Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Charity Knitting Thick Wool Socks & How to Seam Them

Here are some socks that I knitted on my SR 860 for the 'Afghans for Afghans' program. Socks are desperately needed as the weather is very cold in the winter time. These are worsted weight socks made from 100% wool. If you like to knit smaller charity items these are great!!

Now.....I want to talk a little bit about these socks. They are knitted flat on the machine & then seamed up the side by latching up the bars at the edge of the knit. To make this work you have to think ahead a bit. I am going to talk about a sock that is 36 stitches wide just for the purpose of my demonstration. Your needle arrangement will be like this.....


The first stitch is placed on needle #19 left, & the last stitch is #19 right. Needle #18 on each side is left empty so that when you get ready to seam you have a looser bar below the knot on the side of the knit. (I am assuming that you know that the side of the knit is an edge of knots & bars. You will have a bar, then a knot, then a bar, then a knot & so on. Like this
-x-x-x-x with the dashes being bars & the x's being knots.) When you get ready to seam you will be using your latch tool to pull one bar, skipping the knot, through the next bar on the opposite side. Pay attention to the bars & knot because it is easy to get confused when you first start learning this technique. You don't want to use the same bar twice as it won't make a good looking seam. Keep latching one bar through the next bar on the opposite side, going from side to side. You always want the bar above the next knot.

This gives a very flat & comfortable seam that you wouldn't get if you used a different seaming method with this thickness of yarn. Although the seam is very obvious, comfort is the wanted result. If you look closely you can see where the bars have been latched from one side to the other in a zigzag fashion. The seam will lay flat on the wearer's leg without rubbing at all.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Babies!!! Babies!!! Babies!!!

My Grandbabies, Erik & Erika. 

I am working on the sleeve that I mispatterned. I should have a post on the repair in a few days. Busy Busy Busy!!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


As you can see on this GC sweater, I really made a mess of it. I think I know what I did. I started the GC without going past the turn mark so that it patterned wrong. Then, when I took a break I came back & restarted the GC, this time going past the turn mark so that it patterned correctly. I don't know how other people do their sleeves, but for me, I sit at the GC off & on during the day, increasing stitches. It takes hours & I don't do it all in one sitting. It is a tedious job & I hate doing it, but it is a must. This is a sweater for my g'son. I am trying to decide if I should rip it out & redo the whole sleeve or if I should just let it go & chalk it up to experience. I am very meticulous with my knitting & this will bother me every time I see this sweater. However, I am hating the idea of sitting for another day or two just to reknit it when I have other things on the machine that I am working on. This is going to be a 'cut & sew' neck & I want to get it finished.

 This is a sweater for the 'Afghans for Afghans' program. It is a size 8 striped raglan with a short rowed neck & grafted neckband. According to the web site, green is the favorite color of Islam. These sweaters I send off one at a time as I use non-matching dye lots of wool, or small left over cones of different colors.  They are scrappies. They must be 100% wool or another like fiber. No acrylics. The Afghans don't have hot water & they don't have washing machines so felting is not a problem. It gets very cold there & acrylics will get wet & freeze. Wool does not. If you are interested in contributing there is a link to the site on the left.

I also put up a link to the World Vision web site. They have a pattern that can be downloaded & knit for their charity. I am not a fan of this pattern & have made it known in rather rude fashion. I myself would be ashamed to offer a cold child one of these chintzy sweaters & I never use it. You may use your own pattern if you choose. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Our Little Lady is Here!!!

Our little girl has finally arrived!! 'Fashionably late' as some would say. She is happy & healthy & her big brother loves her sooo much. Hug her, kiss her, poke her in the eye. LOL She is doing well at home & is being breast fed like her brother. Mom & Dad say this is the last. Too expensive to raise kids. Hopefully she isn't allergic to wool & will be able to wear the clothes that her brother couldn't. 

On another note, Mom is a school teacher & with the present economy she is wondering if she will have a job to go back to. I am afraid that things are going to get much worse for all of us. I don't believe that the recession is over at all. Dad is a truck driver & is getting minimal work as freight is down. No one has money to buy other than the necessities so not alot is moving. 

I have been busy with my charity sweaters. This is a size 2 raglan made with Red Heart Soft Baby. short rowed neck with grafted neckband.

Size 6 with RH Soft Baby Drop shoulder with short rowed neck & grafted sleeves & loop through loop bind off. 

Size 4 RH SuperSaver drop shoulder, grafted neckband & sleeves with the loop through loop bind off. 

I have been so busy volunteering & doing other things that I have neglected my blog. I still have a few projects planned. I want to make some of the cloth baby shoes that I saw on another blog. I want to make some sweaters for the clothing bank here in town. Also, need to start on the baby clothes that I promised the shelter. 

I haven't been able to find out for sure, but I think the 'Afghans for Afghans' program has ended. I went to the website to check & see what they wanted knitted up, but there is no information as to the current needs. Also, the blog has been deleted. I am going to do some more investigating & see what is out there accepting donations. I know 'World Vision' does, but they don't want wool garments. Only acrylic. As far as I know 'A4A' is the only one that takes wool. & I have lots of that!! If anyone has any information that they would be willing to share with me, I am all ears.


Afghans for Afghans is still in business.  The 'Knit Along' Blog is up & running.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Still Knitting

I have had a few orders come in, but am still making baby rompers too. I think that this will be the last one for the season. 

I am getting ready for my winter rush for longies. Usually it starts about the middle of September. I want to get some made so I will have some ready to ship as well as customs available.

My g'son is growing so fast!! I can't believe he has turned one already. They don't stay little for long do they??

I have started to work on my Xmas gifts for this year. I am going to make knitted toys for the little ones. Small stocking stuffer type of things. I have fun making them & they have fun getting them. With the bigger kids I generally make them something useful  like socks in school colors etc.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Cast-ON Rags

Today I want to talk about Cast-On Rags. I learned about them from a machine knitting book that described how to make them. I was a fairly new machine knitter then, & didn't really understand the instructions very well, but did get the general idea.  I set out to make myself several of them. 

I have recently watched several U Tube videos on how to make them. I make mine a little differently, based on the instructions from the MK book that I had, & my own inclinations. 

1. Decide how wide you want the rag to be. Most of mine are 100 stitches.  They can be as wide or as narrow as you want.

2. E-Wrap cast on as many stitches as you have chosen. Knit a few rows & add your weights. 

3. Knit 30 rows & then knit a very loose row. 

                4. Knit another 30 rows & knit another very loose row. Do this 3-4 times. 

5. When you have about 124 rows hang the e-wrap cast on & bind off. At this point you have a tube.  Turn the tube inside out. You should have the purl stitches on the outside.  

You will use the loose stitches to hang your rag on the machine. You can use all 100 stitches or less. You can also use 2 rags together. 

      I like to make my rags in 2 colors so that if I am working on a garment that is a similar color I can use the contrasting color. When they get dirty just throw them in the wash. 

This is my cast on rag for my sock machine. I knit it on the mid gauge machine with a cuff to it, so I could hang it like a set up basket. The bottom of the cuff holds the weights.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hand Knit Baby Poncho

Here's a hand knit baby poncho from Lion Brand. I have been meaning to make one of these for my g'son but haven't gotten to it yet. These are sooo cute!! & easy to hand knit., but I am going to adapt it to the machine, & see if I can knit it in a worsted weight yarn on my SR 860. I esp. like the little pocket on the front.  

I haven't done much knitting the past weekend. I have been busy reorganizing my knitting room. I have taken down one of my standard gauge machines & also my bulky.  I am still working in there, but I hope to have it finished up today. I left my long bed machine up. 

 I am moving things around in there to get some more space. I have a heat press that I use to print Tee-Shirts. Also, sewing machine, serger, linker, & embroidery machine. & 2 yarn trees so there isn't much room t0  maneuver around. 

My g'son has been here all week. We were watching the show 'Hoarders" on TV when he piped up with 'G'ma, you're a yarn hoarder!!'  Yes, I am. LOL But I love all of my yarn & am working to get it under control. I have seen worse, but I don't think it's a bad thing. I wonder if they have a 12 step program for 'yarn hoarders'?? 

Friday, July 1, 2011


Usually I'm pretty good at estimating how far my yarn will go. It took years, but now I can look at the cone or hank & pretty much know what the biggest size of scrappie I can make with it is. This time I ran out of rose too soon. I thought that with a couple of stripes of another color across the front & back that I could stretch out the rose & get the complete back & front finished. I was a little bit off. I debated ripping the sweater out, but since this is for a little girl, I decided that the lavender would look okay.  I was disappointed though. I like to make the front first just for that reason. 

We are going away for a couple of days this weekend. I am taking my laptop with me to stay connected to my store. I have had a couple of small orders come in but it is still slow.  I am going to do them today before we leave.  

Right now we are waiting for the yard service to get here & cut the grass before we leave.  I hope that we can beat the traffic out of town. Happy 4th of July. (Please drive defensively  all!!)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Lemon Aid Stand

This is my g'son's Lemon Aid Stand. He set it up over the weekend & made $12 with it. He was so proud of himself & had so much fun. We don't live on a very busy street, but he did get some traffic & everyone was more than willing to stop & buy his Lemon Aid. The neighbors came over too, so he was very pleased with the project. 

I am going to start on a new box of scrappies. I promised not to buy anymore yarn until I have used up what I have, but it is sooo  tempting. I love to go look at all the beautiful colors & am thinking of making some baby clothes for the women's shelter as they said that they need them. 

I like to use Andino for my summer baby clothes & Trenzado for my winter baby clothes. I have plenty of both. When I buy yarn I buy in bulk. I know that no matter what color it is I will find a project for it so buy lots of different colors. I buy in quantities of 6 cones of each color, as that seems to work out the best. 

I was reading Mary Ann's Oger's blog, & she cautioned against buying yarn just for the sake of buying it. I am afraid that is a habit that I have fallen into. Over the years I have gotten more yarn than I can possibly use, but I love every cone or hank completely!! I always thought of that as a good habit, but can see now it might not be. I still have a full bin of Bramwell & they have been off the market for a while.

Mary Ann also cautioned against buying too many machines. I have 5 machines. 2 of them haven't been used for a year, my longbed(great for making baby blankets) & My Brother 270 bulky. Last time I used that was over a year ago when I made Diana Sullivan's Slippers. I have 3 Standard gauge machines set up & am thinking of taking down 2 of them, & the bulky if I can force myself to do it. LOL 

 While making scrappies I have been using up all the partial cones & hanks first, then will start on the full cones etc. I have barely made a dent in it. I am using mostly the worsted weight yarn first because I have so much. Then I will start on the lighter weight yarns. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Scrappy Sweaters Delivered!!!!!!!!!!!

This was the last sweater for my box of scrappies. My DD & I took them to the shelter.  Now maybe I will see some child wearing one. LOL I hope they are well received. I am going start on a new box. 

I finally had an order come in although it is a small one. Every little bit helps. After I finish it I am going to make some more 'Ready to Ship' covers.  They usually sell pretty good. I bought some new colors in the 'Patons Classic Merino Wool' & I am wondering how they will look knitted up. 

I found this online & decided to add it to my website. I took an early retirement due to Breast Cancer. I had 4 tumors & infected lymph nodes. No one, including myself, expected me to live. But I did. 

Facing my own mortality made me re-evaluate a lot of my goals in life, along with my perspective of what is important & what is not so important. Having bin after bin of yarn stored away is a waste. Knitting it all, is now my goal.

I have always been a 'caregiver' & with that crisis I became even more so. I was so fortunate  to have caring, compassionate nurses & doctors + a caring family  to encourage me to live. I know I could not have managed to keep a positive outlook without them, & I love them all more than life itself. 

After I recovered I started my Wool Diaper Cover Store & also sold knitted baby clothes. The diaper covers took over & I quit making baby clothes, as I didn't have the time. Now that things are slow I thought I would put up some baby clothes & see how they do. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Turning This into That!!!!!


Monday my DD & I are taking the box of scrappies to the Women's Shelter. I still have plenty more yarn to work  on through. It is a very satisfied moment for me!  I hope I get to see at least one child wearing one. That's the only thing I don't like about charity knitting. You don't get to see your garment being worn. Seeing someone wearing & enjoying a garment that I made for them really lifts my spirits. 

As you know, I do volunteer work for the Catholic Community Services. I was helping a mother of 4 last week. She had some medical problems, & life is very difficult for her & her children, esp since her DH left. She had some knitting that she was working on & I commented on how beautiful the yarn was. I told her that I hand knit & machine knit. She said 'that's something I would really like to learn, machine knitting.' That was music to my ears. I have an Artisan 70D that has been in garage for several years. I have heard that machine called 'the worst knitting machine ever' by more than one person, but I used it in my business for 5 years. It was my first mid-gauge machine. I bought it when they first came out so it doesn't have the newer carriage that turned out to be such a disaster.  I told her if she was interested, she could have it. I also told her all the negatives that I've heard. She jumped at the chance. We are going to take it over to her as soon as we can get to it. My garage is packed & we have to move a lot of things to reach it. Score one for Machine Knitters!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Business Slow............Knitting for Family & Shelter

 This sweater is a size 4 designed with KnitWare. It is a raglan sleeved pullover with short-rowed neck & grafted neckband. Made from Red Heart SuperSaver with a partial skein of variegated blues & solid blue sleeves. 

Business is slow so I have time to work on charity & family sweaters. I am used to knitting at least a couple of hours a day, everyday but Sunday, so it doesn't take me long to make things. I know some people are a little awe struck by the speed that I exhibit in making my scrappies, but this is my job. I go to work everyday, it's just that my work is at home. When I don't have orders I work on reducing my stash.  
This sweater  I am not happy with.  I ran out of the plum & couldn't find any other color that looked good with it, so finally gave up & used the blue.  I almost didn't post it, but that would be cheating, in a way. If you want to show the ones you're happy with, you have to show the ones that you're not happy with too. I actually thought about running to WalMart to find something there that would match it, but that would be counterproductive as my goal is to reduce my stash, not add to it.

It is a size 2 designed with KnitWare.  It is RHSS, & a nice warm sweater. I am hoping that the little kid that gets it will love it. The younger kids are not so swayed by  appearance & like what looks good to them. That isn't always what looks good to us adults. 

I am not going to make any more mis-matched stripes. Altho I've made a lot of them, for some reason seeing the sweater from my last post on my computer offended my sensibilities.  I found that the mis-match mildly annoyed me, & I even received a comment about it.  So no more. LOL

Monday, June 13, 2011

Still No Orders.................. Scrappie Finished ...............What's Up /Blogger??

Still nothing coming in as to orders. I think the weather is too nice. Everyone wants to be outside enjoying the sunshine, including me!! I did finish my scrappie. I have only small amounts of yarn to work with. I am on the last of the Red Heart SuperSaver saved in that bin, but do have lots of sport weight yarn to work on next. For this scrappie I used Navy, Brown, 2 shades of Red, 2 shades of Yellow & 2 shades of blue. Also, the stripes don't match but with scrappies that is just fine. When I run out of one color I sometimes find a similar color to work with , but sometimes I use an entirely different color.

 This sweater is a size 6 comfortable fit sweater.  Red Heart SuperSaver is the yarn knitted up on my SR 860 at tension 6. The ribbing I do at tension 3. When my g'son was little he actually liked the mis - matched stripes better than he did the' perfectly matched'. I know some people get tired of the stripes but I like them. I can calculate the right row to start the stripes on so they will match but don't do that with scrappies as lots of times I don't have enough of one color to use it all. The dark color on the body of the sweater is navy. The dark color on the sleeves is brown.On another blog I saw a cardi made with short rowing that was beautiful!! A nice change from stripes too.

This is J.R's first haircut. He was 1 on the 4th of June so mom decided it was haircut time. Sometimes I wonder if he gets tired of having his picture taken. LOL He is their first baby so that explains it. 

Everyone is worried that blogger is going to fold because of all the error messages, problems posting etc. Some people are moving their blogs to be on the safe side. I have downloaded my blog & template to my hard drive just in case. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

No Orders..................Making Scrappies

I haven't had anything come in so am back to making Scrappies. I am getting down to the bottom of the bin  I have been working on. I am having just small amounts of yarn left on cones so this sweater is going to be what my g'son calls a 'RainBow" sweater. They always remind me of the story of 'Joseph  & his Coat of Many Colors' that I heard in Sunday School. I'm afraid it has been a long time since then, but we don't forget the things that we hear as children. 

 This sweater is a size 6 & made from the Red Heart Super Saver. I think I can get 2-3 more 'Rainbow' sweaters from the yarn left in the bin.  Then I will make some mittens & booties from the smaller amounts. 

When I make mittens for the shelter I don't worry about making matching pairs. I just make a bunch of mittens in all different sizes with a thumb on the side so that they can be worn on either hand. The kids can choose the ones they like without worrying that they don't match. 

My back is feeling better but still hurts some so am not doing any bending or lifting. I am able to sit & knit now, so am making progress. My Dr. says 'the older we get, the longer it takes for things like this to heal' so am still taking it easy. 

Blogger seems to have fixed the problems it was having. My 'navi' bar & followers are back. I am able to edit & post so am glad that is good to go. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Some Pictures of Past & Current Projects

Here are some pictures of the baby bunting for my g'daughter. On the left the bunting is snapped to form legs for access to car seats that are required by law in the US. On the right it is snapped for a sack like bunting when not using a car seat.

 My model is 'Cindy.' My g'son named her when he was 4 & in preschool. He took her to school for show & tell + some of the baby clothes I made for her, both knitted & sewn. He told me I could get a new baby & he would keep her. He kept her for about a year, & took excellent care of her, then brought her back when he became more interested in cars & trucks & dinosaurs, & all the things little boy's love.

This is the sleeve of the sweater I am working on for my g'son.  It is Stitch World pattern #551. It is a GC sweater in Piropo by Millor. The color is Christmas Green.  I haven't been working on it for several days as I am a little bit down with my back right now.  

I have back, front & one sleeve finished. I think you can see where the black star is on the sleeve. That is where my dropped stitch is. Drat!! I hate weaving stitches in GC garments. It never looks right to me & then every time I see that garment my eyes go straight to the defect. 

When I do the cut & sew on this sweater I am going to document it for the blog & also republish my C&S neck templates. I seem to get lots of hits for C&S so thought I would update the blog. 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hand Knitting Pattern for Baby.

Here is a little hand knitting pattern that I have. Altho I don't do lots of hand knitting I still like to buy the books as they have lots of cute baby clothes in them. I am going to convert this to the machine. It is made in a thicker hand knitting yarn but I am going to make it in Millor Andino. I want to make it 12 month size. I am going to use yarn in my stash. I'm not sure what colors yet as I am going to go thru it to see what colors I have left, & find some that will go together. This romper buttons in the back & I think I will go with the buttons rather than snaps because I think snaps are uncomfortable to lay on. I am going to machine embroider something on the top rather than the hand embroidery. The pattern is in Katia Baby. Looking at the finished garments I would guess that they are machine knit even tho the pattern is written for hand knitting. There are schematics of all the patterns in the book so it is pretty easy to convert them.

I have pulled a muscle in my back, ('ouch') so am not going to finish the GC sweater until my back is feeling better. Bending over the GC to decrease hurts!! I noticed where I dropped a stitch on one of the sleeves. It could have been easily fixed if I had seen it in time, but now I am going to have to weave the stitch in.

I am still having trouble with Blogger. Now all my followers are gone as well as the 'navigation bar' on the blog. I am still using IE to post. I hope they remedy the situation soon. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

HO HUMMMM Another Baby Romper??? Borrrrrringggggggg???

I am still making baby rompers for this summer. It is a lot of fun making them & they don't take a lot of yarn or time. I made this romper in about 4-5 hours counting the time it took me to sew it up. It took 5 oz of yarn & 5 snaps. This is the same pattern that I used to make the green romper. It is in Machine Knitting News, Baby Collection, Vol 5, Pattern # 24, knitted in Millor Andino. These make good items for charity, too. Some mom's come into the women's shelter with their kids & nothing but the clothes on their back. Kids & baby items are very much needed.

I am going to finish the GC sweater that I started for my grandson a couple of weeks ago. It is made from Millor Piropo in green, garter carriage pattern #551, in the Brother Stitch World Book. I have had sooo many hits for 'cut & sew' I am going to repeat the C&S neck of this sweater, & include some hints & help as to how to make a neck template yourself. Also, am going to make a lacy hat to go with the lace romper for my g'daughter. & of course some socks. In between I will be filling orders for my e-store.

I am having a lot of trouble posting to my blog with AOL. Another blogger suggested that I download Google Chrome to solve the problem. It did help at first, but now I find that Chrome is not loading my complete blog, but only parts of it, & that I cannot edit the blog at all. The top information header 'navi bar' containing the link to make a new post is gone. On AOL the links to add image etc. are not working, but are there at least. I don't believe it is my PC but that the problem is with Blogger. I will try to resolve this if I can by contacting Blogger. I added this post with IE.


Blogger says this is a known issue & they are working to resolve it.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Circular Sock Knitting Machine

I love to make socks!! I make them on the flat bed as well as on my circular sock knitting machine. CSM.

 I bought a CSM from Angora Valley. That is Pat Fly's web site & she sells a variety of sock yarns & machines. It took a while for me to get the hang of it, but I stuck to it , & finally I was able to make a decent sock.

 My wool is Cascades Simply Socks. 75% wool & 25% nylon.I make lighter weight socks out of it.  I also like to use Patons Kroy, for the winter time. It does get chilly here in the winter & woolie socks make all the difference.  

I only have a couple of orders left. When I finish them I am going to make some more rompers for summer.

It doesn't take a lot of yarn to make one of these. If you have partial cones of yarn leftover from other projects, baby rompers as well as scrappies are a good way to use them up. Depending on the size & style it only takes about 5 oz of fingering weight yarn to make one. They don't have to be all one color either. Stripes or contrasting trim work well.  Babies love bright colors & the brighter the better. If you don't have a baby in the family, send them off to the womens shelter. Or take them to the police station. They will deliver them to the shelter.

I am sticking to my New Years resolution to not buy any more yarn until I use up some of the yarn I have. I do forget that sometimes & think about buying this or that. I don't go into my friends yarn store & she missed me. She called to find out if I was ill since I hadn't been in for sooo long. LOL I am doing my best tho, so am making progress reducing my stash. I am not going to sell it, or give it away. I am going to continue to knit acrappies & other shelter items, mittens, hats etc., until it is at least reduced.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lace Romper Finished

I have finished the little lace romper. I went from the pattern mostly, but I did change a couple of things. I liked the puffy sleeves. I think that they are what makes the romper so cute. I wanted my sleeves to be more puffy tho, so I gathered them at the shoulder as well as at the cuff. Other than that I pretty much followed the pattern except for changing the gauge. I had some bright yellow snaps but decided to go with the pale yellow as I thought they looked better.  I didn't put any elastic in the cuff of the leg because I didn't think they needed it. I was worried about the armbands because they seemed very tight. I measured them & they were only 6" wide. I lightly blocked the romper but for the sleeve cuffs I really hit it hard with the steam & stretched them out. Now they are about 7.5" so think it will be okay. I did leave a note to myself on the pattern to make the sleeve looser next time.  

The pattern is from Machine Knitting News Baby Collection Vol 1. 

Back to the Grindstone.  More orders to fill.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sweater & Hat For Baby Drew

Here is a sweater & hat that I made for baby Drew. It is still way to big for him but they don't stay little for long, do they?? Also, made a blanket to match. 

He is about 2 months old here. It is made from a worsted weight yarn in Red Heart Kids. I like to use the RH Kids on children's projects because it is much softer than the other RH yarns, so better for little ones. 

I am working on the yellow romper still. It is almost finished but I've orders that I have had to do first so haven't finished it yet. All that is left is for me to put on the leg bands & snaps. I hope to finish it next week for sure. 

I have a GC sweater that I am making for my grandson. I've the front, back & one sleeve finished. I've had to set it aside for a while so I can work on the lace romper, because I needed that machine for the lace.  I am going to do the leg bands for the romper on my SR 840, so that I can get my GC moving again & finish the sweater.