Friday, December 11, 2009

Crochet over Stocking Stitch Edging

I've done the Crochet style hem, described in Susan Guagliumi's book Hand Manipulated Stitches for Machine Knitters, page 46; Chapter 2. 10: Alternative Crochet Cast on. Please refer to the book for further details.

The method I used to do the neck isn't covered in the book and this is what I worked out to best match the hem.

Of course I could have tried to put it back onto the machine and managed it that way, but getting the V neck right is way above my ability.

How I Pick Up Neck Stitches: (Just read this bit)
Pick up stitches from the saved ones on the back - I don't cast them off; pick up stitches along the neckline - I do two of the little loops and then the big loop in the middle , ie every third is the big loop, that's my method of picking up neck stitches.

I use knit pics or pro as they are called now, with a 5.00 on the right end and 3.00 on the left end, and a 5.00mm crochet hook.

This is what I did:
Before I picked up the front neck stitches, I did a row of crochet between the stitches on the holder,
I "park" the last loop from the crochet round on the knitting needle,
but could have a stitch marker or scrap of yarn to stop it unravelling,
then picked up and knitted the front edge stitches and knitted across the back,
one round completed.

Doing the knit one round:
Picking up the last "parked" crochet loop from the prev crochet round.
putting the loop from the prev crochet round onto the hook:

Crocheting between the stitches knitted on the previous knit row, having the thinner needle and cable make it a lot easier, it also works with the 5.00 end, but it's a lot tighter.

Doing the crochet one round between each stitch on the cable cord:The pick up round is a bit untidy so I did another round into it when I've finished the other.When I finished the neck band I went back and filled in the gaps with another line of crochet stitches, I think it looks better:
I decided to make the V a feature, so I made a centre stitch from the tail, crocheted behind it on that round with one chain behind it so it didn't pull. Every second round I did 3 together... umm. put 2 togther onto the right needle and picked the third behind it and knitted off all 3 tog.

Hopefully, I haven't forgotten anything, (I'll come back and edit anything I've messed up)!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Gathering of Gathered Jumpers

Sooo... I made myself a long awaited Gathered Pullover on my KX350. Experimented with different techniques and I've had a lot of admiring. It was an easy knit. Really! Mostly done on the machine, with about 40 rows of the panel done on 5.00mm needles.
Well my friend Shelley decided that she Must Have one too, and would I make her one and would I accept some Bendi Harmony as payment. Why yes I do believe I would!
Sooo.. daughter #2 came to visit last weekend, bringing her delightful newish boyf, her knitting, HIS knitting, they were making laptop covers intending to felt them. Well the boyf had already mastered a ribbed beanie on the Passap and wore his beanie all winter. Now he decided to knit his laptop cover on the Plastic Fantastic. Of course I had Shelley's half made Gathered Pullover along with mine for reference. She loved the jumper, tried mine on - of course too big and to long, but none the less, could I make her one too?
She hasn't asked me to knit her a jumper before so I thought I'd be nice and do one for her too.
Here is a picture of the front, and below it is being put back onto the machine, ready to knit the rest of the front. there isn't very much difference between T5 and the 5.00 mm needles I knitted the motif on.

Here is the photo of the neck band, which I get asked about a lot: seen is it's original, as written curling stocking stitch neck, with the crochet between each stitch being done. It's a single crochet, on a 5.00mm hook.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Adventures into Felting

My daughter is felting and here are her notes:

So all felted. Worked rather well although I did learn that top loaders don’t felt too well at all but front loaders love it! We chucked them in with some towels (so as to not waste water) at t’s place and they came out a treat. The one he did didn’t felt too well cos it is actually an acrylic blend…. So the dark blue bit was good but the other bit didn’t felt so much, might try chucking it in the dryer and see what happens to it. Mine turned out well but the highlights I did in the acrylic are quite thin so I’m considering going over them in either the dark wool or maybe just in the same colour to make it a bit thicker. I think that will work better. Also have to felt my handles cos forgot to knit some of them.

Also for future reference is that the wool shrinks more row wise than it does stitch wise so it gets shorter than it gets skinnier if you know what I mean so that is a good thing to keep in mind next time so you need to leave an extra 2 inches on the top (I left 1 inch) and leave one inch each side.

I think probably better if you do flowers separately and put them through the wash unattached to the bag. I have to make a few for mine. Cos have LOTS of ideas on things we can do. I'm happy to come help make them when I come down for my mini holiday. Not sure yet if T will come to, will depend on how the fire season is going.

Further adventures into felting will follow........

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Passap Baby Blanket

I used Bendigo Woollen Mills, Luxury 4ply Baby Wool to make a double sided baby blanket. One side shows white vertical stripes and the other horizontal alternating stripes.

1 each 3 colours, but didn't use all of the 200g balls.

Pattern from the little purple Passap Design booklet # 84
1:1 division, 141 sts, (EON ie L69, R70) NOTE: BB has extra needle on RIGHT.

