Saturday, May 16, 2015

FB 100 Parts

The FB100 disk drive for Brother electronic machines was a very popular way to purchase or store stitch patterns.  Unfortunately, a great many of these are broken now.

John was interested in trying to fix mine plus two of my friend's disk drives, and knitters saw my appeal on the internet and sent us all kinds of useful information.  The most common reason for these to break down is that the belt (which looks like a rubber band to me) gets stretched out and worn out. 

This photo is simply two FB100 belts - my old, stretched one on the outside, obviously much too big and loose to do any good on the disk drive, and a new one that John purchased from Russell Industries (again, thanks to a tip from helpful knitters), which is much smaller.  Five belts cost about $30, including shipping.

Now, he's figuring out how to take the thing apart and replace the belt.  Then, we'll test the drive.  Fingers and toes crossed!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Notice to Beginners: You Can Get Started Learning Machine Knitting for Free

Here's how to start machine knitting - and learn to make very nice things:  Watch a beginner lesson, work a lesson each day, and in a little over a month, you have learned to machine knit quite competently on any Japanese main bed.  It doesn't go into fancy patterning but emphasizes the all-important basics.  The lessons even finish with a child's raglan in both standard and bulky gauges, so you can learn the techniques for an actual garment.

If you want to master something FAST, do a little practice every day.

At the end of that course, you're probably "hooked."  You made a nice sweater in a fraction of the time it would have taken to hand knit it, and you probably made a better sweater than you thought was possible, if you followed the finishing instructions carefully.  Now, there's a world of options available, for instance, my ribber course, other teaching materials from plenty of knitters, free on YouTube, there's this blog and other folks' blogs, there are unbelievably awesome local groups, and there are lots of great instructional materials available for sale at reasonable prices (and from lots of people besides me)!

The beginner course is over here:

After I did these, folks asked for a DVD and high-definition lessons.  I bought the equipment and did that, but what I left on YouTube was these freebies, which were done with an old analog camcorder.  The old freebies are absolutely the same content, but lower quality picture, sound, and editing, as well, since I was a newbie.  Should I replace them?  I don't know; I certainly have sentimental feelings about them, because they led to my whole book, DVD and seminar business and meeting so many terrific knitters in the last few years.

The beginner course DVDs, and a bunch of other products, are available at  All the products that are for sale are high-definition and you can play them on your big screen TV, if you really want to see everything in giant detail. 

But what if you're just curious about machine knitting?  Go watch the freebies.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Inspiration at Ozlorna's Blog

Congratulations to Ozlorna on the arrival of her lovely SK155, which traveled all the way from California to Oz!  Check out the beautiful sweater she has already knitted on it:

She's an expert I'd love to meet someday!

Oops - link fixed!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Great Shawl at Marg's Knitting Place

Check out Marg's shawl, and note that she used my recently-uploaded YouTube lesson on a diagonal anti-roll edge.  It certainly worked out well on this lovely lacy shawl.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Inspiration at Rett Og Vrang

Look at these lovely fingerless gloves that Synnove made!

I know a very cool way to do this color technique.  Hmm, adding it to my video list.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

New Video for May - Latch Tool Cast-On Trim

Before I introduce this video, let me mention that I'm teaching at the San Francisco Bay Area Machine Knitting Guild next Friday and Saturday.  I'm excited because I've redone and refreshed my curriculum, and also because I've heard such terrific things about this MK group.

Email me (link on the left-hand side of this blog, just scroll down) if you are in that area and want more information.

Now, for May's video, here's a flat, sturdy (not stretchy), thick edge that I think looks quite elegant.  It's easy to do.  You can put this at the beginning or the end of a piece.