Sunday, June 24, 2012

In Search Of The Perfect Tuck Stitch...

I recently purchased some Yeoman cotton/acrylic yarn (color is "oatmeal") during a yarn co-op over at Knit It Now.  My reason for this purchase is to make a summer shirt for myself.  I can't believe I'm doing that as I NEVER make anything for me!

So I have been in search of a stitch pattern (tuck) that I like enough to start the project.  You would think with all of the pre-programmed stitches in my standard machine and all the books and magazines I have I would find one.  Nope!

So, I got resourceful and started looking at the punchcard patterns I have on CD's and actual punchcards I have. Again, nope.

Then I stumbled across a flyer I had (who knows from where) that had a punch card pattern of 24 stitches wide X 12 rows.  Having no clue what this would look like knitted up, I programmed the pattern into my machine (I do this when I find a punchcard pattern I want to use).

Got busy testing the pattern with some partial ball of sock yarn I had in a bin , liked it enough to test and swatch with the new Yeoman yarn.  EEKK!  I am at tension 9 on this as the cotton is a bit dense and you know how soft and easy to knit cotton yarn can be (NOT!).  all kidding aside, this may be the one.

Yeoman Swatch

Yeoman Swatch Diagonal

Interesting tuck huh?  The swatch has been laundered and dried flat.  Now to measure my gauge and go from there.

And what's hanging on your needles...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dragonfly, Way Off Topic

Today is a mish-mosh of little things I need to do for the upcoming hectic work week.  No knitting yet but, it is on my agenda for after dinner (rotisserie glazed, bourbon brined pork tenderloin).  Having a late afternoon coffee, I noticed my odd plant (agave aloe thing) with it's 6' flower stalk (ready to bloom) had the below hanging on it's very tip (even though it's 105 deg F at the moment).

Here is it's description:

Dragonflies are agile and have bulging eyes that often occupy most of the head and a wingspan of about 6 in. (16 cm). The dragonfly is one of the fastest-flying and most predaceous insects; in 30 minutes it can eat its own weight in food.

And, here is my pond it was next to:

Thought I would share, nature sure is amazing huh?

You Can't Take it With You...

I live in Las Vegas, NV, USA where it's HOT, very hot from May through September.  Each day our normal high temperature is well over 100 degrees F, yes, its a dry heat but, still HOT!  This morning before the sun started to heat things up I sat on my patio grafting toes on some socks.  I find the outside lighting the best.   Sitting next to my pond listening to the water trickle out of the stream while koi eat breakfast is very relaxing.  As I was grafting, my mind started to wander...

Over the years I have met some very wonderful machine knitters. They have shared things with me and me with them.  Not too long ago a very nice woman from California saw I was listed as a "Knitting Buddy" in the UK publication "Machine Knitting Monthly."  She had some questions about her Brother electronic and sent me an email as she was having carriage and programming issues.  We emailed back and forth & I ended up sending her a carriage, yarn masts, and extension rails.  She offered to pay me but I refused.  Then she offered to pay me for the shipping, again, I refused.

Very recently, I read on another machine knitting blog a woman had just purchased a 4-color yarn changer.  She had some issues with the seller and did not have the punch cards.  I contacted her then emailed the scans of the punch cards she was looking for.  She was so tickled I did that (so was I).

Then I started to think a bit more, isn't that the same thing teachers do?  They share their "knowledge" with others?  I am no teacher, but I do share what I know and have learned.  In addition I send people what they need if I can.  Why?  Guess part of me thinks it's fun to make people happy, the other part of me wants our craft to continue on and flourish.  Trust me, I am not thinking "It will come back to me 10 fold."

Example:  A friend of mine who I am sure you know, Diana Sullivan, teaches machine knitting and all the knitting machine techniques that she can.  As you know there are plenty of her videos free of charge on YouTube or you can purchase the DVD and books from her blog/website.  Do you really think she "makes" money doing this?  Think of her valuable time (she has a rewarding full time job), the equipment she needed to purchase to make the videos, the supplies (DVD's to burn, books to make, mailing envelopes, postage and etc.).  She does this for the love of the craft and to help people; not the money.

So, what's in it for me?  Not a thing other than making people smile.  Recently and unexpectedly, I received well over 50lbs of coned yarn from another machine knitter (who also sells supplies for our craft).  She, when I asked why she was sending me the yarn simply stated, "I know you will make nice things and give them to charity!"  She did not ask me to pay for anything...WOW!

Please share your knowledge, your techniques, send some one something they are looking for.  You can email patterns, punch card designs, manuals (PDF's) and etc.  Promise you will make friends along the way and it feels so darn good too!

As the title says, "You Can't Take it With You!"

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Great Knitting Machine Website - Knit It Now

Let me start by saying I have no affiliation with the below website I would like talk about (other than being a paid member).

Many of you know Sue Jalowiec from seminars and etc.  She also has a machine knitters website: 

The Knit It Now website is wonderful!  When you are there, browse through the categories:  Store, Learning Library, Home Study, Stitch Library, Pattern Library and My Library.

You can purchase patterns, gadgets, yarn (we all need more-LOL), watch, tutorials,  "1 Minute Tech Tips" and more.  Sue will email you with 1 Minute Tech Tips links and when she conducts her yarn co-ops.  You can save some cash with her co-ops!

When you need inspiration for a garment, stitch and etc. the Knit It Now website is sure to do the trick.

I have emailed Sue for her opinion and guidance a couple of times, she does email back quickly!

Have a look at Knit It Now and join up, it's worth giving it a go.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Great Machine Knit V-Neck Men's Sweater

Take a look at Alex's newest creation!  Alex, like me, states he is an avid machine knitter (another machine knitting guy!) and has just started using Brother Knitting Machines, I see he has gotten the hang of it!  Alex has a nice blog,  Adventure's With Machine Knitting.

His men's v-neck machine knit sweater is a click away:  Men's Machine Knit V-Neck Sweater

Saturday, June 2, 2012

My "Newer" Buttonhole, What Do You Think....

I fiddled with this, mostly in my head.  I searched and searched through my books and DVD's, searched online, emailed my knitting buddies, looked at blogs and etc.

None of it was doing what I wanted AND to keep it simple.  Too much ravel cord, needles in hold, WY, snipping, sewing and sometimes crocheting.

So, I came up with's pretty close to what I want the end result to be.  Simple and quick to do, tailored, lays fairly flat and no droopy hole.  This is a combination of a gate peg bind off and e-wrapping.

Swatch Right Off the Machine
Swatch Pinned Open To Show Buttonhole Edges

Let me know what you think....

Friday, June 1, 2012

Buttonhole Idea Challenge Photo

"Blonde" left a comment for me to post a picture so you can get a better idea of what I am knitting the buttonhole and band on (help us help you).  She was right, how could I expect "new" ideas if you didn't see the project.  I am looking for a neat, trim and tailored buttonhole, wanting to knit a stockinette band right on the edges.

So, a big thank you to "Blonde" and here is the project:

Looking For A New Button Hole Method
Any new ideas or method?