Caston Col 1, T3, N/N, 1R; T5, CX/CX, 2R; T5, 1R N/N
T5, N/N,
2R white
2R green
2R white RC000
Begin pattern:
2 rows N/AX col 2
2 rows N/N col 1
2 rows N/AX col 3
2 rows N/N col 1
I did about 62 repeats, 496R, but I did another Col 1 and ended with Col 2
2R white
2R green
2R white
2R lavender.
Cast off loosely
( I did K1, ** P1, P2tog Tbl, k1 K2tog tbl ** repeat to end.)
Block out to relax the rib, I lightly pressed under a damp cloth.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Passap Baby Leggings Pattern

Size: about 6mths
Wool: Bendigo Luxury 4ply
Tension: 28S/40R = 10cm

I used the schematic from Drops as a numbers base, sort of. Take a look for a different size, change the rib/body numbers to suit your design. Daughter of mine is doing the finishing and this is what I did:

T3.5, 2:2, C/O 84 x 2 (168 sts).
18R, do eyelets (put one of the 2s on the other one, leave the needles in work)
flip the front bed to the back, (change colour)

T6, 2rows, put side quarters (42sts) to the FB, RC000.
CX/CX, 80R
Divi up: 35/14/35 both beds.
put the 14 centres sts onto scrap.
put the left leg 70 (35 FB/35BB) onto deckers. RC000.

Right Leg:
work on 70sts
CX/CX, Dec 2 sts (1 each bed) inside leg side ev 8 rows to RC88 (24 sts remain)
straight to RC96. take off the machine with deckers and;

Do the other leg the same.

Now for choice:
I took the legs off, put onto cables and Loz will knit s 2:2 rib in contrast.
Up to everyone what they do next:
? change colour
knit in rib/garter sts by hand.
do the rib/garter stitch on the machine and graft it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Working Bendi Harmony on the KX 350

Working Notes on the 350 with Harmony cotton blend.

Bendigo Woollen Mills Harmony 8ply
Swatched shown is:
Crocheted edge with latch tool
T6 40R : 18S & 32R /10cm
T5 20R : 20S & 30R /10cm
T4 20R : 22S & 28R /10cm

I wanted to try the crocheted edge as described in Susan Guaglium's Hand Manipulated Stitches for Machine Knitters: 5.00mm crochet hook worked best. The latch tool was too tight and uneven.

I'm making Gathered Pullover from IK Winter 07, but flat not in the round. The beginning of the pattern says: This sweater is worked in a much larger gauge than the yarn calls for to create a fabric with drape and fluidity.

With that in mind, I went with the T5, almost the same tension as the original design. The crocheted edge, a little bit of shaping and the cable panel will add a little bit of interest while I learn how to use the machine.

Notes for the Back
Cast on 100, 6 crocheted back rows, straight for a bit, dec 1 st each side every 4th row, about 30 rows straight, inc 1 st each side every 6th row, but to 98 sts, work straight till 40cm, work armhole shaping, taking off the extra side stitch, do the decreases as written, work 64 rows, do shortrow shaping for the shoulders: hold 5 sts each end till 20 are held each side, work rows to have one complete row taken off the machine.

Notes for the Sleeves:
50, 6 crochet back rows, T5, inc ev 8 rows to 78. to RC 150, dec as written but with a few more rows in the cap, 50 incl last rows T10, which I used to cast off.

Notes for the Front.
Work as for back to RC76, where the fun started. Ok I tried to do the cables, where more experienced machiners would know better. I managed one. the came to a grinding (yes literally grinding) halt. So, off the machine it came, to see what I could do. I was all set to rip it back and redesign a simple panel - however I really liked the single cable and partial second cross I'd managed before the wheels fell of (Ok no they didn't but there was some groaning). The Plan was to knit up the panel, but with an extra stitch at the end of the panel have a purl though the whole motif, put it back on the machine knit up both sides, combine and keep going. however... the 5.00mm needles work so well, no noticeable difference between where the machine stopped and I started, so I knitted the motif on the 5.00s. The other thing I changed was to start the neck divide after the armhole shaping had been completed.

Neckband notes:
Decided to put the crotched edge around the neck. Using 5.00mm circs, picked up the stitches and knitted 4 rounds in total, on the centre front I did 3 tog each round. I put rows of crochet through the pick up row and the next 3 rows. The one on top of the pick up round was done after the event, but the other rows were done between the stitches on the circ cable, which was much quicker, but the next row was a bit tight but doable. Cast off normally.

Things I learnt:
  • it's easier to use than the Passap
  • taking off the machine with a small circ needle, fixing the problem works best
  • I can't use the latch tool and get an even stitch.
  • picking up stitches to rehanging is very easy
  • the cast on comb and claw weights are excellent and doesn't need any other weight.
  • not to lean on the plastic machine
  • make sure that the yarn doesn't get out of position when doing short rows - or it ends up in a heap on the floor.
  • when you flip the H lever cam thingy to N, it just knits up all the stitches without me having to put them back on the hooks, love this feature.
  • when ripping back, put the undone stuff in a pile and put it through the second whisker until it's taken it all back up again, then unthread and off we go. saves heaps of time.
  • T10 on the last row them crochet off make an excellent cast off.
  • You can't do more than one set of 4x4 cables and only just do one at that.
  • I don't think this machine has been used before.
Very happy with the first thing I made on this quiet little achiever.

