Saturday, March 31, 2012

Jokes...I have six responses already, could use some more!


A strand of yarn walks into a bar and orders a drink.  The Bartender barks at the yarn "we don't serve your kind here, please leave!"

The strand of yarn leaves the bar and was trying to figure out how to get a drink.  Then, he gets an idea.  He turns himself all around and into a knot then frays his ends.

He walks back into the bar, sits down and orders a drink.

Again the Bartender barks "ain't you the strand of yarn I just threw outta here?"

The strand of yarn replies "No, I'm a frayed knot!"


A policeman spots a woman driving and knitting at the same time.

Driving up beside her, he shouts out the window......

"Pull over!!!"

"No," she shouts back.  "A pair of socks!"
(Diedre, the variation on this one is that she's a blonde.)


Why did the sheep avoid going into bars?  She didn't like being carded.
Why did the knitter join a dating service?  Because she wanted to get
How did the knitter feel when she lost her wool?  Sheepish.
Imprinting on tee-shirt with ball of yarn and knitting needles - "Knit for Brains".
Q:  What do you get when you cross a midget and a vampire?
A:  A little sucker about "this" (waist high) tall.

(My favorite Laura joke - Q:  Where did the general keep his army?  A:  In his sleevy!  We work together at the Boy Scouts, and doesn't it sound like Laura gets her jokes from Pedro?  Oooh, I better shut up, or I'll be in trouble Monday.)

A major was assigned to a new office on a military base. While he worked to set up his office, a private knocked on the door. The major quickly picked up the phone and motioned for the private to enter.

On the phone the major said, "Yes, General Schwarzkopf, I think that is an excellent idea. . . . No sir, that's fine, you feel free to call me any time. I'm glad I can help. . . . Yes sir, I will, and you give my best to your family as well. Thank you sir, and a good day to you too, General Schwarzkopf."

As the major hung up the phone he turned to the private and asked, "What can I do for you, private?"

Sheepishly, the private mumbled, "Um, sir, I'm just here to hook up your phone."


Friday, March 30, 2012

One Million Video Views... And ALL Machine Knitting Topics!

Check out this morning's YouTube stats - while I realize a million video views for a whole channel of videos is no big deal by YouTube standards, this is a million machine knitting views, which actually is something.  It represents publicity for our craft and new people learning.

We really DO need to celebrate!  Okay, the first ten people to send a funny CLEAN joke to diana_knits "at" sbcglobal "dot" net receive a free product, your choice!  Send your joke, choice of prize, and snail address, okay?  Keep it clean, because I plan to run them on the blog and get everybody laughing, and of course, you get extra super brownie points from everyone if you send a knitting-themed joke.

If you already have all my products, why not ask for a beginner video course and drop it on a struggling knitter? 

Thank you, everyone of you who subscribed to the blog, or watched the videos, or attended one of my seminars, or told someone about me, or bought one of my products. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Miscellaneous Updates

I've been awfully quiet lately, haven't I?  Well, here's what I've been up to:

Upcoming Seminars I am beyond excited about the seminar in mid-April at the Knit Knack Shop.  She has Susan Guagliami, Marcia Hauser, and me, coming to teach!  It's a 2-day seminar, and I can't wait to see Charlene's famous (and fabulous, I'm sure) shop. 

I am also teaching at Triangle Knitters in North Carolina (Raleigh area) at the end of April.  That's a 2-day seminar, just me, and a wonderful small-group type setting. 

Yes, both seminars have room, at this point.  If you want to go, email me at diana_knits "at" sbcglobal "dot" net and I'll put you in touch with the organizers.  I know they're both doing a wonderful job because they have been very organized and businesslike, and besides, they are experienced. 

I have the lessons and handouts written and am very pleased with them.  I worked in plenty of new material, and tried to enhance the variety.  We have figured out seminar logistics like travel, and my wonderful friend Barbara is coming along and helping me so I can focus completely on the knitters and not the practical stuff.

Diana's Little Knitting Business:  I caught up months and months of bookkeeping in a single week.  My excuse is, I am an accountant at work and don't really want to do more accounting when I come home.  What a rotten excuse...the shoemaker has no shoes and the plumber has leaking pipes, or so they say.  John was out of town on a business trip, and I always attack projects when he's gone.  I needed the bookkeeping done so I could do our taxes, and gosh, the only knitting bookkeeping I did last year was enough to send in sales taxes. 

I bought a new QuickBooks and discovered that it has changed a LOT since I was in public accounting a number of years ago.  It does all sorts of fancy things, but what I wanted was to import transactions from my bank and from PayPal.  After a while, I think I cracked the code.  The secret is to go in and clean up the export files the bank or PayPal creates and get the data to actually go into the right accounts instead of having to fix transactions one at a time after a half-baked import.  When John got home, I was still finishing the job, but at least it's done now.  You'd think I had a mountain of transactions, but no, the problem wasn't volume, it was that I imported data that had to be fixed line by line.

John has been packing my orders, and lately, he's taken on other things so I can do "creative work."  He's actually made a few mistakes, which shocked me - my hubby is a very detailed programmer (we are, after all, the nerd family), and I'm not used to him missing details.  I am used to ME missing details.   He switched two orders, and when I showed him the email from a customer, he joked about me firing him.  Ain't gonna happen; he's handsome, I love him, and he works for free!  Who would ever give up help like that?  So we're taking care of the customers and rethinking our routine.  Sorry, folks, but we're fixing it.  They are US customers so the correct items should get where they need to go quickly.

The knitting videos were John's idea in the first place, and he thinks everything about my teaching knitting is terrific.  He's always helping.

I anticipate hitting that million-video-views mark on YouTube about Friday!  Whoo-hoo!

Inspiration at Machine Knitting Fun

An adorable bunny to machine knit!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Checkerboard Ribbed Sweater at Art Machines

This is a racked ribbing design that I've done before, but only for a blanket - didn't every shape a sweater it.  Anna did a cut-and-sew neck and made a beautiful man's sweater.  Go look -

She does such beautiful work.

Inspiration at Tathy's

Wow, look at these pics:

I am the most fascinated by the ruched bag.  I may just have to doodle with that idea and try to figure it out. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Inspiration at Knit Flix

Mm, isn't this one pretty?

I wish there were a closeup of the sweater, though. I wonder if those are little coin cables or what stitch they are exactly.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Aaargh! The temptation never ends!

I love yarn.  I am as close to a yarn addict as you could ever find.  Even hiding in my peaceful home, checking the knitting blogs, it shows up to tempt me:

Opal sock yarn is just wonderful, and I often use it.  The colors in this example are just gorgeous.  Opal is a little costly, especially for me, since I make so many socks!  There's no point in making socks with anything less than absolutely excellent sock yarn.  (I am opinionated about sock yarn, and prefer superwash wool, 75%, nylon, 25%, in fun and interesting color prints, for extremely happy sock recipients.)

But I don't need... Any. More. Yarn.  Period.  I have a whole stack of plastic shoe boxes filled, not with shoes, but with sock yarn and small balls of leftover sock yarn.  I am certain I could outfit all the Keebler elves with those sock leftovers. 

This is getting ridiculous.  Is there a 12-step group for Yarn-Aholics?  If there were, I can just picture us.  Instead of talking about recovery from the addiction, we'd make each other worse, snacking, chatting, and knitting, and comparing yarn fibers, stashes, great acquisitions, where there's a sale, and where we ought to all go looking. 

Why is it that no matter how much yarn I have, I still go look at more.  My body moves on autopilot to the yarn aisles in stores.  Even if they have a terrible selection of nasty, cheap yarn, I stomp right over, I suppose to see if they have something they didn't have last time I looked.  And, how do you NOT click on a lovely email from a favorite online yarn company?

Whyizzit that no matter how much yarn I have, I need something different for the current brainstorm!  What's that about?  Is my "creativity" a mere mental machination to justify more yarn acquisition?

No matter how diligently I return leftover full balls, I still have leftovers?  Good grief, John and I were reorganizing an area in our house yesterday, and we found yet another tote of yarn.  I think maybe it sneaked into the house without my help.  That's possible, isn't it?  Maybe it was lonesome and needed a knitter to love it.  Or, perhaps we have reverse burglars?  That's it - it's illegal dumping!

No matter how many clever ideas I have to use leftovers, how come the ideas usually involve buying more yarn to go with the leftovers, or more yarn to finish the project when the leftovers run out a half inch too soon?

Why does useful information flit out of my head, like where I put my car keys, but I remember cool websites where yarn is to be found?

Continuous Charity Hats @ Ozlorna's Blog

Learn from a master:

Once upon a time, our club in Austin knitted mountains of charity hats, and doing them continuously is a great way to get more done in less time. 

I especially like the yarn she's using.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Inspiration: Beautiful Airy Shawl at Knit Flix

A lovely rectangular wrap, floaty & light lace:

I like rectangular shawls, provided the size is generous.  I see a lot of "shawlettes" on the hand knitting sites, very small small shawls.  Those aren't for me - I like the larger, drapier lavish ones, like this beauty.

