Friday, August 17, 2012

Project #8 - Pair of Mittens - Knit in the Round!

While I had my ribber set up on my bulky and some left over yarn sitting about, I decided to knit a pair of mittens that would require a minimum of sewing after the fact.

I knit the ribbing as usual, which unfortunately cannot be done in the round, and set forth to see how I would make out.  Once the ribbing was done, and ending with my carriage on the right, I transferred all the needles right of 0 to the ribber and all the ribber needles on the left of 0 to the main bed.
Changed to knit arm - dropped the ribber bed slightly to knit the needles on the main bed onto waste yarn.  I removed the waste yarn stitches, turned the work and rehung the stitches over the opposite needles from the needlebed.  So now I had the same number of stitches on both beds directly opposite each other.

Weights are very important here so get lots of weight on both section (front and back)

Changed to ribber arm - Knit 14 rows which means 28 passes of the carriage.

Changed to knit arm -drop the ribber bed to work on knit bed only.
Put all but the 7 sts on the right to hold and set the carriage to hold as well.
pull out 7 more needles on the right and e-wrap them - hang a weight.
Thread up carriage and knit 14 rows
Transfer EOS to reduce down to 7 - knit across - remove sts on yarn tail with a tapestry needle.

Put all empty needles back to A position - then pull 7 back out to work position (B) immediately to the right of the needles in hold.
Pull the thumb piece up, fold it down then fold it to the left to create the thumb.  Hang the 7 loops on the top edge facing you on the seven empty needles.

Change to rib arm and push ribber back up with thumb in between the beds inside the mitten.
Thread up your carriage, make sure there is lots of weight as before and now make 56 passes

Finally, we just have to decrease for the finger tip section,  I decided I would decrease one stitch each side of the main bed and ribber and knit 4 rows until it got to I think it was 9 on each bed.  I took these off on waste yarn to graft later.

I repeated the same for the other mitten but made sure the thumb was on the left side so there is one more row after the 28 before you reach the thumb.  Otherwise everything else is the same.

Graft the fingertip, sew the short thumb seam and finally sew up the side seam on the ribbing.  Done.

I know it seams like a lot of changing of the ribber and knitting arms BUT I think the final result looks great and well worth the effort.  I would definitely make more this way for sure.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Mittens, Mittens, Mittens!

I have now finished 10 pairs of mittens for the Red Cross Winter Warmth Program that our Knit Club supports each year.

The mittens were made on my Studio 155 bulky machine using the ribber for the 1 x 1 rib.  They knit up very quickly.  The seaming takes about the same amount of time as the knitting.  I had a very large ball of veriagated yarn that just seemed to go on and on and on....  I still have a bit left that I can use as a colored strip on another pair which I'm going to do later. 

The pattern is basically the one on Irene Wood's site which I know many of you use for your mittens too.  It is a great pattern, easy to follow and gives good results.

I usually cast on 34 sts, rib for 18 rows, knit 14 rows, do thumb, knit 27 rows, shortrow the top flap, remove on waste yarn and I'm done the knitting part, I then just have to sew up the thumb seam, graft the flap and sew the side seam.   So you can see it is a very simple process.  One just has to remember to reverse the side for the thumb on the second mitten!  I've done them both the same and that doesn't quite work to make a pair.

Here's a photo of the final 10 pairs (includes the original 4 pair I showed earlier)  Click on the photos to enlarge if you wish.

I also have had a chance to work with my ribber on the bulky while playing with hand manipulated stitches in between ribber stitches - made for a very interesting afternoon.  Now I think I'll move this over to my standard and see what I come up with over there using this same technique.  I think it would be a great way to do scarves and also eliminate the rolling edges if the sides were done in 1 x 1 rib.......  Here is my test piece - color is awful but it was just a practice session so I really wasn't that fussy.  My goal was to produce something that was attractive on both sides and I think this would foot the bill in that department.

This is the right side of the piece
This is the wrong side of the piece

As you can see in the photos the sides tend to weave in and out as I was changing the direction of the lace sections which created that effect.  This doesn't really bother me but if needed I could probably block it straight.  This piece has not been blocked or steamed it is just as it came off the machine - no curled edges - whoopee!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

HK 100 8 mm Knitting Machine

This little machine is just the greatest.  It is portable so that makes it very useful for me when I want to knit out on the deck or take to Knit Club.  It is a very basic machine but does have a great tension dial on the carriage.  The yarn sits on the floor in front of the machine but that really doesn't bother me.  I have knit several projects on the HK 100.  One of my favorites is my Color Block Afghan that used up a lot of odds and sods of yarn and created a lovely blanket as well as a lap robe. 

This is the Color Block Afghan

This is a Square Afghan that could be used as a lap robe or
just a cozy blanket for toddlers to play on the floor

The squares are done in panels separated by rows of a contrast border color.  I joined the panels by knitting a strip of the contrast border color and at the same time joining the panels to it using the "Sew As You Go" technique.  Worked up quickly and used up a lot of yarn I would have ignored because there wasn't enough to make anything with!  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Project #6 - Diana Sullivan's Entrelac Hat

I ordered Diana's "Wear Your Diamonds" Book and DVD which arrived late last week.  I spent the next day viewing the DVD and reading through the instruction book.  I must commend Diana for her wonderful way of giving all the instructions and information to the reader/viewer.  It is easy to follow and one feels quite confident when you actually start the project on your own. 

I worked away at this project one full afternoon, taking my time to make sure I was following Diana's instructions and not rushing myself through each section.  I must say I really enjoyed the whole process.  The finishing was quite simple with very few yarn ends to sew in as the hat is only seamed in the ribbed section, the rest is done in a continuous circle of blocks. 

I have always put entrelac on the back burner thinking it was such a lot of work and fiddling around.  I have since changed my tune and will now go ahead and try more projects using this technique.  Perhaps that shoulder bag that Diana has on her site right now. 

Here are a couple of photos of the hat I did: (Click on photos to enlarge)

Side View: Really impressed with this pattern

Top View:  Love the finished crown section

Bear in mind the hat is pulled over a very large cone of yarn but it will fit a normal size head as there is a lot of give to the width.  I think this would make an excellent Christmas gift along with a pair of mittens in the same colors..... hmmmm

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Project #5 - Used Fair Isle and Intarsia Carriage

Today I decided to work on a simple little pullover and test out some ideas I have had swimming around in my brain.  I'm working on my LK 150 using #3 yarn on a project MT of 4.

I do not like the starting edge of relatched rib, it seems too "puffy" to me.  I tried working in a 2 x 1 rib today with various changes in tension.  I started with an e-wrap cast on, doing the next four rows in ascending tensions.  I started with 2 dot, next row was 3, next 3 dot and finally 4 for the rest of the ribbing.  When I relatched, I picked up the two lower bars, turned them to create a e-wrap stitch then relatched the rest in the normal fashion. 

  Public Side - Regular Cast On - Puffy Edge

I played around with my Intarsia carriage to get the tensions on it and my fair isle carriage the same.  I was working with T4 on my fair isle carriage and had to jump up to T4 dot on the intarsia carriage to get the same tension throughout.

The back - I did with the fair isle carriage - no problem there. 

The front - I used the fair isle carriage to the opening at the front neck.  I put the front neck stitches on a circular needle.  I switched to my Intarsia carriage starting a new yarn supply for the left side of the bed.  I laid the yarn over the needles in both sections individually and knit across - whenever I had to decrease I did it on both sides of the neck so basically you are doing a mirror image.  Worked great - I will do that again for sure!

The sleeves - I was still messing around with the ribbing so I did two ribbing sections and put them on my garter bar.  Reading ahead in the pattern I realized I could probably stay with the intarsia carriage and knit both sleeves at the same time. 

