Monday, July 24, 2017

Dear Diana

I was shocked at Diana's recent monthly vid. on her cone winder. She has mentioned my blog on occasions and now it's my turn to return the favour.

Diana's review - Silver Needles Cone Winder

Of course I recognised the family resemblance immediately I have it's great, great, great grandparent. And it comes with it's own special story - of course it does.

It goes like this. My friend gave it to me. Initially I said - Oh No! I can't just take it, I must give you something for it - Oh no, you must take it, I don't need it anymore, I bought a new one.

OKOK says me. So I take it home and rapidly going off the idea of giving money for it - and then I used it... OK that settles it, I should have been paid to take it away.

Here we have the transformer. Which is, as we all know necessary to transform our 240V into something great grand dad can use, I put it on the bathroom scales so you can get an idea of it's weight, 15.4 kg, which is about 34lbs in the old money. Very, very heavy and all care must be taken not to drop it on my toes, the tiles, the cat etc. etc.

Once over that shock, no pun intended but it does have have that lovely 1950s hum, which I'm sure you all remember - if you need a reminder - just the opening seconds of the Beatles I Feel Fine will give you the sound it makes. But for as long as it's on.

And now for the unit itself - no knot turns it off next to the switch, no that would be my toe.. and the lovely new improvement of the yarn feeder to the cone... well I did have to bend mine a little bit to get it to work, really it looks like an old bit of bent coat hanger wire..

And it's sooooooo slllloooooowwww, 30 minutes to wind (beautifully wind I might say) 100g of the 2/28 that I need to wind off for a blanket.. while holding the yarn - just so - above it, while operating the patented on/off knot detecting foot operated switch.

So while I don't envy anyone anything, I just thought I'd like to share The World's Worst Cone Winder That Winds A Very Nice Cone (Mostly). And the 15.4kg transformer that the 1950s called and wants back to operate some Cold War spying-dogoodery, but was highjacked instead into a cone winder.

Now while I have every respect for Diana, and her blog, I wasn't sure that the added bits along with her nice lightweight transformer were appreciated. Really now, aren't you all glad I shared.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Southland Seminar at Invercargill, South Is, New Zealand

 Here we go again, another trip to New Zealand to enjoy a week of machine knitting fun.

We travelled by plane, Christchurch to Invercargill in a smallish prop plane.

There were 17 Aussies this year and here we are:

Our tutors this year were
Mary Avery, who did edges, Anne Baxter who did Passapy things, Marilyn Clements who did felted fabrics and bags, Vicky Evans who did cut and sew necks and one of her patterns, Sandy Idle who did dyeing, Bronwyn Jensens, a new knitter who talked about knitting from hand knitting patterns, Margaret Ryan who did hems and edges, And lastly Carol Watson who did exploring the manual.

All in all, I had an excellent time with the variety of tutors and workshops they gave.

Mary showing us how to

Vicky doing what she does, breaking it down and keeping it simple

And as usual they have their competition in many categories. My socks got a first and my sock pattern got a second. My other entries looked good and were beaten by a lovely selection in all categories. It was a marvellous display of machine knitting and I was thrilled to have my pieces as part of the display.

Barbara, Audrey and Owen had excellent wins as well.

For everyone who couldn't go, here are a few more photos of the displays. Enjoy!

Fashion winners
Baby section

Regional displays

Regional displays

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Midgauge Merge of Two beanie designs elements into one beanie on the machine

HybridSJ's Quarter Crown Beanie idea
Okey dokey, I'm workshopping a hand knit beanie pattern, Two by Two Basic Beanie to a machine knit version. The designer, Kate Gondwana, has given me permission to use her stitches and cm, which I've converted into rows, with the understanding that I'll link them to this blog post. Thank you Kate, having your numbers makes my life easier.

2nd mock rib, 3rd size exactly

My midgauge is a KX350, but I'm sure SK860, LK150 etc users can put their own 8ply/DK yarns to good use, with the added bonus of using up some of that fluffy yarn that people seem to think I need their mistaken buys in days gone by.
T5: The sts and row measurement conversions are taken from the Two by Two pattern for overall size, with Ravelry user HybridSJ's Quarter Crown for midgauge machines. The quarter crown hat pattern will be issued by HybridSJ, but it's not yet. I'll link it when it's done.
This is straight from Kate's pattern: 
Head Size

Head Size   
40cm (16”)

older child
52cm (21”)
45cm (18”)

sm adult
55cm (22”)
younger child
50cm (20”)

lg adult
60cm (24”)

1st size: 72 sts - these were too small for the need this time
2nd size: 80 sts - not needed this time.

3rd size: 88 sts +2sts. first with hung hem and the second with mock rib

4th size: 96 sts +2sts . Pink fluffy T7 and purpley/ bluey/pinky mottle.
5th size: 104 sts +2sts. Deep pin with 16row mock rib - too wide 
6th size: 112 - olive green. Could reduce the rows before crown by 12 if no turn up is needed. A 2x1 relatched rib - hung hem would be better, not worth the bother of relatching IMO.

