Friday, December 30, 2016


They arrived and guess what? In my excitement, I had placed the order before I had finished the front edges against my own advice and, of course, the 22 inch that I originally decided on is too long! I had added a
brass-teeth #5 22 inch as well but didn’t care for the look of the brass with my tobacco brown hoodie so I am attempting to adjust the length of the #3 molded plastic coffee bean one. I need to shorten this by 2 inches which is 17 teeth on each side…I’ve only gouged my knuckle once, not a big deal, I can handle it – no blood on the garment is my standard. The hardest part is prying off the metal stops at the top of the teeth. I managed this with the aid of a little flat-blade screw driver and a small pair of pliers. After fully cleaning the teeth off one side of the tape, I realized that I only needed to get them off about 3/4 of an inch above the new finished length. The easiest part was replacing the stops, using needle nose pliers. Even though I am not totally happy with the colour of the zipper, I’m going to sew this in and then re-evaluate the situation. A couple of days ago when I realized this zipper would be too long, I placed another order with and I have a #3 nylon coil in seal brown coming, along with a few others I thought would be good stock to have ;-), to add to the 6 others – like this jewel green one (not) that I thought would go with the cilantro linen that I couldn’t resist the first time! Glad I still have those old pinking shears! Haven’t used them in 20 years but you never know, do you?

Machine knit like you know what you’re doing! ;-)
P.S. got this all done yesterday and I wore it for the rest of the day…love it! Particularly the weight and texture – can hardly wait for hot weather! And what do you know, Cathy  R. must have known – she’s invited me to do her seminar in Monroe, MI next summer – the 21st and 22 of July 2017 – more on this later!
Happy New Year to all! I’m into mottos lately, like, ‘machine knit like you stole the yarn!’ Or, how ‘bout ‘machine knit like you could write a book about it!’? ;-)

Monday, December 19, 2016

final details...

My linen One-Row-Tuck GirlFriend Hoodie is done, awaiting the arrival of the zipper - I did order it from and it should be here, maybe even before Christmas! I ordered two - a nylon one that was a #3 lightweight and a #5 metal, brass coloured teeth option and I can decide which one will be best - I have not particularly liked the nylon coil ones but I thought maybe it was time to try one again - the lightweight part caught my eye! and they seemed pretty cheap so what the hay? The hoodie's all finished up, washed and dried, bands on, ready for the last thing of machine sewing in the zipper. I opted for slightly narrower hem bands than the original MFH pattern - if you go to 'Just the Flax' (KW#47), I used the same graded-tension bands, same number of stitches, but I started at T10 and went down from there by one dot per row for 7 rows and then back up - yes, there is an extra row (8) on the front side of the band - that helps it to lay flat and not curl over or under. I made the cuff narrower yet, only 5/6 rows, but again same number of stitches as the cast-on edge. I used all the same finishing techniques as the Manfriend Hoodie, with the outside seaming  and the same front edge stabilizing for the zipper installation... I'm so happy with this, I'm looking around to see what else I can use for another one and, even though it's freaking cold here and this is supposed to be warm weather wear, I won't be waiting, I'll wear it as soon as the zipper is in - we do have central heating!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

12 days of Christmas socks.....

Actually, that should say 12 days of knitting socks for Christmas but I was going for the headline ;-)! You probably knew I wouldn't be knitting Christmas-y stuff anyway!
I did plan it to see if I could keep up the pace. Now, knitting one pair of socks in a day is not a big deal but to keep it going for 12 days was the thing! And I did discover a few things along the way.
A while ago I bragged that I could get 3 pairs of ladies socks out of 2 - 100g balls of sock yarn. Well, that was when I thought a 100g ball was really 100g...I had made a pair of ladies 7s earlier from 'Tropical' and given them away without weighing them and now had a full ball and the part left over. I wound the full ball onto a cone and knit a pair of 8.5s (final weight 62g), leaving me with 2 partial cones. I originally thought I could easily make another pair of 7s but I thought the remainders looked a little on the small side. Weighed them and I only had a scant 58g and I thought, what the? Now, I have to say that I don't waste a drop! I actually start out with a tail of less than 8 inches at the beginning of the cast-on to use for seaming the rib cuff up the back of the sock and I never worry about whether I am 'matching' the stripes of the sock, I just start knitting the next sock wherever I left off with the last one. I still had 4 brand-new, whole balls, still banded, untouched. I weighted them and had a range of 92g up to 104g!! wow! that is quite a difference. I even went and got a pound of butter to check my scale - it was bang on, even measuring each stick! Now strangely, the heaviest ball was the darkest colourway, but that shouldn't matter - they are calling it 100g either way but it isn't! I did get the third pair done as a size 6 big deal because I do have two girls who are size 5.5 shoe size - I usually go up a half size for these socks because I have found that they wear better if not too tight/short where your toes are pushing through the end all the time.
Oh yeah, and I have revamped my 'warm-up sox' pattern to include all the little changes I've made over the past few years, including size variations for both men and women...if you want it, email still have time to get a few in for Christmas!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

like a one armed hooded bandit...

I was thinking that you were nipping at my heels, trying to get ahead of me in this linen 1RT GFH KAL...LOL! Now I realize you've been holding back. Probably haven't even started yet, sitting back just waiting to see if ole MAO gets into trouble or not... ha! I'm doing my happy dance! Got the hood knit on Friday - it weighed 64g. On Saturday, jumped right into making a FULL length sleeve - it took 58 gees! that means I'll have about 120g left for the bands - more than enough, no reason to sweat, no need for plan B! I could even make a matching headband! ;-)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

that blessed pocket.....

Did you know that was going to force me to choose? :-) Which side was going to be the right side, I mean! I was thinking I could knit it all and leave it to the last minute to decide if the knit side or the purl side was going to be the public side...but as I was knitting the pocket and shaping the angle at the side, I realized the look of that decreased edge was going to be the deciding factor. The pocket decrease is what I call the 'outlined 4 to 3 full fashioned decrease' and I'm not sure if I've actually put this part in writing before, but when I was doing those 1RT raglans ( I thought I did.
I made sure there were no tuck stitches in this 4-stitch edge - I know you know how - you can cancel the patterning by simply bringing those needles out past the latches before the tuck row (but there might be someone else reading this!) (or you could change the point cams - Silver Reed/Studio). This gives that no-finish-finish - a nice plain edge that curls slightly under to the purl side and looks great from the knit side, either on a stockinette fabric or, on this 1RT fabric, without having to add a finishing band or edging later. Hence, unless I want to re-figure the pocket design (NOT!), the knit side is the right side!
I probably don't have to remind you that at the top of the pocket, remember to make sure it ends on a stockinette row that matches the same stockinette row of the front when you take the front off to rehang the pocket top before proceeding. If you're using the garter bar for this, leave the pocket stitches in the hooks - don't push them back before hanging the front (else they will knit through the stitches of the front and you don't want that creating a more distinct line on the top of the pocket), you  want to leave all stitches in the hooks since the next pattern row is tuck and the needles need to be in B position to read that row...
Back, both fronts and pockets done. 298g left. The hood is next in the line-up!