Sunday, July 29, 2012

Garter Carriage Blanket at Il mio mondo di lana....

Inspiration from Vanda:

I enjoy looking at the machine knitter blogs in other countries, and am not much put off by the language problem, especially if it's a knitter who puts up lots of pictures.

Many blogs have a translate button, and at Il mio mondo di lana, Vanda has one down the right-hand side.  If you can't find a translate gadget, just right-click and your browser will probably offer a Google translate or a Bing translate option on the list. 

I like Google translate better than Bing.  They both have trouble with knitting jargon and slang, and you'll probably end up with a page peppered with some words in the other language. 

Vanda has a very nice blanket made with the "Modamatic" (garter carriage), and what I especially like about it is the lovely crocheted edging.  Obviously, she invested extra time to do a multi-row fancy edging, but it adds so much to the look! 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Moc

This is an unlined, fast slipper in a mocassin style.  It's not a cold weather slipper, but a small, light summer slipper, and does not come up high on the foot.

I made a few prototypes, and this is pretty much what I have in mind.  I used to make these on the standard machine and put a little lace on the top of the toe, but I was still getting the bulky dimensions right and didn't bother for this sample. 

Great Post at Knitting Machine Fun

Lynne has a post about trying out knitting with the Knit Leader, and you ought to take a look.

Over the years, the Knit Leader has helped me so much with my knitting!  If you have one, you really should try it; it's an especially nice, familiar approach to fitting if you have ever sewed clothing.

I especially like the idea toward the bottom of the post, making a board for laying out your swatch with some sandpaper to give it a little grip so the swatch doesn't curl!  I have never seen that idea before.

Steven weighs in...

Steve, who is out of college for the summer, and frequently home, saw the finished evening bag sitting on the kitchen counter and asked about it. 

Steven can be painfully honest at times, and our budding scientist's opinions are quite interesting.  For instance, I get embarrassed about clutter.  Other people's kitchens aren't cluttered with knitting, not are their kitchen tables cluttered with computer parts, but Steven is quite mellow about his parents endless mess.  He says it's a natural survival adaptation to keep all kinds of junk that could be useful later, especially considering that for most of human history, most people struggled to acquire even basic possessions.

Steve wouldn't flatter me about any of my knitted projects.  After taking a good look at the evening bag, he remarked, "Mom, if you would beef that up, you could sell a ton of purses to girls my age."

Really?  I had to ask what "beef that up" meant, and he said, use a metal clasp instead of a loop and button, and put a heavier strap on it, too.  He said that girls are carrying purses with handles made of leather threaded through a chain.

He's certainly right about the hardware trend in purses.  It seems like in the past few years, all the purses are clanky with chunky hardware.

I really have no desire to make them to sell - the project is Entrelac and takes a while.  I simply intended to come up with a great gift pattern.  However, I'd love to make my items more trendy and desirable. With that in mind, I'll just have to see what kind of purse hardware I can find in the craft stores for my next bag project.

This morning, though, the guys are off at a car collector's swap meet, and I worked resolutely on slippers, reviewing my older patterns to see how I'll build a slipper book, knitting a sample pair, and double-checking gauges.  I want to include an old mocassin-style slipper that I came up with for my very first machine that I've never published, and I have a nifty improvement in mind for that slipper. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Inspiration at My Machine Knitting Patterns

Oh!  This is so pretty, for the Bond with ribber:

How to Contact Me

Do you have a question? 

I have added an icon, 'way down the left side of the page, a big envelope, that you click on.  After a moment, an email form pops up, and you can email me conveniently.  Email is the BEST WAY to contact me.   I see my emails every day, unless I am out of town, and I'm not exactly a jet-setter.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Finished Evening Bag

This evening, I put a little more time into finishing the little evening bag.  Saturday, I had gone to the store for lining, a button, and some stiff interfacing.  Sunday, I blocked it lightly over a piece of cardboard 7" by 10" by pulling it over the cardboard, steaming the front lightly, steaming the back lightly, and then pulling down the rather shriveled triangle flap and steaming that very gently.  Monday, I cut a piece of the VERY stiff interfacing 10-1/2" by 14" plus the triangle and fused it to my lining, which is a crepe backed silver-gray polyester satin.  It was fused like a sandwich, folded over where the front straight edge of the bag.
Tonight, I made a long idiot cord over 4 needles - first 400 passes, slipping one way, of gold, and then 400 passes of silver.  I twisted that and sewed it in.  I did it twice - twisted it too little the first time.

I also trimmed the lining to make a 1/2" seam allowance all around that interfacing, then sewed the two short sides of the lining and did a hard pressing job to get the lining folded under before hand sewing it into the purse.  Then, disappointed at how it wasn't going to stay in place while I sewed, I basted it into place on the pointy end of the lining and finally, I hand-sewed the lining into the bag.
Finally, I sewed on the button, then wandered around the house looking for a spot where I could hang it up and photograph it.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Hello, and Happy Saturday

Saturday morning, and John drove off to have something welded in another town, ready to enjoy the morning road trip with a good Model A buddy.  I have several hours on my own, weekly groceries already purchased, emails answered, and so forth.
Here's my current knitting project, a little evening bag in sparkly yarn, made on the standard gauge machine, in a woefully unfinished state.  What remains is an act of faith, doing the finishing work and believing this can be made beautiful.  It needs interfacing to give the envelope some shape.  Knitting usually involves this ugly stage, when the unfinished object looks absolutely terrible..