I hung the two sleeve ribbing sections far enough apart to accommodate the increases on the arm section of the sleeve and off I went laying the yarn across the needles on each section separately and knitting across. 

Again when it came to the decreasing sections, whatever I did on one sleeve, I did on the other - so the sleeves are absolutely identical.  Again this worked great and I definitely do this again.

I am really impressed with the ease of using the two carriages to make this little sweater once the tension was the same on both.  As far as the ribbing situation, I think I'll go back to doing my ribbing last instead first as the finished edge is somewhat more attractive.  Also I have always used an e-wrap cast on for rib ~ may try a crochet cast on and see how that works.

Off to Project 6!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Project #4 done! - Actually it is a Vest.....

Just finished the little cabled front vest this afternoon.  Again this was done on my LK 150 mid-gauge as I'm spending as much time as I can out on my deck knitting.  I did a rolled neck but decided to rib the armholes but maybe another time I would just do a single crochet around that area for a lighter look.   Still have some yellow yarn left - may make a baby sweater and hat with what I have left - that may be Project #5.....

 Here are the photos of Project # 4:

Knitting on the Deck

The deck has a roof so I'm protected from the hot sun and the past couple of days there has been a lovely breeze with the temperatures in the low 70's which is just great for outdoor knitting. 

Here is my deck knitting space - love it out here when it isn't too hot or humid.

I have a metal stand that I use out here - my husband cut some wood boards to put behind the machine so I have a place to put "stuff".  I also make use of the side tables for my tools etc. 

 I'm close to the kitchen to grab a cold drink or my favorite a cup of tea and I have my radio on which I can listen to while I knit.  My chair swivels which makes it easy to move around but would probably prefer my steno chair from my knitting room.  Just too lazy to bring it downstairs.....

You can see why I enjoy knitting outside and have even been out there when it is raining although the knitting machine doesn't work so well when the air is damp.  So I don't do that very often.

I keep the metal stand and my old yarn winder on the deck all the time.  I cover the yarn winder to keep the bugs/dust off of it and also put a plastic cloth over the table to keep it dust free as well. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sweater Number Three - Short Sleeve Pullover

Just finished this little gem should fit a size 2 or 3 child.  I did a some hand manipulated stitches over the centre front just to take away from the plain appearance.  The center column actually worked right into the 1x1 ribbing around the neckline.  The knitting gods where with me to have that work out so well and not be planned ahead!  Enjoyed doing this one.  Still have yellow yarn left so maybe next will be a baby sweater and hat/toque to match.  Onward to number Four!!!

This sweater was done on my LK 150 mid-gauge using Bernat Sport yarn - again this is a basic pattern from Knitware that I just improvised a little.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Boy's Size 4 Pullover with a little fairisle...

Here is another little pullover for some young fellow to wear this fall or winter.  I am working on sweaters for all sizes of children (boys and girls) for my charity basket.  I thought it would be nice to embellish this pullover with some fairisle blocks.  This is a basic set in sleeve with crew neck pattern.  Perhaps the next one I'll incorporate a fuller sleeve as this one does seem a little narrow.  I used my Knitware program for a 28 inch child's pullover and it turned out dead on for the measurements on the schematics.  Now that is impressive.  I used Bernat "Satin" which I do like because of the shine but don't like because it really splits easily and I think might be a problem with ends unravelling.  I was very careful to make sure all the ends were secured.

I finally got my camera working again.  Apparently my rechargeable batteries were not recharging so I got some new ones.  It seems to be good to go now.

Here is a photo of my latest endeavour - took all of one afternoon knitting out on my deck using my LK 150 mid-gauge machine and one evening sewing it up in my lazyboy chair in front of the TV. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Charity Knitting Started

Well after being so inspired after our seminar over the weekend (May 5th and 6th), I got all my things put away and sat down in my knitting room deciding what to do first!  I uncovered my LK 150 and decided to put it to work.  I settled on a simple raglan sleeve cardigan using my Knitware program.  Then it really needed a little hat to go with it.  So often I see lots of sweater sets for little baby girls cause you can fancy them up with lace bits or something girlie!  So with that in mind I have decided the boys should not be left out - after all they are cute little bundles of joy too!

