Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Northtipton's Free Patterns

Have you been to their website? Check them out: Northtipton Creations

Or here is the link to some free and easy patterns...use up your stash!

Free KM Patterns

Monday, February 25, 2013

Eli's Slouch Hat

Eli in Norway did a great job on this one!  She had a patterning issue when doing the tuck and emailed me for some input.  She made the adjustment to her pattern and knit it up.

Great job Eli, maybe you can share the pattern with us?

Check out her blog too by clicking here >  Min venn, strikkemaskinen.

Eli's Slouch Hat

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pattern Variation Options

Here is what variation options can do with the same amount of needles, same pattern & yarn.  The original pattern sample is the plaid shown in my previous posting  < or click there.

Top Section:       Double Length Variation
Middle Section:   Double Length & Double Width Variation
Bottom Section:  Double Width Variation

Plaid Variations
When knitting a pattern swatch try some variation(s).

PPD Downloading Plaid

A previous post of mine I was "Playing With Plaid" < click.  I punched a card & knitted a swatch on my Brother 260.  Tonight, I sat down and entered it into the PPD 120, downloaded to disk and into the standard knitting machine.

Why I punched 48 rows x 24 stitches is beyond me should have been like the below screen shot of the PPD pattern (24x24):

PPD Plaid Pattern

I, like so many have tons of punchcards and CD's full of them too! Nice too look for something unique and program it into you KM by simply reading it off the punchcard (makes it easy).

Here are the swatch results from the standard KM.  Next, I will use the double length variation!

Standard Plaid Swatch

Nice Cast On To Start Lace And Pillar Patterns

One of my readers, Eli from Norway sent me the link to this cast on as I wondered how Anna over at Art-Machines did her cast on for her latest video which I posted > HERE <.

This would work well and thanks Eli!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Yarn Spray Tested! W O W ! ! !

This week I received my Super Industrial Yarn Spray from Distinctive Knits.  All I can say is wow!

This spray is wonderful, very little needed, you are not breathing fumes and your knitting feels like butter.  The socks below which is not the best of yarns knit like the best yarn as a result of this spray.  Lori-Lyn Yarn Spray was great, this is better.

Funky Socks, GREAT Yarn Spray!
Click here > Distinctive Knits < to take a look, no buy some, I'm ordering more.

I have no affiliation with this company/website, just passing on good information to you.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Get Motivated Over At Anna's "Art-Machines" Blog!

Take a look at what Anna is up to!  I've done similar knitting years ago, this was a nice refresher and makes beautiful scarves for year round wear.

I've asked Anna how she cast on for this as I have forgotten which method I used.....take a few minutes to look and learn:

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Quick Tip, Circular Cast-On For Ribbing

Did you know it is not necessary to knit 3 or 5 circular rows when casting on with ribber for ribbing?

Many patterns direct you to cast on a zig-zag row, hang comb and weights followed by 3 circular rows; then commence with ribbing.  Also, many sweater patterns call for 5 circular rows after the zig-zag row.

You only "need" 1 circular row!  If you would like a finer/flatter edge to your knitting do the zig-zag row (right to left), hang ribber comb and weights then knit 1 row of circular; knit on ribber, free pass on main bed (CAR).  Set machine for ribbing and knit away!

As long as you knit the 1 row of circular after the zig-zag row you are good to go.

If you want something in between with only 2 or 4 circular rows before the ribbing, cast on the zig-zag row from left to right.  This will put your carriage on the right side of the machine (99% of patterns start with CAR) after you knit the 2 or 4 circular rows you are ready to begin ribbing.

Give it a try!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Whose Pattern Do I Use?

Tonight I had planned to take out a zipper (did not like the look) on a cardigan and knit bands instead.  I wasn't in the mood to think.  I am sure you understand BUT I wanted to knit.

I wound up some sock yarn, sat at my standard and started at a sock.  I like doing socks as I don't have to think.  Having made more socks than I could ever count it's second nature.  As I knit (listening to some great music) my mind was wandering on to different machine knitting questions I have gotten.  The same thing kept swirling around in my head "whose pattern do you use?"

As I was knitting a circular sock I started to wonder myself where  I got this pattern for socks?  Honestly, I must say here and there with a bunch of me thrown in.

When I made my first circular sock (many, many socks ago), it took me forever to get it right.  I knit and ripped and knit and ripped.  Countless attempts and being all thumbs as I prodded along.  But I did it!  If I recall my first start to finish sock without any errors took nearly two hours to do.  Since that first sock I have evolved and found solutions or fixes to techniques that weren't 100% acceptable for me.

My original circular sock was a basic pattern but with too many move stitches here, knit on this bed, knit on that bed, seam here, seam there.  The seam was in the back, too many FF decreases, pointed toes and a heel that was too short to actually fit well.

Many knitters who knit circular socks on a flat bed end up with a little hole at the last stitch of the short rowed heel.  Of course I asked others all over the place how they avoided it.  The basic answer was "just live with it" or "take a strand of yarn and sew it closed."  Huh?  What?  So, I fixed that with my own technique.

