Sunday, November 29, 2009

Knitting Videos & Copyrights

I have specifically asked everyone not to download and burn my knitting videos that I have posted on YouTube. However, the discussion swirls on. Aren't the videos public domain because they're on YouTube? Isn't it my own fault if people steal my work, for not publishing specific warnings?

Paragraph 5-B of the YouTube Terms of Service Agreement (for all YouTube users):

"You may access User Submissions for your information and personal use solely as intended through the provided functionality of the YouTube Website. You shall not copy or download any User Submission unless you see a “download” or similar link displayed by YouTube on the YouTube Website for that User Submission. "

It says the same general thing in several other ways. Read it youself. Furthermore, the copyright laws do not require specific warning or even copyright notices. Watch the videos, enjoy them, but don't burn your own CDs or DVDs. Link to them, and to this blog, if you like. If you really must have copies, wait for mine.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Circular Swirl Baby Blanket - Written Pattern

Swirl Baby Blanket
By Diana Sullivan

Round, 36” diameter blanket
Machine: 9mm Bulky Flatbed
Samples were knitted on Brother 270, Tension 4
Yarn: Bernat Coordinates – acrylic/rayon/nylon sport weight baby yarn
3 5-1/2 ounce skeins; 1 dark pink, 2 light pink

Make 5 dark pink triangles and 5 light pink triangles, alternating colors.

Rewind the yarn into center pull balls.

Please refer to the video instructions on YouTube. Here's the link list for those videos:

First triangle: Using a short length of waste yarn, cast on over two needles, #30 left and #29 left. With dark pink yarn, knit 2 rows from left to right and knit back. Carriage on left. Increase on every second row on the right side only by bringing out one more needle on the right and knitting across and back. There is no increase on the left side of the knitting. The triangle will be asymmetrical with a straight side and an increase side. Continue increasing in this way until there are 60 needles in work and take the triangle off on waste yarn.

Second triangle: Carriage on left. Hold the triangle with the purl side toward you, the straight, non-increase side of the triangle on top, and the waste yarn on the right. Pick up the bars along the side edge of the knitting onto 60 needles (pick up a knot along the edge somewhere away from the ends, if necessary). Hang weights. Bring needles to hold and push stitches back against machine. Add 1 empty needle in working position at the left. Thread the lighter pink yarn. Set machine so it will not knit needles in hold position. On carriage side of knitting (left) bring one needle to intermediate position so the first 2 needles will knit. Knit from left to right, then knit back. Don’t bother to wrap.

Bring one more needle from hold to intermediate position, and knit 2 rows. Repeat this method of increasing until all needles are in work, ending with knit 2 rows. Knit several rows of waste yarn and take off machine.

Third Triangle With the first two triangles purl side toward you and the dark pink triangle’s straight side up and waste yarn on the right, hang the bars onto 60 needles the same way the second triangle was hung. Put needles in hold and knit with light pink yarn in the same way as the second triangle.

Fourth through Ninth Triangles are made in the same way, alternating light and dark pink colors.

Tenth Triangle Hang the ninth triangle on in the same way the other triangles were hung. Put needles in hold. Hang weights. Add one needle at left side, as usual. On the first triangle, put transfer tool in first increase (at center of circle), twist the increase to make the increase hole close, and hang it on the empty needle. Bring the first needle on the left to intermediate position so it will knit. Thread lighter pink and knit 2 rows. Bring next needle from hold to intermediate position. Hang next increase loop on first triangle onto the same needle at left edge of knitting, twisting the loop, and knit 2 rows. Continue in this way until all stitches are knitted and the entire first triangle is joined.

Worm Edging: Using triple transfer tool, hang 3 stitches from waste yarn around edge of blanket. Knit 8 rows. Pick up next 3 stitches and hang them on the same three needles. Do worm edging all the way around the blanket, end by hanging the first 3 stitches and binding off.

Finishing: Sew one of the ends through each stitch in the center and draw it up. Hide all the ends. Steam the blanket lightly (this yarn is mainly acrylic, and heavy steaming will make it limp).

© Diana Sullivan Copyrighted material, all rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving! And Hi, Knitters

I've had the loveliest Wednesday before Thanksgiving! I hope y'all have, too.

If you're someplace that doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving, or if you're cooking yourself into utter collapse, my prayer for you is that tomorrow you will have at least one of those magical moments when you feel completely blessed and loved.

Our son Steven flew in today, and it is wonderful to have him home! He has been away at college. He has been considering transferring to Texas, and has acceptances from UT and A&M to consider. His older brother is working today and then will drive down tonight or tomorrow.

My boss gave us all the day off today, as well as an extra day at Christmas, as a thank-you to the staff at our Boy Scout Council. It's been crazy busy at work lately, and enjoyed slowing down today. I spent the morning tidying up and knitting. My house is always in some state of clutter. We haven't figured out how to conquer our pack-rattiness.

I am knitting lace edgings. I create the chart in DAK (but I'm not using the lace tool for these) and then I download it to the 965i and knit it. I usually have to fix it to get the edging to work. Making the lace "travel" along the edge and create scallops or zigzags is an interesting challenge. I have a routine for making shaped edges, and a notebook full of original edgings I've done in the past. Of course, I didn't think any of the ones in the notebook were exactly right for the shawl I am making. Now I have several that I think will look good with the shawl, and must decide.

Does anybody have a Studio 160 (mid-gauge) sized garter bar for sale? I've been contacted by a knitter searching for one.

I also heard from Ludmilla today, who sent along an amazing web address, if you want some incredible garment inspiration: You will need to click on English first, and then you can click around the collections of beautiful knitwear.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Copyright Issues - Knitting Videos

If you want to do something with my videos, please ask me for permission. I can be emailed at diana_knits at (spelled out the @ to thwart spammers). I like to say yes, but you need to ask.

There was a brief thread over at the absolutely wonderful Yahoo Machine Knitting group about knitters downloading the videos and burning them to CDs and then sending them to fellow knitters who were having trouble viewing them, mostly because of bandwidth issues, like only having dial-up. I know folks are just trying to be helpful, but don't do that. Respect my copyright.

I am aware of the need and am trying to figure out solutions. I've shared CDs before, but don't really have time to do it piecemeal. I need to keep working on videos in the free time I do have.

I love my day job, and I don't think a busy knitting business is in the cards for me again.

On down the road, I'd like to make some CDs with video files on them (or DVDs - surely I could learn how to work with DVDs) and sell them at very reasonable prices wth a decent workbook.

For now, I just want to teach people to knit. Then I want them all to fall in love with the hobby and add to the general level of buzz and creativity around MK.

I have started writing the workbook for the beginner course, but haven't gotten too terribly far.

Gotta run - the shawl and shawl video is needing some Saturday morning work.

Inspiration - Lace Handknit Sweater

Isn't this pretty? I had to comment and ask what fiber she used:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What's Diana Working On?

Are you wondering why I'm "quiet?" Well, I am knitting a lace weight shawl in lace using the swirl idea (like the swirl baby blanket). I have simplified this so that there are only two passes with the lace carriage and 2 passes with the regular carriage, then an increase. I want it simple so everyone with a standard Brother and a lace carriage can make it. In fact, I'm using a small enough pattern repeat to work with punch card machines.

This is slow going for me because lace yarn is SO fine and I only have a little time each evening to knit. It takes more stitches and rows, and I need lots of light to pick up the tiny edge stitches. I probably won't do this again - I'll use a fingering-sock-2/12 weight instead and have a bigger shawl, still gorgeous, in less time. The technique will be just the same, though, and this makes such a big impact for an easy technique. It just takes patience, and you have to be very gentle with the lace weight yarn so it doesn't break.

You can make lace shawls every bit as beautiful as the handknitters do, and they often knit for months to get one done.

After I get the shawl triangles done I will film the edging and photograph the finished project. Maybe tonight I'll get a photo to put up of the current state of the project.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Inspiration - Adorable Doggie Sweater

So cute! And so is the little dog:

I also have a cute little dog who likes to take walks, no matter how cold it is. Yes, we actually do get cold days in Central Texas. Well, this little number wouldn't take much yarn at all, and isn't it cute!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Child's Warm Hat - My Pile, So Far

Once I got the pattern figured out and the video filmed, edited and uploaded, I kept on knitting kids' hats through the weekend.

I had a lot of odd balls of sock yarn, much of which has been sitting around a while. It was fun to knit these up and see how they'd look in all the different sock yarns.

Pictured: two of my favorites in a close-up, and then the whole crowd. These hats are big enough for a middle-school child. I tried a few smaller ones and then decided to go a little bigger.

I still need to sew the side seams on over half of them. Here's the collection so far - I say so far because there are still two full plastic shoeboxes with little balls of leftover sock yarn.

Just for Smiles - Video from Mason Dixon Knitting

Y'all enjoy...

Who says we knitters don't have our little secrets, our dramas, our love triangles?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

New Video - Warm Child's Hat

A project for those little cold ears. I am using wool sock yarn for this one. Each hat takes about 40 grams. If you don't have enough of one color, well, do stripes! Use any standard machine with ribber:

My hope is you'll knit some warm wool hats for the Nepal project described at Crossroads Knits. She's collecting the knitted goods and getting them over to the charitable agency:

Cute Baby Knits

How does she get so much cute handknitting done? Check these out:

Friday, November 6, 2009

Answers to Questions on Swirl Baby Blanket

1. Quantity of yarn - I used one skein of light and one skein of dark pink for the blanket, plus a good chunk of a third skein for the edging. Five skeins would make two blankets. Not much yarn for a generously sized baby blanket. (Yarn goes farther when you knit. I remember when I had the yarn shop and we were crocheting afghans, a number of our decent sized crocheted afghans took 3 pounds of yarn!)

2. The blue blanket in worsted was 50 stitches at the wide end for each triangle. The pink, sport weight one, 60 stitches at the wide end for each triangle. I've been thinking about doing a fingering weight scrappy blanket on the standard machine, and I will need more stitches for that thinner stuff.

3. When I describe picking up the second triangle, yes, one needle is empty and pick up one bar on each of the other 59 needles. What I was trying to say there (and not succeeding) is that all together, there are 60 needles. What matters the most is that you do each triangle with the same number of stitches and rows.

4. You could certainly have a nice circle with 9 triangles. However, that won't let you alternate 2 colors. It might be nifty with 3 colors, though.

5. Most round baby blankets seem to be short-row jobs. On this project, I actually may have come up with something we haven't seen before, but machine knitting's been around a long time with a lot of talented people coming up with ideas all the time. When I had the idea, poor John couldn't even get me to talk to him. I had to knit it RIGHT NOW and see how it worked out.

More swirl ideas have been hatching all this week, and Saturday I will have a chance to try some of them out.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Heartbreak at Fort Hood - Mentally Ill or Evil?

Ft. Hood is not far at all from where I live. I grew up on military bases, and am tremendously grateful to our soldiers. My thoughts and prayers are with them and their families.

In the aftermath of his killing spree, it seems awfully twisted to speculate that Dr. Hassan "snapped" or was "stressed" or had "mental illness," and as a result, killed all those people. If the media's going to speculate at all for the sake of rolling a good story and pulling in viewers, why not examine his many previous comments and behaviors realistically? It appears he planned the crime. He said many worrisome things, such as comparing a suicide bomber to a soldier who saves lives by covering a grenade, he discussed the murder of Infidels at a medical meeting, and he pushed his Islamic radical views on co-workers and patients. Oh! Did I mention his religion? I must not be politically correct. If a non-Muslim did this, say a Christian or a Jew, his religious faith would be fair game. The "terrorist" word would be trotted out by now.

The reporters are yammering about the guy's mental health and spinning like tops to avoid discussing his other issues.

All this pointing at mental illness seems shockingly unfair to people with actual mental illness!

I worked at a mental health non-profit for several years, and the professionals there told me that:

1. People with serious mental illness, and their families, suffer terribly.

2. Many people do not seek treatment and do not receive available relief because of societal stigmatization of mental illness.

3. The vast, vast majority of people with mental illnesses do not commit acts of violence.

4. Millions of people with mental illness live loving, productive lives, requiring on their part considerable struggle and courage.

Let's make a strong distinction, please, between "ill" and "evil." Let's not be soooo politically correct that we compare murder and mental illness in the same breath.

