Friday, November 30, 2018

goin' postal...

It’s getting to be that time of year and I’ve already had a few people ask me if I’m giving socks again this year - they wanted to ensure they were on my gift list! Talk about pressure! I thought I was prepared but, in checking my stockpile of sock yarns, it is almost non-existent! Sure, I have a few balls of that cotton/wool yarn left and it makes nice, summer-ish, socks, but they aren’t the ones I pull out to put on for the winter.

You know it! I went on-line to my fav, of course, looking for deals and nice stuff. Concentrating on 80 wool/20 whatever nylon, 100g balls, before I knew it, my cart said I had enough to qualify for free shipping to Canada! And that was only 10 balls/10 pair minimum! OMG! I live in Thunder Bay and although not a border town, we are only 40 km from the US crossing at Pigeon River. What I usually do is order stuff from America, get it shipped to Rydens in Grand Portage, Minnesota, just on the other side and drive down to pick up, whilst mailing out US and overseas orders because it’s much cheaper from America. Well, when I saw that it said I would get free shipping right to my door here in Canada, it went to my head and I clicked through, placing the order. The next day, on the news it said that Canada Post workers are going on strike! oh, for crying out loud! I thought that was settled and was no longer an issue! Darney, darn, darn! They (the news guys) made it sound like no one was getting any Christmas purchases, so I went back on-line, back to loveknitting, found a bunch more deals, mostly demin-y-looking stuff which is the most popular (though, I’ve never had a recipient go ‘aw, these are sucky!’) to my giftees and had them shipped to Ryden’s. Am I in over my head? I’ve already got 6 pairs done from the bare remains of my stash, not counting the LKsox! I haven’t made my list yet but promised myself to knit at least a pair a day ‘til Christmas – it gets me in the spirit! I have other parcels waiting at Rydens…guess where I’m going tomorrow?

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

sock options...

finished pair and more yarn!
Here’s my newest version of a simple ankle sock done on the LK150 – a quick and easy, advanced-beginner pattern, makes a great hostess gift – tis the season! -  because size doesn’t matter!

fix hole at edge of shortrowed heel

finished knitting, before seaming

toe is same as heel, same side

The yarn is Fixation from Cascade Yarns and I’ve put a couple of photos here to help you out! The link to the pdf file for the instructions is:

Friday, November 23, 2018


original HK hat
Start the parade, blow the trumpet, where’s the confetti?
MAO finally figured out how to add a PDF file to a blogpost!
I have been working on a few, little-gifty-thing patterns and kind of having fun playing around, knitting and updating a couple of old patterns, taking photos and I finally got it done – check this out! Back in 2013 I did some kiddo earflap hats, for minions.
pseudo garter st ear
Down at the bottom of the page there, you’ll find the link to the pdf – you can download it, print it out and try it out!
attach ear to hat
The other day I needed a quickie gift for a  year-old baby girl so I redid the Hello Kitty  hat and I added a few extra details to the pattern, like knitting the ear, attaching it on the machine and knitting the bow. Have fun!
2018 remake

cast off ear sts on inside of hat

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

the power of advertising...

Around 9 a.m. this morning, my phone rang. I went to look, fully expecting a wrong number or one of those dumb sales calls. The call display showed a 705 area code, Northern Ontario, east of here. Picked up, said hello.
‘Is this Mary Anne Oger?’
A timid yes was my reply.
‘Do you still write books for machine knitting?’
‘Oh good. I’d like to order your simple edges book.’
O-kay, do you have a title on that?
‘Yes, it says here, Fifty Ways to Love Your Knitter, a collection of bands, edges, trims and I’d like your other one, Casual Classics.’
Wow, I haven’t heard anyone mention that pattern booklet in quite some time. Turns out she’s looking in Canada’s fashion machine from 1995. We get into a little chat about the state of machine knitting, how she’s been trying to get a group together locally, has seven machine, really loves it and even tried to have a class at the local college to get people interested. She asks if I put on seminars - I quickly say no but I am happy to come and teach. I ask if she reads my blog and she says no, she’s not much into the computer but she’s sure her husband could find it for her (she’s never heard of Knitwords). Can she send me a cheque and is my mailing address the same? I give her my new one (for the past 8 years only) and, because I feel like this is almost an out-of-body experience, I fail to mention the likelihood of Canada Post being on strike. She's probably not in a hurry...

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

thought I was invincible...

