Saturday, December 29, 2012

Machine Knitting Inspiration in Hong Kong

The winter weather right now in Hong Kong is like pre-fall weather in California.  I almost want to wear shorts.  The native people though are wearing coats, sweaters and scarves.  I wish I could join them, but I'd be too hot.  So, I've been enjoying seeing the different fashions and some stand out to me.

I saw this sweater/dress? for sale and loved the detail of how the pocket was formed.  Took a picture to remind me when I get home to give it a try.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

"" is No Bueno!

I get quite a few commenters asking for help or a pattern, but their account is not connected to an email address.  The best I can do is comment back to my blog post in hopes that some day you'll reread it and answer me back with an email address.

So, please add an address to your google account or your blogger account.  This way with a click of a button I can answer you.

I'm really not ignoring anyone I just have no way of getting a hold of you.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


It's a beautiful frilly and frustrating lace yarn.  My machine knitting group ladies are making scarves with it "hand over fist."  What does that mean?  Ahhh it's a nautical term in reference to pulling a rope quickly and continuously.  Well, they are making them quickly and seems like continuously as every time I see them I'll get a report "I've made seven Sashay scarves."

I was told they were very easy and fast to make.  I don't know if it's that I'm a novice hand knitter or I'm easily aggravated, but I couldn't get into knitting one by hand.  The yarn confused me.  I'd get lost in the many different holes and then it all fell right off my needles into my lap.  That was it.  What in the H, E, double toothpicks was I going to do with 4 skeins of Sashay yarn!

I got to thinking I might be able to use my knitting machine to knit up one of these scarves.  I've been working with my garter bar lately and I thought hmmmm I might be able to use it with the pattern for this scarf.  I wouldn't be able to use the carriage and traditionally knit this yarn, but I could use the needles and the garter bar to get the look the pattern calls for.

The pattern calls for casting on 6 stitches and that's what my MK ladies have been doing. I thought the scarf was awfully long. I'm kind of short and it seems to hang pretty low on me.  There is the option of using 10 stitches, but I didn't want it too short. I went for 8 stitches.

I hung 8 holes along the edge skipping every other hole of the Sashay.  That was a tip given to me by every women in my MK group, but one.  The one said every stitch would give a nice filly scarf just fine.  She's kind of bossy, but what she knits is always gorgeous.  After the 3rd lady secretly told me to skip every other stitch I decided to go by the majority.  After Thanksgiving though I'm going to use the every stitch method and just see what the difference would be.
Yes, you heard it right I will be making more of these scarves.  Putting them on the knitting machine really helped organize the yarn for me.  I'd hang 8 stitches and then using my transfer tool handle horizontally I'd pull all the stitches through.  Then I used my garter bar to flip the knitting.  Once I got a groove going it went pretty quickly.  I'd say it took me a total of 4 hours to finish the scarf.
There is a gal on Ravelry that did not flip the work and even though the scarf had a definite right side/wrong side she said either side was lovely.  I wanted to follow the pattern on the wrapper though and it is one continuous circle to get this frilly scarf.

8 stitches was perfect for me.  It measures 46 inches.  It really have a nice frilly feeling, but it has substance.  Not too airy.

Looking a bit like a I'm wearing a clown ruff here, but really in person and with the right outfit it's going to be a gorgeous scarf.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Pumpkin Hats!

Using a mock rib technique these adorable hats can be made on a flat bed bulky machine without a ribber. It uses a tuck stitch.
Bonnie demonstrated the pattern to our group.  She punched the pattern in on her electronic machine.  The pattern comes with a chart to create a punch card if that's the kind of machine you have.

She made 2 adorable hats for her Grandkids just in time for Halloween and Thanksgiving.

This pattern can be found at Baby Jane Machine Knits.  It is called "Lil Punkin Hat."

The Dreaded Garter Bar

At least that's what I always thought of it.  I just recently started working with it as a member of my Sacramento Guild is doing a charity project.  She asked me to help out and she'd teach me how to make "baby doll clothes" as she likes to call them.  I call them doll clothes.  I have no reason to make baby doll clothes, but I'm always happy to help with a charity project.  I also thought it was a great time to finally dust off my garter bar and actually work with it.

It wasn't easy at first.  Had several rows that looked like this.
But once I figured out Becky's garter bar had a slight bend in the middle I was finally able to account for that and become successful.  I was teasing with my friend Bonnie, who had also joined the project and lesson that I was sweating profusely each time I had to use the garter bar.  And that I think I was getting a ulcer.  We figured that we needed to practice on something we didn't care about.  Messing up in the middle of a hat was too stressful.
As with anything learning your tools and practice I was able to successfully get a many rows turned for the "baby doll hats."  I think the garter bar and I will become friends in the very near future.
Once I get a hat and matching coat done I'll post a photo.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Knitting Again with the Knit Leader

Felt so good to machine knit today.  It's been a very long time.  Our Sacramento Guild was having a lesson on Knit Leaders.  I've seen them used, but have never used one.  I have one built into my machine for gosh sakes I should find out if it works and find out how to use it.  Carolyn gave a great explanation.  I didn't know I had to have a swatch, but we decided to use her swap and pretend it was mine.  That way I learned out to measure it and how to use the stitch guide, the rulers, the patterns, and the built in knit leader.  I should look up in my manual what exactly everything is called.  I brought the wrong manual to class.  Fortunately, Carolyn has my exact machine at home and knew how to use it.