Monday, October 19, 2009

My "New" Knitting Machine is Here

It took it's time to come by road from Perth, and arrived in excellent condition, not a problem at all with transporting the complete width of the country.

and this is the ta da:

It's a Brother KX350, a plastic mid gauge hobby machine, which will knit slubby, novelty yarn into lovely scarves and toys. It's a flat bed, no ribber, can do tuck stitch and two colours but must be selected by hand. I would really love an electronic Silver Reed SK-860, but we will see how things go on this one first. Maybe the combo and this and my Passap will be plenty.

I'm looking forward to seeing what else I can create on it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Computer is Here

I am so happy! Anth arranged the whole thing for me and volunteered after she said "just go on line and check" - oh, no computer, no on line! I suspected that my lappy was on it's last legs and had backed up all my files the week before and spent yesterday retreaving files, loading printer drivers, patches and so on, photos I'd taken of my projects, (finding where they hid the games). Then caught up with emails and Rav posts.

In the meantime Loz kindly lent me her dodgy old Think Pad (on dial up). The poor thing couldn't recognise anything on the E drive, although it knew it had been plugged in. I didn't even try to open my IK PDF CDs that I bought. I decided to pick up one of the MANY magazines I have, choose one I had allocated the week before. I had gone through my stash and allocated patterns to yarns, put them in a big box and decided that my job until the end of the year was to get as much of it knitted as possible.

I finished my Provincial Waistcoat but didn't find any buttons I liked in Lincraft. I'm going to help Loz move tomorrow - OK it's driving her from her old place to her new place and watch men move the boxes - that's helping, isn't it? anyways - on the way home I'm going to see what Spotties have.

I bought that Fabulous Vogue Knitting Holiday 2004 mag from Debbie in USA, I made the #20 Cable and Rib Bluey out of it. Well the #3 hoodie is lovely, with the worst photo ever taken to spoil a nice design, there's a few of them in Vogue let's be honest. The bag of blue mohair 12ply from BMW back room is being transmogrified - OK knitted - into #3 - an easy knit on 6.00 mms. I knitted the pockets onto the fronts, then picked up the body from the back of their loops, then when I'd knitted up to the top of the pockets, then knitted them to the body, 3 needle bind off style, but without changing to bigger needles, of course.

And I made a start on Must Have Cardi in BMW Rustic 8ply - Elm, but doing the body in the round to the armholes, and resizing for thinner wool - cast on 232sts. The only thing I changed this time was to mirror the cables, otherwise just the extra stitches added to the side pieces. It's a little bit fancier than I'd usually make, but it doesn't hurt to have one in the wardrobe.

Now I have my internet, project notes and old files back, I can finish the Bannister jumper, fire up the KM and do some of the the projects I've allocated for it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ode to an Ancient Mariner - always a good tale - aka Sue Cubed

It started last week. No, no, a couple of weeks before....

We Aussie Ravelers in the Bendigo Woollen Mills group.. had a bit of an epiphany - why not get together a co-op, whereby one person buys one ball of all of the new colours in their Luxury 8ply range, chop them up equally and redistribute to the coop group; then of course Sandy in Queensland thought a Rustic 8ply one would be the go and of course we all wanted all the samples they had in stock, not just on their colour card.

When mine arrived I played, I knitted, I undid, I decided that their Mariner was outstandingly wonderful. There was talk on the boards that they had plenty of the discontinued colours, so far no dramas, a few discussions were had on how nice the colours and so on. So I ordered my Mariner over the internet on Wednesday - all good - then last Friday I got a call. Nope they had none left - Nope, none in the back room, nope not one ball to be had. I was devastated!

Next was onto the boards to beg and plead. No luck. Then onto stalking people who had already bought some to see if they could be persuaded to part with any - nope, but then Sue W from Victoria had 2 and a little bit.. enough for a vest. I thought Provincial Waistcoat would look stunning in it. However I did approach a few more havers in their stashers.. Nope. Just one more ball would get sleeves.. Nope.

But I had the very best news this morning. Another Sue from Victoria has 4 and a little bit balls and was happy to send them on their way to me for a contribution to her paypal account.

There's more: I had a pm from ANOTHER Sue, who has half a ball what Sue W had sent her so she could finish her project.. NO joke - a well travelled bit of wool that! Now three Sues, all from Victoria and all have sent me their stash for money or swap..

When they get here, I shall take their picture and show everyone what a truly gorgeous colour it is and I'm so sorry they are discontinuing it.

Here ends my tale of love, loss, betrayal, false promises, forlorn search, stalking, rejection only to end in love found - all the best stories have those elements so I thought I'd share mine.