One thing to appreciate about airy handknit shawls is the practice of very firm blocking, which gives the silky, sheer, lace-highlighting result.  This is typically done by pinning the shawl out wet.

You could "kill" the knitting with a steamer, that is, steam it hard and flat until there is no elasticity.  This results in a sheer, silky hand like the picture, at least in most fibers.  If you decide to "kill" a machine knit shawl, "kill" a sample first so you know what you're going to get.

At knit club last month, we "killed" some of that bubble wrap stitch.  It was amazingly lacy and slinky steamed hard!

You could make a rectangular knit shawl like this on the knitting machine and then knit an edging using Enchanted Edgings patterns.  However, you do have the issue of how to go around the corners; one way would be to gather the edging for a bit of a ruffle.  Another solution would be to short-row a miter using a piece of ravel cord.  To make a miter work, you'd need to plan the project so it is the proper number of rows and the edging ends at an end of the pattern repeat.  Another way to go would be to make some tucks just in the corner where the seam is so that there will be enough edging to go around the angle.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

How Should I Celebrate?

Sometime soon, my YouTube channel will reach one million video views.  Now, that's not a lot of YouTube views for a lot of things, but it's a lot of views for machine knitting.

Drop me a comment or an email - how do you think I should celebrate the milestone?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Great Idea for Knit Club

Look at the before-and-after washing swatches at Yet Another Canadian Artisan.  What a great exercise for a group of knitters.  Note the comment that every swatch changed -

Monday, March 5, 2012

Hand Knit Baby Booties at Rhythm of the Needles

Quaker stitch baby booties are very popular with hand knitters.  The "corrugated" Quaker stitch stretches vertically for a wonderful fit & room to grow!  Look at these:

Now, check out the garter carriage quaker stitch booties that I cooked up for machine knitters to make a few years ago:

Interesting Idea at Machine Knitting is My Life

Sheryl's got a great idea here for saving time on striped garments.  She does a lot of charity knitting - see how she handles the problem of ends with stripes?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Audacious Ambition

I want to teach lots of people to machine knit.  Outrageously, since I'm using the internet and YouTube, I would like to teach more people to machine knit than anyone else has.

I am certain I have a long way to go, but would you answer my poll question I'm putting up about this?

Having Fun in Austin, Texas

After working like insaniacs the last few weekends to get ready for seminar, and me putting in at least 2-3 hours on the knitting stuff every evening to get all the handouts together and Diamonds fixed up, etc., John and I wanted to goof off a little this weekend. We had fun so far!

Austin has a lot of live music.  We went to Boathouse Grill for dinner Friday, near our house, and listened to some bluesy country music while we ate amazing crunchy catfish. Then today we went to Callahan's General Store, a huge, old-fashioned country store with hardware, kitchenware, animals, western wear, gifts, seeds, fresh produce, farm supplies, feed, tack, etc., and listened to a friend of mine who is in a classic rock band that was performing for the shoppers.  We wandered around and shopped while we enjoyed the 60s music.  I especially enjoyed the young goats (!) penned right in front of my friend's band and ringed with little kids. One of them was incredibly cute. I am sure they would make just terrible pets. I'll stick with my rotten spoiled little dog.  A lady was shopping while carrying a fancy rooster. He seemed to like being carried around, and folks were walking up to pet her rooster.

I lived a lot of places, but to live somewhere where people chat over a rooster is particularly cool. I so enjoy these gloriously friendly, polite Texans. I'll miss the chivalry, too, young men calling me ma'am and opening the door or helping with something, and customer service at a level I've never seen anywhere else.  People here seem to have figured out that life is simply more pleasant if people will be more pleasant! There isn't much of that inside Austin anymore, since it's full of couples like us who moved here, bringing along all our various cultures, but on the farming outskirts it is still alive.  We had incredible sunny springtime weather today, and I saw lots of people carrying around seedling tomato plants and flowers, itching to start gardens.

In keeping with the "have fun" weekend theme, John and I, who love movies, are streaming Netflix.  Last night we watched "The Lincoln Lawyer" and tonight I'm going to see if I can find "Wall-E" because we've never seen it, and we hear it's very funny. We have to go for groceries or else breakfast will be toast, but after that we can goof off with a movie.

Not much of a knitting-themed post, is it?  But I did pick up a bargain on yarn and tapestry needles (I like size 16 & 18 metal tapestry needles best for sewing up most knitting) at Tuesday morning, and I worked on the knitting business a little this morning (it's hard to stop altogether).  Shop alert:  Tuesday Morning has lots of Boye needles in stock, at least the one near us does.   I also corresponded with a few readers. 

Fun MK Video: Tree Sweaters in Seattle

Tree Sweaters Seattle: Share