Saturday, May 29, 2010


I have the garter bar review filmed, but gosh, it's almost 20 minutes.  I am going to trim ruthlessly, in an effort to fit the YouTube limit, and then write a more extensive written review.  Here's the executive summary: Her stainless steel garter bars do not come with a brass stopper, but otherwise, they are awesome.  You can cut a matboard stopper.  Admittedly, there are a very few techniques where you'll wish you had a brass stopper to hold the needles rigidly against sideways movement, but for most tasks, you probably won't care.  If you have a 6.5 mm mid-gauge, here's your big chance to get a reasonably priced garter bar!  I doubt if you will ever find the old-timey kind for your midgauge.

Kris took quite a risk, manufacturing new garter bars, and she'd done a quality job.  Let's support our small knitting machine businesses when we can.

Want to learn more tricks than you can imagine with a garter bar?  Check out my Garter Bar Course DVDs,

Our younger son Steven is home from Texas A&M for the summer, and working at Lifetime Fitness again as a climbing wall instructor.  (Picture a lanky climbing kid with shaggy blonde hair.)  He got a job, which is difficult this summer!  What's more, he studied hard, pulled straight As, and is happy about his transfer to A&M and his switch to genetics.  He practices guitar for hours, noising up the house with exciting sounds like scales and repetitions of song phrases he doesn't think are quite right yet.  We don't mind at all.  He gave up a huge scholarship to change schools, and having done so well his first semester there, we learned yesterday that A&M has awarded him a small scholarship.

Today is a graduation party for the sweet little Allyce, three doors down.  This is bittersweet - she's going away to college and her parents happen to be moving to another city.  We're gonna miss them.

I finish being immediate past president of the Austin CPA chapter on June 1, which frees up a little time to do something different.  I won't stop being involved, though.  I am helping teach a nonprofit seminar on June 11, which is free for local nonprofit boards and staff.  There was a horrible nonprofit scandal in Austin a while back, and we don't want people to be afraid to volunteer.  Instead, we want them to know how to govern their organization's money.

I am writing the book for the Dallas-Ft. Worth machine knitting seminar in November, very slowly.  This may be my best book so far, but the you have to attend to get one.  The reason for that assertion:  the DFW gals asked for a wide assortment of techniques, and I'm including enough written directions so they can practice after class is all over, including some projects.  Want to attend?  It's near the Dallas-Ft. Worth airport, first weekend in November.  Read more here.

It's been busy season at work, and it isn't over yet.  My life as as electronic knitting teacher has been very gratifying lately, with orders to fill and lots of emailed knitting questions.  As I search out ways to get more done, we finally ordered a DVD duplicator machine that we can feed the really good (expensive) DVDs.  It'll run by itself and make our DVD copies, eliminating doing them one by one on the computer or sending them out with uncertain quality results, fees, postage, and delays.  We're going the light scribe route, in which disk labels are burned right into them, just in case stick-on labels give some players a problem.

I had too much on my schedule and couldn't work on my beloved lace project for a week or two. So far, I have over 20 new "enchanted" lace edgings, all 24-stitch ones which can be done on either a punch card or electronic standard Brother, but I wanted to put in a couple of bigger lacy things for the lucky folks with one of the electronic models, and haven't gotten that done yet.  Only the best make it in the book.  These edges are almost magic, but hey, "enchanted" sounds better than "almost magic."

Because of my commitment to beginners, I teach a lot of things that can be done on the older, less expensive and less complicated models.  As they say at the University of Texas here in Austin, HOOK 'EM.  If you stick with your knitting machine, you will be hooked, and your friends, family, and charity projects will get the bounty.

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