Friday, November 23, 2012

Felted Mittens

I am making some mittens for the Afghans for Afghans charity. I have an old book 'A Time to Knit Mittens' by Sandy Baas & Marty Godlowsk' that was published in 1985. I believe this in one of the books that I bought at a yard sale years ago. It has a great pattern for easy worsted mittens, as well as other yarn weights. I want to felt them & make 3-4 different sizes. I like making them with the gored thumb rather than the slot thumb because they are interchangeable then. 

 I made these in the men's size & then threw them into the washer for a complete cycle using hot water, then a cold rinse , & drying flat. I have four blue dryer balls that I bought from Walmart to use for felting smaller items, in the machine. I put them in with the mittens so they would have something to beat them up a little bit, & help them felt. I didn't want to felt them too much because I didn't want the ribbing to completely flatten out & lose it's elasticity. It did flatten out some but not so much that they won't stay on. The mittens felted down to 6" in the hand from 7.2" when I started. So, they were a men's medium & now are a child's medium. 

I have lots of felt that I thought I would try to make some cute designs with & hand stitch them to the mitten. We will see if I get up that much motivation!!

Felting in a front loader presents problems sometimes. The door locks so you can't take the item out & check without going through a whole turning off & on, spinning the selector on the washer, waiting for it to unlock, etc. So I don't bother with it. Size is not critical in mittens. There is always someone that they will fit. 

The fish died. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

More Sweaters for Little Girls

I have been working on longies for my store. but am caught up with orders so had time to work on the sweaters for my customers daughters. I just took this one out of the dryer. It is another raglan, with contrasting sleeves & a small red heart knitted with intarsia. I am hoping that the heart is in the right place. I fitted it to my neighbors daughter & it looked good. (Now she wants one!!)

I have the smaller one almost finished. I just have to knit the front & sew it up. I am very happy with the way they turned out. 

One thing did bother me though, when I took the sweater out of the dryer it looked a little wrinkled. This is Red Heart Kids yarn. I have noticed before that this yarn sometimes does come out of the dryer like that. Several times I have taken a damp towel & laid it over the sweater & let it air dry. That works, but if anyone has a better idea I am listening. 

This sweater was knitted using a pattern generated by the  'KnitWare' program. It is a child's size 8, hip length, with a grafted neckband. I always make my children's sweaters hip length so that we don't have any cold tummy's. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sweaters for Little Girls

I have an order for 2 sets of worsted weight sweaters. They are for sisters, & mom wants them to match. She doesn't want any pink because they have so much pink already. She wants them in 'girly' colors though. The girls are 6 & 8. I thought these lavender colors would be a nice change from all the pinks, & still 'girly.' The top one is a size 8. 

This is the size 6 for the younger girl. Every thing finished but the neckband & making up. I  was afraid that I was going to run out of the light colored yarn but managed to get it all knitted. I'm not sure if I have enough for the neckband but am going to try it. If I run out I will do the band in the darker color instead, but I really want them identical, because that is what the customer ordered. 

I am going to do some intarsia for the other two, if I have the time. I'm not sure what yet, but am looking for a smaller pattern for them. I have a really good book that I bought on Ebay for $5 & it has easy cute patterns that I would like to do. I don't want to do any more stripes for her.  

The mom that ordered them lives next door to the couple that do my yard work. I gave him 2 sweaters for his boys out of my charity box for the women's shelter & when she saw them, she asked for my number. I have been working on them in between orders & the rest of my busy life. Right now I don't have any orders pending so am going to work on the 2nd one tomorrow even though I don't like to knit on Sundays. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

More UFO"s

This is another UFO. I was making it for my son. It was going to be a V neck cardigan. It has been sitting around in my UFO box for a couple of years. My son is now living in a much warmer climate so I thought I would make it into a crew neck cardigan for me. It is a 'cut & sew' so changing the neck is not a problem. It looks grayer in the picture than it actually is. It is more of a warm brown. I am going to knit some pockets for it & use snaps for the front. It will be for causal wear. It was knitted on the GC. I only need to cut the neck & graft on the front & neck bands. Right now all the pieces are on waste yarn. 