And special thank you to the three Sues: Sue W, Sue G and Sue RA, from Victoria, for supplying me with a happy ending.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

End of August already

Well. I've been sort of busy. I've finished my lovely cabled jacket and wore it out the other day. Here is my youngest daughter modelling it for me so I could take the photo. I had put a buttonhole in the top, but having worn it for a couple of times, I decided to undo the first couple of stitches, dropped down and reknitted them closed.

Then there was the mammoth job of doing the short row skirt for my eldest. Oh lordy, what a nasty job that was.

Here it is, just before I took it off the machine. Done in 3 colours, 2 rows of black between short rows of Silver Twist and Dark Plum Bendi Classic 5ply. She wants to do the finishing herself. It turned out to be an entire circle, I'll put it's fuzzy photo on the end of the post.

The continental is going well enough to keep it for Saturday's SnB knit. It's not quicker, but have done up to the arms of the body, started the sleeves in round. I don't mind leaving it on the slow burner, it's good to have an easy knit.

Next on my agenda is to do the last bit on my Bannister jumper and work on the machine vest in a bigger stitch size. The last one was wonderful, but stiff as a board!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Continental - tra la la la

After more than 30 years of contemplation and procrastination, I've finally decided it's about time to bite the bullet and learn to do the German or continental knitting technique. I've fiddled around with it over the years and have quickly given it the flick. Well yesterday I fished out that bag of 10 x 100g Patons Shadow Tweed that I got cheap at Wang last month (5.5 and 6.5 needles) and off to the practice patch for a bit. I'm doing Emerald from, a simple enough, stocking stitch mostly, project to practice on.

OK, I know, I WAS supposed to be sewing up Bluey, the cables and rib cardi - but who really likes sewing up? Me either! I've done some of it, really I have - ends woven in and all, on the collar, shoulders and sleeves are done and tidy- only both sides to go - see?

So this week in Lorna Land I'm going to
  • finish sewing up bluey, (only two long long loooonngg sleeves/sides ... sob sob!);
  • get good at continental, oddly enough I'm finding the purl easier - but I did practice it a lot yesterday - whilst all the time ignoring the pain of both these activities.
  • and finally, I want to get cracking on the Passap, get my vest done on the looser tension (OH NO, more sewing up... more sobs all week it looks like!); then get Loz's skirt swatched, write up the notes and get it done for her. She was coming over to help do it, but has now landed herself a 5 day job, much better then the 3 days she was doing, so it needs to be done and outta here. Hopefully get these two things off the machine, I don't even mind if the sewing up spills over to next week (is lying on the blog bad??).
So that's it for this week's plans. Now time to watch Aussie idol for a couple of hours and choose which painful activity to do - sew up or knit 142 sts 2:2 rib using continental. My head will probably just fall off by the end of the week and save me.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Racked Rib Vest Pattern - Working Notes

Pattern incomplete - still working on it

C/O 2:2 rib, handle up, FB= 74R:74L, every 3rd needle down, arrange the back bed to match up.
I've been experimenting with the cast on for this rib and this one is:
Attach a weight to the loose end (padlock in my case)
Set needles, blue strippers, rack once left, T2, N/N knit one row,
Change: T4, CX/CX knit one row, set left edge weight (I use yellow/green latch tool with padlock over 2 needles' stitches) knit another row, lock is now at the left (RC3).
Change: rack once right, N/N, carefully knit one row, it will be tight, but goes through. RC000, knit 30 rows.
Change: T5, black strippers.
Rearrange ribs: starting at the centre, 3L:3R have to be on the front bed. 3,2L should be in place, move 1,2R with yellow tool to 2,3R, move 2 stitches from back bed to 1L,1R.
Next move the next 2 FB stitches, one pair each side of your new 6 st set, into the single space on the back bed (new 5 stitch group BB). Continue until you have 6:5 rib all the way, DO THE SAME THING all the way along the front bed. There is an overlap on the same side of the rib configuration, take a good look at which side overlaps (should be on the right) as you will be racking one turn the other way to make an overlap on the other side of the rib on rows 3&4.

The pattern:
Work 2 rows, rack left once, work 2 rows, rack right once. That's all there is to do for the next 150 rows. (except I'm using 50g balls and have to do a couple of joins): I didn't bother with waist shaping, as the ribs should do that for me - not caring if it doesn't either!

Armhole shaping: RC000
Dec sequence, COUNT NEEDLES ON THE FRONT BED, absorb the extra overlap st where it occurs:
-10st x 1 ev 2R (20 st total)
-2 st x 2 ev 2R (4 sts total)
-1 st x 7 ev 2R (10 sts total)
continue to RC 98

Shoulder shaping:
You can do short row shaping if you like OR you can decrease straight from the machine OR you can put them on scrap/decker combs and do a 3 needle cast/bind off. Take your pick.
Dec sequence, COUNT NEEDLES ON THE FRONT BED, absorb the extra overlap st where it occurs:
-6 st x 4 ev 2R
50 sts remaining for neckband.

