Friday, September 23, 2016

A New Machine Knitting Book!

Great news!  Mary Anne Oger has just published a new book for machine knitters, "The Handbook for Manual Machine Knitters" (120 pages!).  Mary Anne is a great teacher and wonderful machine knitter, such talent.  When she was working on her "Manfriend Hoodie" last year she asked me to test knit for her.  I love to test knit so I jumped at the chance.  Since, I have knit several of the hoodies not only because it's a great design and technique but it's a perfect winter thing for me here in Las Vegas.  Ok I am getting off the subject...

You can run over to and pick one for yourself (mine is arriving tomorrow) it's only $29.95 and if you are a Prime member free shipping!  Details on Mary Anne and her book can be found at Amazon by clicking on the link below it will take you directly there: 

Click here: The Handbook for Manual Machine Knitters 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Check Out This Beautiful & Easy Buttonhole

My buddy Diana has just posted her August video.  The video is clear and very up close.  This is an easy and beautiful buttonhole we need to keep in our arsenal and use over and over.

Take look:

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Diana's Twist On Intarsia Cables

Diana Sullivan's July Video of The Month - Intarsia Cables!  Nicely done Diana.

If you have not done intarsia knitting you should.  Diana's video shows you the basics from start to finish even if you do not knit the cable.

Many of the Brother machines have an intarsia slide button on the main carriage which eliminates the Intarsia Carriage and tension differences.

Take a look then give it a try, you will be surprised at how easy it is and the design possibilities are endless.  Pay close attention how to cross the yarns on each row as you do not want holes, ever.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Thumbs Up To...Feel Good Yarn Company & Silverpsun!

Month and months ago Laurie Gonyea Founder of Feel Good Yarn Company sent me a skein of sock yarn.  The yarn is "Silverspun" and I promised to make a a pair of machine knit socks (no other  she was aware of had used this yarn on a knitting machine).  Silverspun is available in sport and sock (fingering) weight.

The unique thing about her yarn is it contains silver.  If you are knitting mittens or gloves the wearer will still be able use phones and tablets with having to remove them.  There are also claims by others (not Feel Good Yarn Company) stating the silver helps with arthritis, good for diabetics and etc.

As soon as I received the yarn I ran to wind the skein into a center pull ball...maybe I should have taken my time.  As I was doing two things at once I did not pay attention to the yarn swift and ended up with a tangled mess.  So, as we often do, I decided to put the yarn in a cabinet drawer in my studio to untangle another day.  There is sat for months!  Only the other day when looking for a yarn (mind you I have hundreds of cones and skeins) I opened up the drawer and there it was.  No time like the present...I sat down, took my time to untangle and wind.  Ran to my studio and started the socks.

A fingering weight yarn that knits up at 27-32 stitches per 4 inches using US 1-3 (2.25-3.25mm) needles. 87g/400 yards per skein. Knitting machine suggested T5 to T8. 400 yds, 87% combed cotton / 5% silver / 5% nylon / 3% spandex

Wow, this yarn is a dream to knit, with a hand just like cashmere.  My standard gauge machine loved it too!  It was smooth and easy to knit.  The socks have a bit of stretch which is wonderful, feel great on the feet, fit perfectly and wash beautifully.  I used my normal (for socks) tension also did not adjust my usual number of stitches and rows.

The yarn is not a bargain yarn but if you want to invest in a wonderful yarn then visit: Feel Good Yarn Company!

You can also watch Laurie's video and read their story here: Laurie Gonyea & Company Story

Sunday, May 22, 2016


I have had a few questions lately on how I attach bands.  I've posted that before but time for a fresh look.  Detailed below is the basic technique so many machine knitters use.  There are other methods and I am planning to teach another very easy way at my upcoming seminars.  I do like this method and use it very often.

Just finished this cotton vest which is knit at T9 on my Brother as it will shrink significantly in the wash and dryer.  You can see how loose the stitches look before it hits the laundry.

Hope my steps are clear to follow as I attach a ribbed band to the arm hole, if not just let me know and I can clarify.  Click on any picture for a closer and clearer view!

Hang (with public side facing you) the very edge stitch (whole stitch)

An easy way to check a whole stitch is hung (not a half or stitch and a half) is to use a flashlight under the needles.  You can easily identify if all needles are in the same "channel"

With all needles out to "hold" position" push the body of the garment against the machine and hang the band stitches with private side facing you so both public sides are facing each other  

After all band stitches are in the hooks, apply a bit of downward pressure to the body of the garment and at the same time start to move the needles back to close the latches.  Make sure the latches are closing without the latches "piercing" the edge stitches or sliding under the edge stitches.

Needles back and all latches closed

Top view, all latches closed

Starting at either end, push needles back pulling band stitches through edge of garment (I use the flat end of my needle pusher).  Then, place your finger under the stitches (apply a little pressure against the main bed so stitches don't pop off needles) and pull needles out to "hold position" once again.  To the right of my hand this step is done, my hand holding the stitches ready to move the needles to "hold position" and to the left band stitches ready to be pulled through.