Checking my UFO box I have a dozen or so projects that I haven't finished. I don't know why sometimes I lose interest in a project & forget about it for ever almost. One knitter suggested that it may be because the project is not going well, & so is abandon. I am determined to get them all finished by the end of the year. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

My Craft Room

 These are pictures of my craft room. They show my yarn trees (2), & my heat press for my tee shirts. My sewing table & serger thread rack & some of my shelves + the little red cabinet that I keep my bobbins, needles etc. in. Everything is very crowded as the room, which used to be my DD, is only 10.5 x 10.5 feet. I manage to get almost everything I need in there. (When I make a vac cover I use my kitchen table to cut out the pattern.) You can see my SR SK860 mid gauge machine but my longbed machine is behind the yarn trees. I have to move them to get to it. Everything is crammed in. I don't think there is an inch of space that I haven't found a use for. 

I have had a couple of orders for longies, but the season is starting out slow. I did so well this summer I am hoping that winter will be as productive. I am working on an order for sweaters right now. I had an order come in today for a longies so will get that out ASAP. Also, another pair of shorties. 

This is Winnipher. She is about 7 now. She is my sponsored child & lives in the Dominican Republic. She is my 3rd sponsored child. The children age out of the program at about 18-19. She writes me several letters a year & I always write her back. She tells me about her likes & dislikes, & her family etc. 

Once they age out of the program you never know what happens to them. We are cautioned not to send our address to the children, but it would be wonderful if I were able to correspond with the girls that I sponsored when they were little. I know it sounds silly, but I worry about them after they age out. But, there is always another child to help. 


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Winter is Around the Corner

Warm Hats

Here is a hat that I knitted on the 'Knifty Knitter Looms' for this winter. When I knit hats on the looms I always knit a brim for the hat. I just don't like the rolled hems. Putting a brim on the hat makes all the difference in how warm the hat is. I buy the chunky yarn, usually from 'Discount Yarns' as I like to buy lots of yarn all at once & they have reasonable shipping charges. When I am not sewing up covers for my store I am knitting the hats for gifts. These hats, knitted with a brim are the warmest hats you will ever have.

To knit a hat like this use chunky yarn with at least some wool content.  32 rows for the brim, then another 30 rows for the the hat. I always use machine washable wool as NO ONE likes to get a hat that needs to be hand washed. (found that out the hard way.) They wind up going into the machine & coming out a felted baby doll hat. 


I did put up some shelves to store my machines when I am not using them. It holds my sewing machine, embroidery machine, serger, linker & my EC-1 controller. Also, the top shelves hold my wool care products for my covers & also some machine knitting products.  That little wooden thing on the top shelf with the pegs sticking out is my Pom Pom maker. I have 2 of them. 

Storing the machines vertically saves lots of room. My craft room is small so saving space this way is a big help in keeping the room organized. 

BTW:this used to be my DD room. That explains the pink walls. 

My Store

I am already getting orders for this winter. Longies & footies are what sells for this season. My summer was so busy this year I only managed to send 2 pair of mittens to A4A. Also, did minimal scrappies for the 'Friendship House'. I did get several of the lighter weight scrappies in the sport weight yarn. Right now I have orders for 4 sweaters, 2 longies, 1 shortie & 1 pullon. I sent out 2 orders this morning. This has been my best season since the recession hit 3 years ago. ;-)

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Little of This & That

Here is a GC sweater that I knitted up while working on my orders. It is a drop shoulder with a 'cut & sew' neck, & grafted neckband. The sleeves are half length. It is made from Trenzado & turned out very nice. I like my sweaters long so this is hip length to fit down over my waist. I like the half sleeves because they don't get in the way when I'm knitting on the machine. Perfect fit to wear with a pair of jeans with the cooler weather that we have here in the Pacific Northwest.


While reading another blog I was surprised to learn that MK terminology should be used exclusively for MK. I read this blog religiously & am impressed by the expertise of the blogger when it comes to MK. After thinking about it for a few minutes I realized that I use some HK & MK terminology interchangeably. The issue she had was that 'bind off' is for HK & 'cast off'  is for MK. I have seen 'bind off' used in MK pattern books as well as Manuals. I think that some terms can be used for either craft, like cast on etc. Do you use the terms for either craft??

Word Verification

I have turned off 'word verification' on my blog several weeks ago. So far it hasn't been a problem except for the first few weeks when I was getting all kinds of spam. I think for someone that gets lots more hits than I do it might be a problem tho. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My Little Customers

I have been so busy this summer with my store & volunteering that I have not had time to do much of the things I enjoy. Posting on my blog is one. I do have alot of fun with my blog, but since I haven't had the time to do much personal knitting I thought I would introduce you to some of my little customers, all in shorties for the summer, & one little skirtie. Mom's send me these pictures & I love getting them. I love to see happy babies smiling, wearing their diaper covers. Pretty soon I can expect the longies to start selling. 

BTW:my goldfish has survived but still does not look well. I told my g'son that we might get ready for him to pass away. My g'son is very sad. The fish is 12. I don't know what the life span is for goldfish & I never expected him to live this long. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Work Work Work!!!

I have been so busy with my store this summer that I haven't had the time to finish up very many UFO's although I did get a couple of them finished. 

This is the green GC sweater with the mis-patterned sleeve. Diana Sullivan gave me an excellent technique to fix this by removing the mis-patterned section & grafting on a newly knitted corrected piece. I knitted a piece to graft on & then removed the mis-patterned part by knitting on some waste yarn at the place that I wanted to separate the sleeve. Then I carefully removed the row below the waste yarn. I took the new piece on waste yarn & grafted it onto the sleeve. All was going sooo well until I turned over the sleeve & realized that I had knit an extra row, an easy mistake to make on your first try. I tried to pick it out but I had pulled out some of the waste yarn & only succeeded in making a big mess, so wound up re-knitting the sleeve. I was just in too much of a hurry I think. However....this is an excellent technique & I have added it to my bag of tricks & will try it again at the first opportunity. When I do I am going to take some pictures. If I had gotten the rows correct this would have worked out so great. An easy fix. Thx Diana. 

This is a scrappie for the Friendship House. It is made from Red Heart Sport weight yarn that I bought several years ago with the idea of crocheting Christmas Stocking to sell on my store. I made a few & gave them away to family & friends for their fireplaces. That left me with quite a bit of the RH sport as you all know, when I buy yarn I buy in quantity. I decided that some light weight sweaters for the shelter would be a good thing. I have more red, green, orange, & yellow so am going to use it for that. It knits up very well on my SR SK860  at tension 3. 

I am making a shortie for my store almost every day. With everyone having sooo many HOT days they are selling faster than I can keep up with. I am having lots of fun with them & trying out some new color combinations etc. 

Hope all had a happy 4th!!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Afghans 4 Afghans Mittens.

I haven't gotten much done with the UFO's. I have had so many orders come in the last 2 weeks I haven't been able to do anything but knit them up & ship. I have been working on UFO's  when I have the chance though. 

I did get a swatch done for my tuck stitch mittens that I am making for the A4A program. They have to go out sometime this month so I had better get busy. I am only doing 4-5 pair of the larger sizes. I like making the larger sizes. It seems they get lots of the smaller sizes & not so many of the large. 

Also, I have been looking for intarsia pattern books & found a good one on Ebay. It is for hand knitters but has lots of simple graphs in it. They can be applied to any sweater & they are printed in small, 19sts x 26 rows, & larger sizes, 40sts x 52 rows. The graphs are small so I am scanning them & printing them larger so they are a little easier to follow. & I am still keeping my eye out for small easy patterns for children. 

There is a new group on facebook. It's called 'Machine Knitting Friends'. Join in!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What Will Happen to the UFO's??

I have a BIG box of UFO's. I have decided that I am going to finish all of them before I start on any thing else. I have sweaters started that are now way to small for the intended person. I have a cardigan that I started 4!! years ago for my DS. I could go on & on but you get the idea. 

I believe that MK should try to knit every day. However, I also believe that projects that have been started should be finished in the minimum amount of time. It isn't that I have a short attention span. It's just that beautiful cones of yarn call to me while I am trying to concentrate on the currant project. & when I go to bed at night it continues to call to me so that it is hard to stick to what's still on the machine. Most everything is knitted up & just needs neckbands & assembling. 

Here's a little swatch I knitted up from the Silver Reed patterns a while back. Eventually I am going to make my g'son a sweater from this. He picked it out himself & helped with the knitting. He is such a sweetheart & loves to wear the things that I make him. 

