Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Yarn Bombing Football style!

My trainer left for a week in New York and I knew it was a perfect time to yarn bomb her.  Several things had entered my mind over the past year.  She loves her Raiders and I love my Niners.  Thought I might yarn bomb her with Niner colors, but thought that would be the shortest lived yarn bomb.  Then thought out of respect for our friendship and in the name of fun I'd give her what she'd want... Raider colors.
What to yarn bomb?  Why not the 4X4 post of her mailbox.  I took a measurement trip to her house.  I knew she had a neighbor watching her house, but who?  As I was measuring I saw a guy with a big ole truck and a big ole Raider's sign on the truck and thought that's the neighbor.  Of course he's home on a weekday while I'm out messing with the mailbox.  I knew then I'd have to install this yarn bomb at the last minute, because if he saw me he'd text my trainer.  He'd tell her some crazy lady is messing with your mailbox.  That's his job.

I went to Joanns to get the Red Heart's team spirit yarn.  I knew it would have the right team colors and make it easy.  WHAT?!  Joanns had every team BUT the Raiders.  Poutingly, I walked around the yarn section trying to come up with plan B.  When I walked toward the Team Spirit display from another angle I could see 2 skeins of black and silver buried in the back!!  Yahoo!!  I dug in and got them.  That's all I wanted 2 skeins.

Came home and began swatching to get the size I needed to wrap around the 4X4.  I borrowed my parking block from the garage, which is a 4X4.  That was handy getting the right size, which reminds me I need to put that back in the garage before I hit the hot water heater.

Began my knitting nothing fancy just stripes of black and silver. Knitted it to the length I wanted and planned my day to install.  I knew what time she was coming home and planned to install that morning.  Hoping her house watcher was at work and wouldn't notice the yarn bomb.  It's a dude it could happen.
As luck would have it he was at work.  Took about an hour to install as I wanted to mattress stitch it neatly and match up the stripes.  I wanted it to look good from all angles.  After I was done I neatened up the bark around the mailbox and thought the whole thing looked really nice and FUN!
My trainer got home and immediately noticed the mailbox thinking it looked like it leg warmer on it.  She loved it AND had no idea who had done it.  What what?  About 6 hours after getting home she texted me, "Did you yarn bomb my mailbox?"  I jokingly sent back, "It took you 5 hours and 59 minutes longer to figure it out than I thought it would."  She laughed and texted back, "Girl I'm sleep deprived from a week in New York and the red eye."  OK you're excused.

She loves it!  I told her after football season is over I'd come over and take it down.  She loves it so much she's going to leave it up until it's ready to fall off.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Yarn Bomb 2015

This is turning into a yearly thing, but ideas run through my mind all year.  The idea of covering this bench came to mind as my 2nd yarn bomb last year.  I finally had a chance with the 3 day weekend to bring this idea to fruition.

I told my husband I wanted to bring my knitting machine to the beach.  I heard some grumbling.  The kind you try to do for just for yourself, but sometimes someone over hears.  So, I asked what the problem was.  We were taking his car, which is a lot smaller than mine.  Lot better gas mileage though.  He said, "Now we're going to have to put my back seat down and poke your machine through there.  It's throwing the whole packing off."  I quickly grabbed my Brother 230 to show him, because I didn't think he knew how small it was.  Out bugged his eyes exclaiming, "It's so small."  Happy hubby again.  My project only required stockinette, so I knew this basic machine would do the job.
I grabbed all the worsted weight yarn that I had no plans for or had been given to me.  I knew I wanted a basic plain color for the background.  Then I figured I'd add colored stripes to extend the amount of the plain color.  I had no idea how much I would like the way it turned out.
First 2 days we enjoyed our vacation together.  Evening of the 2nd day I measured and did a couple swatches.  The 3rd day confident of the size and my design I begin to knit.  Hubs loves having time to just sit and read.  While I knitted I did some grumbling of my own.  The wheels with the brushes on them on the arm kept causing a loop and jamming the carriage.  My friend Becky says to take those wheels off and never put them back on.  I'm always hesitant thinking they are on there for a reason.  What I don't know, but just like tonsils when they start causing a problem I take them off.  Slipped them into a snack baggy and put them in my tool box.  Just in case I find out what they are for and need them again.  Knitting was now a breeze.  I changed colors and rows as the whim hit me.
At one point I took it out to the bench to try it on for size and make sure I was on track.  Fruitful visit.  I liked the way it was going and found out I was halfway to completing the top.

