Friday, March 18, 2011

All Kinds of Updates

Knit Natters

We didn't meet last weekend, so we're getting together in Pflugerville this weekend instead.  This is going to be a less-attended (based on responses so far) but good meeting.  I'm supposed to bring a dessert, so I'll bake cookies in the morning.

Rose is going to show us Studio lace, and she's bringing along supplies so we can explore Enchanted Edgings (the automatic lace I do) on the Studio after we meet. 

Greta is doing a Brother demo on the 970, I think fish scales.  Greta does beautiful work.  (Greta has fully conquered Enchanted Edgings on the 970 and has given me some suggestions for 970-izing those patterns.)

We're going to talk about holding an Austin seminar.

Colorado Machine Knitters Club Seminar

I'm doing a seminar in Broomfield, Colorado (a suburb of Denver) on April 30.  I'm excited, and I'm preparing.  I have written the seminar booklets, which are quite different from the previous ones, because the list of items the Colorado knitters asked for is a little different.  I plan to cover:

  • Circular Swirl Baby Blanket
  • Short-Rowed Set-In Sleeve
  • Decreasing Evenly Across a Row (with garter bar & math)
  • Increasing Evenly Across a Row (GB and math)
  • Knitting a Round Yoke
  • Scalloped Lace
  • Mirror Image Lace
  • Jacquard Variation: Plain on One Side, Pattern on the Other
  • Mitered Ribbing for Bands
  • Essential circular sock techniques (for flatbed machine with ribber)
In addition to the requested items, I've packed the book with extras, and I love the way it's turning out.  It's getting a critical read from folks I can trust now.

The Goldilocks Challenge Book

Yes!  Rewrites are over!  The videos are edited!  I'm in the duplication phase.  This is the cover picture, and the title plunks right on top of that blanket.  We couldn't get everything in one shot, but we certainly stuffed a lot of projects into one photo.

This project carried me along in completely unexpected directions, wearing me out, waking me up in the middle of the nights, and constantly morphing and changing.  I kept adding "one more project" to the book.  I decided I needed not only enough information included for USM beginners but enough for Japanese bulky knitters to adopt the projects as well.  I was as weird and obsessive as I've ever been, but finished, this is a really cool book/video set.  I really believe that folks with Ultimate Sweater Machines or Japanese bulky flat bed machines will go to this book over and over for gift recipes. 

I finally ended up with the following worsted-weight projects in the book:
  • Warm Scarf  (with latched "cables")
  • Warm Hat  (matches scarf, more "cables," includes a unusual latched ribbing technique)
  • Matching Mittens
  • Big, Fat Slipper Sock (a sew-as-you-go project, lots of sizes.  For this, I had to devise a work-around for the USM to short-row toes.)
  • Tam (more sew-as-you-go, lots of sizes, super cute in the baby size IMHO)
  • Short-rowed mitten (with a sew-as-you-go thumb, of all things)
  • Half Circle Shawl (with a sparkly eyelash yarn edging.  I came across an eyelash yarn my machine loves)
  • Twirl Baby Blanket (different from Circular Swirl - this one is very USM-do-able.  I finally came up with a satisfactory two-color edging for this.)
  • Baby Bootie (okay, it's just the tiniest ever Big Fat Slipper Sock.  I guess it's the Tiny Fat Slipper Sock)
  • Raglan Baby Sweater (3 sizes, buttonholes, a real learning opportunity for my beginners)
I also added a section at the back with Kitchener and mattress stitch.  There was one week when I spent my evenings squinting at my mattress stitch diagrams trying to make a better roadmap of a stitch that involves lots of threads going back and forth.

It took two DVDs to go over the minimum how-tos for both kinds of machines.  What made it so long?  Trying to make it all accessible to beginners really added to it, and then having to do things differently depending on whether it was a USM or a Japanese bulky machine was the other factor.  To get it onto two disks, it was necessary to omit a lot of procedures if they were already covered in another project.  Also, for the beginners' sakes (so many of my USMers are beginners), the projects are presented in order of difficulty in the book and there's an admonition to make them in order of difficulty. 

Other Stuff

At my office, audit fieldwork begins next week.  I think we're prepared, but there often are surprises!  We have a chart of accounts the size of the Mojave desert, so lots of places to make mistakes.  It's always a very hectic time. 

My baby Steven (okay, a big, tall baby with long shaggy hair and cowboy boots) was home this week from Texas A&M for spring break.  He spent a lot of time hanging out with friends enjoying the Austin music scene - this week is the famous South by Southwest music festival.  He's had a great time, and we've thoroughly enjoyed having him home.

As of yesterday, I haven't knitted much of anything in weeks - I just worked away on the bulky book and videos.  John did a fix that helped enormously with our video editing, which had been impeded with software problems.  I fully intend to sit down and knit something this weekend. 

I ran across an old notebook last night with machine knitting patterns I designed a long time ago and then forgot.  I also have several notebooks full of ideas I was going to try one of these days....


  1. > Rose is going to show us Studio lace, and she's
    > bringing along supplies so we can explore Enchanted
    > Edgings (the automatic lace I do) on the Studio after
    > we meet.

    Woo Hooooo! I'd love to be able to do your Enchanted Edgings on my SK360, but my brain just doesn't work that way. Do let us know what comes of the demonstration!

  2. We had a long meeting, Rose needed to go, and we didn't get a chance to work on that.

    I am convinced the lace carriage can handle the edgings with no trouble, however, I don't know if the knit carriage has a setting that knits only the stitches with a punched hole. This would be the equivalent of a Brother slip stitch. Does it?