Monday, March 27, 2017

Hello! I'm back!

If I owe you an email or if you're just wondering about me being MIA the last few days, well, we took a vacation and cruised with old friends.

OLD friends!  We went to each other's weddings!  We camped together, two families with two boys each!.  Their adult sons came along on the cruise, and it was wonderful to get to know them and their wives as adults.  Our boys didn't come - one had to work, and the other has a sweetie who gets very seasick.

This was great fun, but now I have to get back to the real world and off Island Time.  I'm in the final run-up to teaching at the Knit Knack Shop's annual Spring Fling.  If you have never gone, you really ought to go over to and read about it.  As knitting seminars go, this is one of the very best!  Barbara Deike (my Passap wizard friend) is coming along to help me out, and I love to travel with her.

Meanwhile, at work, we're being audited this week.  After we catch our breath from that, we're being audited again (a different kind of audit).  I've done this a long time, but I still get anxious.  I want everything to be fine, but we have so much accounting to do, and just two of us, that we're always finding and fixing mistakes in our own work, let alone having it examined by outsiders.

Gotta run and answer some more of those emails.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Knit Natters Met Today

Today was our Austin area machine knitting club meeting, Knit Natters.  We meet at a church in Leander.

Today Delpha showed us her brand new LK150 - really makes mine look a little old and worn, but I've had such pleasure with that lovely machine, and Delpha plans to "wear it out!"  She's already made a pile of hats and a scarf. 

Joan put a new sponge strip in her portable machine, and we were all pulling needles.  I was surprised at how quickly she and Pat put in that strip.  She carried it off with plans to clean all the needles before they go back in the machine.

I had the demo today, and I taught this Entrelac blanket - it's something I came up with to add to my afghan class at the Knit Knack Shop's Spring Fling next month.  Look, Ma, no triangles!  This Entrelac is on the square. 

Our local club is very good about letting me try out my new demos on them, and after I showed this technique using use one color of yarn, Dea said I ought to stick with several colors because it's so much easier to see the diagonal rows.

We talked about future plans for the club, at least a little bit.  We've got hopes of attending the Dallas seminar in October, carpooling to Dallas to see Sandee Cherry teach.  We nearly always send a contingent. We also rescheduled the April meeting so Barbara and I can attend, even though we're going to Knit Knack Shop the weekend we usually meet. 

It was nice to see Dea again, too; she had been out a while with illness.  Today, she purchased an extra Knit Leader I had - I had picked it up at a garage sale some time back.  You never know what you'll find at thrift stores and garage sales, but the really lucky thing about this one was everything was there, and complete.

John repaired my KE-100 Brother motor drive today.  It had stopped counting backwards, so I had to watch the rows.  He took it apart, cleaned it and removed old, gunky grease, and it's working great now. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Old Knitting Files

A few years ago, when I bought a new computer for my knitting, I took the old computer apart, and it has sat in a corner of the room now for three or four years.  

Thinking about some goodies I have on that computer and that I wanted them, hubby helped me fish it out of the corner and set it up today.  I pulled off dozens and dozens of old knitting files, and I've been having a good time browsing through them.  

Most of them are Design A Knit pattern files.  I have a real tendency to entertain myself by making up stitch patterns, whether I ever knitted them or now.  I also worked out a lot of more complicated knitting in DAK first.  I'd download them to the machine, discover problems as I knitted, go to the computer and fix the problems, and download and test again.

There are about 30 doily patterns, some much better than others.  Just as I have used the slip buttons on the Brother machine to make scalloped lace edgings, slip can be used to make short-rowed lace in pie shapes so that you knit and knit and get a round doily, tablecloth, shawl or whatever.  With a good invisible graft between the ending and the beginning, these things are lovely.  It's not that most people use doilies any more, but I just love figuring them out.

There are baby blanket files.  I had made a lot of garter carriage baby blankets for gifts where I would choose background and edge stitch patterns, and use the DAK font tool to program the baby's name into the center. 

There are about 35 garter stitch pattern files.  I made a number of big afghans that were stitch samplers.  One of them had garter stitch lace and hand-turned cables on it, as well, but my favorite thing to do by far was make afghans 3 or 4 panels wide with all sorts of stitches that didn't require any manual intervention.  The garter carriage would run for days, but these afghans were a wonderful weight and not much work after I figured out the first one.

I also found dozens of thread lace patterns and a gob of patterns styled after Norwegian fair isle themes.  

I also found old club demonstration files, photos from our knit club that reminded me of people I haven't seen in years, and Toyota, Brother, and Silver Reed stitch patterns saved in DAK.  

As a person who pack-rats data, there was a bunch of stupid stuff there, too, ridiculously outdated resumes, school essays the kids typed, and plenty of duplicates.  

Saturday, March 4, 2017

New Video for March - Scalloped Hem

For March, the new YouTube video is a scalloped hem that you can do on any flatbed knitting machine.  It's just some tuck stitch along with a regular hem.  I do love the looks of this, though, and hope you like it, too.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Knit Knack Seminar is Coming Up!

I just finished writing my instructional materials for the upcoming Spring Fling seminar at the Knit Knack Shop in Peru, Indiana.  The seminar is Friday and Saturday, April 7 and 8. 

This is a wonderful seminar, and if you have never gone, you ought to!  First of all, it's a big seminar with several teachers, so you have lots of class choices.  Also, the Knit Knack Shop has almost every kind of tool or item that you might need for your knitting machine, and Harold Shafer does repairs on machines.  Harold gets very busy during the seminar, so if you need a repair and want it done to take home with you, contact him right away.  When I've been there, Harold also had nice machines and accessories for sale, as well, at very good prices.

Oh, as speaking of shopping, they have all the Tamm yarns for machine knitting.  This is acrylic cone yarn, made in Mexico.  It's practical stuff that washes and wears, and it is ideal for our machines.

Another reason you should go is the incredible camaraderie.  This is a big seminar, with lots of knitters.  Almost everyone who stays in a hotel stays at the same place, and it can take on a knitting party atmosphere in the evenings! 

Another thing I love about the seminar is that the Shafers are organized and experienced.  The instructors are varied, all the teachers have written handouts, food is fine, and the event is orderly. 

So - what am I teaching?  Well, I made a lot of changes to my class lineup.  I always change it, but I've taught at Knit Knack before, and needed fresh material.  I'm starting out with a ribber class, with the English Rib Cloche Hat, Wiggles stitch, and a ribber seams overview.  Then I'm doing a lace class, with short-rowing lace, slant lace, scalloped edge lace, isolated lace, and finally, a hand-tooled lace edge for a triangle shawl.  Next class is a fun projects class with Kitty Cat Baby Hat, Mocassin Slipper, and Stuffed Hearts.  After that, I have a fitting class, where I'll talk about fit, gauge, knitter's math, and the Knit Leader.

On the second day, I'm teaching a fairly advanced garter bar class, then a tips and tricks class, and a class that is all about making cables.  After that, I'm doing a class called "Easiest Afghans Ever," where I teach several panel afghan techniques and a rather different (and pretty) simplified Entrelac afghan that I've named "Squared Away."  (My mom was always getting things "squared away.")  My second-to-last class is all edges and joins, and I've got some good ones you probably haven't tried.  And, finally, I'm teaching "This Class is Biased," because I've got some fun slanted projects, including the Slant Lace Circle Scarf, Bias Mid-Gauge Scarf, and Bias Gift Bag. 

Actually, not on the lineup, is my own version of Clapotis and my own version of a fast, stitch-out-of-work bias scarf that behaves a little different than Clapotis stitch.