I am on a number of MK lists although I don't devote a lot of my time to reading them. I just don't have the time to keep up with them. I did go have a look at the list the other day & one of the list members was complaining because her son, I think she said, told her that he 'did not want any of that homemade crap' this year. I thought that was a rather horribly cruel thing to say. We don't make the things we make to compete with all the manufactured goods out there. Sometimes when we make things they don't turn out to be all that we hoped they would. But we are in effect saying 'I care about you' & that should be acknowledged, not denigrated because it is a homemade gift.  Just my 2 cents.


Monday, May 14, 2012

My Little Penguin

Here is my little penguin all knitted up. I haven't tightened up the stitches yet or woven in the ends. I was debating whether or not I should show you the back but decided it would be too discouraging. LOL  It came out really cute. This is a size 4 sweater for my store.  Now I have to do the back & the sleeves. 

This was a very simple pattern, however I did make a couple of mistakes. Not 'glaring' mistakes but a knitter would see them. Probably not anyone else.  Doing intarsia on the mid gauge is sooo much easier than doing it on the standard gauge. 

Hope all had a beautiful Mother's Day!!

There is a new group on facebook. It's called 'Machine Knitting Friends'. Join in!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Doing Intarsia

This is the pattern I am going to use for my first intarsia  sweater. I downloaded this from the web. I thought it was really cute & it is smaller, 43 rows, so it will fit on a child's sweater. It only has 5 colors so that makes it easier & it is a simple pattern.

 I did some intarsia on the SK 860 just to test the carriage with my machine & it works great. It knits the stitches easily & glides across the machine bed with no problems. I can't thank the person that emailed me the info on the carriage enough.

Here are my bobbins wound with the appropriate colors to start the design . I am going to knit the bottom of the sweater first with the main carriage. I had to match the gauge of the main carriage with the intarsia carriage. 

The directions said to set the intarsia carriage to the same tensions as the main bed carriage but since this is for the bulky I decided to set it one number smaller. It matched almost exactly. I don't think you will be able to tell which carriage knitted what. 

FYI:while looking for intarsia bobbins on the web I found them by searching for 'yarn bobbins' rather than 'intarsia bobbins.' The ones I found on Amazon, my 'go to' place, were much more expensive than the ones I found on the Knitting Warehouse.

I am still a basket case after running over my poor cat. I am having a hard time eating & keeping up with life in general. I am hoping that the pain will lesson with time. I have accepted that it was an accident, but it isn't making it any easier. She was much loved & is much missed. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Beloved Cat

I accidentally  ran over my cat today, & am just devastated about it. She was 17 years old & in good health. When I come home in the afternoon she is always waiting for me on the porch. She evidently walked off the porch & sat down in front of the car & I didn't know it. I felt the car go over her & immediately jumped out to get her but she ran from me. I hurried into the house to call the vet & see if he was still at the office. He was & he said to get her in as fast as I can, but when I grabbed a towel to wrap her in & went back out she was dead. I am just wracked with guilt & heartbroken at the same time. She was my best friend. I miss her completely. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Intarsia Carriage

I have been wanting to do intarsia on my Silver Reed SK860. While looking on the web I found an article about the AG 40 intarsia carriage for the SK860. I thought 'Good!! There is one,' however I was unable to actually find one for sale. Or even a picture of one. 

I posted a 'wanted' ad on the machine knitting for sale lists. I received one reply that there was not an AG40, but that the AG30 would work with the SK860. It is for a bulky machine but the needles are the same size except for a very tiny difference in the hook size. I'm thinking that, if that is correct it will work on my machine. 

After searching on the web I was able to find a very over priced AG30.  But I went ahead & bought it & am now waiting for it to come. It was at Peter Smith's shop in CA so will probably have to pay custom fees when it gets here. Whew!! But if it works it will be worth the expense. 

Afghans For Afghans

The A4A program is starting a new campaign.  They want 100% wool hats, mittens, & socks. Be sure & go to their web site to read all the details. The link is on the left of my blog. No sweaters or vests this time around. I really did like making the sweaters the best. 