Here's is my first little boy set - bear in mind this photo was taken before I sewed on the buttons but I assure you they are sewn on now - but my camera is acting really funny lately.  It takes a couple of pictures then tells me the batteries are running out.  I check the batteries and they are still good.  I changed to new batteries and the same thing happens.  Will have to investigate further as I can't do without my camera.

Nine of our club members were off to Peter Smith's Sew 'n Knit 'n Serge Outlet on May 9th in Toronto.  I got a couple of carriages repaired - always a fun trip.  We got our yarn shopping done then went for lunch at Swiss Chalet and of course visit the cookie store right next door then wandered home making for a great day.

I did get some coned cotton which I hope to make up some summer sleeveless tops for myself.  Also got some beautiful coral yarn for another cardigan for myself.  There were so many great buys at the Tent Sale at Peter's it just boggles one's mind to make decisions as to what you should buy!!!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Our Very First Machine Knitting Seminar

Over the past two days May 5th & 6th, we had our first Machine Knitting Seminar - This was our first attempt but all and all I think we managed to make it a worthwhile experience for all  20 attendees.

We rented the hospitality suite at the Comfort Inn in Peterborough, Ontario which included a small kitchen and a bathroom.  Food was catered in each day and provided lots of goodies at breaks and excellent lunches of soup, sandwiches, fruit and veggie trays with a great dessert plus all the tea, coffee, water and soda we needed.  The Comfort Inn employees went out of their way to make sure we had everything they could supply and then some.  The beauty of using a hotel is the accommodations are in the same building for the instructor(s) and participants plus there was a Kelsey's Restaurant in the same building so we didn't even have to go outdoors.  Another big plus was the swimming pool and hot tub along with the free hot breakfast that came with the room....  Not bad at all.

Our instructor for the two day seminar was the one and only Eileen Montgomery from Burlington, Ontario - check out her site at  Eileen has done many seminars throughout North America.  We were so thrilled to have her as our first instructor for our first seminar.  She brings so much information through the samples she shows and actual hands on knitting through various stitches, techniques and so on.  A joy to learn from and a wonderful person to boot.

Here is Eileen Montgomery with our grand prize winner Nancy Johnson who won her registration fee!  In other words her seminar was "FREE"....

Below are a few pictures of Eileen showing some of her samples.  You will note the big flat screen TV behind Eileen that made viewing her work on the machine so easy without straining to see around someone else.  That is sure the way to go if the technology is there.

Along with Eileen came Pat Holbrook from Cardiknits in Hamilton, Ontario - .  Pat brought along lots of coned yarns and all the little gadgets, tools, beads, etc that we all love to have.

I brought two items for Show and Tell - the first is my filigree angel that I really enjoyed making.  It was a challenge for sure but the end result was so pretty.  I also brought my table runner that I have covered here earlier which was well received.

There were so many show and tell items suits, coats, dresses, fish hats, a clown, a jacket/hat/vest made out of beaver fur, and shrugs - really too many to mention.  Give us a few days then go to that will show our full photo coverage of the seminar when we get it up and running.  Then you can go in and look for yourself at all the Show & Tell goodies we have at knit club each month plus the seminar. 

All in all I thoroughly enjoyed our first seminar.  Learned a few things that we would change but as far as the content given by Eileen Montgomery, I wouldn't change a thing.

Our Kawartha Carriage Knitters' Club has sistered with the Creation Manon Salois (CMS)Machine Knitting Club. Next year it will be their turn to put on the seminar and our turn to travel. As information becomes available on our 2013 seminar I will post it here! 

