Thursday, December 31, 2015

Nedelina's Dressed-Up Circular Baby Blanket

Check out Nedelina's Circular Swirl Baby Blanket variation.  She's added some cute crocheted flowers in the center. I really like it.  She only has six sections, so perhaps she changed the numbers to make this work.  Or, maybe the knitting, which is so stretchy sideways, simply stretches this way.

The YouTube video for my blanket pattern:

Best Posts of 2015

Happy New Year's Eve!  All is well at this house, where we are enjoying a few days off.  John and Steven worked on a cool muscle car all day yesterday, and I knitted in the nice, warm knitting room.  Then we went to our favorite restaurant for dinner.  The car is a long way from finished, so Steven stayed the night and they're going at it again today.

I am very blessed to have this social outlet for my machine knitting obsession, and this was a fun year!  Not only did we go on marvelous jaunts to seminars, I persisted in putting up a video each month, which is a great motivational kick in my pants.  Some of them were very useful to readers, and some were just ho-hummy things.  Selfishly, I won't go into the so-so stuff, but I'll point out the good ones, and mention a couple of other favorite things I found on the web:

I started the year with a video showing how to give your machines a quick clean and oil.  Guess what?  You probably need to do it again...after every project would be good.  Once a month would be good.  It only takes a few minutes!  How about NOW?

In the spring of 2015, when I finally finished "Finishing School," I felt "finished."  This was my most difficult project to date, taking me nine months and turning my knitting workroom into a giant heap of chunky samples and my video editing computer into a vast wasteland of outtakes.  I wanted it to have a very large amount of information on how to do excellent project assembly, to be meticulously detailed and comprehensible, and to make it MINE.  I showed the ways that I do things, which is very often not at all the way other people do things.  What I discovered in the actual process was the relentless need to redo sections to make them clear and to struggle to find better ways to explain how the grafts and seams work.  Being able to do it is not the same as being about to explain it!  The final result was about 4 hours of video (it could have been 20 hours, but who would want that?), more of a reference work than a course. The feedback from knitters has been wonderful.

In June, I linked to another blog that had an explanation of my favorite provisional cast-on.  I use this all the time!  It's great for hand or machine knitting:

In October, the video I put up (seashell stitch, above) was very popular.  This is a very unusual stitch pattern, do-able on almost any flatbed machine, and after you knit it a while, has a rhythm and becomes habit-forming.

September's video, the Slant Lace Circle Scarf, is another don't miss item.  If you haven't played with this stitch, you ought to give it a try.  It biases tremendously, and that's the whole point.  You end up with a trapezoid shape, and self-striping yarn gives you bias stripes.  I made several of these scarves, and always get comments when I wear them.  One of my scarves was made with a goofy assortment of small leftovers from socks.  Oftentimes, scrappy projects just look junky and overly busy, like alphabet soup, to me, but that was one of the best uses I've found to this particular common leftover (my women's medium socks never take a whole ball.  Good sock yarn is lovely, a bit expensive, and just too good to waste).

Well - this was a little nothing of a video, just a quick edging, but folks loved it - an anti-roll edging.  I play around with edgings quite a bit, and my first clue that this was a really good one was when my local knit club liked it so much.

Tom updated his whitening formula for yellowed plastic:  I haven't tried it yet, but Tom says it works even better!  It has less ingredients and looks like it would be easier to do.  I used his original formula just once and was astonished at how much better the vintage machine we treated looked.

Tomorrow - a sneak peek at the videos for 2016!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Have You Seen One of These?

Look at this vintage toy knitting machine over at Yet Another Canadian Artisan:

I remember these being advertised in the 1960s.  I didn't have one...but wanted one, of course.  Somehow knitting has just always fascinated me.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Fascinating Information at Marzipan

Mar has knitted some very cute photo pillows, and she's explained how she did it - with something called Gimp and Design-A-Knit.  Go have a look!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Inspiration at Knitting Up A Storm

Every time I start to think that knitted gifts aren't all that cool, I do a bit of shopping and am surprised at how many beautiful items are featured in the stores during the holiday season.

These hand-knit fair isle gift hats are really cute:

If you read the article, you'll see how very long these took to knit.  But we're machine knitters, right?  One option would be to machine knit most of the hat (and save lots of time), and then take it off and hand knit the shaped crown.  Why not learn to shape a crown with the garter bar?  Check out how it's done in the golf club cover videos:

This all works best if you can sew a really nice mattress stitch seam.  Or, you can make seamless hats with the self-patterning "fair isle" yarn, providing you have a ribbing attachment.  See the Tom's Troop Cap videos:

Sunday, December 6, 2015

December Videp - Lace Oranment Project

Oh, I know y'all are busy in December!  Why, it's nearly madness, the way we run around, and then we wonder why we haven't much holiday spirit left.  My blogging is almost nonexistent lately, with all the appointments and obligations I've had.

Even if you don't have a lot of time, how about treating yourself to a knitting session and making some fun ornaments? 

You can do this on a Brother electronic. Rather than go through all the business of starching the lace ornament and having it hollow, I just covered plain, shiny red balls.  They don't take very long, and I plan to demonstrate this next weekend at the Knit Natters holiday meeting.

This particular lace fascinates me, because it has double-sized holes - they're two stitches wide!  It's very unusual, and it gathers up for an interesting look on top of a Christmas ball.  In the YouTube face photo, I'm sewing the lace ornament cover off to gather the top.