Here I am all set up.  I just did a small portion of the pattern to get an idea of how it worked.  I did from about 2 inches below the arm hole shaping on up to the neck line.  It really worked out great.  Not a lot of thinking needed to be done with the knit leader in action.  It told me where to decrease and what needles to do it on.  I found it quite fascinating.

Here's my little sweater experiment armhole.  I was quite impressed.  I also loved this little gizmo Carolyn's husband made her.  I'm talking about the board that is under my knitting.  It is a piece of wood with a piece of sandpaper glued to it.  It was too terribly rough, but had enough traction that when you lay a swat or in this case my sweater experiment it holds the knitting out rather than it rolling.  I liked that I could see what was going on without having to block it.  It's just an experiment and I will be unraveling it.

It felt so strange to be knitting.  My cast on and cast off skills were definitely week, but by hour 2 I was feeling like a pro again.  Time to knit myself a sweater.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sorting Through the Machines

I've had several machines given to me over the past year and they are piling up.  I went for years with only the one given to me and the one I bought.  Then I was fortunate enough to have several given to me.  I was fine with my original set up, but was intrigued with the idea of playing with a garter carriage.  You know what that means?  I have to get a brother machine in addition to a garter carriage.  I was given a Brother 860 and 2 Brother 930s.  I was also given 2 93 garter carriages and one 89.  All in varying degrees of condition.  I was also given 2 disc drives for what I didn't know exactly.  My friend Bonnie was looking for a disc drive for her Brother set up and offered to come over.  She would help me sort out my mess of machines and decide what worked and what I should keep.

We decided the 860 was a punch card and I already have punch card machines.  I later found out through a chart on Daisy Knits that neither garter carriage was compatible with the 860 any ways.  So, good choice deciding to pass that machine along.  We plugged in the 930 I had set up on a stand and it worked!  I still need to clean it up and replace the sponge bar, but I didn't want to put all that work in if the electronics didn't work.

Next Bonnie went to testing the disc drives.  We found out neither worked.  They turn on and try and read the disc, but an error message comes up.  Bonnie had brought her 930 or was it a 960 along with a working disc drive that she wasn't sure she wanted to purchase.  She knew both worked great.  She tested my disc drives with her machine just in case mine wasn't working correctly.  Again error messages.  Then she tested her working disc drive with my 930 and it worked great and added a pattern.

By this time we were getting tired and decided to check out the garter carriages another day.  I'll get the 930 cleaned up by the time it's time to test them out.  Question now is which garter carriage to keep?  One 93 has no box, instructions, power cords and is in pretty rough shape.  One is pretty complete as far as I can tell, but is really dirty.  The 89 is pristine and looks like it was never used or taken out of the box.  I just need to figure out which works.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sad Day Stripping My Old Friend

My traveling Toyota KS 650 got knocked over at a meeting a year ago.  It was just too twisted and bent to save.  I didn't want to give up on it.  It's been a year and I finally thought it's taking up too much space.  As I got my Studio 155 set up with ribber I realized I had gotten a new sponge bar for the knitting machine, but not for the ribber.  Light bulb!!  Why don't I take the fairly new sponge bar out of the Toyota.  It's time I thought to give up the ghost on that ole machine.  So, I got the sponge bar and finished setting up the Studio 155.  Then I began stripping all usable parts from the Toyota.  I got all the needles, the numbered strip, the tool box, and the carriage.  I asked DH to put the carcass in the trash for me.  Though not heavy any more it was just difficult to get rid of my first machine.

Looking forward to getting acquainted with the new to me machine.  Looks very much like my Toyota the learning curve I hope will be very small.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Wrestling with a Knitting Machine

I didn't win.  I got my Studio 155 back from the repair guy and was anxious to get it set up with it's ribber.  This meant taking down my Toyota 650 and ribber.  It had to be unearthed.  Patterns, yarn, tools and such were all over the place where it sits.  How on earth did I ever work with so much stuff around?  I finally got that place cleaned up and ready for the new machine.  I forget how heavy these machines are let alone the bulky machines.  This is a factor for me, because 17 years ago my neck was injured and lifting heavy items is not recommended.  Sometimes one just has to do what one has to do.

I got my newly refurbished bulky knitting machine on to the stand.  It was a wrestling match.  One side would swing off and I'd swing it back.  Then the other side would swing off and I'd hip check it back into place.  I broke a sweat just trying to get it clamped on.  Why was it giving me so much trouble?  Tightened the ribber clamps and decided that was enough for one day.  Stepped back and admired my "new to me" machine.  Then the whole thing flipped off the stand and on to the floor.