For several years my dear friend and fellow machine knitter Barbara Rooke and I have travelled to their seminars held in Carlton Place, Ontario and Ottawa, Ontario and last year it was suggested that maybe we try alternating and possibly getting a third club to join us.  Our goal originally was to create a triangle of destinations for the seminars.  If there is a third group out there interested we would love to have you join us on this adventure.  We want to keep machine knitting in the forefront and start enlisting some of the younger generation to learn this wonderful craft. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Intarsia Knitting

Thought I would try my hand at intarsia knitting.  Decided to do a pillow cover which could have been done by knitting two blocks of different colors and then repeating with two more colors doing the sew as you go routine.  But I stuck to my guns, did my swatch with the intarsia carriage and worked out the stitches/rows per inch, measured my pillow and away I went.  Turned out pretty good. 

I think I would come up with a better way of the doing the final seaming so it could be removable for cleaning but for this exercise I didn't go into it that deeply....  The one thing I really like is the front and the back are identical - pretty neat.

Found this pattern on the internet (not sure where now) but it was a good way to do a simple intarsia project and sort of got my juices going to try something on a sweater I have been thinking about for my great granddaughter.....

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Table Runner Project

Just finished knitting, blocking and admiring my latest project - a table runner for my table.  Now that I see it on the table I think I'll make some place mats to match.  That should keep me out of mischief for a while!!!!

Here are some photos of myo project - click on the photos to enlarge if you wish.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Knit Club Today

At our Knit Club today, we tackled a short row scarf pattern.  One of our members Pat was our project manager for the day and did an excellent presentation.  The scarf is a little challenging but the end result is very satisfying.  Here is the one I did - plan to wear it with my navy blue jacket.  I'm anxious to see what the other knitters come up with.  Even our newbies were amazingly knitting away on their scarves and doing very well. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Let's knit socks

Our Knit Club is doing a workshop on "Socks".  I have made up several pairs to show the different heel styles you can accomplish on your machine.

1. The sock pictured below was done on my Singer 360 standard gauge (4.5) using the Sew as You Go principle with a shaped heel and a short rowed toe. The ribbing was done manually to form a 2 x 1 rib. The seam is almost invisible on this sock.  Once washed I bed it will disappear completely.

The second set are Basic Flat Socks knit on my LK 150 mid-gauge (6.5) machine.  I use this pattern for bed socks.  Note that one set with shaped heel, the other with short rowed heel.  Toes were short rowed on both and instead of ribbing I doubled the number of rows that would have been for the rib section and rehung the cast on stitches to form a folded top on the bed sock.

The next pairs are knit using the Sew As You Go technique.  Again with the different style heels, short rowed toes and  2 x 1 ribbing.  This is my preferred method as there is very little sewing once knit.  Again the seams virtually disappear once the socks are laundered.

All of these socks work up rather quickly and I make the bed socks up for myself and friends.  Have a few at the door in a basket so folks don't need to worry about bringing slippers on bad weather days.  I usually send them home with the pair they wear.  I sometimes wonder if folks come to visit on nasty days just to get a new pair of bed socks!!!  Just kidding.  

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My re-vamped knitting room

I think I have finally got my knitting room to the stage where I can actually knit in there without falling over something or losing the very item I need. 

My room is about 9 foot square, probably was a nursery when the house was built in 1976.  I removed the carpet and now have beautiful hardwood floors that my steno chair travels around on with ease.

Entering the room from the hall, you can see I have three machines set up.  They are covered when I'm not working on them to keep the dust bunnies from invading their innards.

On the back of the hallway door, I have this handy door hanger that holds all kinds of tools, wires, extra scissors and so on.  This changes from time to time as some things become obsolete and need to be discarded. 


When the hallway door is opened into the knitting room, in behind I have removed the bi-fold closet door and had hubby put in some shelving for my pattern books, magazines and some other odds and ends.   Below the shelves is a wooden two drawer legal size file cabinet with a little drawer on top for "stuff".