Left Front:
T4, N/N 2:2 industrial rib, handle down, blue strippers, (+1 FB) L36 / R35 (+1 BB), cast on same of for back, then 30R. RC000.
Change: T5, black strippers.
Rearrange ribs: starting at the right on the front bed. Move 1st and 2nd stitch one needle to the right with yellow tool move 2 stitches from back bed to gap.
Next move the next 2 FB stitches, one pair each side of your new 5 st set, into the single space on the back bed (new 5 stitch group BB). Continue until you have 6:5 rib all the way; the 6 will be on the front bed on the right and the 5 purls will be on the back bed on the left (neck edge), DO THE SAME THING all the way along the front bed. There is an overlap on the same side of the rib configuration, take a good look at which side overlaps (should be on the right) as you will be racking one turn the other way to make an overlap on the other side of the rib on rows every 2nd row. Continue to RC 150.

Armhole and neck shaping: RC000
Dec sequence, COUNT NEEDLES ON THE FRONT BED, absorb the extra overlap st where it occurs: Neck and armhole decreases occur at the same time, the armhole edge is every 2nd row, and the neck every 4th.
-10st x 1 ev 2R (20 st total)
-2 st x 2 ev 2R (4 sts total)
-1 st x 7 ev 2R (10 sts total)
-1st x 24, ev 4th row
continue to RC 98

Shoulder shaping:
You can do short row shaping if you like OR you can decrease straight from the machine OR you can put them on scrap/decker combs and do a 3 needle cast/bind off. Take your pick.
Dec sequence, COUNT NEEDLES ON THE FRONT BED, absorb the extra overlap st where it occurs, starting on the armhole edge:
-6 st x 4 ev 2R.

Right Front:
T4, N/N 2:2 industrial rib, handle down, blue strippers, (+1 FB) L36 / R35 (+1 BB), cast on same of for back, then 30R. RC000.
Change: T5, black strippers.
Rearrange ribs: starting at the left on the front bed. Move 1st and 2nd stitch one needle to the left with yellow tool move 2 stitches from back bed to gap.
Next move the next 2 FB stitches, one pair each side of your new 5 st set, into the single space on the back bed (new 5 stitch group BB). Continue until you have rib all the way (from left to right FB has the 6 of the 6:5 and 5 ends on the back bed. There is an overlap on the same side of the rib configuration, take a good look at which side overlaps (should be on the left) as you will be racking one turn the other way to make an overlap on the other side of the rib on rows every 2nd row. Continue to RC 150.

Armhole and neck shaping: RC000
Dec sequence, COUNT NEEDLES ON THE FRONT BED, absorb the extra overlap st where it occurs: Neck and armhole decreases occur at the same time, the armhole edge is every 2nd row, and the neck every 4th.
-10st x 1 ev 2R (20 st total)
-2 st x 2 ev 2R (4 sts total)
-1 st x 7 ev 2R (10 sts total)
-1st x 24, ev 4th row
continue to RC 98

Shoulder shaping:
You can do short row shaping if you like OR you can decrease straight from the machine OR you can put them on scrap/decker combs and do a 3 needle cast/bind off. Take your pick.
Dec sequence, COUNT NEEDLES ON THE FRONT BED, absorb the extra overlap st where it occurs, starting on the armhole edge:
-6 st x 4 ev 2R

Make 2: (or do by hand).

Make 2: (or do by hand).

Sew seams, and either graft machined bands or cheer as you cast off the bands.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Machine Vest 5ply Working Notes

I'm going to use the 5ply burgundy wool from Wang Mill to make two vests. I thought I'd make up in a simple form, before I do all the cables on the Denim one. I saw one in the shops yesterday and I'm sure I'll be able to make this up in good quality wool and a nicer colour.

This vest: half fisherman's rib, N/EX, purl ribs showing on the outside.
swatch results:
T3.5 1:1 rib 20R
T4: 30S/75R
T4.5: 28S/60R
T5: 27S/65R

Fabric is quite thick, and would be an excellent substitute for polar fleece vest. I've got 625g of the lighter burgundy, there's 10 balls crepe and 5 spiral, I'll use these for all the ribs and leave the crepe for the body, hopefully I'll get a bit of extra length through the ribs, perhaps I'll put a ribbed section through the waist? I'll see what looks best. Buttons to the neck.

Next sample:
racked rib: 5x5 handle down (halfpitch). - lightly stretched.
T4.5: S28/42R
T5: S25/38R

This will work out nicely for the 500G. I would like to be able to use the same schematic as the Denim cable vest. One with V neck and one up to the neck. I won't bother with buttons on this one.

Next sample:

Honeycomb tuck stitch in Wang 2ply remnant:

T : S/ R
T : S/ R
T : S/ R

Sunday, July 19, 2009

1785 km Round Trip to Bendigo Wool and Sheep Show 2009

1785 km - aka Road Trip - to Bendigo and back.

