Saturday, January 23, 2016

Would anyone like to guest blog?

I was reading another blog, and the person said they didn't need any guest bloggers.

Well - if you'll write about machine knitting and it's a pretty good post (especially with pictures), send it to me!  I love to link to other people's MK work, and I'd love to have some guest bloggers to keep this space interesting.  My primary goal here is to promote machine knitting, not to promote any so bring it on.

I'm not going to run something that's just an ad for somebody's business.  But if it's a story about your experiences in MK, cool.  Fixing a machine.  Doing an unusual project.  Building a club.  Bring it on!

No, you don't need to be an expert.  I'd love to see some articles about being a beginner and getting started, and tips for that stage in the craft.  Or articles about little breakthroughs in your development.  Or notes about how you just do things differently.

Check Out Tom's Seminar Schedule

I think you all know that I'm a big fan of Tom Panciarello (Tom Knitting Machine Guy), and I am very happy to report that he's planning to teach at our central Texas seminar on April Fool's weekend of 2017!  We are going to have a wonderful seminar.

He does other seminars, too - check this out:

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Sweater Kits Available from Ideas from the Master

For a while now, I've been corresponding with an entrepreneur who is developing a new product and company.  They make pre-knitted sweater kits that you simply sew together.  I can certainly see this as a great way to work on your finishing skills, for instance.

Their website is up!  It's here:!blank/c1dxp

Go have a look!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

New Website for Knit Natters (Austin Area Machine Knitting Club)

The Knit Natters machine knitting club, which is the club I attend (almost every month; I'm there and helping unless I'm on the road), has a very out-of-date website.  I just haven't been able to maintain it the last few years.  It's on an old, basic html-based platform and somebody has to work in that way to update it.  It takes me a long time to update it and fix things.

Yesterday, when we met, the ladies wanted to catch that thing up.  Nobody wanted to fiddle with the html (see, I'm not the only one).  So - Norma has a new blog for our club, here:

Norma is posting club pix, patterns, tips, and other share-able items from the club.  She's also posting meeting announcements and the like.  She's just begun, but there will be more material as time goes by.

Our club is having a baby hat knit-in in May; these items will go to a local charity that makes baskets for needy new moms.  We also are planning to have a seminar that I'll lead in August, and I hope to get some of the other local knitters to demo some of their best stuff (because the club has seen most of my stuff).  Non-members are welcome.  We also have a Yahoo group, knitnatters, that we use to communicate with our members, and we have people in that group who are not local and unable to attend. 

We are planning a seminar for the spring of 2017, and we will bring in an outside teacher.  I will provide details as I know more.

Also - any Passap knitters out there?  Barbara, my really, really good friend and favorite Passap maven, teaches Passap E6000 lessons at almost every meeting.  Our club is one of the few that has a Japanese machine demo and a Swiss machine demo at nearly every meeting.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Written Directions for the Double English Rib Cloche Hat

The YouTube video showing how to do this fluffy little hat is here:

While you're over there, you know you can subscribe to my YouTube channel and get notified of any new videos? 

Now, here's the written pattern.  Keep in mind that this uses sport-weight yarn on a bulky machine with a ribber.  Most of the hat is ribbed, so it's not a beginner pattern, but hopefully with the video and written instructions, you'll find it a successful project.

By the way, I've decided I like the flower best if it's not sewn into a circle, as shown in this photo. 

This picture is of the hat I knitted as I demonstrated at the club meeting yesterday.  The yarn is Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable, and I can get two adult-sized hats out of one ball.

Double English Rib Cloche Hat
By Diana Sullivan

This was knitted with sport weight acrylic yarn (I was quite happy with Bernat Baby Softee) on a Brother bulky machine.
Flower Embellishment:  E-wrap over 27 needles.  Hang comb and two weights.  Tension 3.  Knit 2 rows.
Set carriage to H setting, so it will slip any held needles.  Working from one end, bring the 4th needle into hold (3 needles in work on end), *then skip 4 needles and bring out the 5th needle, skip 4, next in hold, on across.  You should end up with 3 in work at the far end. 