Erik & Erika

He will be 2 in June & she will be 1 in August. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Another Fair Isle Sweater

This is the next fair isle sweater pattern that I am making. This is a size 4 sweater for the shelter. I did the patterning with my Silver Reed SK860 & the EC-1 controller. I think the reason that I have that line going down the center of the pattern is that I forgot to put the 'needle one cam' on the bed. When I realized it, I was half finished with the front so didn't want to change the pattern & went ahead & finished it without the cam. Next time!! I think it still looks cute & don't think that they will realize it's a boo boo. The floats on this pattern are so short no latching up is necessary. This is going to be a 'cut & sew' neck because it is easier than trying to match the pattern on either side with a bound off neckline. The back & the sleeves are going to be the dark purple. Tomorrow I am volunteering so probably won't get back to this until the weekend. 

This is my little sewing table. My craft room is very small. I searched high & low for a table that was small enough to fit. I bought this table from It fits just perfect in the space & has a drop leaf that I can raise if I close the door, that gives me double the space for cutting out patterns etc. I have had it for awhile & it is starting to show some wear & tear, esp. because of my bad habit of bringing my coffee into my craft room & setting it on the table. I use it for sewing, embroidery, linking & my serger. 

There is a new group on facebook. It's called 'Machine Knitting Friends'. Join in!!

My Goldfish is better, I think. At least he is not swimming around the tank gasping for breath. Now he is hanging at the top of the tank & not moving much. His eyes are not protruding anymore tho. & his fins are not rotting off, I don't think. I am going to change half the water in the tank Saturday & medicate him again. I took all the toys out of his tank & cleaned them with bleach, & washed them very well before putting them back in. My friend says that 10 years is a long time for goldfish to live so maybe old age is complicating his recovery. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dealing with Floats

There are several ways to deal with floats on the back of your knitting. One way is to latch them up. Here is a picture of a fairisle pattern that I am going to be knitting next. I use this pattern alot as I really like it. Here  is the knit side with the floats latched up on the purl side..

Here is the same pattern without the floats latched up.

They look pretty much the same. 

Now here is a picture of the floats on the purl side.

They are messy & have a tendency to get caught in your fingers when putting the garment on. They sag & get pulled out & just don't work well. It is discouraging when choosing a knitting pattern that you love, but the floats are too long to be practical. 

This picture shows the floats that have been latched up when knitting the swatch. 
Latching up the floats pulls them into the garment & you are not as likely to catch your fingers on them. The do make the knitting pull in some so the gauge is different for latching & not latching. 

To do this you must plan ahead. Determine how long the floats are going to be. I don't latch up any thing less than 5 stitches. 
With this pattern the longest float is 10 stitches. Also, I don't latch up any more than 10 rows. You can do it differently, that is just what I do. 

After you figure out what the floats are going to be, decide how many rows you will latch up. With this pattern I decided that I would latch up all the floats, 10 rows at a time. 

1. Knit 10 rows in pattern. Go underneath the first float with your latch tool & pull that 2nd loop out & over the top.

2. Latch up the remaining 8 floats. Don't pull them while you latch them because it will distort you're pattern.  

3. Hang the last loop on the needle above the last float. 

4. Knit 10 more rows & repeat. 

Continue in this fashion for the complete garment. 

There are more ways to finish off floats & I will cover them later. I did not have time to do them right now. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Finished Fairisle Sweater

Here is my finished Fair isle Sweater. I was worried that the striped sleeves might be too much, but I was running out of the peach & the pink so had to combine them. This sweater is a size 6 made from Heirloom Comfort worsted weight yarn. It is machine wash & dry. It is a cut & sew neck & loop through loop bind off at the sleeve ribbing. This is a nice warm sweater & I hope that some little girl will love it. 

I am heading up to the shelter on Monday to deliver the box of sweaters. I have some larger sizes made as the director of the shelter asked for them. I still didn't get more than a couple rompers made. 

I have a sick Goldfish. I have had him for over 10 years. We bought him when my g'son was a toddler. Now he seems to be losing his fins & his eyes are protruding. I went to the pet store & spent around $30 for a fish that cost $1.50 at Walmart. LOL My g'son loves the fish, & I have to admit I am attached to him too, so I will do my best to save him. I changed his water, I do that weekly, & medicated him, but I am not optimistic. He is swimming around the tank, he is in a small 5 gallon tank, & he looks like he is gasping for breath. I put some sea salt in the water too. That is supposed to 'calm' him. We will see what happens now. Wish me luck!!