Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Space City Knitters Seminar

I'm doing a seminar in Houston in August!  And, yes, I'm still doing one near Dallas-Ft. Worth airport in November.

I don't have all the details yet, but watch this space for more information.  The Space City Knitters are polling to see what they which of my demonstrations they want me to do.  It's two days, a Friday and a Saturday, and you don't have to belong to Space City Knitters to register.

Inspiration over at My Brother and I

Wow, look at the pictures and read the story on this beautiful sweater's very nice neckband!  Some sweater serendipity here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Inspiration Over at Knit Flix - Baby Sweater

Very interesting hand knit baby sweater over at Knit Flix.  I've done something like this using a ribber to knit the L-shaped rows...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Inspiration over at Trico y Maquina

Really cute baby hat and socks over at Trico y Maquina.  I love Irma's blog, and between the excellent photography and charts and Google Translate (it's in Portugese), it's a joy to follow.

So, I'd love to see the "recipe," (isn't it funny what Google translate does with knitting words?) but I can't get the link to go.
Update:  Sylvia, thanks!  Here's the link to the "recipe."  I like the hat seams even better with these photos to look at.

Inspiration - Lovely Shawl at Smoking Hot Needles

Lovely Shawl over at Smoking Hot Needles. Click the link to see the picture - you don't want to miss this!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Enchanted Forest Lace Scarf

For the upcoming lace book, I wanted to put in one larger electronic pattern, both to spark the imagination and add value to the book.  I decided to modify my scalloped edge lace scarf to make it wider for a lace-weight yarn.

This very lightweight alpaca blend from Webs, in a rich forest green, was easy to machine knit.  It comes coned.  The hand is marvelous.  I adapted a lace pattern from Stitch World to do the automatic edge decreases for a scallop (instead of the tedious add and take-away method).

You could do this one either way.  If you want automatic edges, though, you're going to need a special pattern for exactly the right width.  I would have to alter the stitch pattern if I wanted it wider or narrower.

The scarf is 6 feet long and only 5-1/2 ounces; so very delicate.  I knitted on tension 6 for 675 rows, and kept moving weights up.  It's just a little harder to knit the very thin yarn through after lace transfers, and weights help.   This multiple transfer lace takes up to eight passes with the lace carriage before the main carriage, so by doing about 100 rows in a session, it took a few days.

The finished scarf looks pretty good after just a steaming, but I might pin it out damp for more pronounced edges.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Machine Knit Lace Enchanted Edgings

This Enchanted Edging, Magic Spell, has automatic gathers.

It is so stretchy that you can steam it into a tight curve or a slow curve.  I blocked this sample into a tight curve, and when it's stretched out, it makes a round ruffle.

I love round ruffles - they have less bulk at the gathered side and they drape gracefully.

Imagine this one at the bottom of a sleeve, or a skirt, or even as a lace collar or yoke.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Machine Knitted Enchanted Edging - Unicorn's Bridle

This one is my pet unicorn's fave.  She's bugging me for a rainbow-colored one to go with her mane.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Machine Knitted Enchanted Edgings - Tiara

I named this one Tiara.

You can use the beading row along the straight edge to do gathers.  Run a ribbon or an i-cord through it.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Machine Knitted Enchanged Edging - Sea Serpent

Do you think my edging names are lame?  Please send suggestions....

Both edges on this one are rolled, but the rolling reduces the scallop on the fancy edge.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Newest edging:  Magic Fans.  This one is a real speed demon.

Yet another 24-stitch edging.  This will work on a Brother punch card or electronic machine.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Enchanted Edging - Little Princess

Wouldn't this be pretty around a little princess' favorite blankie?

I used that favorite, double-beaded rolled edge.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Knit Natters Meeting Saturday

Knit Natters met Saturday afternoon.  It was a small group - we had some unable to come because of work and other obligations.  Barbara, Mildred, Dolores and I were there.

I showed the lace socks that I photographed for the blog yesterday morning.  Barbara had a really interesting Passap demo.  She had been trying to find a good use for a crimped dress yarn, and one sample after another was a disappointment.  She lit on the idea of making crisp pleats using the double bed, and had knitted some samples - a box pleat and a one-way pleat.  Barbara killed one of the samples, that is, she steamed all life out of it, and it was really nice killed.  It had a crisp, slinky drape.  She's going to knit some pleated skirts, and fortunately, the yarn is in good colors for pleated skirts - dark royal, red, and black.