Cast On: all PLUS 2 for seam.. 72, 80, (88, 96), 104, 112 sts. RC000
Ribbing: If using a ribber 2/2 (not sure about these numbers: T7/7)  8, 8, (10, 10), 12, 12RC (no reset)
or double for hung hem but -1 RC, do +1 or 2MT then RC000 the either same yarn or I did an extra two rows on fluffy yarn, it didn’t seem to have the stretch - maybe do at MT+1? next time? It certainly did use up some scraps. In the end I liked the mock rib best, no extra rows needed.
Continue to RC: 28,34, (38, 42,) 50, 52 RC, where we leave Kate's pattern.
(until hat measures: 9.5, 11, (12, 13.5), 14, 14.5cm, from the cast-on edge).

HybridSJ has an interesting Quarter Crown hat idea  that I’m doing instead of the decreases in the hand knit - we all know what a pain that is: 

The Quarter Crown Hat (please see these detailed instructions for clarity- I dilute them down to suit me).

These are the needle divisions, starting from the right set (bold) and then the next section:
Size 1: 74 = 19/18/18/19 (+2 each end 1st and 4th set for seaming)
Size 2: 82 = 21/20/20/21 (+2 for seaming)
Size 3: 90 = 23/22/22/23 (+2 for seaming.) 
Size 4: 98 = 25/24/24/25 (+2 for seaming.) 
Size 5: 106 - 27/26/26/27 (+2 for seaming.)
Size 6: 114 = 29/28/28/29 (+2 for seaming)
Put all but last 19, 21, (23, 25,) 27, 29 in hold. 
-1 eee 2R with extra ONE st on outer ends. 
then till 5sts left on both ends 

Just make sure that you leave enough yarn when starting the next section to sew in both ends, I left one of the needles on that first row to make sure I didn't have 2cm, oops!!!

and 4sts left on the middle two. 
take them off with needles 
Next two sections are 18, 20, (22, 24,) 26, 28 sts, reduce and at the same time, SAYG inside seams.
Last 19, 21, (23, 25,) 27, 28 as first, but the last three sts are on the LH side.

All sizes: 18 sts remain, leave a tail to pull in remaining sts and sew seam.
Thread the 18 sts with tail end of yarn, sew seam, weave in ends.

This was the first one - not enough rows before the crown
2nd one, Hung hem, with the adjusted rows before the crown
I think the fully bit is too wide, more like a brim

1st mock rib with 16 rows - too many but
I liked the mock best

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Basketweave Stitch on the Machine

I wanted to see if it was feasible to do this stitch on the machine, so I fired up the SK155 and gave it a burl. It's basically a single stitch cable. Youtube has handknitting instructions. My first pitiful attempt was on the 10ply dark brown Bendi wool, which was a difficult colour to see were it all went horribly wrong while I was doing it, and I used T9 for that samples, good for stitch size wise, but otherwise no - not really a workable swatch...

Machine: SK155 Chulky 9mm
Yarn: 12ply Cleckheaton orange wool that Bev gave me - yarn needs to have a bit of give.
T10: really do need a large stitch size to be able to cope with the transfers.
Cast on: I did a crochet cast on over 20 needles. The handknit instructions say an even number of stitches.

Row 1: after crochet cast on,knit one row

Row 2 Prep: Transfer EON to the right, skipping over needles still in work
Needles 1 and 2 cross, 2 goes over 1.
Row 2: all stitches transferred (watch out for the gatepegs)
Needles 2 and 3 cross, 2 goes over 3

Row 2 knitted - It looks like the sts are in "pairs"
which get split up to the adjacent pair each row

Row 3 Prep: On LH side move last sts to adjacent needle
then EON transfer over remaining needles, to the right.
The last stitch each end isn't cabled,
just moves one needle in or outwards.

Row 3 transfers complete

And that's it. Each end's needles go in and out of work depending on the transfers.
Row 1, transfer EON to the left, knit one row - a one stitch cable.
Row 2, transfer first stitch to adjacent needle, then transfer EON to the right. One stitch on each end is not transferred.

Repeat these two rows. cabling first to the left, then next row to the right, alternating the end needles in and out of work as required. Carriage is going to the left - transfer to the left, Carriage is going to the right, transfers go right. The only thing I'd do on a piece of knitting is on the very last row, knit the MT, in this case it was done MT+4, so that final row should have been T6, it would look better.

I'm not sure about this, but if I wanted to sew it up, I'd might try an extra stitch each side to make it easier to do that. That's not what I did on this sample and it will be a much bigger stitch. Now I've had another look, I think it would be easy enough to seam it on thicker wool. Maybe if I decided to do this on the standard 4.5 machine? it would be more difficult to see? Maybe I'll do that another day.

Anyways, here's the sample, I was fiddling around with dropping down to relatch, sometimes it's quicker to do that than drag out the ribber for a little bit of ribbing on not many rows.

Added the tape measure for reference.

