Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Repair work...and lesson re-learned!

I have a young puppy who is the new addition to my home, Max.  He is a rescue and when he found me we estimated about 10 months old.  He's a Terrier mix and a real sweet guy, very, very playful and lovable beyond belief.

One day I had my knitted hoodie (a Mary Anne Oger pattern I test knit for her -  ManFriend Hoodie) draped on the settee, he was bouncing around and decided to chew through the sleeve cuff.  Yes, I should hang up my clothes!  I didn't get angry after all it was my fault for leaving it out with a new puppy in the house.

I was a bit frustrated with myself as I did this one as the second one I made is red, I like red... a lot.  The hoodie color I test knit was natural (see it here) and in a larger size (I was heavier then).  Okay, I can repair this BUT I did not have enough of the red Bonita and my luck they do not make this yarn any longer.  I had just enough to reknit the cuff and promptly did so.  I was contemplating re-knitting both sleeves in a different color but, that would have looked awful.

Since I purchased the two cones from Mary Anne, I asked her if she had a cone to sell.  She quickly replied to my email (yep I told her my issue and sent her a pic along with my crazy repair ideas) and sent me enough yarn to knit the entire sleeve.  Guess she laughed at me as in my frustration I was planning all this work to hang it on circular needles and so on.  She sent me the yarn as a token of goodwill (told you all she is a great lady!) and somehow I need to be there for her should she need.  I did attempt to take off the cuff and pick out those little stitches (sleeve joined on the machine) the cuff is a folded cuff with 1/2 stitch seam join.  In doing so, I accidentally snipped an incorrect thread and the sleeve started to unravel .

So...I put it aside as I was so tied up with work and house things (getting ready for spring, it was 95 deg here today) and did not get to it until yesterday.  Probably a good thing as Ireally thought it through and I took MAO'S suggestion when she sent the yarn.

Once I had a clear head I found the chain stitch of the sleeve and opened it up a few inches.  I unraveled the sleeve to one row past an increase.  The hoodie sleeves are knit cuff up, sleeve is knitted separately then cuff is knit and joined on the machine.

Bonita is a great cotton yarn that holds the stitches when unraveled so no need to run a life line or hang on a needle.  Then I simply hung the sleeve on the machine I had 62 stitches in the needles.  So now I am knitting in the opposite direction (toward the cuff).  I knew how many stitches I should end with and knew I was one row past the increase (now a decrease) so knit 5 rows then a decrease on  each side, knit 6 rows and decrease again.  After the last set of decreases I had to knit 5 rows, ravel cord and WY.  Re-hung the cuff I had knitted and then re-hung the sleeve, joined them and as MAO would say "Bob's your uncle!"  it was perfect.

Tonight I washed and dried the hoodie and the re-knit section is perfect in both fit and color.  You can see below (pics as I went along) after it was repaired the color difference as this hoodie has been washed and dried many times.

I reminded myself through this...keep it simple!

The damage!

Unraveling before I snipped the wrong spot

Unraveled and ready to hang on the machine

All stitches hung and ready to knit

Sleeve re-knit (35 rows)

All done!


Sunday, January 21, 2018

My 1 On 1 With Mary Anne Oger

Mary Anne Oger (many refer to her as "The Master" of machine knitting) emailed me and let me know she was going to be in Las Vegas.  Mary Anne asked if we could arrange a time to meet.  OF COURSE I would find the time!

Mary Anne modeling one of her latest creations - inspiration from the Canadian store "Roots" 


We met at the Starbuck's in her hotel.  What a great time I had (hope she did too).  Conversation was easy and we talked about everything, for hours.  Mary Anne is the kind of person I could easily be friends with, you know hang out, eat, laugh and talk.  Mary Anne, besides being a knitting machine Guru, designer and  knitting magazine publisher (Knitwords) is also quite the cook!  She has a cooking blog as well as her machine knitting blog and has promised me her Turkey Pot Pie recipe.  I made her Chocolate Lava Cakes recipe not too long ago....decadent and so scrumptious (easy too).

But enough of my raving about Mary Anne, take a look for yourself and I suggest following her blog(s).  Oh and if you can attend a show she is instructing at, DO IT!

Needles to say...

Cook, tase, YUM!




Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year



Along with all the new hopes and promises the new year will bring us, I also hope it brings us a lot more opportunities to knit together.  Wishing you a very happy and successful year ahead!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Knitting Machine Control Board

Ever have one of those moments when you don't know how you ended up on a website?  I did tonight and found some good information to pass along.

Take a look at this alternative for your dead circuit board (expensive and hard to find) or if you want to use your computer to download images to knit:

Evil Mad Scientist Interface Boards

From their website:

"This is an  open source hardware and software project that provides an alternative way to control the widely-loved Brother KH-9xx range of knitting machines using a computer. There are other hacks (such as Img2TrackKnitic and electro-knit) which work with certain machines in certain conditions. The AYAB interface works with all Brother KH-9xx machines except the KH-970."

I have and have used Img2Track to download pictures from my Mac directly into the memory of my Brother machines.  This requires a special cable (easily available) and is only 60 stitch (pixels) wide, you can purchase an upgrade for 200 stitches.

The Evil Mad Interface board is about $80 USD and simply replaces the interface board on all Brother electronic machines.  Also, you can easily unplug the AYAB Interface and plug the original board back in.  No special cable needed and will also replace the power cord via the cord provided.

I may want to give this a try!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Sandwiched Buttonhole - Tried & True Method

This is not a new method but a tried and true one!  Here, Susan Guagliumi takes us through it on HD video up close and clear!  You can use this method for a plain band as well.



If you have a large garment or rather not poke the needles through your garment piece in this way, there is another method with the same results (not sandwiched)!

Knit the band then pick up your first row of band (from the ravel cord row) bring out needles to hold (stitches behind latches) and knit one row (this will make the garter row).  Facing you is the right side of the band, remove on WY.  Hang the edge of the garment public side facing you.  Push garment edge behind the latches and hang the band garter row facing the garment edge, open stitches in the needle hooks.  Pull needles through the garment edge.  Manually knit 1 row and chain cast off.  You want the row loose enough to allow the garment edge stretch as needed.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A Perfect Mitered Neckband

I have done this many times when I make V-Neck Pullover Vests for myself.  My reason for wearing  knitted vests is a result of our mild winters here in Las Vegas, it's perfect!

Take a look at Diana Sullivan's clear and precise video tutorial on how to achieve a nice looking and neat mitered neckband.


I like to have a nice garter row along the neck opening, here is how.  I knit the neck band off the garment then attach.  Take the sweater against the machine and decide how many needles you will use.  On the same number of needles, start with a at least 10 rows of waste yarn and one row of ravel cord. Knit the neckband as in Diana's video.  Pick up the first row of stitches above the ravel cord and hang on needles, knit one row at garment tension, remove on waste yarn (or remove on garter bar).

Hang the garment on the same number of needles with public side facing you and push behind the latches.  Next, hang the neckband in the hooks of the needles with garter row facing the garment.  Pull the neckband stitches through the garment stitches.  Pull all needles out to hold and with neckband yarn knit one very loose row.  Chain cast off.

This creates a nice finish with a garter row in-between the garment neckline and neckband.

Monday, October 2, 2017

I'm Okay...



To those of of you who had reached out to me today, I am fine and thank you.

Horrific thing that happened here in Las Vegas last evening, the entire Las Vegas valley is trying to come to grips with this.

I was so relieved to hear all of our 620 employees are fine as are their families.  My prayers and sympathy to those that are not as fortunate.

To give my mind a rest and do something I find comforting I am heading to the studio to make something...

May you all be safe, always.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Do You Have A Mid-Gauge Knitting Machine?

Take a look at Diana's new book and DVD set - "Mid-Gauge Mastery."  Looks like another masterpiece!

She created a progressive project book along with two DVD's packed with great information.  Baby blankets, shawl, scarf, kitchen scrubbie's, baby sets, mittens, socks, ear flap hats and etc.

Diana's courses are fantastic for beginners and seasoned machine knitters.  Machine knitters can always learn from other knitters even if just the way "others do things."  The cost is nominal at $25!


Just click  - Diana's Mid-Gauge Mastery

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Joining Yarn

There are many times as we knit a manufactures knot is buried deep in a cone of yarn and only discovered as you are knitting along (usually in the middle of a row).  If I am knitting stockinette stitch I can easily rip back stitches to the end of a row, and start the yarn after the knot.

If knitting a stitch pattern or in the middle of some short row shaping it can be a bit messy to get back to the beginning of a row and maintain the integrity of the pattern or short rows.  This is when I turn to the "Russian Join" method.

This is a strong join and when knit is usually never visible without tails to weave in, it slips right through the machine smoothly.  Simply cut out the knot and create the join as shown in the video below.  This is also very helpful with yarn broken during repurposing or winding mishaps.

Take a look, you will like this as much as I do!


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Great Whitening Info

Hi!

Yes I am still here and still knitting.  Have been so very busy in all aspects of normal life.  Hoping you are all doing well too.  I have been teaching locally here in Las Vegas and just received another request from a new machine knitter for some starter classes.  It's great to meet enthusiastic and eager knitters and see them get on their way.  Last year I was invited to teach at several seminars, it was unfortunate I could not make it, hoping the organizers didn't get annoyed with my having to cancel.  It's so hard to commit so far in advance especially when things pop up work wise which prevented me from being away.

I do get quite a bit of questions and comments sent via the blog to my email.  When a reader asks  questions via a reply to a post it is very difficult for the blogger to answer and when we do the answers are buried in the comments under the blog entry.

Better to email me direct, just click on the button on the right side of the blog.

I have recently been asked (many times) about how I whiten the yellow plastic and received this information from Mandy in New Zealand today:

This process is a chemical reaction rather than just a bleach, and thus the UV rays are an important part of the process. It is so that the Bromine that leeches out of the plastic and settles on the outer layers, yellowing the plastic is catalysed to the H202. I did this with a Singer 323's carriage that was so damaged by sun exposure that the whole machine was yellowed to brown! You could even see a brown liquid come off the plastic after the process was done. I found the 40Vol (12% H2O2) at my local pharmacy. I also used a UV lamp at night (as it has been winter here in New Zealand) in conjunction with the sunlight to speed the process up a bit. 

Mandy is correct the UV light is important in removing yellow from the plastic.  I have also tried only using 40 vol creme peroxide (found in a beauty supply) and have had excellent results.  It works a bit slower than the more involved formula I have posted.  You simply coat the plastic (liberally) with the creme peroxide then wrap it in plastic (clear) so it does not dry and place in the sun.

A note off topic, I just completed a gift of 2 pairs of black socks using a solid black wool sock yarn.  I was quickly reminded why I do not favor knitting with any black yarn.  I need a spot light or bright daylight when working with black.

Have you checked out the Butterfly Stitch Diana demonstrated this month?

Diana's August Video