Thursday, December 26, 2013

Knitting with Knitware

Knitware is an awesome program that calculates a pattern for a variety of garments, using your gauge rather than having to match the pattern gauge. It is a pattern generator & can make pretty much any type sweater that you want. I use it a lot. I bought mine from Janet T. She did a great job of designing a simple product that is easy to use & has the ability to save & alter patterns in the program. I like to knit sweaters using her program, but there are a couple of things that are easier done a little differently than what she describes. Sometimes I use the program to knit a top down sweater with drop sleeve. I like to rehang the front & back of the sweater on the machine between markers after joining the front & back & finishing the neckline, & knit my sleeves directly onto the sweater. In Janet's patterns she suggests that you knit the ribbing for the sleeve seperatly after taking the top down sleeve off the machine on waste yarn. I find that it works better & is less bulky when you knit the ribbing directly onto the sleeves by transferring stitches for ribbing & then using the 'loop through loop' bind of that is demonstrated here in Diana Sullivan's Utube video. Once you get the bind off learned you will find that this bind off works for a lot of garments. The thing to remember is to knit the last row at a very loose tension in order to have a loose finished rib.
This is another raglan for the women's shelter, size 2. I was requested to make some smaller sizes. I have a lot of fun making these & rarely I see someone wearing one out & about.
This is the bin I am working on right now. I have managed to make a pretty good dent in it. I didn't buy any yarn this year other than yarn for my store. I still have quite a lot of yarn in bins in the garage & am working on them one at a time. Rather than go find a specific yarn for a specific sweater I have just been making sweaters with the yarn available in that bin. I have small bits of yarn left over so am making some little mittens out of it. Then I am going to knit up squares that are left from that & make a toddler blanket from it.
This has been a rough year for me. I have lost 3 pets, my cat that I ran over, my small female Australian cattle dog Jasmine to breast cancer & just this month my 7 year old male border collie Buster to cardiomyopathy. I am comforted by the knowledge that I did my best for them, lots of love & a warm bed along with good food.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Toddler Quilt, 1 Down & 1 To Go

I finished one of the toddler quilts. I am working on the second one. I hope to have it finished in time to mail for Christmas.  I can see a couple of places that I wish I had rearranged the color blocks in this one & the binding is a little wavy, but all in all I am happy with it.
This is the back of it. I have some extra fabric in this print & am going to make a pair of PJ's & a pillow case to go with it.  I used the 'stitch in the ditch' method of quilting it.

I am in awe of the quilters that make all the intricate quilts out of little bitty pieces. My g'mother  made the most beautiful quilts & they lasted for years. Most of the sewing was done by hand. I did all mine by machine including the binding. The quilt is made with a low loft batting as I didn't want it to be too warm. They live in Southern California. Most of the time it is warm there. These quilts are meant for the kids to use them while watching TV or playing video games. (Yes, they are 2 & 3 & they already have video games.)

This is another sweater for the shelter. It a size 2 made from a Red Heart baby  yarn. Nice & warm for the rainy & cooler weather we have here. This was knitted on my SR 860 mid gauge machine. It has a grafted neckband & raglan sleeves. I think the raglan sleeves fit little bodies so much better than the drop shoulder or even the set in shoulder.

Our weather for this Christmas is much colder than usual, something that most of the country is experiencing this year. We have snow on the ground, & that is also unusual. I am hoping that we do not lose power. We had some really bad storms in 2007 & lost power for 10 days. We bought a kerosene heater then so at least we will be able to heat part of the house if it does go.