While cussing like a sailor I was trying to figure out how on earth did it come loose.  My hands were still throbbing from tightening the clamps.  Now I'm just mad, because I wasn't sure what damage had been done.  Using a tool and more hip checking and standing right in front of it I got it reclamped to the stand.  Now to access the damage.  I ran the carriage back and forth with many needle configurations and lever configurations and it seemed fine.  I do have 2 gate pegs wildly out of place though.  Frickety Frack!!

Will work on getting ribber on later today.  Wish me luck?  Maybe I need Hulk Hogan or The Rock here to help me.  They are more experienced with wrestling than I am.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Still Here

Though I may not be machine knitting anything I feel is worth sharing I'm still here and keeping busy.  Today I saw this video by "The Answer Lady" and thought what a handy technique for hand winding a center pull ball.  There have been a few times I've been without a ball winder and needed a center pull ball pronto.  I'm going to be practicing this technique.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Estate Sale

One of our beloved machine knitters passed away about a month ago.  She was a very experienced and knowledgeable machine knitter and seamstress.  Her husband was SO wonderful and drove her to the machine knitting meetings even after she had a small stroke and didn't want to come.  He knew once she was there she'd enjoy visiting with the gang.  She seemed to enjoy herself and I know we all really enjoyed her.

It's time now to clear out all the craft items.  Her husband along with the assistance of a few members of the Sacramento Machine Knitter's Guild is putting on an Estate Sale.  Info is below.  If you live in the Sacramento, California area you'll want to stop by and see what he's got.
Estate Sale

April 28th, 8 A.M.-3 P.M.

4420 Coffee Lane, Sacramento

(Close to Madison Ave., Date Ave. and Hwy. 80)

Items for sale

Knitting Machines (Studio, Brother, Standard, Bulky)

Ribbers (Studio, Brother, Standard, Bulky)

Knitting Machine Accessories (ie. Garter Carriage, Intarsia Carriage, Linker, Color Changer)

Machine Knitting Books

Machine Knitting Magazines

Yarn Winders

Punch Cards


Sewing Machines


Sewing Machine Parts

Dress Forms

Thread (Spools for Sewing Machines and Sergers)

Miscellaneous Household Items and much much more.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pacific NW Machine Knitting Seminar

Pacific NW Machine Knitting Seminar: Registration OPEN

SIGN-UPS are HERE! Rev up those machines, knitters, the Pacific Northwest Machine Knitting Seminar has opened up registration. Join Angelika as she presents a two full days worth of classes and shopping relevant to machine knitting and DesignaKnit 8. Located in beautiful Vancouver, Washington you'll be sitting on the scenic Columbia near Esther Short Park and just a 20 minute drive from downtown Portland and the home of the Yarn Store. Follow that link for more information and to sign up before the limited time, low-rate ticket sale ends.

SIGN-UPS are HERE! for Lily Chin's Hand Knitting Workshop. Attend this small and cozy gathering with Lily and perfect your skills, and laugh out loud with reversible cables!! Limited space! Find out the details now!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

More Machine Knit Bunnies

We all love this machine knit bunny.

This year though I think I'm going to try machine knitting this bunny.

I'll give mine a pom pom tale like the purple bunny.  Can't wait to give this idea a try.  If you'd like to see many examples of this project check them out on Ravelry.  To date there are 362 of them.  They sure do multiply fast.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Still Knitting, But Mostly Crocheting

Sorry for the long time between posts.  After my ribber gave me heck I needed to take a break from it.  I had an afghan I had been working on during football seasons the last couple years.  Since the 49ers were doing so well this year I had it nearly finished when they didn't go to the Super Bowl.  OH well, the 49ers played a great season and I couldn't be disappointed they didn't go to the Super Bowl.  With that great attitude and not caring who won the Super Bowl I decided to go ahead and watch it.  I wanted to see if I couldn't get that last 10 inch done on my afghan.  I didn't finish it during the Super Bowl, but I was close.  I kept crocheting until it was done.

Now if I can get my poodle to share I'll get to enjoy it. :)

What I did machine knit was a bust, BUT it opened my eyes to new possibilities.  I've been wanting to make a Dead Fish hat for several years and the pattern just looked too complicated for me.  What I found out was it was difficult to understand, but not complicated.  Using my trusty Toyota Bulky, sans ribber, I went to work on the machine knit pattern for the Dead Fish Hat.

Why was it a bust?  Well, the decreasing and increasing to get the fish shape happen on both sides of the knitted piece.  EXCEPT when you fold it in half to sew up your fish hat all the increases and decreases end on one side.  One ends up with a wonky fish hat.  One ends up with one straight side and one curved side.  A knitter on Ravelry solved this problem by moving the face and fins to center on the straight side making it the top of the fish.  The curved side was now it's belly.  Though it looked like it worked out fine for her.  I really didn't like the idea of the fish lips (can't believe I just said fish lips) being on the sides of the mouth.

What I did like was the yarn.  I decided that trying to make this work wasn't something I wanted to do.  I decided to frog it.  I'm going to make it in 2 pieces.  That way the BOTH sides will have increases and decreases and my fish lips will be in their proper places!