I always think of yarn bombing as a sneaky thing.  Slip out and do it while nobody is looking.  This bench I thought was perfect.  I seldom ever see anyone on it or any where near it.  While I was trying on the above half hubby was keeping an eye out.  He saw someone coming and said, "Some one's coming!"  I finished a couple stitches and looked up to see who it was.  No one around.  I asked where did they go?  Hubs said, "I don't know maybe I scared them off when I said 'Someone's coming.'  Lord knows what they think we're doing out here."  We had a good chuckle.

The next morning we headed out to the bench to install my yarn bomb.  Before I get a needle out our new neighbor was at the bench, "Whatcha doin'?"  I basically tell her it's a secret go away.  She chuckled and left.  I taught hubby how to whip stitch and we both began sewing.  Before we know it we are being snuffled by a big dog in our faces.  Owner calls it off and says, "How neat" and keeps walking by on the path.  Next two men show up and are standing enjoying the ocean view and ignoring us and we do the same.  Stitching away.  A woman joins them with a dog on a leash.  I look up at her and she rolls her eyes.  OK someone who doesn't like yarn bombing.  There are a few out there.  She begins talking to the two men and they all take off.  Next a woman with a poodle and then a man on a bike go by.  I comment to my husband that I don't think I've seen this many people at the bench over the last 10 years.  He laughs and says, "Keep sewing the bus tour is going to be here any minute."

Back to stitching.  Sun blaring down on us.  Loving that I put on sunblock before coming out.  No joke about 15 minutes later a group of 10 people go hiking past.  They stop admire our work and the lead person tells the group she can't believe I've been out there all night working on the project.  Now I'm secretly rolling my eyes.  The group starts to leave and one member asks, "No really have you been out all night?"  I tell her no.  Chuckling about the "tour group" and I'm talking to my hubby he interrupts me and says with urgency in his voice, "Keep sewing maybe we can get this done before the Segway tour comes through."  Now I'm snorting with laughter, but I keeping whip stitching knowing this could quite possibly be true.

All total it took about 2 hours to get it sewn.  We were very pleased with the way it turned out.  I worried at first it would stick out like a sore thumb.  Instead it looks like a cozy welcoming cover.

I'll be back next month and fingers crossed it will still be there and in good shape.  I am curious how it will hold up against nature, the weather and the tour groups. :D

PS:  I went back a month later to see how it was holding up.  I didn't want a ratty tatty bench.  I was prepared to take it down if it was dirty or torn.  It was completely gone.  Not one scrap of yarn to be found.  It looked like a mafia clean up crew had been in to make sure all evidence of its demise was gone.  

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Having Fun Learning How to Use My Brother KH 270

This week's lesson was learning how to do an "open tuck stitch pattern."  I saw this pattern on CCKITTENKNITS blog in January.  Thought it was nice.  It wasn't until Bonnie brought the project to our guild meeting that I saw it in person and thought "I have to make that."  She and I worked to get it setup on her machine.  She working the electronics of her bulky and me consulting on proper needle setup.  She was off and knitting and made a gorgeous cowl.

I got my electronic bulky and decided to bring it to our guild meeting this month.  Bonnie helped me read my manual and taught me how to set up my machine for open tuck.  I think because of my previous experience with her making this I was off and running quickly.  Next thing I knew I had made my first cowl.  One of the guild members had to take my picture in the cowl as she wanted to make one herself.  She sent me the photo.  She was making me laugh telling me how much she loved my smile.  What a great compliment.

Denim blue Woolike from Michaels
To seam my cowl I rehung the beginning ewrapped stitches on the needles.  I used the pattern of the needle set up to help me figure out which stitches to hang.  I then did a simple latch tool bind off.  I figured it would be just as easy to do this as to whip stitch it later and it was.

Charcoal Woolike from Michaels
Second cowl I made in the Charcoal gray.  My daughter had asked for a light weight scarf and I thought this just might fit the bill.  She loved it.