If you ask me whose sock design, pattern or technique I use I would have to say my own but, I am sure others would look at it and say "that is this persons or that persons."

If ever asked "I have never knit circular socks on a flat bed who's pattern would you suggest I start with?"  My answer would be Diana Sullivan's.   Click on her name to view her sock DVD and book.

See tonight's hole!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wax Or Yarn Spray?

I received a couple of emails and a comment about the difference of yarn spray vs. wax for machine knitting.  It really is a personal preference.

I don't like having the wax in my tension mast, they pop out, crack, chip and etc.  Also feel they can at times interfere with the tension.  When I do use wax it is a big cake that I run the yarn over when I am winding yarn into a center pull ball.  Obviously you can't do that with coned yarn, that's when I got hooked on spray.

Lori-Lyn Yarn Spray has been around for a while and it is a shame it is no longer available.  The Lori-Lyn Machine Lube is excellent.  I have used "Super Lube" which is a silicone spray and had success.

Whatever spray you decide on, a little goes a L O N G way.  Typically a light spray on the outside, top & bottom of a self wound yarn cake is all I use (just s spritz).  For coned yarn, I leave it in the bag, spray the the same way (sometimes 1/2 way through a cone another light spritz).  Yarn spray dries quickly and you are ready to go.

Another thing I like about yarn spray is the reduction of the yarn fibers and friction/drag that some yarns are known to produce.  Stitches knit smooth and even, I actually use less machine lube too!

A bottle of the (click here)> INDUSTRIAL SUPER YARN SPRAY sold by Distinctive Knits should be more than enough for many, many garments.

Try them both and see which YOU prefer.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Yarn Spray...Thanks Mary Anne Oger!

Mary Anne Oger (MAO), sent out an email today to spread the word about a new and great yarn spray she found.  She posted on her blog: Addicted To Yarn Spray!

Like MAO I relied upon Lori Lyn Yarn spray which is no longer being manufactured.  I believe the Lori Lyn Machine Lube still is.

I tried silicone spray but did not like it and luckily I had stockpiled some of the Lori Lyn Yarn Spray just as production was ceasing.  I am down to my last two cans and they're both not spraying well, a drippy mess.

The newly found spray (pump spray no aerosol) is available exclusively through the Disitinctive Knits website:  Industrial Super Yarn Spray

I went over to their website and ordered a bottle, give it a try.

Michael let me know he will not be back in the store until the 18th of February; he'll ship orders after his return.

 Here is the information from their website:
"Tame static from friction and minimize breakage and frayed filaments with Super Industrial yarn spray. This product comes in a non-aerosol spray with locking sprayer to prevent little fingers from getting into trouble. The yarn spray is designed to be used on both knitting machine yarn and sewing machine thread. Pre-test if there is a metallic filament in the yarn or thread. The product absorbs into the fiber and dries. To use yarn spray on coned yarn, spray the top of the cone. For particularly problematic yarn, spray the bottom of the cone as well. Less is more with this product. For sewing machine thread, spray the thread using a little more than usual. The yarn spray will absorb deep into the thread. Please note that this product is flammable when in liquid form. Keep away from heat, flame and sparks, and of course, kids and pets. Complete instructions and warnings are on the label.

To use, replace shipping cap with sprayer. Press green button to dispense. Press red button to lock sprayer."

Friday, February 8, 2013

Katherine's Baby Blanket Pattern

Katherine wrote to let me know about the beautiful baby blanket she made for those who asked:

"Oh, I can't take credit for the afghan, it's a 1990 Garter Carriage pattern by Cheryl Jiles of Wish Knits from one of her books, "Crib Quilts."  She specifically designed for the Brother 940/950."

Thanks for the information Katherine!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Very Dear Friends Knitting

Katherine whom I've become very close to lately knits some beautiful items.  Below is a baby blanket she just finished.

Not only is she a great knitter, Katherine is highly intelligent, warm, spiritual and giving.  Also, you should see the breads, scones and meals she makes!  If she wasn't so far away I'd be inviting myself over for dinner.

I needed a PPD cable.  Katherine just ordered the cable for me and had it sent to my home.  At the same time I boxed up a bunch of my home grown lemons and sent them to her.  She lives in a snowy climate and I just wanted to share some of the Las Vegas sunshine & warmth with her.

Even though we have never met, she detected from my emails I was having "one of those weeks" at work and called to see if I was okay.  Wow did that change my mood and made the rest of the day fly by with a smile on my face!  We have much in common (besides machine knitting) and to think it all started from one single email.

Machine knitters are special people.  Please reach out and touch somebody soon, you'll be glad you did!

And here is her baby blanket:

Katherine's Baby Blanket

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Friend's Knitting For An Orphanage

My friend Helen, knits for an orphanage.  She created this beautiful sweater and cap using Stitchworld pattern 82 for the tuck stitch & pattern 158 (which is her favorite) for the slip stitch above the ribbing.  The ribbing she hand knit in a twisted cable.  The ribbed cap is hand knit in the same twisted cable.

Nice job Helen and for a great cause!

Learn From A Master, Vanda!

Watch Vanda's armhole technique for a beautiful fit and finish.  Cashmere, so luxurious.