Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sweater Pattern Possible Conversion

I love this sweater set and wondered how I could make it on my knitting machine.  It has matching everything hat, sweater, gloves, socks and cellphone holder.

Or is it the hunky father and son in the picture that's attracting me?

Friday, September 16, 2011

My New Cap

I bought a pattern from Newton's Yarn Country at a recent class at my guild called the "Hollywood Swag Cap and Scarf."  I'm always looking for something my teen daughter might like.  I'm also always looking for small cool projects to do on my knitting machine.

What I liked about this pattern was the texture of the cap.  It really had an interesting look.

Again blogger won't turn my photo in the correct direction, but you get the idea of what it should look like.
To get the wavy pattern of this hat was fairly easy and the pattern really explained it well.  It sort of reminded me of the Mohair scarf patterns I really like doing.  It also reminded me of the entrelac technique in that you work with almost all the needles in hold and only work on one section at a time.

Here is the finished cap.  It is unsteamed here.  I kind of like it that way.
The cap is finished and then rehung to do the brim.  I found the brim to be kind of boxy and long.  My teen said it made her feel like a duckbill platypus (don't take it personally she hasn't liked a single hat I've made so far.)  I reshaped the brim interfacing to be smaller and curve more.  Using the mattress stitch I was able to pull in the squared off sides of the brim to a more curvy baseball hat sort of brim.  This created a lump of knitting on each side inside brim where the corners were pulled in, but it's not noticeable to the eye.

All and all I really like the hat.  I know once my machine knitting friends see it they'll want a pattern too.  I know Newton's doesn't sell them on their website, but I'm sure if you emailed them you could buy it from them.  I got to thinking maybe the designer of the pattern might sell online and she does.  Only problem is she's on vacation until the end of September.  Not a problem for her she in beautiful Costa Rica.  She sent me a picture.  WOW!  You can contact Linda Jensen through her etsy site "LindasCrafts" beginning in October if you're interested in her pattern.

**Pattern for cap is not available at the Newton's website.  I expect you need to see them in person to get the pattern.  BUT!  You can buy it from the designer at her Esty shop.  Click on "LindasCrafts" for a direct link to pattern.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Christmas Project for the Guild

Meeting before last someone in our guild asked about any Christmas ideas to knit.  I got to thinking what a great idea to get started learning something now rather than waiting for December.  I started looking through my binder of free patterns and I came across a Christmas Wreath for the Passap Duo80 or E6000 first.  It looked like something from the 70's, but I loved it.  I don't speak Passap, but it seemed like what they were doing was knitting tubes and braiding them.  Great idea, but not feasible for our meeting.  We'll bring our knitting machines, but we don't bring ribbers.  We only have 2 hours.

Then I found Heidi's Braided Christmas Wreath pattern.  This talks about making strips of knitting and letting them roll in on themselves.  Something we can totally do in our machine knitting meeting.  Comparing the two patterns I decided to do a little something of both.  I really liked the simplicity of the Braided Christmas Wreath, but loved the color combination of the Passap Christmas Wreath.

So, I picked out three punch cards that seemed from the naked eye to be completely different (I really need to do swatches.)  After I got the strips done I thought that 2 weren't as different as I would have liked.  I wasn't sure they'd even look good together, but decided to just go with it.

As I was sitting on my bed manipulating the strips to decide what order I wanted them in.  Quite frankly I was trying to remember how to braid when my son walked into the room.  He talked with me a bit about his day and then as he turned to leave and he said, "I'll leave you to play with your Christmas snakes."  OK I thought it was pretty funny.

As I started braiding I was relived to see that the patterns did actually work together. I had knit 3 strips 30 inches long. I did 335 rows at T3 on my Studio Mod.700 standard gauge. According to the pattern it would make a 13" diameter wreath. Mine was stretched to 12" and I think it is too thin.
I wanted a bow and did a 30 inch strip of tuck with punch card #3 the red yarn. 485 rows T3. I wanted to give the bow a hint of texture. I folded the strip as if tieing a regular bow.  Then I hot glued everything onto a 12 inch wreath frame from JoAnns.

Since the wreath was not looking like something I'd want to hang up or give away I decided it would be my prototype.  Things I would do differently would be not to braid it so tightly.  I would not stretch it to fit a wreath form.  I'm going to use wooden embroidery hoops since they come in many more sizes than the wreath forms.  I'm going to do swatches of my punch cards giving me a better idea of what their finished pattern will look like.

Card #3 Machine Knitting Class

Sorry about the raggedy swatch, but I was playing.  I took a class from Helen Koshak from Newton's and I had a great time.  First off she a totally fun lady.  Most importantly though she really knows her stuff in regards to knitting machines.  She was teaching a class centered around all the things one can do with Card #3 that comes with your punch card machine.  Oddly enough I had used Card #3 the night before to work on a Christmas project I'll post soon.

Starting from the bottom of my swatch is card #3 nothing fancy 2 colors.  The next section is card #3 with 3 colors.

Section number 3 of the swatch... did you know you can lock your punch card reader on one line?  I asked my friend Julia if she knew that and she did, but she said she didn't know why one would want to do it.  So, I told her why.  I'm not sure if I did it wrong or my machine doesn't like it, but the straight lines tell me I'm on the right track.  Better luck next time.

The final section of the swatch I tried a window pane technique that I clearly need more practice with.  I'm going to give it another try as it's one of my favorite looks of the class.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Machine Knitting Maintenance

I was feeling badly yesterday that I hadn't knit, but one baby blanket recently.  Then I got to thinking I have done some things to be proud of and should feel very satisfied.  While organizing I found my extra needles for my Toyota KS 650.  I went to put them with the 650 tools then thought does my machine need any needles.  I looked at my needle bed and I was missing 2 on one end and 3 on the other.  Wow have I really been stealing that many needles?  Guess so.  I pulled out my sponge bar.  It was one I refurbished not long ago, but the ribbon was coming off.  So, glued the ribbon on with some better glue.  The new needles needed some oil, so wiped down the whole machine with some oil.  That's when I thought I should be very happy that I'm taking care of my machine.  Some times a half hour of maintenance is as satisfying as a half hour of knitting.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Machine Knit Snail Blanket

Machine Knit Snail Blanket instructions with pictures.  It's translated from Russian as best as the computer could.  Wonderful pictures though make it more understandable.

I've been fascinated with a blanket on Ravelry called the 10 Stitch Blanket.  The Snail blanket is essentially the same thing.  It's been on my list of things to do for a long time.