What it looks like on the other side

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Bulky/Chunky Easy Beanies

I did these at the Show. They were quick and easy to demo:

The 8ply acrylic is from Eleanor - who got it from a deceased estate's relative to "do something with".
Green and black

Rolled hem, took me 15 minutes and they stayed and watched me do it:
T3 80sts however you like.
60 rows
Transfer 1x1
T2 2RC
T0 2RC
take off with double eyelet tools treading through the loops,
draw up and sew up. about the first 10 rows reverse the seam.
37.3gms used

Mock rib took a bit longer first lot watched me do the mock then left when I was joining it. The next lot watched me finish it - probably about 30 minutes with explaining:
T3 80sts on WY, ravel cord row/s
drop 1x1 and continue EON 30 rows
pick up EON loops from ravel cord RC000
50 rows
Transfer 1x1
T2 2RC
T0 2RC
take off with double eyelet tools treading through the loops,
draw up and sew up. about the first 10 rows reverse the seam.
Used 46.5gms

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Racking on the Passap

Gee, I've only had the book since 1981.. Without any further delay - I present pattern 38 from the little purple book. I know, I know, over time, the cover goes pink. However, my  little purple pattern books live in the bookcase and are still purple.
I used 2ply lace weight wool. 
160 FNR L80/R80
Handle down, standard circular cast on
1R N/N 2/2
2RZ CX/CX 3.5/3.5
1R N/N 4/5

Straight into Pattern 38
Rack L EX/EX 1R
Rack R EX/EX 1R
Rpt 7 x 14RC - locks are on the Left

Rack L EX/EX 1R
Rack R EX/EX 1R
Rpt 7 x 14RC - lock are on the Right

And here it is finished.

I managed 540 rows before the wheels fell off.

What not to do again...

  • reset the counter back to 000 instead of xx rows. Restart
  • forget to stop at row 14, try undoing and if all goes well, continue.
  • to rip back to row 14, adjust the counter CAREFULLY to make sure it's forward twice per rip. hold the yarn in the right hand across the left, knuckles second joint flat against the striker plate and pull the yarn, moving the left hand rapidly back and forth, keeping the needles from popping up. If they do, put them back with the eyelet tool.
  • it was beyond my ability to rehang when I dropped stitches. Restart.

  • GX/GX is not an option unless the work it weighted. No, it all gets into an appalling mess. If there is a knot and going back is what is needed, make sure a good hold on the fabric beneath before moving the GX/GX - if not able to do that - off and start again.
  • Lose track of rows and or racking - restart.
  • I tried out the N/N row for the 15th row
  • And of course I left the N/N for 14 rows and left the EX/EX for the 15th. I really think that it was enough to rack the right way without fiddling with the N/X lever.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Tuck Stitch Baby Blanket with cards from HGMKS Ch III 28, 39 & 43.

I've punched out some new cards from The Harmony Guide to Machine Stitches (1988-1990) Chapter III to use in blankets.As far as I can determine, the book will be covered by copyright until 2060, 70 years after the last publication. Or from the author, and I had no luck finding other than Barbara Devaney is the compiler of the publication. There seems to be enough second hand books around to buy a copy. I have used a lot of patterns from it.

So for this exercise, I'll put the card I've punched, the number in the chapter, the Left and Right needle position and approx rows and the mini card I started and ended with. The book is there to use the patterns there is no written restriction for any use of the patterns, so I'm happy that I make the blankets and they get sold at Hospital gift shops. Nowhere says we can't sell the finished goods.

Now onto the biz of making Two hour baby blankets from Chapter III.

Out of a leftover scrap, I punched a 24 row card 1, which I snap on after lining it up so the tucks flow into the main card for any pattern with 1x1 changing every row, Card 1. And a 30 row one for the 1x1 changing every 2 rows, whichever worked out with the pattern.

Match the tucks in the pattern to the mini card and snap into position on the tuck card. Knit around until the snapped on section is in a good spot to take of and join the rotating card.

When the row counter is somewhere between 500 to 550 ish, separate the card again, line up the mini card making sure the tucks flow, then when it's though the machine.
knit two plain stst rows.

I've used:
2 ends Cashmillon acrylic 2/28 in various colours just under 200g total, 100g each cone..
T6 on Std gauge SK280
Between 550 and 580ish rows before clipping on the mini card to finish the blanket.
I like to crochet cast on and around the gatepost cast off with 2 rows stst after CO and CO. (Cast on/ off your preferred method, I like what I do)

Load the mini starter card clipped to the punchcard lined up only, leave the ends free and get knitting.

Card 12: L98 R97, RC 590
Card 12: 24RC 1x1 1row, L98, R97, RC 590

Card 39: 30RC 1x1 2RC, L97, R96, RC580/592

Card 43: 30RC 1x1 2RC, L97, R97, RC632

Card 43: 30RC 1x1 2Row L97 R96 RC632

Card 39: 30RC 1x1 2RC L97 R96 RC580/592

Edge mini card flowing into pattern
If I get around to making baby blankets with any of the other cards, I'll add them