Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Novelty Hat

What fun I have had making this hat for our annual club competion. I decided on the hat shape which I  converted from a hand knit pattern, which was for a Christmas Elf hat.
 The shape I drew into the Designaknit programme and knitted the cone shape using 2 strands of Forsells shamal on the mid gauge machine. The green part was knitted using the garter carriage on my Brother 965i machine.

 The flowers etc have been sourced from various books/pamphlets and some designs of my own. The caterpillar and ladybird were adapted from a hand knit pattern.
 Some of the flowers have been hand knitted and some crocheted.

My latest garment is another pattern from the amazing Mary Anne Oger and is from one of her Knitwords magazines. You need your wits about you as there are lots of things happening at the same time.
i.e  tension changes and inc/dec occurring on both sides of the garment in different places. I found that the cheat sheet she advises is a great help.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Wimbledon, Heat and Dressmaking again.

Whilst watching wimbledon this year I decided to have a go at Crochet again. I've finally got my head  around the instructions and managed to knit a square and some flower shapes. I still have to crochet like a knitter as I find it far to uncomfortable to use the left hand as per the instuctions. I've always managed to crochet around the edges of garments and blankets etc but never managed to complete anything else. So being an avid tennis fan enabled me to sit and watch TV and crochet and handknit.

A long way to go before I'm making a blanket but this is huge progress for me!!!

It's been far to hot to machine knit as my knitting room faces south so decided to do some sewing and have produced a couple of little girl's dresses. I.m really pleased with the results as I've not been sewing for ages. Thanks BBC for the Sewing Bee programme which has inspired me.

I did do some machine knitting before the heatwave and here are some of my latest efforts.

 Pink garment awaiting finishing!!!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Different machines same techniques

Being the lucky owner of different manufacturers machines I have the chance to try them out doing different techniques. When the ribber is used the differences show up so much more.
I have been demonstrating ribber work at my knitting club and wanting to encourage members to use their machines for projects other than  hems on knitwear.

I did my samples on the Brother 965i (Lighter Blue Photo's) Theses were all knitted at Tension 4/4 using 2/3ply yarns. The same tests were carried out on my Knitmaster 580 (Darker Blue Photo's) using the same ply yarn. 
This shows how the Tensions need to be varied from one machine to another. To find the balance on your machine try knitting a circular piece of knitting and change Tensions until main bed balances with ribber bed. Generally Knitmaster ribbers are set to 2 tensions higher than Main Bed.
Brother samples from bottom to top are 2 row Striper jacquard/1 row Striper/Birdseye jacquard/Tuck Birdseye/Tuck and slip Birdseye and finally Tuck 2 row jacquard.
Knitmaster Bottom to top 2 row striper/1 row striper/plain backed /Birdseye using RJ1 carriage/ Tuck jacquard/Tuck and Slip and finally Plain backed.

We had a hands on evening last week where members could try out different crafts and techniques. we had crochet taking place and I was showing how to Swiss darn and do some simple embellishments to knitwear. I made a plain jumper and placed some flowers randomly on it with some cross stitch. I will be giving it to one of my many female nieces that I have.

The hands on evenings are great fun and enjoyed by all members.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

My knitting club has now started again after a long break. We finish our club year in December and restart again in March. This is mainly due to weather conditions as quite a few of us have a way to travel. I would have not been able to get to Taunton (Taunton Machine Knitting Club) as the road I use was closed for 2 months due to flooding!!! It reopened a couple of days before our first meeting.
The topic for the meeting was Colours and picking a palette. One of our members gave an inspiring talk on using a colour wheel and making colour winds. Colour winds consist of winding various band widths of yarn onto rectangles of card and getting a feel for your colour choices. I will add some photo's at a later date. A good way of choosing colours comes from pictures, greeting cards etc and making a colour wind from them.
I will definitely use this for future projects.

I've at last taken photo's of the Gossamer jacket  I made. Pattern source is from Mary Anne Ogers Website. I'm very pleased with this Jacket except I did not position pattern correctly on needle bed and have ended up making the shawl collar in stocking stitch. The lace pattern should continue on the shawl collar. I will certainly make this one again and hopefully my brain will be in the correct gear!!! Appologies about the rubbish in the background. I will try to do better next time

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Knitters Block

I've finished knitting the Gossamer Jacket by MAOger but need to sew the garment up. There is some grafting of stitches at the back of the collar. I have to be in the right mood to sit down and take the time to do this carefully for best finish, so at present it is lying there waiting for the spirit to move.

I've also finished a childs garment by MAOger from her Knitwords magazine. The pattern is incorrect, the skirt part is fine but the yoke instructions are for half of the garment only. I ended up putting the yoke shape into the Designaknit programme and it worked out fine.

Now back to Knitters Block as I call it. I've knitted this swatch and I love the drape and feel of it. It's knitted in Yeoman Janeiro and a random Chenille I've had on the shelves for ages. I just don't know what to make with it, any suggestions?

Though as I'm looking at the swatch I'm thinking maybe a Dolman Sleeve!!!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

After a very frustrating morning knitting with Kid Mohair have decided that I would add to my Blog this afternoon.
I've started knitting Mary Anne Oger's Gossamer pattern available from her Website (Knitwords) It's absolutely gorgeous but the yarn availability is now in very short supply. I'm using the Kid Mohair mentioned above and have found it catches on the sinker posts so needs watching every row (Very tiring) Also dropped sts are very hard to see with the nature of the yarn. I'm sure it will turn out ok in the end. I will post a picture of the finished garment in the near future.

I came across a few more ribber hints that I've made. They are listed below.

When doing Full needle rib . Problem, carriage hard to push across needle bed, squealing sound. You may think you need to up the Tension but you do the opposite and reduce the Tension dial down until you are  knitting smoothly.

Manual wrap cast on. The main thing to remember is the way you wrap the needles. If needles are wrapped incorrectly you are unable to knit the first row. Think ribber needles CLOCKWISE and main bed needles ANTI-Clockwise. Mary Anne Oger has some excellent edging books with details of the manual cast on.

Flat Ribs. Useful when you don't want a rib that pulls in too muchand to avoid cling in garments. Cast on F/N/R  Knit circular rows and transfer main bed needles to ribber bed for required rib pattern.

I think I'll have another attempt at knitting now!!!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Ribber Hints and Tips

Appologies for my sadly neglected blog. Excuses plenty but I won't bore you with them. Knitting also neglected due to lack of time and Christmas preparations.
I've decided to share some ribber tips that work well for me and I'm hoping they will be useful to other machine knitters.

If casting on in F/N/Rib or a type of Flat Rib, check that there are no breaks in the yarn on the cast on rows when you have knitted 10 or so rows. You may be able to feel a break or hole by running your hands along cast on edge. A torch is also useful for shining under the machine to see all is well.

A light pulling down on the centre of the ribber comb when knitting the first 50 or so rows of Jacquard, Half Fishermans rib helps stop edge needles bunching up or with the Jacquard setting helps when knitting with the Birdseye setting.

Knit a test piece of knitting over the maximum needles you will be using. Needle and sinker post problems are more likely to show up when using the ribber. There's nothing more disheartening than getting to the end of your knitting than to find you have a needle that has not been knitting the stitches off correctly and you have to undo your piece and start again.

After casting off stitches at armhole etc especially when casting off behind the sinker posts, make sure the yarn is in the feeder correctly and not caught around anything on main bed or ribber bed etc.

When using H/P check yarn in feeder before starting the next row, knit slowly pulling yarn down gently at back of ribber to make sure the next row knits ok.

Check ribber comb/wire not caught at edges after first few rows.

Check for burr/rough places on sinker plate. This can cause problems with yarn catching especially when knitting from RHS of needle bed. An emery board or sanding paper can help remove rough edges. Also pull down yarn at back of tension assembly when knitting from RHS.

These are problems I've encountered to my cost in the past. I hope they will save others from having any problems with ribber knitting. I will add to these hints as and when I think of anymore or if anyone has any tips please pass them on.