Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Marg's Bias Ripple Afghan

Very interesting - check this out!

Inspiration at Yet Another Canadian Artisan

Love the doll clothes out of self-striping yarn!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Come to Seminar!

I spoke with Karen Saunders today, and she said that there is still some space at the Mahoning Valley Machine Knitting Seminar in Canfield, Ohio, September 21.

Here's the information, cut and pasted from their flyer:

Mahoning Valley Machine Knitters Proudly Present

Diana Sullivan

Diana Sullivan can be found on YouTube and her blog address is

We are so very excited to have Diana demonstrate machine knitting and we hope you will attend our seminar.

     Where:  Rotary Community Building at 320 Oak Street in Canfield, OH 44406 

     When:  Saturday, September 21, 2013  

     Time:  9:00 – 4:00 with registration from 8:00 a.m. -9:00 a.m. 

     Cost: $35.00 and this includes a wonderful hot lunch! 

     Questions or concerns:  Please leave a message for Judy Locklear at 330.679.2432 or Karen         Saunders at 330.301.0662 or Betty Leskovac at 

Please return the bottom portion with payment. *************************************************************************************

 Mail registration by Sept. 13, 2013 and a $35.00 check c/o:

 Louise May      550 Ohio Ave., Apt. 101 McDonald, OH  44437-1857 


    Phone number:



    E-mail address:

    Amount due:  $35.00
If you haven't attended a knitting seminar, here's an excellent opportunity to try one.  I'm fairly certain you'll like the handouts and information, which I have planned to be useful with a wide variety of machines and include quite a few patterns and techniques.  This seminar is so inexpensive, especially if you're within driving distance, that it's worth it just to get acquainted with other MKers! 

While there are some spaces left, get your registration over to Louise. I hope to see you there!

Inspiration at Machine Knitting Fun

I call it "wriggle lace."  A very cute top, wonderful color and fit:

Interesting Curling Edge Fix

Hmmm...I haven't tried this.  What do you think?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Monroe Machine Knitting Seminar

I just got back yesterday from the Monroe, Michigan Machine Knitting Seminar.  I had a wonderful time and I really believe the attendees did, too.

My sweetie John and I arrived midday on Thursday and were treated to lunch by Cathy and Larry, our organizers (along with their friend Chris, who was busy working while they picked us up from the airport).  We had a chance to set our classroom up the day before, always nice, and John and I had it put together in nothing flat.  Such luxury!  A college room with comfy student chairs and professional sound and video!  We had brought one suitcase of clothing and personal items and three big suitcases with books, DVDs, and many, many samples.

We met Frank and Cathie Sanders, who were in the next classroom over and were setting up her things.  They had driven to the seminar, and were setting up their classroom, which looked great with Cathie's gorgeous knits.  In addition, Frank, who repairs machines, had set up shop and fixed quite a bit of equipment for folks who would otherwise have to ship their machines for repair. 

At some point we got another ride from Chris to the Quality Inn, where we had a comfortable room. We'd already met some knitters who were there for the seminar, and six of us headed to Cracker Barrel for supper.  When we got there, Frank and Cathie were already there, so we pulled some tables together, feasted and talked knitting.

When we got back to the hotel, another group of knitters had gathered in the lobby to socialize.  We joined in the fun, and as tired as we were, I hated to leave.  Knitters simply tend to click, to enjoy each other, but after gabbing and laughing we decided we better sleep.

The morning program began with a meeting in a big room with tables, announcements and the like, then we went to class, where I tried to get as much done as possible from the beginning of my handouts.  We got the hang of the camera and lights, and by the end of the seminar, I firmly believe that the participants could see the knitting needles better than I could!  I announced that I had my new book for sale, and John promptly sold all we had with us.  We had to ship two more after we got back.  It's a book of tips, and I'll do another post in a few days and offer it on the blog.  It's kind of large and heavy to ship, weighing in at 109 pages, so we may charge more for shipping and cut you a deal if you don't mind "media mail" or order two items or more.  But I digress...I am happy with the new book, but never am sure whether people actually want whatever new book I've produced.

