Friday, October 16, 2020

There's a Bear In There - Machine Knit Shapely Harry Bear

Berroco has given permission to use their Harry Bear pattern and photo as a base for my machine knit version. The original handknit pattern can be found here

I was trying to find a nice looking teddy bear pattern to machine knit. There are many quick and easy machine knit patterns available. This is not one of them. It is a slow knit and lots to do. I have no complaint about the available bear patterns that you can make in 30 minutes, fine if you want to make one of those. But I didn't.

The pattern has slight adjustments and reworded so it’s easier to knit on the machine. Therefore, it’s not a quick knit, there are increases and W&T in the same row and there is something to do almost every second row, sometimes every row. 

Any machine that will knit the chosen yarn is good to go. I did mine on the LK150 midgauge. T4 on the LK150 with Ice Yarn Eyelash, plated with 2/28 cashmilon, both acrylics. I used safety eyes and noses which I bought from Aliexpress in China, and cut up 2cm squares of felt to put between the eyes/nose and the washer in the inside, so they cannot be pulled through the knitting. 

A .pdf copy of the pattern is available on Ravelry

es = each side. The bear is completely symmetrical. Always the same shaping each side, even the ears, which are worked separately on each side of the head, nonetheless, they are identical. 

RC = the row counter is used to track how many times the carriage trips the row counter. The number on the row counter corresponds to the set of actions until the carriage moves. Also the needles in work are indicated in brackets at the end of each row. Every second RC is LtoR knit unless otherwise stated. 

2PT & 3PT: 2 and 3 prong tool, use either to move edge stitches out one needle (inc) or in one needle (dec), ALWAYS BOTH ENDS, the original pattern has increases on the edge, not a good idea on the machine. Increases are heel of the adjacent stitch, I liked from the centre outwards towards the edges. 

2PT Inc all needs in work

PRE INC are necessary to allow the following row increases to be carried out. (increasing 10 to 18 is tricky) If unable to do all the increases in the designated row, increase in the following row (a little fudge but it works in a pinch). 

2PT Pre inc: Use 2PT to inc to move 1 ndl outwards leaving 3rd needle each edge empty, bring empty needle into work, knit, undo the loop to free up extra yarn for increases that RC. One row has x2, for increasing 10 to 18sts. 

W&T wraps. Written eg 1H, 1n x 3, breaking that down to each component: 

    1H, 2H, 3H etc means 1 or more needles are out to hold 

    1n or 2n etc means how many needles are being wrapped, each short RC

    x1, x2, x3 etc means how many times to repeat the wraps 

Set the carriage to hold, bring out the number of written next to H on the opposite side to the carriage, knit that row, bring the needle next to it out to hold to wrap it and ONCE ONLY bring out the H needle number on the RIGHT, then wrap and turn till done. When finished, W&T 1H, 1n x 3 will have four needles each end out to hold. Finish off, COR, push left needles at opposite side of carriage back to UWP, knit (doing final wrap at the same time) take off hold and continue knitting all needles. 

Knitting off W&T, 4 needles
in UWP knit that row, then
take off hold, knit all sts next row.

Cx INC or DEC 1sts each side. Pull centre needle/s out and increase or decrease each side.

NA: Needle arrangement Arm additions require 9 sts of WY ready to commence arms OR don’t bother and ewrap. Front arms. WY instead of picking up sts from back is up to the knitter. 


Legs x 2

Cast on EON 3ndls MT-2 

RC 000 MT 

RC 1: Knit (6 sts) 

RC 2: 2nd and even rows, unless otherwise stated, Knit (6) 

RC 3: NA: inc dots (10) 

RC 5: W&T 1H, 1nx1 es (10) 

RC 9 :3PT Dec es (8) 

RC 10 to 16 knit (8) 

RC 17: 2PT Dec es (6) take off on onto far right needles. Make another one, but put on R1 to R6 nds (R2, 4, 6) 

RC19: Joining Row (WS): L7xR6, Inc both edges of centre x (usual heel increases from both) (13) 


RC 21: INC 1n each side C3 (15) 

RC 23: NA:111.11111.11111.111 Inc dots from centre (18) 

RC 25: W&T 1H, 1n x 3 (18)

RC 33: DEC 1n each side C4 (16) 

RC 35: NA: 11x11x11111x11x11 Dec x (12) OR 3PT dec x2 es 

RC 37: 3PT dec es (10) 

RC 39 : K 10, Hang WY 9sts (1st arm) (19) 

RC 40: K9 (1st arm), k10, Hang WY 9sts (2nd arm) (28) 

back of bear

RC 41 to 46: Knit (28) 

RC 47: Take off last 9 sts on WY, k to end (19) 

RC 48: Take off last 9 sts on WY K to end (10) 


RC 49: 2PT dec each end (8) 

RC 50: Pre inc 2PT es 

RC 51: NA: 1.1.1111.1.1 inc dots (12) 

RC 52: Pre inc 2PT es 

RC 53: NA: 1.111.1111.111.1 Inc dots, then W&T H3 1n x 2 es (16)

RC 58: Pre Inc 2PT es 

RC 59: NA: 11.111.11111.111.11 Inc dots(20) 

RC 61: K4, +1, k10, +1, k4 (22) 

RC 63: K5, -1, k8, -1, k5 (20) 

RC 65: -1 dec centre sts. then 3PT dec es (17)

RC 67: 2PT dec es then W&T H3 1n x 3(15) 

Ears Prep: 5/5/5 RC 75 slip last 5 to Hold, 5 on WY, 5 sts in WP for 1st ear. K5 (COL) set carriage to hold 

ear increases


Row 1 : Inc dots (8) 

Row 2 & 3: Knit (8) 

Row 4: 2PT dec es (6) 

Row 5: 2PT dec es (4) 

Row 6: 1PT dec es. Bind off last 2 sts (I don't to that, I leave last two and graft them to the fronts)

2nd Ear: toddle over the the last 5 sts and.. Work same as the other ear. 