Another picture of above

All needles are in "hold position" all latches must be opened

Lay your yarn in the open latches then bring the needles back toward the main bed to enclose the yarn in each needle hook

Here you can see the transfer tool indicating the yarn in the closed latches

With bitter end of yarn at the opposite end, start to manually knit each stitch very loosely 
Once all stitches are knit, again move all needles to "hold position."  Then chain cast off (loop through a loop) from the opposite side of the bitter end of yarn.

Here is the edge before removing waste yarn.

Hint - see the edge of the ribber cast on and how stretched out it is!

Run an appropriate size needle under the zig-zag row and tug gently to set the stitches, I am using a double eyed transfer needle

Note the difference on the right where the stitches were set to those on the left!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Check Out Diana's Technique For Shape Lace With Short Rows

Take a look at Diana Sullivan's May video on ravel cord short row shaping of lace.  Great demo, up close, clear and straightforward.

You can use this technique for shaping armholes as well.  When I knit a sweater or vest short row shaping is my method of choice.  I like smooth rounded edges and short row shaping gives us that.  When not knitting lace use the holding method as you decrease and wrap.

P.S. I have had many requests for my whitening formula - now in the "Featured Post" box (on the top right side of my blog), just click!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


Wow, it has been a long while since I have posted, I'm so sorry.  Guess I can blame it all on the holidays and life getting in the way of my posting.  Hope all had wonderful holidays!

I have been teaching each Sunday a small machine knitting group here in Las Vegas.  We meet at one members home, we use her casita for class where she keeps the machines set up.  We knit and talk about food and life!  Some are new machine knitters and some returning.  They are wonderful, very kind people and I adore them.

Seminar Updates
I am planning  to teach at The Finger Lakes seminar in upstate New York this September.  Will be nice to be back in the area, I owned 100 acres in the Cortland area (Pitcher NY) some years back, beautiful countryside and wonderful people.  Followed immediately by a few days of fun in Saint Cloud, Minnesota at Rocking Horse Farms to teach with Jason and Carole at their seminar.

Then a short break and planning to fly up to Glen Ellyn, Illinois October 8th and 9th to teach at the Interknit MK Club Seminar, Mary Slattery, contacted me and we still need to sort out all the details.

Finally, my buddy in Austin, Texas, Diana Sullivan, asked me to teach at their Knit Natters Seminar in spring of 2017.  It will be nice to spend more time with Diana, her friends and her great husband.

Details need to be finalized for all of the above.  Trying not to impose what I want to teach and have asked what their members would be interested in seeing and learning.  Knitting styles and interests seem to be regional and skill levels are varied.  Hopefully it will all work out well.

Latest Project/Learn By My Error
I had decided to re-knit the entrelac sweater I test knitted for Diana Sullivan.  This time in a softer yarn and in shades of grey from a deep to a silver grey.  It's a pleasure to knit and quite relaxing.  You start with the round yoke, knit up and attach the collar.  Here is where I went wrong last night.  Being tired and eyes heavy I pushed on (I am an experienced knitter right?), huge mistake.  I had the TV on listening to a talk show, the work phone was beeping texts and my dog wanted to play ball.  But I pressed on.  Today, after getting my internet modem changed out (no internet not a good thing) due to an upgrade my provider did as a favor (not).  I went to the studio to weave in some ends and start the sleeves/body.  Wow!  I made the collar and attached it last night (Diana does not instruct do it this way), I never reduced my tension settings.  Then to make matters worse I has also removed all my waste yarn.  The collar looks awful, so when my eyes and brain are not too tired I need to remove the collar and run a life line then attach a proper collar.

If you are new to machine knitting, know that even the most experienced of us make errors.  No big deal, it's only knitting and it can all be corrected!

When the sweater is done properly I'll post a photo or two.

I'll be back well.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Feel Good Yarn Company....Silver Spun

Have you heard of "Feel Good Yarn Company" the home of Silver Spun Yarn?

What a terrific company and great yarn.  The founder, Laurie when developing Silver Spun Yarn didn't give up until she achieved what she was after.  The yarn is made from American sourced fibers and spun in North Carolina.  Silver Spun is a blend of cotton silver, nylon & spandex (see photo). Take a look at Laurie's Company and story here:  Feel Good Yarn Company
Look at the nice bag the yarn arrived in!
The yarn has a nice blend of fibers with a terrific hand (feels like cashmere).  When I emailed asking if they had any feedback from machine knitters, they hadn't.  I've been asked to test knit Silver Spun on the machine and offer my feedback.  I want to make socks with Silver Spun as the blend of silver is reportedly helpful for people with Diabetes and circulatory problems.

Did I mention the silver in the yarn allows the wearer to use their phones without having to take off gloves or mittens?  I tested this with the entire skein on my Smartphone, it works!  They offer free shipping on your first order too.

Once I knit the socks, I'll report back on how the yarn does on the knitting machine.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Great Scarf & Stitch Pattern

Take a drive over to Diana's blog and check out the simple yet great looking scarf she whips up.  I really like the easy lace sticth (2 row repeat).

Diana's Slanted Lace Scarf