Thursday, April 28, 2016

sorry, didn't mean to leave you hanging...

The yarn I used here was just something I had on hand back when I was thinking fall/winter. It's a DK wool that works well on the LK150 and has good stitch definition, but is rather firm and not as drapey as I want for a spring garment - if spring ever gets here!
I actually placed an order yesterday with my new fave hand yarn mail order source, for some Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima which was  my original yarn choice in my Request For Design that I submitted to KnitStyle back in 2014 and funny, I forgot that my name of the design was 'ExitLine' - because I thought you'd look good walking away! LOL! I'm sticking with 'Church Cardi' - it has a better story!
The Cascade Ultra Pima, I had used for 'Faux Crochet Cardigan' back in Knit'nStyle #174 and it was beautiful to work with, has a great sheen and drape and I used some of the leftovers for my original swatches  on that RFD. Another plus, it has great yardage, goes a long way - I think I will need 7-8 skeins for my size but I ordered 10 because they have a 15% off right now and free shipping and I didn't want to stress about running out! (I also added a couple balls of Regia sock yarn just to have ;-))

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

sitting in church...

Li'l Mikey and I got on just fine - yes, I named the tool Mikey... He's cool, listens real well, doesn't talk back and feels good in my hand! I live alone, what can I say?
I did half the front band first because I knew where I was going with that and it went so well, I jumped right into doing the back without too much thought - this is only a prototype so who cares if there's a boo-boo or two - it'll give the knitter behind me in church something to think about - like that's gonna happen! LOL!
I started off with a 24-st version of feather and fan - that was good and fun - I could have done the whole back like that but I was itching to try different things. The next one was another 24-st repeat where I centred the 'fans' going outward from the same point as the one below...I knew I was going to be doing some decreasing at the sides and wanted those side seams to look good and have a finished pattern so my decreases are actually  about 7 sts in from the edges. I put some faggoted lace between to take up the slack. The third pattern is my very favourite 'leaf' design (a 12-st repeat), where you are actually filling in the holes as the top of the leaf swings back in. I followed it with 'battenburg', another very favourite 12-st repeat. I like the way the mix of patterns alternate between hole-y and not so hole-y (tieing in with the church theme ;-)!) and even holier but you still see the vertical lines.
The sleeves are a little snug - I forgot and used my standard gauge shape without thinking that the mid gauge is a thicker fabric, so I'll have to redraft and reknit big deal, they are mostly stockinette and I have plenty of yarn left!
This was supposed to be my mid gauge version of the RTR cardi, but I'm renaming it the 'church cardi'!

Monday, April 18, 2016

I'm pretty excited...

I finally got around to placing an order for a real mid gauge 7-prong adjustable tool and it's arrived! I'm so happy I could just knit!
Let me explain...a few years ago, I was at a machine knitting seminar and a dealer there had a 'mid gauge' adjustable tool. I asked her if it would work on my LK150 which is a 6.5mm gauge - the distance between the needles. She assured me it would and I happily parted with cash, anticipating new, easier stitch patterns on my LK150 once I returned home. It didn't take long to realize that it was actually a 7mm tool - I was sorely disappointed. That half mm doesn't seem like much but when you try to hang it on all 7 needles or every other needle, you can wiggle it and get it to finally fit but it takes so long it's just not worth it!
You might remember last fall, I was bragging about doing a mid gauge version of the RTR cardi ('rash promises' Oct 28/16)...I did the sleeves and the front/side panels and then kinda lost steam when it came to the more labour intensive transfers for the back panel and the front shawl edges (I was transferring 7 stitches and having to use the 3 prong tool twice and then 1 for each operation) and the project had technically become a UFO (unfinished object).
I recently found out that Mike Becker at has a bona fide 6.5mm tool - I placed my order with my fingers crossed. YES!! it is 6.5 mm!! It works perfectly! Thanks Mike, you're wonderful! He has lots of other goodies too - make sure and order a new foam strip while you're at it! 
That UFO is back on my to-do list!
If you know anyone who needs a 7mm...I've marked them so I know the difference!
Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you - I'm going to Dallas! The DFW machine knitters guild has invited me to do a two day seminar October 15 and 16, 2016. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

when two worlds collide...

