Knitting Machine

Half Year Review – 2015

Posted on

Well, howdy, Internet friends!  Seems that I sort of disappeared from blogging the last half of 2015.  So, it may take awhile to catch you all up; I’ll resist my initial inclination to do it all at once!

Connie_CDA_June_2015I started a new job last year, in May, which coincides with when my blogging dropped off the map.  I’d been at my previous employer for almost 10 years, so it’s been a bit of a transition.  I’m still in the same tech field, though it’s a much smaller department, and even get to travel and go to conferences.  I think I’m finally getting comfortable and I really like the people I work with.

I also started a small quiltscrap_explosion group.  It wasn’t an intentional decision, just a group of my friends who I wanted to spend time with and, well, it just sort of blossomed.  This photo is from one of those sessions where they helped me with a collection of scraps; what happens at sew day, stays at sew day!

Interestingly enough, the majority of the group are teachers, whether by formal training or natural ability.  We call ourselves the Grateful Threads and we meet once a month, working on both personal and group projects.  There’s so much laughter, fun, and learning that goes on, I can’t believe how lucky I am to know each and every one of them.

Pfaff_7570I bought a Pfaff 7570 sewing machine this summer because not only do I love my Pfaff machines, this one is capable of embroidering and came with the original cable that will allow connection to an (older) computer and a TON of embroidery cards.  I’ve had some challenges getting it connected so I can make up the embroidered quilt labels as I intended, but that’s an ongoing process.  I’ll keep you posted!

Fast forward to the recent holiday season, and I had several customer quilts I had promised for Christmas.  I finished by the 12th of December, so I helped a friend with her first quilt, which was made up of a variety of 5” blocks sewn together and a dark blue minky back.  She wanted to give it as a gift for Christmas and it was so much fun watching her gain confidence in the process.  I didn’t get any photos of the quilt, but I’m sure she did so I’ll post them later.

20151220_094040I also made 4 hats on my bulky knitting machine, 3 of them using this EASY pattern:

http://knittsings.com/how-to-machine-knit-a-basic-easy-stocking-hat

 

20151220_093647For the 4th one I adapted a hand knitting pattern that allows for a ponytail at the top so that my long-haired niece could wear it:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/holey-hat-2

It was fussy to do because I don’t have a garter bar for the bulky, much less know what I’m doing with adapting patterns or moving stitches around!  LOL!

I’m planning on getting my ribber set up in the next couple of weeks because I really want to start making a sweater that uses ribbing and I REALLY don’t want to hand knit it.

I’m also looking forward to trying a  new pattern for a Quarter Crown hat pattern that not only is it a new technique to learn but I’d like to contribute some chemo hats to a gal who only takes hand knitted hats made in the round because a seam is too rough on the chemo head.

http://slisen.blogspot.com/2016/01/quarter-crown-for-hats.html

I’m definitely looking forward to this coming year.  There will be many challenges but I’m going to embrace them all the best I can.

Happy New Year!

Brother Profile 585 knitting machine

Posted on

Brother_585_Jan_24_2015This is the Brother Profile 585 knitting machine I bought yesterday.  It’s a standard gauge metal bed machine and has the ability to do some patterning, although it’s a manual process.

The seller is looking for the accessories box which has the original manual, some additional weights and the original manual, which would be great.  I found a copy of the manual online and it’s got very clear instructions so I’m excited to get started.

I have to clean it up first, and there are 2 bent gate pegs that need to be bent back first, though.  I’d really like to find a ribber and a knitting machine stand for it and then I think it would be complete.

I have an electronic Singer Studio 500 that I’ve never used because I’m a bit intimidated by it;  I don’t have a manual for it, no mylars for the patterns, and the electric brick gets pretty warm and I’m just not sure if it’s in a completely safe condition or if the temperature is normal.  So, I figure if I can learn the manual setup first while I’m on the hunt for the mylars and I’ll have a much easier time when I get the Singer 500 working.

I just love having more than one hobby!

New Year’s Day!

Posted on

What are you doing this New Year’s Day?  Me, I’m spending it with a group of fiber people!

