Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Guest Article by Abby Holt

I don't run a lot of guest articles, but Abby Holt hunted down some interesting links and ideas, and it's so timely during the holidays!

Made with Love: DIY Holiday Crafting That Won't Bust Your Budget

 With the holidays approaching, it’s easy to get sucked into feeling like you have to spend a lot to show how much you care. But who says gifts have to come from a store? There are plenty of  DIY ideas for presents and decor that don’t bust your budget. From zeroing in on the best gift ideas to finding deals on crafts and supplies, Diana Natters has the resources to help you get started.

 Crafting Gift Ideas

 Here are some fun and budget-friendly crafting gift suggestions:

           Visit Diana Natters’ Blog About Machine Knitting

      30 DIY Christmas Card Ideas to Send Out This Season

      20 Inexpensive Homemade Gift Ideas

 Shopping and Saving Tips

 Learn how you can save on craft and art supplies:

            15 Super Places to Buy Art and Craft Supplies Online

      Find Local Art Supplies & Craft Stores

Crafting Supplies

 Here are some supplies you may need for your next crafting project:

            Craft Supply Checklist

      Versatile Crafting Supplies for Multiple Crafts

      The 16 Tools Every Crafter Must Have

 Starting a Crafting Business

 As you improve your crafting, you may want to start a side hustle or even your own business.

           How to Start an In-Home Craft Business

      How to Sell Online: The Complete Guide

      Learn the best way to start an LLC for Your Crafting Business

 It’s important to note that creating gifts shouldn’t be a stress inducer but a stress reliever. Make sure you don’t overextend yourself or attempt a project you might not finish. This is supposed to bring a smile to your face and the giftee!

 So without further ado, roll up your sleeves, crank up those holiday tunes and get into the spirit of the season.

 Diana Natters is your ultimate blog resource on machine knitting. Read more informative articles today!

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Needle Beetle Madness

 I can hardly call these Needle Beetle videos reviews at this point - I think the device is awesome and am now quite biased!  I don't have a financial arrangement with Kris Basta, but she has given me some Beetles to demonstrate with videos, and I certainly had fun doing that.

I put up two more Needle Beetle videos today because my husband John pointed out that they would make GREAT Christmas presents, and maybe if I got the videos up, people would buy them for gifts.  So, if you want to give a machine knitter with a plastic bed machine (Brother 350, Brother Convertible, Studio LK-150), they will be absolutely wowed.  You can purchase them at www.kriskrafter.com.  You will need to know the model number the person has so you can choose the correct model.  Sorry, these are NOT for metal bed machines.  They're for the most popular plastic bed ones.

I'm not the only one doing Needle Beetle videos.  Kris has some good ones on YouTube and other people, do too.  

Here are my two latest videos:

This first video is using the Brother convertible 395 as a standard gauge machine.  My friend Angelika has one of these, and she brought it over to my house, then we played with it all morning using the Needle Beetle and getting a decent Fair Isle routine.  Here's the amazing thing - as a standard gauge machine, you can get 16 stitch pattern repeats!  Wow - look at the fancy star I was able to knit after I finally got the hang of it.

If you use it as a bulky machine by swapping out the striker combs, then you get 8-stitch repeats, as usual.

Next video:

Now this is the 8-stitch repeats on the Brother 350.  I have one of those - it's very similar to the LK-150 except that it is a 7 mm machine, rather an odd duck size, but quite good for many weights of yarn.  It has 132 needles.  I was able to do Fair Isle quite quickly using the trick where you pull the needles (using the Beetle) but then you set the carriage to knit B-position needles only going to the left and knit held needles only going back.  Sometimes this isn't so good - the floats are on top of the held needles - but it was fantastic with this machine and I'm glad I did it that way.  Try it on YOUR machine, since it will save you time.  I also showed how to deal with the end needles to avoid messy edges.

Here's an older video, my first one with the Needle Beetle, and using the LK-150.  I was doing tuck and slip patterns, because they're quite easy with the Beetle and look great:

And here's the last one, also using the LK-150 and another great Kris Krafter goodie, the Weave-R.  It's a little weaving arm for the LK, and I had a great time with it.

Do you need some 8-stitch pattern charts?  I have them in my FREE Facebook knitting-only group, "Knitting with Diana Sullivan," which you can join here.  Look in the files after you join.  It's a big .pdf file.  There isn't a lot of content over there, but you can join at pretty much the beginning of the group and watch it develop.  

Friday, December 3, 2021

NEW YouTube Video - Elf Hat

 I am having more digital patterns to keep the cost and shipping down and to reach different people.  

The problem with this is that I have always believed that an important part of my work was the companion videos showing all the techniques.  People who couldn't follow other patterns could follow mine!  Now I have the idea of putting up a free video showing the techniques that go into a pattern I am selling.  This kills two birds with one stone - it teaches techniques for free and helps sell a pattern and keep me in business.

I put up this Elf Hat (which I featured in Joy of Machine Knitting - if you were in that seminar, you already have this pattern in the private group and on your USB).  I love this one because it has a very interesting hem and lots of easy garter bar work.  Maybe if I can get folks to try the garter bar doing something easy but super useful, like even decreases, they'll use the bar more.  I have the Elf Hat pattern in five sizes for standard, mid-gauge and bulky machines.

I also put up an Etsy page where you can get a digital pattern much faster.  My regular shopping site doesn't support this, but Etsy does.  If you order at my regular site, I email you your pattern when I see the order the next morning.  At Etsy, you download it right away.  So that's new - I am old but I can learn!  Click here to see my new (very small) Etsy store.

I'm also suggesting to people that they join my new Facebook group.  I now have a free group that is knitting-related only and is going to be a very nice community.  I am not crazy about Facebook, but if you limit content to a topic and have sensible group rules, it's got some great features, including the ability to post videos and files and interact so easily.  I have already posted a bunch of 8-stitch patterns because I have been making Needle Beetle videos (they're not all up yet - just a little more to do).  Here is the link to the Facebook group, and I hope you'll consider joining.

Here's the new video: