Friday, December 21, 2012

Season's Greetings

To everyone who reads my blog, I hope however you are celebrating this time of year, it's with your family and friends. I would like to thank the lovely Rachel in Darwin, who told all her hubby's friends that they were to come to their house for Christmas. What a wonderful thing to do for all the waifs and strays. And Lauren's in-laws for making my daughter feel at home. And Anthea for the invite.

I have spent the last few days taking every little bit of stash out of my spare/craft room, separated a few things out for 2013, and repacked it all back again. All the cardboard boxes are gone and I have two plastic tubs left over, which are happily holding some of my separated stash for 2013 projects. May I never have to do that again.

Here are 2012's projects, not too bad an effort, a good year I think. A couple I see need a photo - after Christmas, for them!

And that's it from me for 2012. I'll see you on the flip side.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

About What Things We Put in Blogs

I came across this interesting post about blogging and grabbing photos off the net. So I thought I would pop the link in here. Sounds about right to me, but we all know about the authenticity on the net, but just to be sure, I've gone through mine...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My Cable-athon Continues

I've decided to do some of the cable projects I've had ready to go for this year's stash knit down. I'm working on my 2012 stash bag and am trying to knit 50 x 200g of Bendi. I will go over the 40, which is an excellent improvement on the 4.5 x 200g that I managed in 2011.

My next cable cardi, is one from Vague - I know they call themselves "Vogue" but errors abound in so many of their vague patterns, this is normal. This one is from Fall 2008, the Old Penny Cardi or as they have renamed it - #11 Forestry.  And I'm writing about how I'm doing this on the machine. I'm putting a 30st panel into the centre back, as quite a few people have.

The cable pattern is an old one, done over 5 stitches, 1 and 5 are swapped, one goes behind, one in front, and the three in the middle remain in the same place. We've just had Susan Guigliumi visiting, and I'm bringing her bridging ideas into the mix.

I'm using the hold and part levers to put in some extra slack so I can do the four cables. On the row before I'm due to cross the cables,  I pinch the RS levers into the centre - hold and part. and hold on
bring all the pattern needles to hold and knit +1 or +2 MT
the left, then the 30 needles covering the centre panel are pulled out to hold.

Knit up to the held needles, disengage the row counter, then back up, and put the left side lever into part, take off the hold, and +1MT on the stitch dial, in this case, up to T5 then knit the 30 centre needles, back up, bring all the remaining needles all the way out to hold, reduce the stitch dial to MT (T4) and knit them. Re-engage the row counter.

Bring needles to be crossed out all other to UWP so none can unravel during cabling

bring the middle 3 to UWP, one stitch goes behind, one goes in front

Here the stitch going in front is being collected with the latch tool

Here, the stitch at the back is hanging on its correct needle and the front stitch is being teased into position by the latch tool

the infront stitch is on the needle and the back stitch is going onto it's new needle

Here they are done

and this is really how I collect the front stitch, but it's not much of a photos. Park the stitch going back onto it's prong, remove the front stitch and put it onto the latch tool and hold it, then move the back stitch into the new position, then pop the front on on it's new needle.

There is a bit of pulling

but putting them all back into UWP helps the machine knit them off

And there they are knitted. All to do now is latch back the two purl stitches

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cables, working with dark colours and my new light

 I do love my Bergere de France patterns and this time
Dark blue colour is about right
I'm making one from their 04/05 catalogue #753 .

I'm taking a break from sewing it up and posting about working with cables, working with dark colours and my new light.

The design has the first 18 in a 3:3 rib and the decreases are done 21 sts from the edge, flowing into cables up a raglan bodice.

Just the thing for my personal cableathon.

Cables on the machine
Hard to see but there they are

Even though the cables are over stretched on the machine, they resolve themselves when off the machine.

I know, I know, six impossible things before breakfast, lots of moving stitches for the raglan decreases, putting the KrisKrafter 20 needle decker/garter bar to good use, and a 7 sts cable.

For the back I took the cables off the machine and hand knitted them, however between doing the back, sleeves I went to a Susan Guagluimi Seminar on... fiddling around with the machine and tools.. right up my alley. However before I get to that story, I'll show you the light the electrician was using when installing LED lights in the building.
The LED light

It's a caving light used by those outdoorsy types, and electricians and now machine knitters.

There is a down side - I get to wear it on my head... oh joy! Just as well it's something I can wear on my head when no one is around. And NO, there will not be a photo of smiling me wearing it, sooo sorry!

Anyways, here it is, a nice little LED light, the switch is on the top and it clicks up and down so my head stays still and the light moves.
How good the light is on the stitches

Field of light when it's on my head
So now with the LED light on my head, and Susan G's bridging cables, I thought I'd try it out on the fronts.

Did I mention that this is also called my Twice Knit Jumper? Yes, I've been knitting this for a month.. twice or more on most sections... but back to it.

OK, so what I did was - knit the first bridge, then set the carriage to hold/hold/part/part - so the only thing that would ever knit was needles in the UWP - I found this easier.

I put all the needles I needed to put on the other end in hold - not all of them, no, then about halfway-ish, all on hold, yes a small section on the other side of the bed had the exact number of needles in hold on the far end, and then some in working position, then hold up to the bridge.

Then knit the first couple of stitches, back up (nothing knits, everything is in hold or WP at this point.)
adjust the stitch dial plus 2 sizes in my case, put the four needles I need to do the cable cross nice and big, backup

Return to original stitch size, take off hold on the left side, and slowly knit across the next stitches, as soon I was past the lower needles already knitted, take of the left hand part, as soon as I was past the needles on hold, I slipped it back into hold,

When all the needles up to the last ones in hold are knitted, all the setting go back to hold/hold/part/part back up, plus 2 sizes up, 4 needles in UWP, knit them, back up, return to main st size, take off hold and knit the last few - now all the stitches have been knit, return all settings to knit, do the crosses, and this time I hand knit them off - plastic machines are more fragile than their metal cousins, however, it all knit off remarkably well and I learnt a lot about cables, giving my stitches some more yarn to do the crosses and I got quicker as I went along and I think I got almost to the end before I had to undo the last couple of rows.

Not quite what Susan said to do, but it worked for me! There's lots of things in her second book for me to try out over the next couple of projects, for my cableathon.

And here are the cables:

 And my next cable pattern is a Vague aka Vogue pattern... with more bridging happening... wish me luck!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Apres Surf Hoodie

We are having a Machine-Knit-A-Long (MKAL) on Ravelry for this one. 

I made one of these in Cleckheaton 4ply Natural Cotton last year, with one of the punchcards that came with my machine.

This year I decided to use a punchcard that more closely resembled the original (Apres Surf Hoodie) in some of the Bendigo Classic 5ply I bought last year at the Craft and Quilt show in Sydney.

The swatch turned out rather well on my SK280 using LC2 T8:

The 5ply went through quite well, and I did have to take care to keep it evenly weighted so I it did all the transfers without dropping them. I dropped about 6 stitches over the whole garment. A lot less by the time I finished (none on the hood for instance).

Changes I made:

I don't like the hem, it rolls up and annoys me, so I made a hung hem. On the lace carriage. EON T -2MT, 1row with ravel cord. hang the long weights with hooks on the ends - bring all needles into working position, knit 19 rows MT,  1R +1MT, 20R MT then I slipped the ravel cord stitches onto a thin circ needle and hung the hem. I know some clever people can just hang from the ravel cord, but not me!
Here is the hood getting itself knitted, I've hooked the sleeves onto the gate pegs to show them.
In keeping with my lengthening requirements, I've used Helga's tutorial to adjust the bodice and sleeve cap - but this will be my stock standard method for now on.

I decided not to so the last couple of rows on the hoodie. I just added a couple extra rows. I won't be wearing the hoodie in public. The lace carriage hold position was OK for the shoulders, so it wasn't for "it's too hard" much more "I'll never wear it".

I had to put my machine away (bathroom reno was happening) so I did the i-cord bind off on the neckband by hand on 3.25mms. I'd do it by machine otherwise.

Things I'd do differently.

Now I understand how the lace cards work - having punched a whole lot on new ones to choose from, I'd make sure I centred the actual pattern a little better. I could easily have moved it around to the centre o | o bit of the pattern was in the middle. If I use this one again I could either offset it so it does or punch another one. I bit obvious, but now I know!

Also I deliberately made this one an "oversize" size, so I can wear it over things around the house. It is nice and long and is very warm.  I will definitely make another something, something, just as soon as I clear the decks with the 8ply projects I have lined up first.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Ravelry - now has Machine Instruction tag on patterns

After a brief discussion amongst ourselves in the Machine Knitting group on Ravelry, Casey has a better understanding of machine knitting written patterns and has made a new tag (in attributes) to say "has machine instructions"

Here is the link to do a search for machine patterns

Photo courtesy of Casey's screen shot:

If you are a designer and not on the list, please add it in the Attributes, Pattern Instructions.

If you know of a pattern not coming up on the pattern search, can you please let dancingbarefoot know in this thread.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

LC2 Lace Carriage Punchcards

After making my Zora lace cardi a couple of weeks ago, I decided to do another lace project while the machine was up.

I was looking at the cards I have for my fine gauge and saw something that greatly resembled the pattern on  Apres Surf Hoodie.
So adapted it to the 24 hole punchcard for the std machine for the 5ply wool I have out for a mystery project. I have a punch and I have some blank cards.... which let me to....
In a unrelated chat on Ravelry, someone mentioned that there were patterns in the Harmony Machine Book, so I got it out to have a look and there they were, lots of lace patterns to choose from.

My son was visiting so that cut down the time to work on the machine, so I've had such an excellent time marking out the cards cards from the Harmony book and an old book then punch when he was visiting his friends.

And here are some of them


And this one from a really the really old and tattered book that Beverley gave to me:

I put a cable in the top part to see how it looked. I like it without the cable better I think.
That's all I had time to run the cards through the machine. It's away now for a little bit while I get some renos done. I have an excellent time punching and  understanding how the lace carriage works in relation to the holes punched. I'll run the rest through the machine in a couple of weeks when the dust settles.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

How I Use Helga's Tutorial in Excel

I was asked about this, so I thought I'd put in my next project.
But first a little bit about the reasons for doing my calculations in the first place. Most ladies garments have an armhole bodice drop of 20cm, this is from the beginning of the armhole shaping to the beginning of the shoulder shaping. My problem is - I'm 25cm. I am tall with a large frame. This tutorial has taken away all my best guess work, and I'm very happy with the last two armhole shaping and sleeve cap results.

Now, this is my swatch for my next project in 5ply Bendigo Classic on SK280, LC2, revamped card 12 from my fine gauge set. T8 = 26st /36rs = 10cm

Next thing is work out my cast on, waist shaping and width of my bodice (40cm). converting everything into stitches and rows.  All I need to know to calculate my armhole shaping. I need 90 rows (for my 25cm self - and might I add I LOVE not having my tops (sweaters) cutting under my arms all day) . But back on track... Ok, so one third of 90 is 30 rows, which I put into Helga's Chart, and calculate that I need to decrease 58 stitches BOTH SIDES, so I divide that by 2 giving me 29 sts. (with me so far?)

All I need to do is put a THIRD the rows of my rows in the three vertical blocks and HALF of stitches I don't need any more.
Armhole Shaping Graph
 Well that's all very good, but how do I put it into and excel spreadsheet?

First I put in the rows in this case in single row counts, then all the stitches, then markers to correspond to the grid, and as you can see I needed to fudge a little and I'm two rows past the exact point, but it will be fine as the rest of the decreases work out. If I was writing it for hand knitting I'd say:

Armhole Shaping, decrease 9 sts at the beginning of the next two rows, then 1 sts at each end, in the next and every row 9 times, then every second row 9 times (104 sts remain).
But if I'm writing for the Kindle next to the machine I'd write:
-9 x 2
-1 ea end ev row to RC 12
-1 ea end ev 2R to RC 30 (104sts)


Now I'm ready to do my calculations for my sleeve cap, there's a little more calculations but not that hard when I break it into chunks.
Let's get straight into it. My biggest guesswork was... How may rows do I make my sleeve cap, now I've increased my bodice height by 5cm. This has always been less than satisfactory. The total number of rows for my sleeve cap will be 4/5 of my bodice measurement. I know my bodice height is 90 rows, and I divide it by 5 and times it by 4 (or I need 4/5th or 80%) making my sleeve cap height to be 72 rows. These 72 get divided into 4 to fit in the vertical grid - 18 rows each square
 Next is my total number of stitches I have on my sleeve. And now another little fudge - my original count was 110, but 112 worked out so much better. I'm only working on half my sleeve number for this calculation which means my grid has 72 rows high and 56 stitches wide. The 56 is divided into 4 equal parts and I have 14 stitches in each of my horizontal grid boxes.
This is how I do my excel. I mark out my rows - in two row increments until the LAST QUARTER, where I find in single rows works best and as a visual aid, when I change to single rows, I coloured them in yellow. I put a marker in the quarter row point and the stitches I need to have left - as in my diagram above, 42, 28 then 14. This makes it easy for me to move the stitches to fill in the spaces evenly.

The first square - my initial decrease is half the total number in the first square - 7 stitches. then the next 7 have to be gone so now I have decreased my 14 sts by row 18.... only one 4 row section.

The next 36 rows ... I need to decrease 14 sts over the next 36 rows. I move the column of stitch numbers so that the 28 stitches I need to have left by row 54. I need to fill in the gap with every 4th row decreases, so 41 goes to row 22 and so on until all my stitches are evenly distributed

 Now I am onto the last quarter and I've changed from every second row to every row and coloured it yellow so I remember! I need to decrease 14 sts over the next 18 rows. I move the column of stitches to the last row, then move them up to have them every second row (to match the previous pattern - I've been doing every second row decreases, so it continues the same way until I can decrease every row.

And this is it for my kindle. All I want to know is when to do decreases.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sleeve Caps, Armhole and Neck Shaping Tutorial given by Helga Guyot

If you are anything like me, changing the sleeve cap and armhole shaping are so much trial and error that always ends in hit and miss. I was so pleased when Helga Guyot came to our local club and presented her tutorial on shaping our jumpers and cardigans (which in other parts of the world - "sweaters" combines into one the word- very frugal of them!)

I asked Helga if I could reproduce HER tutorial notes and diagrams to convert a drop shoulder pattern with no shaping into a set in sleeve. She said "Of course you can, I've been teaching this for more than 20 years" I offered to put it into a .pdf for her to offer for sale. She said she doesn't know how to turn a computer on, let alone "do all that" and it would be much easier for me to share it. However, I cannot take credit for her intellectual property, it belongs to her not me, so please respect that.

Here are Helga's notes in Arial, my explanations will be in this type.

Changing the pattern from a drop shoulder sleeve style to a fitted or semi-fitted sleeve style.
The drop sleeve is the easiest style to write and knit, as it does not provide for ARMHOLE SHAPING, and for this reason often used for tops in pattern books.

However it is also the most unflattering style. Having a Shoulder/armhole point makes the garment look more "dressey".

Diagram 1
- Start by establishing YOUR shoulder width which is the width between the ARMHOLES.
- Change YOUR measurements into stitches.(Number of stitches for 10cm x YOUR MEASUREMENT.)
- Subtract that number of stitches from the number of stitches used for the BUST width (not hip width), ending up with the number of stitches you will need to reduce which is the width of the garment at the armhole point.
- Establish the number of rows for YOUR armhole and divide 1/3 of that number of rows.

NOW shape your Armhole Curve:
Draw a graph of 3 squares wide and 3 squares high.

The number of stitches to be used for the cube in my example is 17sts for each armhole.
Diving that number into 3 lots ends up with 6 sts for each of the first 2 squares and 5 stitches for 1 square, which are marked on the horizontal line of the graph (See diag 2)
Diagram 2

1/3 of the total armhole height in rows in my examplein Diag 2 is 36 rows. This number is divided into 3 lots and marked on the vertical line of the graph (see diag 2)

Now: Row counter on 000.
- Cast off the first 5 stitches of the next two rows
- Decrease 6 sts in 12 rows (1 x 2 x 6)
- Decrease 6 sts in 24 rows (1 x 4 x 6)
- Knit straight to the shoulder point.

This method of curving your armhole can be used for the FITTED AND SEMI-FITTED SLEEVE.

 I work this out on an excel spreadsheet, I put the stitch and row counts in and work out the decreases. Helga said you start with every second row and-
- if you have too many, you start with every row, changing to every second row so you hit the correct stitch and row count as per the grid.
- if you have too few, you start with every second row, change to every three or four rows so you hit the correct stitch and row count in your grid.

Shoulder shaping
Most shoulder shaping is over 2.5cm. eg, approx 8-12 rows. Convert your shoulder measurement into stitches, and divide by rows, say 32 stitches per shoulder in 8 rows (totalling 64), divided by 8 is decrease 8sts each side every row, using short rows, then one final row over all stitches to seal them.

Either do a 3 needle bind off or cast off shoulders and sew together. neck stitches can be left on waste/deckers or fine circular, ready for neck ribbing/finishing.

Next, onto the sleeves:

Diagram 3
Example of Alterations required to change from Drop shoulder style:

To Semi Fitted Sleeve Style:

Knit the sleeve in the same way as the Drop Shoulder style to under the arm point.

From this point
Decrease in exactly the same way as worked on the bodice.

Start PK: On an adult sleeve, PK is worked over 16 rows, pushing 4 needles to hold (and wrapping) each time.

Knit 1 row over all needles before taking off with waste yarn.

The advantage of this sleeve style is that the stitches, taken off with waste yarn, can easily be joined to the armhole edge using the knitting machine or linker.

This design sleeve cap can also be knitted from the top down, picking up the stitches, knitting the short rows and matching your armhole shaping.

Diagram 4

Draw up a graph of 4 x 4 squares. 
Divide the number of stitches for half of the sleeve into the sections:
The number of rows for the graph is 4/5th of the bodice armhole shaping, (before starting the shoulder shaping).
Helga's example in diagram 4:
Cast off 7 stitches,
Decrease 1 x 2 x 8 (= 1st each end, every 2nd row 8 times.)
Decrease 1 x 4 x 4, then 1 x 2 x 12
Decrease 1 x 2 x 4, then 1 x 1 x 12
Cast off remaining stitches (not on WY).
Sleeve top needs to be sewn into the armhole by hand.

As with the previous armhole shaping, I use excel spreadsheet to count out the rows then mark out the quarter row marks to ensure I have the correct number of stitches at each point and the final sts count to cast off. If using the example in diagram 4, I'd have 15sts x 2 = 30 stitches remaining to cast off. However when I'm at the machine I don't want to bother with anything but what row count to decrease, and I've found this format works very well for me. Here is the sleeve cap for my ZZZora for instance:

My row chart I use at the machine- all I want to know is what row I have to do my decreases.

Now we move onto the neck calculations:

Changing from a V to crew neck - or as I like to think - how to make a crew neck from nothing

Diagram 5

You may have a favourite pattern that you want to use again, but create a different neck design or you want to make the neckline lower or wider.

You will need to work from a measurement
The standard neck WIDTH for a Lady's garment size 10 to 14 is 18cm; sizes 16-22 is 20-22cm.
The standard DEPTH of a cre neck for all Lady's sizes is 7.5cm.
The depth of a V-neck is entirely the choice of the designer

To get away from the standard, you will need to establish the new measurement and change that into stitches and rows for which your use the Base numbers (st/rs = 10cm)
The back shaping is straight unless the front and back are scooped design.

To change the pattern from a Crew Neck to a V-neck, find the number of stitches you need to decrease one each side of the V-neck = NEW V-NECK WIDTH IN STITCHES DIVIDED BY 2.
For the NEW DEPTH, find the measurement you want to use and change that into rows.

NOW DIVIDE THE ROWS BY THE NUMBER OF STITCHES YOU NEED TO DECREASE, which gives you the number of rows you will need to knit between each decrease. (If the numbers do not divide equally, knit the "left over" at the shoulder straight without shaping - in fact having this last part of the neck shaping straight is preferable.)

To change the pattern from a V-neck to a Crew neck, find the number of stitches you need to decrease on HALF of the NEW NECK WIDTH.
Find the number of rows for the NEW neck depth.
Diagram 6

Work the curve in the same way as the Armhole curve

Cast off the centre stitches (2 x 8 sts)

Decrease 8 sts in the next 16 rows (1 x 2 x 8)

Decrease 8 sts in the next 32 rows (1 x 4 x 8)

That's it everyone, Helga (Guyot) would be thrilled if you used her instructions to make a better fit, however, please respect her intellectual property and acknowledge it.

Also please let me know if I need to expand any of the information. It is a lot of info to take in at once, but we had a lovely couple of hours, coffee and we could ask questions as we went.
And here is my sleeve cap and armhole shaping on my ZZZora: