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.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Double Rib, English Rib, Fisherman's Rib Oh My!

My daughter asked me to make her a really warm variegated gray colored scarf.  Well, being the holidays I jumped on that.  I remember making myself a super warm scarf a few years ago using a Diana Sullivan video.  It really me got me to thinking did I make Fisherman's Rib or not.  What exactly is Fisherman's Rib.  My manual talks about English Rib and Double Rib.  I made a few phone calls and got all my knitting friends confused, but everyone got to investigating.  I watched several of Diana's videos and we all figured it out about the same time.

Double Ribbing is knitting on every needle on both beds.  Verses 1X1 ribbing where you use every other needle.

English Ribbing (or Half Fisherman's Rib is tucking in one direction on one of the beds.  Doesn't matter if it's the main bed or the ribber.  This is what I did for the scarf.  I can directionally tuck if I use my ribber on my Studio 155.  I might be able to tuck with the main bed, but I'll need to experiment with the stitch dial.  I've been told it can't be done.

Fisherman's Ribbing is tucking in opposite directions on both beds.

When I was confounding my friends with my ribbing questions they both suggested I just make a 2X2 ribbed scarf.  Though lovely in it's own right the English Ribbed scarf I made is so thick, soft and luscious comes to mind.  So, thick, soft and luscious that I don't want to give it away! 
I wondered the first time I made this scarf if a tensioning error created the different look of the knitted stitch on the back of scarf.  No that's English Rib.  Since it's tucking in one direction it creates the different look on the back.  It is quite beautiful too.
I used Red Heart Medley in the Urban color.  The scarf is all washed up and ready to be wrapped.  Every time I walk by it I pick it up and bury my face in it.  It's so soft and warm and smells so good.  If it wasn't going to my daughter I might have had to wash it again.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

49er Fever Hits Beanie on a Bulky

Using my Team Spirit yarn I've been knitting up some beanies for a 49er party at my house.  This time I wanted to experiment with knitting it in the round.  I knew the ribbing couldn't be done circularly and it reminded me that Diana Sullivan had an easy technique to get this done.  I used the method she demonstrates in her sock video. It can be found on part one of Knitting a Sock on the Standard Machine.

From there I followed the Regular Guy Beanie instructions.  It's a free pattern on Ravelry.  I've written up what I've done.  Of course the instructions make perfect sense to me.  It makes an adult woman sized beanie.  So, you guys give it a try and let me know if you have any questions.

Beanie on a Bulky circularly knit

Friday, November 7, 2014

Yarn Bomb So Good It's Art

I did a yarn bomb a month ago.  I wanted to do something that was fun and in good taste.  Something my little town would enjoy.  I just did it so well people don't know it's a yarn bomb.
I asked my knitting friends to drive by and take a look at it.  They came by for our monthly machine knitting meeting and told me they didn't see it.  I thought how could they not see it.  It's a big round orange and smiling at you.  Finally, one of the gals asked, "I did see a smiling orange.  Did you do that?"  I said, "Yes."  She asked, "Really?!  It looks so official I thought the town put it up."  Then the other gals chimed in it looks so nice we thought it was official too.  We had no idea it was a yarn bomb.  So, my daughter says it's a yarn bomb fail.  I said, "Oh no it's a success if every one thinks it's so nice it belongs there."  My intention was for it to be a work of art all could enjoy and that's what they are doing.

I used Diana Sullivan's baby blanket technique to do the orange.  All other pieces are crocheted.  I used reflective yarn.  It's kind of fun to see it light up at night when the head lights hit it.

Newest Baby in the Neighborhood!

Decided a few years ago if a new baby comes to my stretch of the neighborhood I'm making them a baby blanket.  They've all been neighbors up till now.  The latest baby though is on my route to the gym.  I walk so I get a good look.  New couple moved in and I saw she was pregnant.  I waited till I got to see an actual glimpse of the baby.  Just in case.  Then I began knitting the blanket.  My daughter thought it was strange and that they'd think I was a stalker.  Well, I didn't care.  I wish all stalkers would show up with a handmade blanket and then leave them in peace.  
I do see myself as a kindly old grandmotherly type.  I may be over estimating my appearance even though my age definitely qualifies.  I told my daughter I promised not to snap anyone like a twig with my muscularly toned thighs.  I got the eyeball roll.

Diana Sullivan's Circular baby blanket.
I have to admit I did have a qualm the day I had it all ready to deliver.  My saving grace was I could hang it on their door and they'd find it later.  Wouldn't you know it the very day I'm dropping it off is the only day before or since that their door was open with the screen door.  2 yapping dogs announced my coming and I had to talk to the mom.  I said I just lived down the street.  She said she's seen me walking by every week. So, I wasn't a complete stranger.  I handed her the baby afghan in a gift bag and said I made a little something for the baby.  On a note in the bag I had put my address, so they wouldn't think a complete weirdo had left the gift.  When things started to get a little awkward I announced I had to get to the gym for my 10am class.  Whew!  All true.  All true.  I was suited up and on my way to the gym.
Love the way this blanket turns out.  I'll never get tired of it.
A week later Eileen and baby Lily came by to say thank you for the blanket and gave me a bag of veggies from their garden.  Couldn't have been a better thank you.  Hoping I've made a new friend on the street.
Used Sandee Cherry's roping technique for the edging.  I like the neater look rather than the pie crust edging.