Mildred Beeson has been sewing and crocheting like crazy for the senior center, and we didn't get to see the results, as they're all over at the center.  One of the things she did was a big outdoor setee cushion with a set-in zipper in a cover made of leftover vinyl tablecloth.  Mildred's son cut a 4" foam mattress with an electric knife to size, and then Mildred built the cover.  Mildred, in her mid-90s, is an amazing person.

Barbara's been knitting for the troops, and Mildred's been sewing for them.

Another thing Barbara showed us was her terrific porcelain mold acquisition.  Barbara makes porcelain dolls, and she knows somebody who knew somebody - bottom line, she's been able to get a lot of new molds for very large dolls.

Enchanted Edging - King's Crown

King's Crown.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Enchanted Edging - Into the Woods

Have you seen the fairy tale musical spoof, "Into the Woods?"  I decided to name this leaf edging after that.

What I'm Up To & Photo of My Own Foot

Knit Natters meets today, and I need a demo.  I already showed them the lace edgings technique, and I wanted something new. 

Nothing motivates me to keep learning and trying new things like belonging to a knit club.  Plus, they are the most wonderful ladies!

So, here is a sock that's been living in my head for a while now: a lace sock for flatbed machine knitters with an interesting (easier than it looks) construction method.  I was "up before breakfast" as my mother used to say, and got this baby figured out and this first sample knitted before coffee (the real thinking happened in the wee hours). 

This is my prototype, first attempt, and the cuff is a little short, but that's easily fixed.  And yikes, I took the picture myself, rather a contortion.  We machine knitters really are odd people, photographing our own feet.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Enchanted Edgings - Check Out Back Side

Here are some photos showing the straight, rolled edges of the enchanted edgings.

The last one is rolled along both edges - but the rolling makes the scallops less noticeable.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Enchanted Edging - Fairy Godmother's Lace

This lace edge is a fancy thing, appropriate for a very special project, or maybe to wear to the ball.

This is yet another edge that is only 24 stitches wide, so it could be done with a Brother punch card machine with lace capability.

Time in a Bottle

"...there never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do once you find them..."

A while back, I photographed all the lace edges I had so far and scheduled them out about as one a day blog posts for the next couple weeks.  We're partway through the photo blog entries now.  I promise, there are some Good Ones still to come.

Got the basic video all planned.  First, I show the scalloped lace technique, then show my old way of knitting it, then show the new method.  Hopefully that can be done in ten minutes for YouTube.

For the disk with the book, I also include a few other practical techniques related to the subject.   No 10-minute limit on that!  That DVD disk also has to contain all the electronic files for the edgings.  I realize you can record video and files on the same disk.  But have I done something like that before?  Noooooo...

John and I talk about a disk without a book, or a download, but I've purchased those before, and always find myself printing them out.  I like to have paper next to the machine, and I bet other people are the same way.  Therefore, a book plus a video seems best to me.

Got the book planned.  Got the disk planned.  Got it done?  Noooooo.....and I've got a very busy June planned, much of which is Not Knitting Related.

Well, if it has to take forever, so be it. I'll shoot for a quality product.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Enchanted Edging Far, Far Away

Far, Far Away reminds me of rolling hills.  It's a multiple-transfer lace edge with a rolled straight side and a double-bead which lies quite flat.   

Easy, easy, but extra carriage moves to get that multiple-transfer detail.

Monday, June 7, 2010

I named this one Fairy Tale, and it's a favorite.

It's a bit dimensional, has a great rolled straight edge and a lovely double-bead on the straight edge.  It's simple to knit, but would really add wow factor to a project.

Rapunzel's Braid Enchanted Edging

Well, it has a kind of braided look.  I always loved Rapunzel.  I saw some TV version of the story as a kid, and she had yards and yards of shiny, thick blonde braided hair...a braid almost too fat for your hand.

Mmm, now that I think about it, the whole story really is sick.  Nobody would write Rapunzel for today's children!  Let's see, it involves child kidnapping, raising a child as an isolated prisoner, and running off with some strange guy in defiance of the adult authority figure.

But you all can understand, I was into how pretty she was and how beautiful her long, long hair was!  The prince was a cutie, too, as I recall.

This is just 24 stitches again.  I'm planning to include a few that require electronics and are wider, but the vast majority of the edgings are  24-stitch ones!

