Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Breezy Spencer's Dog Sweater On Amazon

An email friend (who is a great lady) sent me a note to take a look at the pattern she is selling on Amazon. You have to take a look and hopefully purchase her pattern. The pattern is for a dog sweater, simplify done for dogs of all sizes.

She had sent me the pattern and I did make it, it was a dream to knit and so easy to adjust the fit for my puppy. Similar sweaters are in the pet shops at a high price.

Take a look:

Breezy Spencer's Dog Sweater Pattern

You can download the pattern directly to your Kindle!

Monday, February 27, 2012

How To Remove UV Discoloration From Your Knitting Machines & Their Accessories

A wonderful lady, Diana Sullivan published my whitening technique and "recipe" last year on her blog.  Click on this link for everything you need to know, before/after photos and some questions answered:

Tom's Whitening Process & Recipe

I have used this on knitting machines, garter carriages, needle pushers, transfer and latch tools and they all come out like they were when they were  made.  All you need is a few basic ingredients and sunshine.  Just remember to remove the plastic items from the machine and or whatever it is attached too as this is meant only for plastic that has been discolored/yellowed from exposure to UV light.

If you need more information, advice and or encouragement please don't hesitate to let me now.  I really like helping people rejuvenate their precious knitting machines to a brand new condition.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Garter Carriage REBORN!

As promised in my last posting here is the rejuvenation of my "new to me" Garter Carriage.  There are photos of the condition I received it in, a picture of the whitening process, putting it back together and the finished result.

I am thrilled with the way it turned out and it runs great!  This is not a difficult process, just some screws to remove and off you go (lots of cleaning and whitening done here).

I implore all machine knitters after each big project to de-fuzz any of their KM's, Garter Carriages and etc.  The tarn fuzz builds up, collects on excess grease and oil and can cause damage.  Don't over grease, oil or lube; it builds up and again, can actually do more harm than good!

Lots Of Fuzz Side view
Underneath Fuzz & Grease Build Up 

More Fuzz & Grease Build Up
Yellowed, Dirty & Being Disassembled
During The Whitening Process 
Being Reassembled 
Back Edge, Cleaned & De-fuzzed
Same Side, Cleaned & De-fuzzed

Completed, Side View
All Ready To Start Being Used

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A New Garter Carriage?

I have had a garter carriage and use it often. Yes, they are slow, but you can make some beautiful patterns without tedious and labor intensive hand tooling.

Two of my Brother machines are "E's" which is short for Eleganza. They are whiter than the others with a soft blue colored trim. Brother made accessories for the E line to match. I am the kind of guy where I want accessories to match even if I am the only one seeing them. Also, as Diana Sullivan referred to me, I am a neat nick.

For a while I watched the Brother E garter carriages come and go on line. Finally I gave in to temptation and purchased an Ugly Betty E garter carriage. Yesterday it was delivered and arrived unscathed and works perfectly. The white and blue plastic is UV discolored and the lint and grease is bad, very bad. Being who I am I would not place it on my pristine machine until I give it an overhaul.

So, hopefully this weekend I can start the process of rejuvenation. The entire machine will be taken apart, cleaned, whitened, needle replaced and reassembled.

I will post before and after photos. All knitting machines and their accessories can be brand new again!

Happy knitting and what's hanging on your needles?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Easy Main Bed Cast On Using Your Ribber Comb

This is a utilitarian cast on when you are using WY for the main bed cast on.  I have often though of doing this but, really got inspired when I read MAO's (just about the same idea) blog recently.

Today, I was starting the entrelac foundation row for the test knitting I am doing for Diana Sullivan and when I took out the usual main bed cast on comb I actually said YUK!  I don't like those combs with their prickly ends that never stay in each stitch and not to mention getting it in each cast on stitch.  So, I pulled out my bulky ribber comb and voila!  An easy cast on without the comb moving and coming undone.  I did not remove my ribber either and keep in mind I do not have spindly, thin hands (size 11.5 ring), anyone can do this.

Using my Brother Bulky, I set my tension dial to 10 and selected every other needle.  Ran the carriage threaded with the yarn across the main bed then, hung the comb:
  1. Remove the wire completely
  2. Slide the comb up between the gate pegs and the loops
  3. Tilt the comb forward toward you (see picture) 
  4. Slide the wire back in
  5. Hang weights

Bring forward to working position the remaining needles.  SLOWLY slide your carriage across the main bed.  Your cast on is done!  Now, reduce your tension each row until you get to the tension needed for your knitting and knit 6 or so rows at your tension.

Here are the pictures as I went along:

Side View Of Ribber Comb Inserted
Front View Of Ribber Comb Inserted
Wire Inserted - EN In Work
Cast On Completed With A Few Rows Knitted

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Entrelac Testing For Diana Sullivan

I have started testing Diana's new entrelac sweater pattern for her upcoming book and DVD.  This is going to be a very detailed and information packed set!  She sent me the draft of her instructions and charts; I got to testing her method tonight.

Having done entrelac by hand and on the knitting machine I was discouraged to try it again.  The knitting machine method I used before was terrible, confusing and it just created a messy fabric.  The hand knitting took a lot of time.

Diana's method is so clear, quick and EASY!  Take a look at my test swatch using her method:

There is a definite rhythm with Diana's method and believe it or not, very relaxing.  Kind of nice to not just be going back and forth with a carriage, instead I am creating a shaped fabric with color and texture.

Now on to the sweater!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Warm Up The Winter Blues With Color!

A great blog post over at the Knit Picks blog to help you with color choices. Check out their sub articles by clicking on the links in the posting. Knit Picks has terrific sock yarn, "Stroll" - try some, you'll love it too!

Color Choices And Compatible Colors

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Tom's Machine Knit Circular Hat, Now In German!

A few weeks ago, Diana Sullivan sent me an email as a fellow machine knitter Telse in Germany asked if she could film the hat I designed (Diana filmed and posted on her blog & YouTube) as a German video. I designed this method as I avoid seaming if possible. Diana tested it for me, liked it and did the video (was that a real honor!). We have been encouraging machine knitters to knit for the US Troops in Afghanistan. Diana is a wonderful person and someone I enjoy communicating and exchanging ideas with.

Telse made the hat for her husband (on her brother 260) and they both liked it. I was flattered and of course I said yes when they asked my permission. Even if you don't understand German you can easily follow along. Here is her wonderful YouTube video of the hat I designed.

Tom's Circular Machine Knit Hat