I left at 4.30am, Thursday, picked up daughter at 5. We shared the driving. Next stop, Suttons Forest Maccas for brekkie, filled up the car at Yass and had morning tea. The Hume Highway had it's upgrade going for 125km before the Victorian border from Gundagai, slow going, 40, 60, 80 and 100 through that section, but the Albury bypass was so sensational, too early to stop for lunch, and unfortunately - we "forgot" to get petrol.. oops, we had flashing empty light into Glenrowan Maccas, where we filled the car, then ourselves. Then I managed to drive to Benalla, Shepparton and made it all the way to Elmore before I cracked. Couldn't go any further, so Loz had to drive the rest of the way to Bendigo.

We found mills in Bendi, .. first the flour mill, so we can safely say we certainly found our Bendigo mills alright! The wonderful Wooly wone was on the OTHER side of the railway line. The bargain room had some lovely mohair .. sock wool (family have ordered some) and some luxury - which I was actually wanting and was luck to get on the next day.

Next Day: Friday: We wandered along to the show. We said our Rav names at the main gate and got our Rav discount entry $8 each. First thing was to get a coffee (of course) visit some of the lovely stall holders and consult the map to find Sarah Durrant's stall. She said she was bringing in some Knitpick cable connectors - $3 - must have and I also bought some harmony 3.00 and 3.25mm points - I resisted the yarn, but will keep her in mind for my next sock buy. I also wanted to thank her for the lovely thing she did for her Kinglake customer, who lost absolutely everything in the fires. Sarah got her entire order together and presented it to her. Sarah also told me she is running a knitting group at Kinglake with generous donations from Collinette and some others. A wonderful, wonderful lady indeed.

Then some of the other things I saw: some spinning, drop spinning, an Ashford loom, the Wearable Art fashion parade, with lots of young Aussie designer's woolly goodies - such a lot of talent and so interesting to see. Oh, there's more: the buttons, ugg boots, indie dyers, the alpacas, wool, wool everywhere wool, alpaca, Pear Tree yarns, Sarah Durrant, Wooldancer, drum carder, fleece, roving, Stockpile socks (bought a pair for ex husband's birthday next month). Sheep - the real ones, with woolly legs, sheep, and sheep dogs in the sheep trials - see the movie Babe for more the general idea. Wonderful wonderful wonderful, seeing the dogs, fly across the paddock round up the sheep and put them in their pens.

I wanted to buy something a little bit different, not commercial, I mean, I ended up buying some natural Tandara (I think if white suffolk sheep). It's a lovely soft yarn and I got enough to do a vest. gorgeous and I haven't seen anything like it.

After an exhausting day (for me) at the show, we decided on another trip to the Bendi mill, where I bought some mohair similar to the one Loz got on Thursday, and they had some underweight Luxury out - YIPPEE I got what I actually went for.. oh joy, Oceanic, Lake and Ice. but in 8ply. We took ourselves off to the Foundry pub for dinner. Can't beat country cooking and then an early night.

Off to Wangaratta on Saturday. The Visit to the Mill Shop was great: full to the brim with woolly stuff. We Bought Heaps! quite a bit of remnants for $27.50 a kilo and some messy bits for $10/kilo, some for a bit more. I could have walked out with a lot more, of course, but kept it down a little bit, after all it's a little car and we are big people and we can come back next year for another visit. I particularly liked the 4ply for play with on the machine and I wont have to worry how many times I will need to rip and redo to get myself on the right track. Carol from the shop says they are bringing out some more sock wool soon and also some in 8ply. Goody, I will give her a call in a little bit and see if she has any oddments for me to try. (edit: they are actually making it now - no samples yet)

Last but not least, we got to the motel just before 2. Both of us had had enough - sore assorted limbs, a relaxing time watching DVDs, resting before heading home on Sunday. I drove to Albury, Loz to Tarcutta, me to Yass for lunch then Suttons for arvos, then Loz to her home, then me to mine. It's the furthest I've been able to drive for a long time and now I've posted this, I think it's time to hit the bathtub and have a soak....

I'll just get my tea....

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bendi 4ply Luxury Vest Working Notes

I can now knit socks, toe up, top down, short row heel or heel flap for my family. Time to get serious about gaining some proficiency for things-other-than-socks.

Working Notes for 4ply Vest

Different styles to experiment with:
  • Big cable ? Susan G's HMSFMK version of short rows? looser stitch size and 4x4 x4 at rest, reversing in say 6 rows time?
  • A pattern out of my Passap pattern book?
  • Incorporating some of the colour samples from the coop buy?
  • A racked zigzag on the front, plain back (seen in the shops?)

I've bought 2 x 200G Luxury 4ply each of Black, Denim Blue and Ghost for my machine to knit. I'm using Caron's Long Cabled Vest as a template and although written for 10ply aran, the schematic is exactly right and I should be able to adapt the patterning to suit.

Swatch stitch sizes tested after a nice time relaxing on the lid of the sample container:
T5 31S/47R
T5.5 30S /44R
T6 28S/40R
T6.5 26s /37R

Going with T6 for stocking stitch,
T4 for 2:2 industrial rib.
Have had a couple of false starts, and it's off the machine and remeasure - too big, I'll recheck all my calculations. 4x4 cable and 4 resting each side, every 10 rows is OK. I changed the spare looped stitches from this swatch so that 2 loops go on the 4 stitches that go behind.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

BMW 8ply Luxury Coop Samples

My samples from the Bendi Coop 8ply Luxury came the other day. I've been trialling different combos to see what colours will go together. I would really love to have the funds to buy one in each colour, of course, but like most.. not going to happen any time soon.

