitcases, well, she ships things.  John thinks that I don't need any more yarn, a ridiculous idea, of course. 
I know this is last minute, but maybe you're the person who actually could go and wasn't sure you could.  Maybe you're the person who is hesitating for some other, I'm nagging, already.
Hugs, and happy knitting, y'all. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Remember Swedish Weaving?

Over at Yet Another Canadian Artisan (a fun blog to follow), here's something I haven't played with in a while.

We used to purchase huck toweling, which had a raised, bumpy grid-like texture. By simply weaving embroidery thread through the bumps, we made Swedish Weaving embroidery.

Here it is on knits! Cool...  Click on the link, head over there, and see how it was done.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

New Video - Cast Off Ribbing by Crocheting

Here's a basic technique for binding off ribbing using a crochet hook, after you take the work off the knitting machine.

In your finished garments, small details like good-looking bind-offs and cast-ons make such a difference!  I've put up quite a few options.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Look to the Left!

Look to the left at the GET STARTED HERE! heading.  It's new.

This is a bunch of links just for beginners.  I've included information about  choosing a knitting machine, choosing the yarn, and coming up with a learning plan. 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

2018 Seminars!

I love to teach knitting.  As I write this, I keep deleting words and trying again, because I sound like such a raving lunatic, but it's a fact - I absolutely love doing machine knitting seminars. 

In 2018, I have five planned.  In March, I'm teaching in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; in May, near Portland, Oregon; in July or August (dates not nailed down yet), in Butler, Pennsylvania, in September, in Price Edward Island, Canada, and in October, in Dallas, Texas. 

As far as I know, every one of these seminar organizers has room for more people, so hey, if you're able to, I hope you'll come and join us.  If there's a seminar that might work for you and you need more information, email me and I'll send you contact information for the organizer.

John and I have been sitting around building a master list of seminar details.  Who is organizing.  Whether we're flying.  Whether we're renting a car.  What machine I'm borrowing for demonstrations.  It goes on and on, but from your point of view, as a knitter, you fall into one of two categories:  you either go to seminars, or you don't. 

I think most machine knitters don't go to seminars.  There might not be one near their home, and they may not want to put their time and money into going to a distant seminar.  However, I think most of the knitters who have not gone to a seminar just don't know how valuable the experience can be and have no idea what they're missing.

At a seminar, you are going to meet a bunch of other machine knitters, which is quite a treat if you're the only MKer you know!  Some of them might live quite close to you, and you might acquire a knitting buddy or find a knitting club through attending.  Or, you might just have an amazing time with a group of people who feel like instant friends.  If the seminar has a block of rooms at a hotel, you can either hang out with the group, go off by yourself and rest, or gather up some knitters to try out a restaurant.

Seminar organizers try very hard to make the whole experience fun.  There might be contests, raffles, a fashion show, door prizes, or freebies.  There might be an opportunity to buy or swap equipment and supplies.  There is often free yarn and books, and I've even seen free machines.  One seminar I went to had a little auction to raise money for the knitting club!   Sometimes there are charity knitting challenges.

The classes are very interesting - after all, we teachers like to bring out ideas and techniques that folks haven't seen too much - and then your fellow knitters are doing interesting projects, as well.  Everyone likes to talk about how to solve project challenges, and you end up learning from what everyone else is doing. 

Each teacher has a unique approach to teaching.  I am known for my detailed handouts.  I try very hard to write sufficient instructions for each demonstration so that you can do it on your own later and you won't have to take a lot of notes.  I put free patterns in the handouts, usually a few of my more popular crafty projects.  I bring gobs of samples that we pass around, and I show how to do one technique after another, making scruffly little swatches, which are also passed around.  Everyone peers at these samples and thinks about what they want to make and how they might use the idea.  Beginners cane come up and sit or stand right by me, if it'll help them.  Everyone wants to help the beginners - unfortunately, we don't have nearly enough beginners! 

The last year or two, I've taught my garter bar tricks at nearly every seminar.  It just keeps coming up as an often-requested item.  I've also done a lot of the geometric things I do so much of - entrelac, short-rowed shapes, diagonals.  I do a little finishing technique; if you read this blog you probably have noticed that my idea of a good seam is one that doesn't show at all from the public side.  I might talk about fitting, or I might do lace and ribber tricks - it depends on what the knitting club wants.  I often send a survey first to figure out what they'd most like to do.

Signing off! I'll put more details about the seminars in this space as plans firm up!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

New Video - Short Row Graphics

This technique has been around forever, and my illustration with bold diagonal lines is just a jumping-off point!  You can make all kinds of colorful designs with this for a float-free, intarsia look, especially anything with diagonals-diamonds, for instance.  Play around with it!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Thanks, Jane, for the YouTube Video Captions!

I can't tell you how thrilled I am to announce that a great many of my videos are now captioned!  Linda M, my friend, remember telling me (among many other people) that it's difficult to hear what I'm saying in those things?  I have a small voice and I'm looking at the machine and even mumbling, at times.

I captioned a few of the videos myself, but it takes tons of time.  I've tried the automatic captions, and they produce perfectly amusing nonsense.  The voice recognition stuff YouTube has might work great if the video is about a cat, but they can't speak knitting lingo.  They've called a stitch all sorts of things!

YouTube has come out with a community approach to the problem, and I announced it and asked for help. We are much stronger together, and there's a goal here:  to get more people machine knitting, and mastering the craft, finding it fun and enjoyable.  Once someone learns the basics well, it has become an incredible platform for creativity. 

Jane Raddatz to the rescue!  She has closed captions so many videos that I've lost count!  She has worked away at it for quite a while, and I think the videos are greatly enhanced.  She's good at it, too, giving great attention to detail to get it exactly right.  I know from YOUR emails that this is needed and is truly going to make it much easier for many people to learn to machine knit.  If you're having trouble hearing, or you're just wondering what the heck I said because I didn't speak clearly, give the captioned videos a try. 

My husband and I have closed captions on movies we watch at home whenever we can.  He has trouble hearing.  While I have no hearing loss, I've found that old movies have much clearer dialogue on their sound tracks.  It's a change in acting style toward realism, but there are times - really! - when the hero says something critical, and we've had to run it back several times and then we still didn't know what he said. 

Here's one of the videos with captions:

Thank you, Jane, and thanks again! 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Read-Along for December 31

John 21

Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish

21 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee.[h] It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus[i]), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
“No,” they answered.
He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.[j] When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.”11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

Jesus Reinstates Peter

15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”
24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.
25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Read-Along for December 30

John 20

The Empty Tomb

20 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[f]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed;blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

The Purpose of John’s Gospel

30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe[g] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Read-Along for December 29

John 19:25-42
25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his motherthere, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman,[b] here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

The Death of Jesus

28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,”[c]37 and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”[d]

The Burial of Jesus

38 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. 39 He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds.[e] 40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41 At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.