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!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fairisle Front Knitted

Here is the front of the fairisle sweater knitted up. It doesn't look the way I wanted, right side up & upside down hearts, but it is a cute pattern anyway. Maybe after blocking it will look more like I envisioned. It is a size 6. The gauge for the fairisle was different than the gauge for the rest of the sweater, so I m going to have to do some easy math to figure out how to seam it. I usually mattress stitch all my worsted weight sweaters. I don't like the way they look linked together. 

Here is the purl side. The longest float I had was 5 stitches. I didn't feel like they were so long that I had to either latch them up or hang them on the stitch above the float. I am going to make another fairisle sweater & demonstrate how to latch up floats & how to hang them in another post. I didn't feel that these were so long that they would get caught on little fingers. 

Now, to finish up the rest of the sweater.

I read lots of blogs. Not just about machine knitting or hand knitting, but sewing. quilting, scrap-booking & many others. I want to tell you about Katie.  

This is Katie. She was either lost or abandoned by her owner.  She was living on the kindness of neighbors & scavenging until a very caring family took her in as their very own pet. Anyone that takes in a lost or abandoned animal is, in my opinion, is an asset to the human race. They make the world a better place for all of us, not just Katie. Read her story here:

Monday, April 9, 2012

Fairisle Swatches

Here is a fairisle swatch that I knitted up on the SR SK860 using the EC-1 controller.  I actually made this pattern years ago when I used the EC-1 all the time with my SR SK 840 standard gauge machine, before I had DAK. It is knitted out & steamed & ready to give me my gauge for the next sweater, on the SK860.  I still am going to do some motifs, I just don't have them drawn out on the mylar sheets yet. I am having a hard time finding my design pencils, so when I do I can draw my motifs. I have a habit of putting things away so they won't get lost, & then fail to remember where I put them. 

This yarn is Heirloom Comfort. It is knit at tension 8 for the fairisle pattern. The floats on this pattern are not very long except for a couple & I latch them up to the next higher stitch. I am going to be knitting this up in a different color tho. I have made four swatches of this yarn, all different colors, & the gauge has come out the same for each color, so I feel comfortable doing this. It is tho, a no-no. Really, you always need to make a swatch of each color that you're going to knit. Tomorrow I am going to work on the sweater. I have a box ready to go to the shelter & just need 2-3 more to fill it up. 

This is my 'Hello Kitty' humidifier. I bought it last year to fight the dreaded static electricity. I leave it on in my knitting room all the time, setting it to a light humidity. I have to fill it about once a week. It has solved my static problems completely, along with waxing my yarn. Since I am knitting every day this works out for me really well.

I have been getting tons of spam coming into my blog. My comments are moderated so that they don't get posted. It is very irritating & I am hoping that they give up & quit sending them. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Electronic Knitting Machines

This is the EC-1 controller for the Silver Reed SK 860. It's about 20 years old. I had it rebuilt around 10 years ago, before the PC 10 came out. The PC-10 is the equivalent of the electronic motherboard in the Brother machines. I can't afford to buy the PC-10 right now, so when I decided to do some patterning on my 860, I dug up my EC-1 & hooked it up to the machine. I haven't used it for some time & am having to kinda relearn it. The 860 will also work with DAK, which I have, but I didn't want to move my machines all over to set it up for DAK. I have my Brother 965i hooked up to my DAK program. 

The EC-1 reads mylar sheets that you can draw your own patterns on. I have blank mylars & spare pencils for it. (I always over buy with my knitting supplies because I worry that they will be discontinued.) I want to make some shelter sweaters with single motifs.

 I did this one by embroidering the front by hand. I don't think I did a very good job, & am not going to do another one this way. I have drawn my pattern on a mylar sheet & if all goes well, I will have a sweater to show you on the next post. 

I bought this at Walmart a few years ago. It is plastic & It hangs on the wall. It holds all my various buttons, snaps, bobbins & knitting machine needles. I really needed something to put all of them in, where I could sort them out, but had a hard time finding something that I could use. I just love this. I don't have to search for the right needle any more, & can tell at a glance when I need to replenish my buttons or snaps. It was around $25. 

I am going to be highlighting things in my knitting room just for fun!!