There I was, like Icarus, flying too close to the sun! Notice my swatch - it was royal blue WCD at T4 - looked lovely, knit like a dream. Full of myself, I confidently threaded up the black and began a sleeve. By row 4 it had already dropped a few stitches. Undaunted, I was able to fix them and continued on. By row 40, I had to admit something was wrong. Decided it was the black yarn and the stitch size - notorious for causing grief because the dyeing process is quite harsh and usually black yarn and most darker colours can end up slightly thicker that shades of the same yarn. I turned the first sleeve into a new swatch at T6 and regrouped. Armed with yarn spray ( ) and determination, I did get two pretty perfect sleeves done, while thinking of Plan B, C and D! At the very least, I'll have a plain black cardigan with beautiful lace sleeves!
When I am knitting something such as this that has a degree of trepidation or requires a certain level of concentration, I like to have a diversion so am alternating pieces here with a project on the LK150  - I’ve already finished a second TBponcho in antique gold and have the bands knit, ready for another in forest green for my niece – it makes me feel a bit better making something for someone else, instead of the usual me, me, me!

Friday, November 9, 2018

earth to MAO...

After knitting all those different lace patterns, most of them being fashion lace (multiple transfer rows between the actual knitted rows) it dawned on me – who am I kidding? the plan is to knit BLACK (hard to see at the best of times), wool crepe deluxe (drop a stitch and it runs like a bullet!)  and I’m going to add 12 to 16 rows of transfers to the equation? Get real, MA! Back to reality! at least I used up all that orange (VBG)! Remember before we had emojis?
I’ve looked at virtually every lace garment I’ve ever knit and paged through the old Knitwords, looking for something and I found one! Lace Luxe from No 38, Autumn 2006 – I loved this stitch pattern but had forgotten it because the garment was knit in Wagtail Yarns mohair,  lilac – not exactly a colour at the top of my most-frequently worn list. Mostly I did keep the garments that were in the magazine but that one I gave to the Wagtail people because it was the first garment they had that was machine-knit! No wonder I forgot it!
Programmed in the stitch pattern and it knit up beautifully in Trenzi. Switched to a leftover WCD and knit an adequate amount to examine it – I’ve used WCD in lace enough to know that my optimum stitch size is T4 – I’m on a roll – swatch knit with a suitable trim added on, all washed and dried – looks great! Now to work on the shape!

Thursday, November 8, 2018


Saw a picture of Becca the bachelorette wearing what I thought was a knitted lace cardigan with satin shawl collar and I loved it. Now that I have all this experience with searching the web, I thought, this will be a piece of cake. It wasn’t really, because it was just an ad on TV, not a show but I did finally manage to track it down – this wasn’t the photo I saw, no rose and she was turned sideways -  and it turned out to be a lace fabric, not an actual knit but that is totally irrelevant, I going with what I thought. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a bachelorette watcher – our cable TV comes from Minnesota and I believe Becca is from there, so it was a promo feature!
I have a semi-dress-up occasion for around New Year’s Eve and figure this would be perfect and could be used for so much more (I'm doing a seminar in Pigeon Forge, TN, March 22, 23/19 and another one in Waynesboro, PA April 12, 13/19 and even though I haven’t been to either of those places, you know how I like to have something brand new for each show).  I’m planning Wool Crepe Deluxe, black, of course and I even have a part cone of a shiny black rayon for the collar!

Have you ever had stuff for so long you forgot what stuff you have? In searching for the ultimate lace pattern for my ’Becca’, I pulled out every stitch book I had, looking for a lace pattern that was more holes than stockinette. One book in particular had several good-looking prospects. I spent the better part of an hour pencilling one design on the mylar sheet, feeding it into my Silver Reed SK580, reading it into the PE1 several times and checking for the usual mistakes. Finally got it in and knit – not what I wanted! Began to fill in another mylar and had a little tingle…suddenly I recalled that there were preprogrammed memory cards that came with this book  (they do not have a battery that would expire - )  – where the heck are they? A little searching and sure enough, I had them in hand – so much easier. Quickly tried several more samples - you might notice I'm using that gawdawful orange TAMM Trenzi that's been my waste yarn for the past two years or so. For experimenting, no use wasting WCD and as I know that T6 is the optimum stitch size for lace with Trenzi, that eliminates a lot of the usual issues when experimenting with lace. Only after narrowing down on the actual stitch I want to use will I attempt a swatch with the actual garment yarn!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

it was like a puzzle...

that I had to figure out.
Did you ever put something in the dryer and then forget about it? I almost did that but fortunately, I know I get distracted easily so I have a habit of setting the timer for ten minutes to bring me back to zero.
I was almost sick as I dashed for the dryer imagining a mini-elvis! I got there in time and it was good!
After getting the second front done, I seamed that dart/vee neck shaping,  grafted the two longer pieces together to form the back neck of the shawl collar, folded the facing in and stitched the two layers into the back neck. Did the rest of the seaming and finishing and eucalaned it
then steamed it. It is a little on the big side, but I’ll blame that on my half swatches. Not that I really mind – I think it is supposed to be a little loose and slouchy, something to wear when you’re sort of lounging around with company. Would I make it again? Yes, for someone else but I’d use a nice wool that is a little more predictable than Elvis was because it would turn out much better - I did like the way the collar turned out and I had fun experimenting!