Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Special, While They Last

Do you wish you could have made it to the Space City Knitters seminar?  Yup, it's not easy to drop your life and travel to a knit seminar.

While I can't bottle the camaraderie and laughter, I do have a few Houston books left.  These are very nice little books, spiral bound, 22 pages, and stuffed with machine knitting demos, notes, tips, and techniques.

Contents:  fast utility cast on, free pass, a couple pet bind-offs, fast V-neck kids' raglan, circular baby blanket, idiot cord edging, sew-as-you-go cap sleeve, crocheting to cast off, Kitchener Stitch, Duplicate Stitch, 7 garter bar demos, 7 ribber demos, 2 scalloped lace demos, mirror image lace, single bed sock, thread lace, Norwegian baby bootie, sock techniques, Jaws, and 5 ribber trims.

Want one?  While they last, I'll send one free with any merchandise order at www.dianaknits.com or the "diana_natters" seller ID on eBay.

Inspiration - Baby Cardigan

The knitting machine: Baby Cardigan

Over at Trico y Maquina

Mystery of Self-Patterning Yarn Revealed

My Brother and I: Self -Patterning Sheep

Inspiration - Machine Knitted Felted Jacket

Over at the wonderful Norwegian blog, "Right and Wrong," check out this great felted jacket:

Monday, August 30, 2010

Space City Knitters Seminar - What Fun We Had!

Hey, we had a great seminar in Houston!  Time to blog about some highlights.  I didn't get very many pictures, but in this photo, I was taking a break and letting the knitters who wanted to try, practice flippin' the knittin' with the garter bar. We're crowded around, watching, and I'm in the pink with the water bottle.

We did run video for hours...I'll have to see what's on that recording.

Just look what a wonderful facility the Webster Civic Center is, with lots of space, light, tables and chairs.  

The Houston knitters are a complete hoot!  They are so funny, teasing each other and cutting up, and such thoroughly nice people.

Diana Earns a Patch!  One big highlight of the weekend for me was receiving my very own embroidered Space City Knitters nametag!  Marlene must have sat up late getting these gorgeous embroidered patches done for us - Barbara got one, too!   It's better than jewelry, but that's my bias talking - what's more appealing that a cone of yarn?  Looks like a space capsule, doesn't it?

Friday night, they took us to dinner at Landry's at Kemah Boardwalk.  We watched the boats as we ate a marvelous seafood meal and then walked all around the shops and amusement park.  What a lovely evening.  We stayed at a comfy hotel, as did several of the knitters, very near Johnson Space Center.  Barbara and Carl Deike came along and worked their hearts out helping me make this seminar work, my heroes.  Barbara cashiered for me and sold my stuff enthusiastically, even figured out how to work our brand-new internet-based merchant credit card account.  Carl and John went off and purchased a printer I need for the knitting biz.  It's a beast, and with it in the trunk, our old Caddy rode a little lower the rest of the weekend!

I was treated like royalty, and the Space City knitters taught me so much.  Barbara and I extended them a heartfelt, standing invitation to attend Knit Natters, and we can't wait for the rest of our knittin' buds to meet these marvelous ladies.  .

Now, about the knitting - here's what we did.  I was determined to give a very content-rich seminar.

Everyone got a copy of a spiral-bound book with instructions for the demos.  We knew we couldn't do every demo in the book, but we did do most of them.  I was trying to get as much done as possible, and the second day, Barbara laid down the law and got me to schedule some breaks!  Our curriculum was based on their survey of what they'd like to do:  fast cast-on, free pass, hand knitting-look cast-offs, shaping the V-neck raglan, circular swirl baby blanket, idiot cord edging, cap sleeve sew-as-you-go, kitchener stitch and duplicate stitch (we handed out samples and needles and everybody sewed), garter bar overview, quaker stitch, garter stitch, decreasing and increasing with GB, moving only desired stitches.  I spent some time explaining where to find a bunch of patterns and internet resources. Whew. It was time to go out and party.

Day two - ribber cast-ons (circular and e-wrap), ribber cast-offs, release stitch lace, quilted ribbing, mitered ribbing, Jaws tool, and several pretty ribbing trims for necks.  We started day two with a lace binge, the scalloped lace using Stitch World patterns and the auto-magic scalloped laces.  After that, footsie time with socks.  In mid-afternoon, most folks had to leave, all worn out or with other commitments, but a couple stayed to go over the Norwegian baby bootie.

Over the course of the seminar, John worked on five Passap E6000 consoles, replacing batteries and cleaning the contacts.  

Interesting Ruching at Art Machines

Art Machines: This is such drapirovochka!

Anybody know what that last word means? Anyway, I like this blog, even though Google Translate from Russian to English usually doesn't give me anything comprehensible. She has some great photos.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Look What I'm Up To

I'm working on some machine knitted lace things.  I am not exactly sure what the next book/pattern/whatever is, but isn't this an interesting hexagon motif?  I've been knitting doilies for years, but on this one I was thinking about shapes that could be pieced together to make big things, like maybe a terrific shawl, tablecloth, or pillow.

Kay from Space City Knitters: This Blog Entry is For You!

Good morning,

It's tired old Diana ready to head for church.  We had a fine trip home from Houston, stopping at K-Bob's Steakhouse in Brennan for a marvelous meal with my personal heroes, the Deikes, and then heading for home, where we met them and they helped us unload. What an amazing experience, doing this seminar in Houston!  I'll blog about it soon, I promise, once groceries are in the fridge and all that boring stuff is done.

Here's the scarf that Kay is hunting for -


This is the beautiful "wriggle lace" scarf I showed at seminar, which isn't in my books but is on the blog.  There is an "automatic" way to do it, but I can't put that up this morning.  Try the short-row method in the blog post for an interesting MK experience.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kris Basta is Selling Needle Stoppers Now

Remember Kris Basta's new, U.S. manufactured garter bars?  I reviewed her bulky version in this video, and I found it very satisfactory. 

The only thing that kept me from doing everything I do with my good old Japanese garter bars was the lack os a stopper. A garter bar "stopper" is a brace that makes the needles hold still while you're moving stitches.  Using your stopper makes the whole garter bar experience better.

Garter bars for certain machines have been rare, expensive, or non-existent.  Kris has mid-gauge and bulky garter bars - even 8 mm hobby machine garter bars!

Now Kris is also manufacturing stoppers!  She's got information at her website on this page:


Inspiration at Smoking Hot Needles: Lattice socks finally done!

Smoking Hot Needles: Lattice socks finally done!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Getting Ready for Houston Seminar - Final Lap

I'm teaching in Houston at the Space City Knitters August 27 and 28 (still room, if you want to go) and I'm finishing my preparations.  I figure that with really careful planning, the seminar will be a lot more valuable for the participants and fun for me.

I took the list of techniques the members voted on seeing and split them into two groups - the ones to do on the bulky machine and the ones to do on the standard machine.  Then I arranged them in "most requested" order and logical groups, then wrote the handouts, figuring we'll do as many bulky ones as possible on Friday and as many standard ones as we can on Saturday.  The handouts have a fair description of how to do each thing, and make a nice bound book that all participants receive.  Of course, I had to choose a sample lace edging and other sample patterns to include in the handouts.  I had a lot of fun drawing the kitchener and duplicate stitch diagrams...an artist, I'm not, but they turned out okay.


Can you guess how I did this artwork for my handouts?  Hint #1...it involves a computer...Hint #2...I'm an accountant.  NO!  I did NOT use Turbotax!

I'll send a book/DVD combo to the first person to guess correctly what software I used to do this drawing.  Email me at diana_knits *at* sbcglobal.net or guess in the comments.  If you win, I'm going to need you to email me your mailing address and your product choice.

I selling my books and videos at the seminar, and my wonderful friend helping cashier.  I hope she really enjoys the seminar.  John is coming and doing some Passap E6000 battery replacements for the Space City Knitters members.

I have to inventory and remember all the assorted tools and samples to take along.  I am still working on the small knitted squares for the Kitchener and duplicate stitch practice (I intend for everyone to be able to stitch her own sample, if she wants.)

The Panopticon: The Five Stages of Niebling

Yes, I hand knit doilies.  Anyone who does will get a kick out of this post over at The Panopticon:

The Panopticon: The Five Stages of Niebling

Thursday, August 12, 2010

All Kinds of Updates

I'm actually in Irving, Texas this morning on business and enjoying staying in a hotel.  I work for a Boy Scout Council, and am attending a terrific, practical class at the National Council offices.  Back home tomorrow.  John packed a book order for me last night - we keep on shipping every day!

eBay - I've been asked if I sell on eBay, and yes, I do.  I have two IDs - jsulliva has been our family ID for years and I am trying to establish diana_natters as an ID to keep knitting separate for cleaner bookkeeping.  I get a big kick out of shopping on eBay for all sorts of things, and it seems like a great way to get my books and DVDs seen, so there I am.  But you know, you can always go to www.dianaknits.com and see everything currently available. 

Houston Seminar is coming up VERY soon and they've got openings!  I have just finished the handout booklet, and it's going to be a terrific seminar (if I say so myself).  If we get through half the stuff in those books our brains will all be bulging, and I'm trying to put enough info in the books so folks can do things on their own later without too much note-taking.  Email me at diana_knits *at* sbcglobal.net  for more information.

Hats I'm knitting round tams.  When we were in Southern California, John's mom said she really uses the one I gave her some time back, so I'm knocking out some more.  I devised an automatic short-row and they have a pinwheel effect.  The techniques are filmed for hand-short-rowing but not edited yet.

Knit Natters meets this Saturday.  Pat Tittizer is demonstrating on the Japanese machines (geometric shapes for modular knitting, I think) and Barbara Deike is working on cut-and-sew using DAK.  I'm watching and learning, but I promised to do my tams later.

Monday, August 9, 2010

RHYTHM OF THE NEEDLES: Helping the Homeless

RHYTHM OF THE NEEDLES: Helping the Homeless

There are homeless people struggling through cold winters, and yes, you can help.  Here's another knitting blog collecting warm items for the homeless!  Let's knit.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Holding my breath about Enchanted Edgings

I have mailed a bunch of books and DVDs out, and many have been received by now.  I greatly anticipate people trying the technique.  Is it as cool as I think it is?  What are you making with it?

I think it would be terrific around the circular swirl blanket, for one idea.

I'm knitting tams.  Two made so far, and a simple video about 1/4 done.  It's a fun little project for almost any machine.  More later!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Inspiration: The knitting machine: Raglan DECORATED

The knitting machine: Raglan DECORATED

This is a nice machine knitted raglan with decorative decreases.

Restore the Color of Old Lego Bricks

Restore the Color of Old Lego Bricks

Why on earth am I putting this on my blog about machine knitting?  Well, ya know, all the plastic machines seem to yellow after a few years.  I personally don't do anything to try to make them look better, except a gentle cleaning.  I worry about possible damage to the plastic, of course.

Have you gotten the yellow off an old machine?  Do you think your method was safe?  How'd you do it?