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!