We took morning break, with homemade cookies and beverages served. I was dieting, and Cathy and Larry went out of their way to accommodate me.  In fact, I observed how hard they work to make the seminar a great experience for everyone, whether you need vegan food, or have allergies, or need to sit close, or want to be in the group with your buddies!  We got back in the room and I promised to knit fast and talk faster, again doing as much as I could.  I was rippin' through my best garter bar tricks, best cast-offs, the sew-as-you-go tam and lined slipper, and didn't get to Entrelac. The knitters were split into two groups, and in the afternoon, I taught the same things to the second group.  This way, everyone gets to attend every topic.

We went to Cathy's mom's house for pizza and relaxation with Frank, Cathie, Cathy, Larry, and Chris, and they had a salad for me.  I had such a good time getting to know everyone. 

On day two, I attacked the standard gauge machine, talking and knitting quickly again, but we really couldn't get through all the curriculum.  Cathie couldn't get through everything she handed out, either.  Frank did a class on cleaning your Brother, and my John slipped out and attended that, bringing me back a copy of Frank's book on that subject. 

You always try to put more in the handouts than you can do, and that happened this time.  I believe knitters can generally follow my very detailed handouts.  We also gave out my relatively new bonus disk with a lot of recent demos to all our customers.  We met some amazing people, and we saw a number of familiar faces from previous seminars.  We did quite an assortment of things, including the Entrelac I'd skipped.  I knew I couldn't do it all, so I asked my class, and Entrelac prevailed.

Lunches during Monroe seminar were wonderful.  Aside from the terrific chef, there was a cone of yarn for everyone - what a way to set the table!  Then there were lots of door prizes, an amazing lunch, introductions and chatter.  I loved some of the knits people were wearing.  It was terribly hard for everyone to stop having so much fun and concentrate, but this group certainly does it, and we had a great second day.

Attendance was terrific.  We had a whole contingent from Canada who had not attended before, and other knitters as well. 

I had shared that John is using up all his vacation days, and Chris approached me to offer to help me in Ohio in September.  Chris and Cathy are both coming, they'll help me so I can focus 100% on teaching and getting to know knitters, and we'll have a lot of fun.  You see, they work so hard putting on this Monroe seminar that they don't get to attend any of the classes.
Are you attending seminars?  You would be very happily surprised at the reasonable cost, the friendly and helpful seminar culture, the fun, and the volume of information you can pick up, not just by listening to teachers, but by visiting with the other knitters.  I hope you'll consider attending the Ohio and North Carolina seminars I'm doing in September and October, and I hope you'll do some web searches and look into the other wonderful seminars happening around the country.  I didn't realize how many great opportunities are around. 

I didn't take pictures, but I already have a couple generously forwarded to me by attendees.  Here's a picture of Barbara, myself, and Leola - they were among the Knitting Paradise Canadian contingent. 

Next picture:  Joan from Flint had already made a pair of the no-sew lined slippers by the time I got home from the airport.  It's very exciting to see someone dive right in and make a project right after seminar.

Well, gotta run.  I'm emailing a person I met at the seminar who has found a source for mylar for the Knit Leader.  We've received new information from Richard Croucher (Anne's Richard in England) about the 970 CB backlight, and John's already done quite a bit of research and ordered a first sample replacement light panel so he can try a repair; I'm trying out some different sponge bars Tom Panciarello told me about, and will report; I found some other wonderful tools and will report.  I'm obviously behind on my blogging, but will try and get busy. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The News

After a spell of not blogging much, I've got a lot going on knitting-wise again now. I was out of action because I had two trips back to back, the Baltimore seminar and then a CPA meeting in Las Vegas. A week after that, I picked up a very nasty head cold and just didn't get much done for at least a week. Here's my latest knitting news:

Monroe Machine Knitting Seminar (Michigan) is THIS COMING WEEKEND, so I am literally packing my bags with a very few personal items and then gobs and gobs of knitted samples, books and DVDs! John is coming with me, and I'm teaching two days at a very nice environment at a college. We'll have a sound and video system, the organizer is fantastic, and I understand the food is absolutely delicious (including homemade cookies). There's another machine knitting teacher, as well, with classes arranged so you get each of us for a full day. It's two days of inspiration and information at a very low price. I don't know if the seminar is accepting any more enrollees, but if you're interested, email Cathy at right away.