Can this rag be redeemed into a cute evening purse?  Um, I'm not absolutely sure, but I do think so. 

I knit a little while most evenings, going upstairs for perhaps 30 minutes after supper dishes are done or perhaps working a while if John is detained at work and I'm stalling supper.  This little purse was knitted in those snatches of time, just a round or so of blocks at a time.

There are so many decisions to be made!  I wondeer how much to block it out - I really don't want it too flat, since I'm going for a silver/gold woven look.  I like the three-dimensional Entrelac texture and usually don't want to flatten it.  I have to dig through my messy sewing stash and see if I have something for a nice lining and whether I have some crisp interfacing.  I had the idea that with crisp interfacing, perhaps it could still be a little textured but have straight edges from being sewn down to a stiffened lining.  That makes me wonder whether I'll need to tack it down here and there to prevent it from sagging away from the lining.  No idea until I try it.  Perhaps I'll have to block it quite flat and make a new, larger lining.  I think I'll put a pocket inside, and I also need to decide on a button.  I will probably add a string handle, either a twisted cord or an I-cord variation. 

For years, I've thought a cute evening purse would be a wonderful gift item for ladies on my list, but I wanted something special.

I was supposed to be working on a slipper book, but here's what happened.  I had been daydreaming about this evening bag idea, but didn't see a yarn for it that I liked.  One day, I was innocently shopping for more slipper yarn, minding my own business, when silver and gold yarn balls jumped into my arms.  Their would go back in their cubby holes, and they followed me home like fat little lost sparkly pupplies.  After that, they sat there, looking at me, until I made a start.  Then, of course, once I made a start, the object began to take shape quickly. 

Around the same time, though, I also managed to knit piles of slippers, finish charting the pattern in all the sizes and gauges, using the same approach, just sitting down for 30 or 45 minutes in the evening and doing a little more.  Last weekend, I tried out the pattern on my knit club, who are always such good sports, and sure enough, my pattern needs a little more information.  Once I fix that, my new lined slipper pattern goes off to the testers!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wow, Look What Rita Knitted for Charity

A mountain of darling hats for charity!  I got to meet Rita in Apex, N.C. this spring, and she's an awesome knitter.

Knitting for charity such a great thing to do, and we can get so much done, since we knit so much faster than hand knitters,  There are so many people in need! 

Help somebody, and be blessed - here's the link for the hat contest from Country Knitting of Maine. 

Want to knit for soldiers?  We're doing it at Knit Natters - here's a link to Barbara's Yahoo group that is knitting for soldiers in Afghanistan (it's cooooold at night there, and we're doing warm slippers).

Sunday, July 8, 2012

New Video This Afternoon

I recently worked up the "Introduction to Entrelac" video, trying to get people to try machine knitting Entrelac, and promoting my book of round yoke sweaters, Wear Your Diamonds
This technique looks a lot more difficult than it really is.  I got a number of emails from people who made the pillow, and were pleasantly surprised at how fun and easy it is.
I made a little pile of samples on my way to a simplified pillow that could be squeezed into YouTube format. I kept glancing at one sample, partially knitted from chocolate brown and ivory heather yarn, and wondering what it could become.  I finally realized that it would make a cute tote if I added some blocks to each side to build up triangles...kind of like a hobo handbag.  Then I edged it with idiot cord and knitted a little more cord for a handle. 
Here's my finished tote!  It took less than two balls of worsted weight yarn (one of each color).  Don't you think totes look cuter with some skeins of yarn peeking out?
This tote uses the technique in Wear Your Diamonds, the circular (seamless tube) method that uses waste yarn. 
If you have made projects from Wear Your Diamonds, or if you've made the little pillow from YouTube, you're all set with just this short video showing the finish-up.  However, if you need those first videos showing how to make the pillow, click here.

And here's the new video:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Before I run off to watch fireworks, here is today's output.  These slippers, made to check my standard gauge numbers, are child sizes in the standard gauge slipper, all made with dribs and drabs of leftover sock yarn.

No way is this a stash buster.  My sock yarn leftover stash is still leering at me.  I'm not going to use it up making slippers that only take an ounce or two!

The pink/purple ones match fairly well along their stripes.  The green ones, not at all.  I think I'll do another green one and see if I can get closer!  The turquoise ones in the center are some leftover Kool-aid dyed pieces, and I'm certain there's more than one dye lot.


I've got the day off, and will be knitting away on slippers again this morning and early afternoon.  Then we go to the park to watch a wonderful fireworks display.  It's going to be so hot, though, that it's tempting to stay home and what?  Watch fireworks on television?  Play with them on the computer?

Create your own fireworks by clicking here.