In the top drawer of the file cabinet I have hanging files for my punch cards - this works really well and they don't get damaged or bent out of shape just quietly hang there until needed.

Right beside the storage closet is a short piece of wall on which I have placed a peg board.  This holds my clamps, garter bars, cast on combs and other sundry items that I don't want to have to play hide and seek to find.  All is out in the open and easy to reach.

Below the peg board are two small shelving units.  These hold my reference books, most of my attachments for the machines like carriages, linkers and on top a couple of yarn winders.

In the corner beside the book cases and under my television platform, is another little shelving unit for my ribber weights, some more attachments and of course some yarn.
Beside the corner shelves is also a plastic roll around three drawer unit for more storage.


We have turned the corner and here is my Singer 360 (without the ribber at the moment), under the window.  Under the window is a little shelving unit I found in my travels that is perfect for storing all kinds of goodies.  Again within easy reach no matter what machine I may be working on.

Below the 360, I have put a little shelf on there to store my Bond machine and also have my yarn holders there.  The yarn is fed up through the table as I can't move it away from the wall.

Here are the holes in the table top, which are lined with plastic tubing.  I set up my yarn below the table, feed it up through the appropriate hole and away I go.

Beside my 360 and in the next corner is my double yarn tree.  Love this little gem as it holds a lot of yarn cones in a very little amount of space.


This is where my Bulky Studio 155 with ribber lives.

Over the Studio 155 is a bulletin board to hold swatches, extra circular needles and reminders that I might need from time to time

Below the Studio 155 is more storage for my large yarn winder, which is on a wooden pedestal to raise it up for me as my old back can't take too much bending over these days.  Also a little collapsible stool that I sometimes pull out just to put "stuff" on where it is handier than behind the main bed.
There is a little step platform there which I need for reaching the upper shelves of the storage cupboard but otherwise is kept fairly clear or with extra yarn that I may want handy for a current project.

In the corner is another little shelving unit that holds my knitting DVD's and other items I use for cataloguing my patterns etc.  On top is my fan (hot flashes need cooling down at times) and of course my telephone which has a head set so I can talk but still have my hands free to do whatever needs to be done.


We are almost around the whole room!

On the west wall I have installed 4 shelves to house yet more coned yarn. 

Below the shelves of coned yarn is my LK 150 set up and ready to go.  The table it is on came with my Singer 360 but I use it for my plastic beds (stored underneath) or for my laptop computer if I'm working on a pattern.

Below this table there is a shelf just under the top which is very handy for storing carriages, garter bars and so on that you need as you work.  Below that is another shelf spanning the cross bars on the legs that hold my HK 100, LK 100 and a box of needle retainers for all my machines, kept dust free and out of the way.

My ribbers are usually on the machines at all times, however the day I took these photos my 360 ribber was sitting on my guest room bed.  It has now been put back on the machine.

One thing I have found to be extremely handy is the rotating storage bins I use for my transfer tools, rulers, latch tools etc.  There is one behind my LK150.  I have for each machine so the tools are always handy.  I bought these at Staples but I'm sure any office supply store carries them. 

Lighting is also very important.  I have a florescent light on the ceiling with two long "daylight" bulbs.
For the bulky I have a Ott light there that works on hydro or battery and finally another light with the LK 150.  I really need these when using darker yarns. 

Finally I have a very comfortable steno chair (seen in first photo) without arms which I find perfect for me.  It is adjustable and comfy to sit in. 

I must admit I do have a supply of yarn balls and skeins. Again I took over a closet in the guest room because there were two! We put shelves in there and that holds 10 tubs of yarn labelled for easy locating of whatever I need for a particular project.

Hope you enjoyed the tour of my tiny knitting room and the closet yarn annex. I have learned to keep things neat and organized or I would be in a real mess. Fortunately it has also taught me to finish each project I start so I don't have a lot of UFO's to deal with so I'm thinking that is a good thing!  Happy Knitting Everyone!