Monday, August 27, 2012

I Have Been Knitting Slippers...

I have been busy knitting away, test knitting for Diana Sullivan for  her new slipper book.

She has some terrific patterns in her book, they look great and easy as can be too.

Diana's creation, "No Sew Slipper" is lined, warm, squishy and NO SEWING!  Perfect for me as I avoid it when possible.

I whipped up her moccasin style slipper last night.  Takes little yarn and really looks great.

This past week, I  received my first computerized sewing machine, you name it it has it and does it.  Tested it out briefly and so far so good.  Another machine to learn!  Hoping when I get it down I can incorporate some of the stitches and features into my machine knitting items.  I am not new to sewing, my grandparents on my Mother's side were in the garment industry. My Grandfather (from Italy) was a tailor and made many suits for the Movie Stars of the day; most of his work was done by hand stitching, especially the collars.  My grandmother, owned a dress manufacturing business.  I still have her old Singer factory machine.  There are a million attachments and this machine was built like an army tank.  She taught us all how to sew, make patterns and design our own items.  She had the knack to look at a dress (or any garment), sit down with old newspaper (I do this!), sketch out the pattern and make a duplicate.  She did this for my sisters wedding when the Flower Girl dress was not available and my Sister wanting the Flower Girl dress to match the Bridesmaids.  Truly amazing.

I thank them for teaching me how to do these things, especially to have patience.  And in the end, if it doesn't look right, rip it out and redo it or throw it out and start again.  You learn as you go, not making the same error twice.  Gee sounds like our hobby of machine knitting doesn't it?

Below are the test slippers I made this week:

Sunday, August 19, 2012

iPad & Machine Knitting

I have some neat app's on my iPad which I use for my machine knitting.  If you have an iPhone or iPad, there is a great gauge calculator app out there, I use it often to get gauge.

Tonight, I was testing out a slipper pattern for Diana Sullivan and wanting to not print it (trying to be green) my iPad was in my lap.

About 3/4 of the way through this great slipper pattern, the iPad scrolled to the last page.  When I noticed this I scrolled to where I "thought" I was and not where I "actually" was.  What a mess.

It was frustrating me as I kept reading and reading where I thought I should be and none of it made sense, thinking, what in the world did Diana leave out?!?  Not a thing.

Funny, how our minds work, me thinking and knowing something was missing why didn't I re-read everything I did?  Well this is a lined slipper, my gauge was a bit off as my yarn tension mast was acting up when I started to knit.  This being a test slipper I just released the knitting off of the machine.  When I test knit for someone I always do two-(2) of whatever I am testing.  The first is for me to work through the pattern and get the mechanics down.  The second is to really "test" the authors instructions and etc.

There you go, if you want to use an iPad as you knit DON'T LEAVE IT IN YOUR LAP!

P.S. Diana's book and companion DVD "Footnotes" are going to be wonderful, one of her best!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Diana Sullivan's Blog Follower Request

Diana Sullivan on her blog (Diana natters on...about machine knitting) this past weekend offered up some great pictures of projects her followers sent.  She did this to instill inspiration (we all need some of that at times).

A couple of my projects were shown and subsequently, the pattern for a dog sweater I make was asked for.  I knit dog sweaters for my "Mikey" - he is pictured as a young puppy below.

Some measurements you will need:  Tail to collar (for back), width at chest (around front legs), legs (ankle to body) and width between front legs (for chest panel).  Mikey measured and pattern for: Chest 17", body 12.5" sleeves 4" and width of chest panel 3".

So, seeing the request here is my "Mikey's Dog Sweater" pattern:

A few years ago I found a dog sweater pattern I liked online.  The origins of the pattern are unknown to me and I used the pattern as a base for MIkey’s sweaters.  I wish I knew who designed the original so I could offer them credit.  I have changed it around quite a bit from the original (just like a recipe for the kitchen) so, I will call this one my own.  I have used both a punchcard and Garter Carriage for his sweaters and had terrific results with both!

I used Tamm fingering yarns as I wanted an acrylic so I would be able to throw it into the washer and dryer on the standard machine.  The entire sweater is knit on together on the machine with the exception to the chest panel; this is sewn on later easing it in like a sleeve as in sewing.

I used T7 on the main sections and T5 for the ribbing (basically my sock gauge).  

7.5 st & 10 rows to one inch.

RC000 - T5
Cast on 99 stitches for ribbing (MB - 49/50 RB 48/49).  Reset RC to 000, Knit 20 rows (or how many rows of rib you would like).  Transfer all to MB and knit 2 rows, RC022.

Place carriage to HOLD, move 42 needles to D position opposite carriage.  K1 row and wrap.  Now pull 42 needles opposite carriage to HOLD, K1 row and wrap.  Needles in work are now centered between needles in HOLD.

*Push 2 needles opposite carriage to working position, K1 row and wrap*.  Continue until all needles are back in work (repeat from * to *).  Adjust weights (Iuse 2 claw weights under the last needles in HOLD moving as needed).

If using a Garter Carriage place on machine and set punchcard or program an electronic (I have used both) for row1; change to MT7.  Adjust weights so work is weighted evenly.  If using a punchcard set carriage to K all needles, (plain knitting).

Knit in your pattern of choice until RC078 - this is the body of the sweater where you can shorten or lengthen for your dog.  Mikey is longer than most in his body but lean!

Reset RC to RC000; cast off behind gate pegs 12 sts., Knit one row (still in pattern).  Cast off 12 sts behind gate pegs; K1 row.

K27 rows (adjust if needed - this is depending on the width of your dog’s shoulders).

RC000; e-wrap on 12 sts; K1 row; e-wrap 12 sts.  Adjust weighing for even results; I suggest claw weights on the e-wrapped sts.

Set punchcard/Garter Carriage to K17 rows (length here depends on your dogs length between front shoulder to base of neck).

Remove on WY.

RC000; cast on 27 sts for rib (again based on your dogs girth - you can add stitches based on measurement of dog’s underside) RT5.  K20 rows.

Transfer sts to MB, set to MT7; release card/program electronic; RC000, K25 rows. If you increased or decreased for back, you would want to add or subtract rows here as well.
Place markers on end needles.  K25 rows, place markers on end needles.  K18 rows.  Remove on WY.

RC000, with private side facing, hang neck edge stitches, decreasing 16 stitches.  Rehang Chest Panel neck sts, decreasing 5 stitches.

T5, K1 row, transfer sts for rib.  K in rib for 36 rows (crew neck), then last row at T8; double rows for turtle neck + 1 row at 3 T higher (turn row).  For turtle neck I knit 35 rows, 1 row at T8, then 35 rows at T5.

Cast off using chain stitch method this allows stretching easily over the dogs head.

Join shoulder and neck seams only to form leg openings.

RC000, rehang leg opening, private side facing on 50 needles.  K1 row at T7.  Set punchcard/electronic pattern - Garter Carriage for pattern; K28 rows, Again, lengthen or shorten here.

RC000, transfer stitches for rib, T5 K 33 rows, last row (R34), K at T8.  Chain stitch cast off.  Do the same for second sleeve.

Join remaining seams.


Garter Carriage Used - Crew Neck

Garter Carriage Used - Turtle Neck

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Red Socks!

If you read my past post I was complaining about my neck and how I messed up while attempting to knit socks.  In my case I guess it is "pain no gain!"

Oh well, the neck is much better so I restarted the red socks, one down and one to go!

Something About Red Socks!
What's hangin' on your needles?