Legs x 2 (second on R ndl 1-6 for ease of join) 

MT-2 Cast on EON 3ndls 

RC 000 MT 

RC 1: (6 sts) 

RC 3: NA: inc dots (10) 

RC 5: W&T 1H 1n x 3 (10) 

RC 13: 3PT Dec 3es (8) 

RC 14 to 20: Knit (8) 

RC 21: 2PT dec es (6) take off on 2x3PT and put far right needles and make another one but put ndls 1-6 right (R2,4,6) 


R23: Joining Row: 7.x.6 Cross 2 centre heel increases onto empty ndl (13) 

RC 25: INC 1 each side C1 (15) 

RC26 Pre Inc 2PT es 

RC 27: NA: 1.1111.11111.1111.1 inc dots (19) 

RC 29: W&T H3, 1n x 3 (19)

RC 37: DEC 1 each side C5 (17) 

RC 39: DEC 1 each side C5 (15) 

RC 41: 3PT DEC es (13) 

RC 43: K13, then attach 9 sts from back (1st arm) Right sides together, from WY loops (if this is the first time you’ve knitted it, make a 9st WY, same as the back) (22) 

Picking up the other side

Position on arms
Picking up from back arm cast on

RC 44: K9 (1st arm), k13, then attach 9 sts from back (2nd arm) (31) 

RC 45: DEC 1 each side C3 (29) 

RC 47: Knit (29) 

RC 49: DEC 1 each side C3 (27) 

RC 51: take off last 9 sts k18 (18) 

RC 52: Take off last 9 sts (9) 


RC 53: 2PT Dec (7) 

RC 54: 2PT PRE INC es 

RC 55: NA: Inc dots(10) 

MT+1 (or a bit more)

RC 56: PRE INC 2PT X 2 ES (10) 


RC 57: NA: inc dots, inc from centre (18) 

RC 58: 2PT PRE INC es 

RC 59: NA: 111.1111.11111.1111.111, then W&T: H7 1nx3 (22) 

Front of bear

RC 66: 11X11 pm X for nose BUT I MOVE TWO ROWS DOWN which would be RC64 mid W&T 

RC 67: 1PT X 2 DEC each side of 0, then 2PT INC es (20) 

RC 69: K9, k2 tog, k9 (19) 

RC 71: 3PT DEC es (17) 

RC 71: 6X5X6 pm X for eyes 

RC 73: 2PT Dec, then W&T H3 1n x3 (15) 

Ears Prep: 5/5/5 RC 75 slip last 5 to Hold, 5 on WY, 5 sts in WP for 1st ear. K5 (COL) set carriage to hold. 

Ears: Work same as for back. 

Straight off the machine and after a brush!

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

I've Been Using Eyelash Type Yarns Lately

 I have been using fluffy and eyelash yarns lately on my Brand Spanking New LK150. And I have had to explain this more than once, so I thought it might be good to post.

Eyelash yarn I've been using has a "nap" for want of a better word. The fibres sit flat against the base cord one way, and when knitted WITH the fibres flat against the cord, the machine process knits them in with the cord, making sewing up easy. Knitting against is OK, but I did find it harder to sew up.

Straight out fluffy yarn knits flat and loves a good brush AFTER seaming. 

Hand knitting tends to push the fibres out on the purl side, which doesn't happen with the machine.

But as you can see, it brushes out very well!

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Undyed sock blanks and Jellybean Dyeing

Back in 2013 I bought a bag of 10 x 100g undyed sock yarn. So I opened up the bag and was going to do some sock blanks and see if I could sell them. 10 is a lot. Then I got side tracked with jellybean dyeing.
I bought a $2 bag of jelly beans from Reject Shop. I already did the sock blanks, 2 ends, T10 on the KX. 80 sts, with a dropped stitch in the centre. and off I went to jellybean dye them.
For both I put down a towel and put a long strip of plastic wrap down to lay the blank on it. I wanted to do stripes. and on the other side I did random plonked on.
Don't use the natural coloured ones, The cheap ones are best.
First batch was a but underdone I squeezed out too much water and didn't sort out the colours first so I didn't realise that there was a dark pink and a red, so they got mixed up,
I started at the red end and used the towel to start the roll up all the way to the end. I didn't want the colours bleeding into the top, so there's layer of plastic all the way through. 
I microwaved for 4 mins on high and took it out straight away. Unwrapped and splashed the vinegar around, rinsed, 
washed and it came out with the colours not through all the layers. Here they are, all wrapped up, before and after.
The unwrapped first experiment

For the next one, I sorted out all the colours first, then cut all the jelly beans into two and put them cut side up, in stripes, both sides, just like the first one. I put the cut black ones right along both the edges. I also chopped up three or four pinks and sprinkled them on the dropped bit. I was pleased with that idea too.
I left the blank a lot wetter and pritzed the jelly beans with some more water before I wrapped them up, same as before.. I microwaved for 2 mins then turned it over. had a cup of coffee and did another 2 mins. I could have done 2 more I think, next time.
Here's the second batch halfway through, with a much better saturation of both ends and the unwrapped blank, after it's vinegar bath, followed by a eucalyptus wash.  
Over on Ravelry we have a whole thread on playing around with this in the Sock Blank Artists Group. And here's the second sock, and the tiny bit left over. And here's the second one, with the colours much more vivid. I like both.