Thursday, August 29, 2019

New Video Today - Enchanted Edgings on Brother Punchcard Machine

I had a reader having trouble with doing Enchanted Edgings on a Brother punch card machine, so I borrowed a Brother 890 and filmed how to do it, step-by-step.


Here are some of the edgings samples which were made on a Brother 890.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Making Knee Socks & Boot Socks

I'd been cranking some socks lately on my 100-year-old Legare 47.  I've been making "Diana's Favorite Sock," which I teach in my Happy Cranker book and DVD.

I simply do a sock a day.  I have always cranked socks as a way to leave the concerns of life behind.  I think it's an exercise in mindfulness - you really have to pay attention to what you're doing when you work up socks on an antique machine.  I count my rows manually, often out loud, saying a row number as my crank hits the bottom of its cycle.  Yup, I know we could install a row counter, but my old Legare is authentic - and primitive.  My mind focuses on the knitting steps, and pretty soon it's finished and beautiful.

I stop to admire whatever the yarn colorway looks like knitted into a sock.  Finding very pretty sock yarns is a little sweet treat for my travels in life.

I crank the socks in a "string," starting the next sock after some waste knitting.  After I finish a sock, I usually take off the sock in the bottom of the string and sew up one sock, as well.  I enjoy a little sewing.  I use a magnifying Ott light and I listen to a book or music.

John and I have been going out country dancing with another couple lately.  They really know what they're doing, but John and I are beginners.  We can barely two-step, and when he twirls me, sometimes I get away!  A local place has a free lesson on Friday nights, and we have a wonderful time.  We listen, we practice, and we laugh at ourselves.  

The other lady and I were talking recently about our feet.  I'd been shopping for cowboy boots that don't rub anywhere.

She told me that she fights calluses from years of dancing in cowboy boots.  She described how she likes a thick sock or even a "boot sock."

Hmmm.  My homemade socks are rather thick.  Depending on the yarn, some of them are amazingly soft.

Time to think about making some knee socks, and this is just the sort of machine knitting problem I love to work out.

I hadn't made knee socks since my years as a hockey mom sitting in super-cold ice rinks watching Steven goal-keep.  Back then, I used to make 54-stitch socks, but now I make ribbed 72-stitch socks, which I know will work better.

Pictured is my first attempt.  With just a little math, I succeeded in getting the length right and making a top that stays up.  I wanted 12" of length, unstretched, between the ankle and the top cuff, and then a shorter top cuff.

The pink speckled sock is my typical pattern, knitted in Lorna's Laces.  The green mix is some Yarn Paradise wool blend, was made exactly the same through the ankle (I start at the toe).  Then I took off the heel spring and knitted 90 rounds with the needles set up like the ankle.  After that, I put the heel spring back in work and switched to knit one, purl one ribbing for the sock cuff.  The cuff is just like the cuff on the anklet except that it's only 30 rounds.  I know the top cuff looks wider than the cuff on the pink socks, but that's two pink socks in the picture, stacked a little offset, but only one green sock.

The calf area is wide enough because taking off the heel spring makes bigger stitches.  I did NOT want to change my machine tension, which is adjusted just the way I want it for my shorter sock.

I wear a women's medium.  This pair of Lorna's Laces socks weight 76 grams.  The finished pair of knee socks weigh 104 grams.  Since sock yarns are put up in 50- and 100-gram balls, you might run a little short unless you buy an extra ball or you use another yarn for the heel and toe.

If Diana's Favorite Sock works for you, you might like to try this.  I'm about average height, and on some people, you might fold the upper cuff down once, but I need all the length.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Asking me questions, making comments

I do love to get YouTube comments.  Most of them are encouraging, and many of them show me areas I ought to be covering or doing better.

Today I was trying to reply to a comment from Knitting Nana about necklines, and when I go to that video, the comment doesn't display.  So, as a stubborn critter, I go to "manage comments," and nope, it's not there.  I go to "spam" and find lots of comments that are not spam at all - in fact, I couldn't find any spam unless some of the ones in foreign languages are spam and I think those are about knitting, too.

Then there's "held for moderation."  I clean up some of those, but Knitting Nana's comment isn't there, either.

This has happened multiple times.  My email says I have a comment on YouTube, I want to reply, but I can't find it anywhere.

The truth is, I will never be able to communicate with you very well by using the comments on YouTube.  Some things are somewhat hidden, and then it's very difficult to go back and forth and clarify the questions.  Meanwhile, everyone else can read the "conversation" and that might help or send it down a rabbit trail, no telling.

If you want an answer, EMAIL ME.  There's an envelope icon here on the blog (left side, scroll down).  I check email daily unless something big is happening.

And then, I do my best to answer.  Sometimes I can truly help, and sometimes, I can't.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Knitting Shawls

I've been quiet here lately, with quite a lot going on.

I retired at the end of the year, went back to work temporarily in March, took several trips, and finished up the circular sock machine book and video.

All the while, I was working on shawls.  I'm putting a nice shawl collection together for a new book and video.

Starting with something simple and quick, a self-fringed shawl in two shapes - a deep triangle and a long, slow triangle.  The secret to a great fringe is to "lock" it by reinforcing the last stitch before the fringe.

A couple photos:
This one is "Shawl in a Ball," and takes one ball.  I made several out of that yarn - it's so much fun to see what the colors will do.  This brown has metallic golden accents.

 This is Caron Latte Cakes, takes one ball, and surprised me.  I thought I would not like the way the color changes along the miter, but I do like it!  It makes the shawl much more interesting. Unfortunately, this yarn is discontinued.

The peach shawl is the deeper triangle, and it's huge.  I made it with some worsted weight pure mohair.