Well here is my sample knit/swatch/what-do-these-colours-look-together: (L-R)
2 rows Oceanic, Lake, Ice mix
4 rows Ghost
4 rows Pink
2 rows Mink, Red Earth, Pink mix
2 rows Iris Mist, Purple Storm. Pink

I like the first three.

4 rows Cream
2 rows Barley, Cream, Leaf, Cream.
2 rows Bracken, Leaf, Barley mix

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bendi 4ply Luxury Coop

Our Ravelry Bendigo group has organised a coop buy, approx 18m per share.

Finally got my old camera to work and the rain held of for a photo op:

And here is one bag of them all chopped up:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What to do with a Spotties bargain?

Last Saturday, Shelley wanted to visit Spotlight in Wollongong before we went to SnB at the Novotel. Did we get the fine cotton she was looking for? No. Did we buy something else on a whim? Yes .. and .. yes. THEN we while we where leaving, that's right leaving the shop.. heading out the door, nothing left to tempt... I saw some Patons Washed Haze cotton/acrylic 10ply. How much? says me. 20cents a ball says the sales girl. 20 CENTS A BALL??? this stuff is $5/50g, too exxxxy for me, way over my budget. No longer. I dumpster dived and got 18 balls of the lovely blue = $3.60. Shelley decided that the purple would do just nicely for herself - 19 balls later, $3.80.

Being a distant relation to a giraffe, 18 balls will leave me with either 3/4 sleeves or cropped length, which I'd have lived with -- however -- On Sunday I decided to see if Rockdale had any.. They did, after asking the lovely, helpful, fellow knitter from the wool counter, who went and found the last 5 @ $4.99/50g ball. OK, I decided I could pay the $25, I was happy. I told her about the fab buy yesterday at the 'Gong, she said she couldn't match it, of course I said, didn't expect her too, but she did say she could do it for half price!!! then said - where's mine, why didn't you buy ME any? well - only the orange was left - not my colour and I thought it nice to leave it for some other bargain hunter. Fair enough, orange isn't her colour either.

Then to decide what to make... I wanted cables (ME? cables? who'd be surprised at that?) I've been on Rav since, scouring the cables tags.. rejecting everything. Almost giving up and thinking I'd make the blue cabled cotton jacket from the Knitter #3, that I thought the Bendi Harmony would work better, I can do the garter edged and pop it onto the machine to work the cables... grr.. No I don't want to make Central Park Hoodie with a collar. There is a spectacular jumper from Bergere de France that wont convert to a jacket/cardi.

Then I had a find.. not only that, I actually HAVE the mag.. I can't get a link of the pattern, #29 Slant Cable Jacket from Vogue Fall 2008. The red version photographed for the magazine doesn't do it justice at all. I'll put in some photos when I get it going.

I will print off the charts, and knit it on Saturdays for a bit, as my home handknit is my Zetor scarf, which I'm nearly 3/4 the way through. I'm on 9th repeat of the pattern, with one or two more before I finish it.. I hate to say it, but I'm seriously thinking of the clear beads on the edge. but that's another story for the other blog!! (Best link I can do is ElliJaAura's version for anyone on Ravelry,)

Here is the photo of the Washed Haze. The top one is the #29, however the cotton yarn is too unforgiving to support such thick cables. It has the outer cables going the wrong way, which annoys me, and the very thick twin cables and other cables are too much for it. I'll remake it, but in a thinner yarn, ditch those thick cables and side ribs are just too much for me. I really like the second choice. I got a VK Holiday 2004 mag from Debbie in Arkansas, and have chosen #20 Rib and Cables. I'm not going to do the pockets on the front, but put the Celtic knots and smaller twisty ones on the sides and up the centre of the sleeves.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Time to knit another lace shawl

I've looked till I've burned shawls into my eyes and have decided to make

Zetor Scarf Pattern

in my October 08 prize from Daphne's the Knittery.

I have pictures, but it is cold and raining and will have to wait to show it all blocked and lovely, however, here are some unblocked photos.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Baby Blankets on the Passap

My goal is to put the 29 x 100g balls of 5ply acrylic I "found" in my garage clean up through my machine.

Passap Pattern Book - First Experiences:

4 have gone into : #7031, two colour BX/BX pattern, done exactly as written, except I needed to do 700+ rows to get it square, and not doing the fringe.

This is the first time I've used 177 sts each bed, with pushers. Now is the time I'm sorry I put the crook needles at the end, LOL. I will replace the flawed needle on the left side front bed as it keep dropping stitches, before I do another one.

This one is the two colour one, and except that apparently I can't count to 6... it went very well. My only other problem is the hesitation I sometimes do at the beginning of the row after I pick up the colour - this changes the positions of the first couple of pushers, of course and when I get over my doubts - the first couple are out of order. If only I could learn to have the hesitations at the END of the row! Also needs weights on the left side, I think it's the old style colour changer pulling the last stitch on each bed off their needles.