Diana's new book:  Okay, I have mentioned that I have a new book, and yes, I actually do.  The title is "100 Ways to Improve Your Machine Knitting" and subtitle, "Get more knitting done, while having more fun!"  This one is all narrative, with no DVD, and is a big compilation of tips and basics.  It has taken a long time to write all those essays, add photos and diagrams and proofread it.  John's proofing today was incredibly meticulous, making every effort to catch every mistake, which isn't quite possible, but certainly worth the effort.  We're printing some copies this week and will offer the item for sale at the upcoming seminar, then next week (hopefully) here at the blog. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Joan's Entrelac Hat

Joan, who attended the seminar in Sandy Springs Maryland last month, sent me a wonderful picture of the Entrelac hat she made, from my book, "Wear Your Diamonds."

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Look what my neighbor and I did to an Estee Lauder tote!

This evening, my neighbor Teresa came over.  Our kids grew up together, and her older daughter Victoria is in San Francisco doing her medical internship.  Teresa wanted me to help her mend a couple of sundresses for Vicki to wear when she's here (it's so, so hot here in the summer).  Teresa, who is a pharmacist and interested in absolutely everything, is a fun, enthusiastic lady.  She doesn't have a sewing machine and does whatever mending she has by hand.

After we fixed the sundresses she went home and got a very cute hot pink. orange and white Estee Lauder tote (brighter than is showing up in the pix).  She'd gone to the fabric store and purchased a zipper to install along the top to make it more useful for Vicki.  Teresa matched the colors perfectly, and the fabric store clerk suggested she install the zipper by hand, and Teresa was wondering what I thought because I had told her the Bernina sews through heavier fabrics well.

The tote is a very firm fabric, and this was actually an easy job once I got it started.  Finally, I pulled a piece of ribbon through the skimpy little zipper pull to make it easier to grab.  After stitching it down all the way around along the original tote topstitching, I topstitched again on the bottom edge of the zipper tape to keep it down against the lining.

I'm so pleased with how it turned out that I took a couple of pictures:

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July

John and I did some sightseeing in Baltimore when we were there for the last seminar.  We learned about the 15-star flag, which flew over Ft. McHenry in 1814.  After invading Washington and burning the White House, the British sent warships into the Chesapeake and shelled Baltimore. The warships stayed back about 2 miles from Ft. McHenry to stay out of the fort's cannon range, and after 25 hours of pounding Baltimore, withdrew. 

Frances Scott Key was held on a British ship, and after observing the attack and then seeing that the enormous 15-star flag at the fort was flying in the morning (each stripe was 2 feet tall, and could be seen far across the water), wrote a poem intended to be sung to a well-known tune.  Shortly afterward, it was given to the local newspaper.  The song spread across the country rapidly, became the national anthem, and we'll sing it again today.  This point in our history marked the Stars and Stripes becoming the symbol for America's "land of the free and home of the brave."

At Ft. McHenry, you can listen to ranger talks, look at interactive exhibits, listen to many versions of the song, watch flag ceremonies, and walk around in the earthen fort.  As we strolled, we could imagine how terrifying it must have been to know the capital city had burned and to be shelled by so many ships for such a long time, the soldiers wondering whether they'd survive, whether the fort would hold, and whether this was the end of the American venture.

Happy Fourth of July!  We're going to be grateful, picnic with friends and watch fireworks.  Hope you have a wonderful day, too!