America has been good to Dr. Hassan. I don't know what his life would have been like in Palestine, but in America, he had a free education - including free medical school, fully paid by Uncle Sam. He lived in beautiful parts of the country, and he worshipped freely. He was a Major, a high rank in the U. S. Army, with great pay and benefits. We have an amazing, generous, free and tolerant people, and he ought to have been loyal to his country and fellow soldiers.

Americans are generally a fair people, and we know hooey when we hear it. We know that for every radicalized hater, there are a million other people of minority backgrounds who want to worship, live and prosper in peace. We must protect all our people from killers, their manipulators and apologists.

Swirl Round Baby Blanket Videos

Swirl Baby Blanket Part 1 of 3:

Swirl Baby Blanket Part 2 of 3:

Swirl Baby Blanket Part 3 of 3:

Newest Video Project - Circular Swirl Baby Blanket

I have completed the videos for a new project.

I call this the Circular Swirl Baby Blanket. I've made it twice so far, once using a light-weight worsted yarn in a light denim blue, and the second time, using two shades of pink.

This can be made on any flatbed knitting machine. It's all main bed; no ribber required.

I needed a very "girlie" blanket for a co-worker's new baby daughter, and I went to the store looking for whatever color combination struck me. I loved this, but it didn't photograph as well as I hoped. On the videos, in particular, it bounces too much light. Go figure, I can get a glare from yarn that's worse than the glare issues off metal needles!

Anyway, the pink version took a little more than two balls (you'll need part of a third ball for the edging) of sport-weight Bernat Coordinates yarn. It's in 5-1/2 ounce skeins.

Here is a detail of the seaming between triangles. You do not have to sew ten triangles together! The pieces of the pie are put together with a sew-as-you-go technique.

I would characterize the project as a beginner difficulty project. The videos are detailed, as usual, and there are three videos. The first video shows how to do the first triangle; the second, how to do the second triangle, joining one edge as you go. The third through ninth triangles are knitted just like the second triangle. The tenth triangle joins the first and ninth triangles as you knit, so the whole circle is knitted. A "worm" edging going on after that. You will need an afternoon to get it all knitted and edged. Finishing entails gathering up the center, hiding all the ends, and a very light steaming.

This pinwheel closeup is the center of the blanket. When I do something that entails gathering up a circle of stitches, I like to go through them with the needle two or even three times, pulling the yarn up tightly. This center isn't going to open up easily.

The other thing about the blanket videos that you might get a kick out of is that I used a "worm" edging. This is a very easy and popular edging, and if you've never done it, you should try it.

The "worm" edging is on the third video, along with a little finishing information.

I will upload the videos this evening.

Please help - knit for cold children in Nepal


Sunday, November 1, 2009

John and I went to Wurstfest in New Braunfels. We had never been to a Wurstfest before, although our son has been telling us how much fun it is. German people settled much of this area and this is a family event.

We enjoyed a spectularly pretty day in New Braunfels, Texas, with the sun shining, the sky clear, and temperatures in the 70s.
Here is a view of the Guadalupe River, taken from just inside the entrance gate to the festival.

The concessions are operated by local groups to benefit local efforts, like Little League, Rotary, Optimists, and high school clubs. There are places selling bratwurst, sauerkraut, beer, german chocolate pie, cheesecake, ice cream, funnel cakes, deli sandwiches, crafts, crazy hats, roasted nuts, clothing, Christmas ornaments, beer steins, and I forget what else.

There's a quiet little beer house at Wurstfest, near the beergarten, which contains an amazing beer bottle collection. The last picture here is just a small fraction of the collection.

We saw a lot of adults, even old guys, in lederhosen and folk clothing. Tyrolean hats abounded, but I also saw lots of zany novelty hats, my favorite being the lady's helmet with horns and blonde braids being worn by manly men.

In addition, there was a big crafts fair, heavy on the lederhosen and folk clothing, woodworked and hand painted items. There's a railroad museum, but we didn't make it over there.

There were rides for kids, and lots of children there. There were big tents and rooms with oom-pah bands. The bands were quite talented and polished, good enough to draw crowds who weren't eating or drinking, just listening, even though it's not every day one hears accordion music and yodelling! There was an awful lot of chicken dancing going on, the crowd just generally having fun.