Knit 4 rows.  Put needles in hold into upper working position and knit one row.  Bring same needles into hold as before, knit 4 rows.  Push those back, knit 1 row.  Repeat that again, bringing same needles into hold, knitting 4 rows, and putting them partway back and knit 1 row.  Cut yarn, leaving a tail for sewing.   Sew the stitches off onto that yarn.
Gather up the flower.  Seam the open side, or leave it open, your choice.    

Hat:  Put ribber into position.  Set up for 2x2 industrial ribbing as follows:  Starting with needle #31 on the right, on main bed, bring out 2 needles, then leave one needle out of work, over to #31 on the left.  End needles will be on the main bed. 
Make sure the ribber is racked to the center and is on half pitch.  First needle on the end is the needle in between the needles on the main bed, and the needles to bring out are a group of 2, then leave one out of work, across, ending with a single needle between the last two main bed needles.  End needles on ribber at #31 left and #30 right.
Knit zigzag row at tightest tension.  Hang comb and 3 heavy (1#) ribber weights.  Set carriages for circular knitting and tension 1.  Knit 3 rows.  Cancel circular setting, change to garment tension #3 on both main bed and ribber.  Transfer end ribber stitch to main bed on left to the main bed. 
Set row counter to 000.  Rack 2 clicks to the left to position for industrial rib.  Needles on main bed and ribber should come close but not touch, and there should be two needles between the main bed and the ribber.  Set both carriage for plain knitting and knit 6 rows of knit 2, purl 2 ribbing.
Set ribber to tuck when knitting to the left only by raising the left PR lever and sliding the center lever to P.  Do this to RC 48.  Tighten tension down to 0.2.  Transfer each left needle in main bed groups onto neighboring needle to the right.  Transfer each left needle in the ribber groups and put those onto their needle to the right.  Double-check that all out-of-work needles are back out of work and that the needle arrangement is good.
This sets you up to do regular English Rib.  Knit 20 rows.  Take the knitting off on waste yarn and run the garment yarn through the stitches of the last row to gather the stitches.  Gather the stitches for the crown of the hat, sew the side seam, and tack on the flower.
Child-Size Hat:  I made a child’s hat with 17 groups of 2 needles on the main bed.  I knitted 6 rows for the cuff, 36 rows of the double English Rib, and 12 rows of the single English Rib.  For the flower embellishment, I used the same number of stitches but repeated the tuck procedure only twice. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Start the New Year Right - A New Video!

Happy New Year! 

First thing I accomplished this year, after sleeping in and having a nice breakfast, was upload a new video.  John upgraded our bandwidth, and oh, that made it so easy and fast to do the upload.

I have a BUNCH of videos ready to go for 2016!  This one was my demonstration at Knit Natters recently.  I mailed one to our Barbara (John's 90-year-old mom, who rescues animals and is going strong).  Barbara likes soft but warm hats for her early morning dog walks, and she said she just loves this one.  One went to Steven's girlfriend, as well, and I also sized this down to a child's size for a girlfriend at Knit Natters.  (She was planning to make it for a little girl and her doll, and I can't wait to see that.) 

A couple hats are pictured here, but somehow in the Christmas hubbub, I didn't photograph the ones I gave away, which were my favorites.  I didn't sew the flower into a circle on those, which gives more of a crewel look, and I used an unusual yarn for one of them.  If Barbara can email me a photo, I'll share that.

I think that if you stick to a soft yarn, this would make a decent chemo hat, for those of you who collect and knit those patterns.  It's fluffy, not flat, feminine and gently warm.  I used sport weight yarn on the Brother 270 (bulky).

What fascinates me about this technique is that it's double English rib.  That is, do you see how there are TWO needles tucking next to each other?  Guess what, you can get away with this! 

Now it's 2016, I've got New Year's Day off, and time's a-wasting.  I'm going to go knit - hope you can find knitting time, too!