Friday, April 28, 2017

Sacramento Area Machine Knitters

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 info has changed as Marilynn (pronounced Mary Lynn) has moved to Colorado.  We wish her all the best.  For more information about the Guild and upcoming training topics call Hugh Hall at 916-332-5190.

Hugh's Sacramento Machine Knitter Guild website...

Iris Bishop Kaleidescope Project

I was really pleased how this turned out.  The pattern look complicated, but it was easier to figure out than I thought.  I thought it should be made on a standard gauge machine.  It turned out kind of small, so I think I'll do another one on my bulky machine.
I made only one swatch.  It has purple scrap yarn on each end since I had a lot of it.  I had used a little for the smaller stripes.  I decided that I didn't like the purple stripes.  After talking to a machine knitting friend she said she didn't like the purple edging.  Since its the scrap this gave me the idea to to fold it under and look at just wedge.  It took the purple out of the "definitely no" zone. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Working With Charts

This skill hasn't been one I've put a lot of time in on as it really confuses me.  Working today with my machine knitting friends we figured out how to read a chart in Mary Anne Oger's new book "The Handbook For Manual Machine Knitters" for the leaf pattern.

The very first symbol made no sense to me, but Ellen knew exactly what to do.  She showed me and I was off.  Following the chart and the list for the symbols.  Next it was Ellen's turn to get stuck and I knew what to do.  I told her we needed to work the bottom of the chart from the outside in and the top of the chart from the inside out.  I hope I've got this figured out.

Our swatches looked wonderful.  Ellen did a one leaf swatch and I did a 3 leaf swatch.  When practicing something I like to do it more than once to get it locked into my brain.

It was a fun day knitting.  I look forward to putting this leaf pattern on a project.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Dragon Scale Mitts by Machine

I thought I could do it on my knitting machine despite many telling me I couldn't!  I've been hand knitting Dragon Scale mitts and wondered if I could do it on my machine.  My first attempts the scales were hung in the wrong place and wrong direction.

When I had an experienced machine knitter in my house like Richard Smith I thought I needed to pick his brain.  He had great insight into looking for the obvious.  This made me quit simplifying the method and quit over complicating it too.  Once I could see how the scale should be placed in the knitting it was a breeze.  I made the sample wristlet for an example. 

Next experiment will be to time myself hand knitting one and see if doing it on the machine is truly a time saver.  I've done so many of these by hand they go pretty fast.

First swatch with proper placement of scales.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

I Am Still Machine Knitting!

Admittedly, I don't craft as much since getting fit.  Staying active became my main focus in 2012.  I had a lot of weight to lose.  I got it off and I've kept it off!  What losing weight did was reinvigorate my desire to knit clothing.  I often felt nothing would fit or look good on me.  This steered me to making accessories and toys.  Don't get me wrong I really enjoy making hats, bags, shawls, scarves and toys.  I think they may get used more often than a garment, but I'm looking forward to making some clothing for myself.  I have a couple patterns planned this year.  Sometimes getting the pattern and yarn matched up takes some time.

Right now I'm working on something that I wonder if I could take to the machine.  First I have to figure out how to hand knit it.  You know I'm not very good at hand knitting that's why I machine knit!

This is a Dragon Scale Mitt.  My scales are already upside down and I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong.  I have an email into the pattern maker.  Hoping she's seen this a million times and can get me straighten out.
This is a cocoon scarf again I knitted it by hand, but it made me think like the Sashay yarn I could do it on the machine.  Instead of 4 hours I could do it in maybe an hour.  It wouldn't run through the regular carriage and I can't think of what that other carriage is called?!  It will come to me as soon as I post this then I'll come back in an correct it.  What I want to do is put this on the standard gauge.  I would knit 2 stitches between each cocoon as I did by hand; then flip the whole thing using the garter bar.  When I did the Sashay yarn on the machine like this it worked like a charm.  I would get into a rhythm.  I often didn't even use the carriage of which I can't think of the name.  I am seeing the letter "I" though.  It's coming to me.... Intarsia!  I have two more skeins of the cocoon yarn in gray and would love a fluffy warm scarf to go with my long gray coat.

Well, I'm off to take another look at the scale maille knitting and see if I can figure out what I'm doing while I wait for Collette to email me back.  Things sometimes look easier in the light of day.

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.