This one is multiple transfer lace, requiring 6 passes of the lace carriage - and if I didn't have the main carriage selecting as well, it would require eight passes.

I picking up speed on the Enchanted Edgings!  I had computer problems over the past month, but now I have my computer working at home, and my video editor working (put the new YouTube up yesterday), so there's forward motion again.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Kris Krafter Garter Bar Review

By the time I got the video down to ten minutes, I trimmed away an awful lot.  There is a lot more to say about this product, so here it is:

  • I am not affiliated with Kris.  If she decides at some future date to wholesale these, I like them well enough that I would like to sell them.  I did what's basically an "infomercial" for the item because I am so pleased that she's manufacturing something we need for machine knitting and doing a good job, as well.
  • The one I use in the video is a bulky, but Kris makes a mid-gauge one as well.  She's even going to add a 7 mm midgauge to her 6.5. 
  • Mid-gauge garter bars are RARE.  Frankly, if I had a 6.5 or 7 mm, I'd get one asap.  
  • The price is very good.  You can check the price and other details at Kris' website.
  • The garter bars do not come with a stopper.  Kris is looking into manufacturing a stopper separately.  If she does, I want one!
  • I found that I could catch the stitch from the row below when I was rehanging the work after a garter flip, which results in problems.  Please don't be discouraged if this happens to you.  Because with our old-style garter bars, we couldn't see and we put down the flipped stitches just by feel, we all got in the habit of pressing down hard and scraping along to put the stitches on the needles.  With this one, you do not have to press down like that!  With a little practice, this problem goes away.  It helps me to keep the garter bar horizontal when I'm putting the stitches down.
  • If you do catch the stitch from the row below, drop it off the needle and fix it manually.  Again, no worries - this problem goes away with practice.
  • The bars are light, well-made, and polished so you won't cut a finger on a rough edge.
I think every MKer should have a garter bar and then practice until it's second nature!  The only reason we aren't all using them frequently is the instructions that came with them were difficult and skimpy.  That's why I made all those video lessons.

You can do all these techniques with your garter bar:
  • Hold and move stitches without waste yarn
  • Decrease evenly across a row - or even gather
  • Increase evenly across a row
  • Make garter stitch or Quaker stitch
  • Turn cables, even fancy ones!
  • Do programmed lace using the machine's pattern device to pick out needles
  • Park stitches on the GB to divide for a neckline
  • Move only the selected stitches
  • Transfer stitches from the ribber to the main bed
  • Vertical weaving
  • Rip stitches fast
Look down the left-hand margin of this blog and see the garter bar free video lessons, and also the hi-def DVD Garter Bar course that I sell.  You'll be surprised at all the slick techniques a garter bar can do!

Answers to Questions About Lace Edgings

Yep, there will be a video and a book.  They edgings are all made about the same way, so the video will be pretty simple.  There will also need to be .pat and .stp files for DAK users and pictures for card punchers.  I am also hoping to figure out the Brother Disk Drive emulator so I can put up those kind of files for electronic owners without DAK.

Yes, these really are simple to do.

Mmm, can I tell you when?  I don't know exactly, but I am not finished.  There is just a little more I want to do in the way of design - in fact, I cooked up another pretty one today - before I can put the materials together.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Another Enchanted Edging - Eye of Newt

Hey, you need a villain to move a story along, and every wicked witch has her potions.  Here is Eye of Newt.

This one has a rolled straight edge.  It knits up FAST!

Inspiration Over at My Brother and I

  Check out this beautiful, beautiful MK project.  Great going, Jemajo!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Another Enchanted Edging - Dragon Breath

I named this one Dragon Breath.

It's either flames or wishbones, and in view of the fairy take theme, let's go with flames.

I love multiple transfer lace - the way it bends the knitting, the waving lines and shapes it forms.  This one  takes several passes of the lace carriage.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Another Enchanted Edging - A Chevron

Help, somebody come up with a better name than Chevron!  I need a magical fairy tale name for this one.

Most of my edgings have a row of holes along the straight edge so you can thread an i-cord or a ribbon through.  I don't know, I just like it that way.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Another Enchanted Edging

This one is made as a straight edging, but has a built-in "ladder" along the left-hand side that you can latch up so it'll go around curves.

If you latch it two loops at a time, it gathers a little.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Enchanted Edging

Here's an edging, named Happy Ever After.

Got a fairy tale theme going here...