I gave one to April, my niece Mel's new bub on Mother's day lunch on Sunday.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Socks and Cards Week

I decided next week that I needed to shut the lid on the computer and finish off the last of my sock orders. I've made 3 pairs of heel flap socks, one ankle version for me and two long knee length socks for Sim:

Now the knee socks are long - here's their amended pattern:

CO 80 FB for 2:2 industrial rib, starting with 11.11 to end, both beds.

T3, N/N, 100R, transfer front sts to back bed, both sts onto empty needle making 80 sts in all -
T4.5, GX/N, 2R, fold in half from centre sts - RC000

T4.5 (throughout the rest of the sock), CX/CX, 150R, then dec 2nd sts from end in rows:
150, 160, 170, 190, 210, 230, 250, 270, 290, 310 to 60 sts. Rotate quarter turn before 350RC.

Heel flap: 30/30 split. RC 000
row 1: GX/BX right arrow, ev other pusher in working position, plus END PUSHERS always UP.
row 2: GX/N,
then: put end pushers up
Repeat these three actions to RC 48.

Turn Heel: GX/BX, use pushers to work 17sts, work 2 tog, 1, (19 total), next row work 6 (then 7, 8 etc to end) 2 tog, 1 till 18 sts remain. (I also put the needle/pusher closest to the lock DOWN - mimicking slip one). rotate quarter turn so middle heel is on the right.

Gusset: RC000
Pick up 24 each side, 96 sts in all, CX/CX, decrease on upper side every 4th rowcount and every 1oth rowcount on sole/heelturn side 15 sts from end on all beds. continue to 60sts

Foot: continue to RC 150

Toe: dec 2nd st from end on all beds (4sts in total) on RC 150, 158, 164, 170, 174, 178, 182, then every 2 rowcounts till 8 sts remain.

Graft toe and sew back cuff.

My Ankle socks are the same as the previous ones.

Next on the things to do this week are cards (As this is my knitting blog I've moved the cards over to my new card blog. I'm tidy minded!)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

853 Bergere de France Green Jumper

Call me crazy, but I do love Bergere de France free patterns. OK OK they are in French, BUT they are also in Knitting. This link is for the Femme in us all, there is also Homme, Enfant, and kids. Some have a lovely little knitting machine symbol, which I have even more love for, but not this one.

Here is a photo of my latest love:

The principles are there.. cast on xx sts, do some sort of rib; knit xxx rows to the armhole, cast off xx sts, for xx rows, then usually a few more xx sts for a few more xx rows, then straight for xx cm to the shoulders, where we ignore the instructions and do a short row shaping for xx sts over xx rows anyway. On the front, fiddle with the neck shaping as well. Sleeves are always the same too. All this and an excellent schematic diagram.

Now there's me. I look at the schematic, whereby I decide where I need to increase the length to fit my big self - which really means it doesn't matter what language it's written in, out comes the pencil and alterations begin, saves heaps of time translating!

I'm hand knitting this one on 4.5mm needles using Cleakheaton Country 12ply, in a green which is pretty close to the green on the Harmony Knitpicks, which I stuck next to the top of the photo (not quite as yellow as it's showing on my monitor). After this lovely beginning (edging) it is plain st st to just below the shoulders and finishes with a 19cm open rib and matching cowl neck. I decided to knit both front and back edges while the translation was still fresh in my mind. I've had a couple of opportunities to sit, wait and knit this week - my first ever visit to MKers of NSW guild on Thursday, Saturday's SnB and waiting to pick up Peter from Burwood, I'm already up to the armholes on one piece and nearly there on the other. Today I'll do both sleeves patterned edges and leave them on knitpicks cables (aren't they they best things ever invented?).

The only tricky bit of translation I found was on the centre on the square (hopefully) it is:

knit 5 tog without taking them off the left needle (I used a crochet hook),

RN: one long stitch which is through those
LN: 5 sts,

next yo, knit 2 tog and take off left needle:

RN: one long st; one yo; one st
LN: 3 sts

next yo, knit 3 tog take remaining 3 off left needle:

RN: one long st; one yo; one st; one yo; one st
LN: no sts left from this set.

The rest of the instructions for the edging is easy enough to follow, even if it isn't exactly what the French is, it is how I wanted the fabric to look.

The top "mesh" pattern uses dropped stitches to achieve a nice open look.
I'm reasonably sure that the translation was to drop the stitch when casting off, however, I dropped them every couple of rounds as I wanted to put a bit of shaping into the front panel, so I did a 3 pattern sets of 2/1 next to the shoulder 3 rounds short of when I was supposed to stop, stopping short by one set each round to the end, to make it more comfortable to wear. Yes that meant a bit of a bigger space, but it will be covered by the cowl.

Now I've finished my Shalom vest, I will be taking this anywhere I'm sitting and chatting and/or waiting for kids etc. Eventually, I'll finish it.