The Woolike yarn from Michaels was on sale when I bought it for $2 a skein.  It's turned out to be quite a bargain for such a soft, cozy and easy to work with yarn.  Big thank you to cckittenknits for this beautiful cowl pattern.  Cckittenknits shares a story on her blog regarding the making of one of these open tuck cowls and it's a fun read for machine knitters.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

PM 10 Punching Machine

I received this punching machine in a box of machine knitting items given to me.  It was filthy and I didn't even know if it worked or how it worked.  Found this handy video that got me started.  Still not sure if it works.  Got the tray that holds the card to stop willy nilly sliding back and forth and now it's stuck at the beginning and won't move.  Time to give it a good clean, open her up and see what's going on.  Looks like it would be a pretty fun and handy tool to have.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

"I've Got A Quick And Easy Project For Us To Do Bonnie"

Famous last words right.  My friend Bonnie and I were getting together at her house to do some machine knitting.  No real plan in place.  I decided to bring some yarn and a pattern I got at Stitches West.  I knew Bonnie had bought the same yarn for the same pattern.  Maybe she'd want to do the pattern with me?  She did.

So, while I got started working on the pattern she started rolling up her yarn.  First thing I noticed was I brought the wrong machine.  I, of course did a big no-no and didn't read the pattern first.  It said clearly use a standard machine.  I was going by what the shawl looked like.  I thought bulky.  It's done on every other needle on a standard.  Whoops.  Bonnie to the rescue!  She pulls out a standard brother machine for me to use.  I don't think I've ever used a Brother machine, but how hard can it be I just need to do stockinette.

The brother machine wasn't hard to use, but it did have one crucial step that my Studio doesn't require.  It's a bad habit of mine that the Brother repeatedly reminded me I needed to stop.  I leave the yarn feeder lever open.  I call it "the gate."  When changing yarns often on the Studio I leave it open no problems.  On the Brother if you leave the feeder lever open big problem as the yarn doesn't knit and whatever you're knitting falls off.  After about the 4th time I got into a rhythm change yarn color... "CLOSE THE GATE!"  Yes, I literally had to say it out loud.

The next problem was just the yarn.  Called Gene B its quite lovely in color and feel, but the texture is difficult to knit.  Gene B is very slippery, clingy, knotty, splitty and not one of my favorite yarns.  Gets caught on something nearly every row.

So, I did get my shawl finished before I left Bonnie's house, but I was there so long her husband ended up making a dinner run for us.

The pattern for the hand knit version can be found free on Newton's Website.  It's called "Two Color Spiral Wedge Shawl."  I got the machine knit pattern for free with yarn purchase.  Contact Newton's I don't know if the machine knit version is free without purchase of some yarn.

Welcome Sacramento Area Machine Knitters 2015

Welcome Sacramento Area Machine Knitters Just a reminder...

This blog entry is here to assist the Sacramento Area Machine Knitter's Guild in advertising their meetings on the Internet. I hope you will stop by one of our meetings and share your latest project with us!

Meet with local Machine Knitters. Chat and discuss the art of machine knitting. All machines brands users are welcome, from the Studio, Brother, Bond to the Electronic Passap.

We welcome everyone to bring a knitting machine.  Learn how to use, work on a project or learn how to maintenance a knitting machine and get it up and running.

Sacramento Machine Knitters Guild, meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays 10am-noon (we meet throughout the summer at our normal days and times if there is enough interest).  We also meet the 3rd Tuesday 10am - 2pm.

We meet at St. Andrews United Methodist Church, 6201 Spruce Avenue, Sacramento, CA (off I-80 at Greenback exit, turn right at first street, up about 2 blocks, bear right at the curve and the church is straight ahead).

Contact Marilynn (pronounced Mary Lynn) Wright at 916-331-2309 for more information about the Guild and upcoming training topics.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Machine Knitted Wreath

This was a free hand knitted pattern and I wanted to do it on my machine.  I just loved the colors of the yarn. The pattern called for a garter stitch sections.  I used my garter bar to flip the knitting when I got to that section.  Mine has the texture of the purl side in place of the garter stitch section.

After I got it knitted it took a lot of thinking to turn it into a good looking wreath. I didn't like it stuffed with just filling too floppy and soft.  I got 3" Styrofoam balls and loved the firmer look, but the whole thing was still floppy and hung in an oval on the wall.  My wreath measures 15 1/2 inches.  I got some metal wreath frames, but one was too big and the other was too small.  Thought I might have to make my own metal ring.
I finally thought if I tie some ribbon firmly between the Styrofoam joints it might tighten up the wreath and get rid of the saggy floppy look.  It did just that.  I found keeping the bows small I like it.  It looks cute.  It's finally on my wall and a part of my Christmas decorations.
I got a poinsettia that I liked.  Disassembled and reassembled it a bit to meet my needs.  Then made a big bow to back it and my wreath was done.