I went to the zoo, last week, in Toronto, and they had all these baby animals and I came home thinking of pandas! And my knitting friend, Peg, mentioned Double Bed Jacquard which isn't my favourite technique unless I was going to make a horse blanket (private joke - way back when, I went to a convention and saw Passap machines for the first time and their entire fashion show consisted of dresses and jackets done with 4 to 8 colours of DBJ and all I could think of was horse blanket fabric) so, jacquard was on my mind too.
I had an old 'teddy bear' punchcard (Knitwords #22) that I thought would sort of do... I got it down to only a 7-stitch float...but then I had another idea of just using a panda face! I like it but it needs work - I knit this sample in fairisle just to see if I liked my stitch pattern and I do but I will mess around with it a bit and maybe turn one upside down and maybe sideways...who knows what it will come out as but I need to do something to get rid of all those nasty floats - the face print is 40 sts X 40 rows so you can imagine how bad they are...I'm thinking I'll check my notes on what I call semi-jacquard. Stay tuned! I think I know a young girl who might like a panda hoodie!
BTW, Toronto Zoo is great! We really loved the polar bears too but they aren't quite as distinctive for knitting!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

quilted northern....

It reminds me of that toilet paper...what can I say?
Boy, this was much quicker than I thought - even faster than the last one. I had it done in less than an hour, even with that final cast-off! As a scarf, this one is particularly masculine, I think.
Analysis: This is a really cool fabric! It would make a great blazer-style cardigan or jacket, even though it is a rather narrow fabric with virtually no stretch - the back would likely need to be made in 2 pieces except for maybe the smaller of sizes...but, with a seam up the centre back, you could reverse the second side so you'd have a nice chevron...
Red scarf for Aids Awareness count: 5

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Slip stitch and the double bed...

I know you're dying to see what the next red scarf is going to be and because I'm that committed to this challenge and very conscious of deadlines, even self-imposed ones, I'm working on it now (also going to visit family in Toronto for a week so I'll be away until the 15th) and I hate to think you were waiting for this and I didn't deliver - so here we are, early!

side facing top portion
is correct
side away
If done properly, side facing is right side, but no worries, even done wrong it still looks fine! My swatch (20-0-20 ns) in gold Yeoman Yarns Brittany - would be T2 stockinette on the single bed, so I've used T2/4 for the double bed. Is there a reason that the ribber is 2 full numbers higher, you ask? Yes. It goes back to that circular knitting thing where on the Silver Reed the ribber needs to be 2 full numbers higher than the main bed to have the stitch size match, so if you did the circular thing ('are you up for a challenge?' Jan 18/16)  you can gauge this to what your circular tension difference was. If you use the same number on both beds, the fabric will be too tight on one side and will curl inward. If your swatch is laying flat without having to press or steam, you're good.
use double length
Set main bed to slip, the white squares are knit, the grey squares slip and the rib bed stitches knit every row (with DAK, main is on the grey square). This creates little pockets of raised areas on the ribber side and the pattern still shows up on the knit side/side away so it makes an interesting two-sided fabric. Slip stitch makes a narrow, non-stretchy fabric so  a plain circular hem will match the width just fine and we don't need to worry about a stretchy cast-on (or off) - see below for MAO-approved method.
Notice the difference in length in the swatch - the bottom side is the 'wrong' way, and the row gauge is 57 rows to 10 cm/4 in. - the top portion is the way I really wanted it to be, therefore the correct method, and the row gauge is 75 rows to 4 in/10 cm. FYI, the stitch gauge is exactly the same in both, 35 sts to 10 cm/4 in.
Oh, and use that close knit bar again...and you know, if you want the DAK stitch file, email me at
Machine: 4.5mm standard gauge with ribber. Knit on Silver Reed 580/SRP60N
Yarn: red 2 ply (3/14) cotton,  2900m/350g (would be T2-3 stockinette) or any light weight yarn that knits a full needle rib comfortably.
SLIP DIAGONALS Red Scarf  for Aids Awareness.
30-0-30 ns, arrange for Full Needle Rib/ZigZag (all needles working, extra one on rib bed so both end ns are on non-patterning rib/front bed.
Swing H5 (centre, half pitch). Cast on waste yarn, hang comb and weights, knit several rows, ending CAR. Set to circular, ravel cord, K2R. Place carriages on left side. Bring ns out - this cancels the circular setting just for this row, MC, T1/1, K1R. RC000. CAR. You should be still set to circular.
T1/3, K2R.
Grade tension up by one dot per row on each carriage to T2/4. Knit to RC010.
Download your pattern, set to slip on MB. Knit 1125 rows. Change to circular. K2R. Grade tension down by one dot to match beginning hem. RC010. Cancel circular. Zigzag, T4/4, K1R.
With WY, T5/5, K20R circular knitting. FNR, K2R. Remove from machine. Steam WY to set stitches.  Remove last two rows to open the end.  Fold waste yarn out. Using latch tool, start at side opposite to yarn end and chain cast off by picking up end stitch, put behind latch. Pick up next stitch from other side of WY and pull through. Continue going back and forth across row. At end, pull yarn end through to anchor. Remove waste yarn.
You know I'll post a photo of my finished red one next week!