You know, I never gave that description any thought when I started hanging out with spinners and knitters because of the company I was in when I said it, but outside of that community I’ve had lots of funny looks from people and then I realized they thought I meant “fiber” as in dietary fiber!

Today I’m taking not only my spinning wheel and new jumbo flyer so I can finish up the roving I’ve been working on, but I also made the bodies of 3 hats on my Singer HK-100 bulky knitting machine yesterday so now they just need to be sewn up to finish them.  That’s the part I dislike the most, but I’ll be able to finish them up in no time because I’m going to concentrate on them today, and someone there might even have an easier way to sew them up than I’ve been able to figure out so far, too.

I’m also going to take those over sized Fuzzy Feet slippers I made with me so I can finish the toes and then get them into the wash to felt them.  I have to say, I’m quite pleased with how they’ve turned out and I’ll be taking a toe-up sock pattern with me today so I can start learning how to do those, too.

I’m also taking a Coca Cola Chocolate Cake.  I’ve never tried it, or made it, before but I’ve never made socks before, either.

So, today it sounds like a lot of “finishing” going on!  That sounds fabulous to me, because they say that whatever you do on New Years Day is what you’ll do the rest of the year.   And by “they” I mean the gals I’m getting together with, and who knows who they got it from! 🙂 

I’ve really been  looking forward to our get together, I seem to come back calm and centered after spending a day with them.  There’s food, laughter, conversation and lots of creativity and support..

Next weekend, I’ll quilt.

Happy New Year!

Last quilt of the year…coming soon!

Posted on

I’m well on my way to the toe on my second Fuzzy Feet felted slipper, then on to learning how to Kitchener stitch.   But more importantly, I’m almost done with my last customer quilt of the year…and it’s GORGEOUS!

Yes, I like the quilting design I’m putting on it, and yes, I picked something that took way longer than it probably needed to,  but when I first saw this quilt…well, I fell in love.  It’s just so peaceful.

I love bright colors.  I’m animated. I’m always on the go.  This quilt is none of that.  I’ll be finishing up the border tonight, while my husband is at work.  As much as I’m dying to, I’m not going to post a sneak peak of the quilting, but you’ll know what I mean when you see it.

Once this quilt is finished, then I can focus on my own projects:

  • Finishing the Fuzzy Feet felted slippers
  • Finishing a surprise quilt for a friend
  • Finishing the last round of my Pass-the-Bag project
  • Replacing the sponge in the HK-100 knitting machine
  • Making at least 6 hats on the knitting machine
  • Replacing the electrical plug on the Passap
  • Cleaning up the Passap
  • More knitting projects…check out my Ravelry queue!
  • Spending time at my LYS
  • New Year’s Day spinning

    Today, though, we need to go car shopping.  Last week my husband’s 20 year old van broke down, the one he uses for his side jobs doing drywall.  It’s been very enlightening having only one vehicle, and truly emphasizes the lack of bus service in Boise!

    I’ve drawn a line in the sand on spending anymore money for repairs; there’s over 194,000 miles on it!  We’ve already put in more money than we should have, trying to get it to last until Spring.  For the most part it’s been a good vehicle, but it’s time to replace it.  Terrible timing, though.

    Oh, and my mom is coming to visit at the end of the week, after Christmas, so we’ll have our own celebration then.

    For those of you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you enjoy the festive atmosphere of this holiday season.  For those of you who do, Merry Christmas!

  • My First Knitting Machine Hat

    Posted on

    blue-orange-hat-smI’ve been trying to learn how to use the knitting machine that my cousin gave me.  Of course, I don’t want to learn on my “good” yarn!…does anyone else do that?  “Save” your “good” stuff for later?

    Some of the problem has been that I just haven’t really known what to make, and I don’t know what stitches to try to make said unknown project.  It’s really a bit of a switch, changing my mindset from hand knitting, and even then I pretty much only make washcloths and scarves anyway!  I am a quilter, after all.

    I’ve hand knit several long skinny scarves with the hairy novelty yarn, so I’ve been trying to use some of those in the knitting machine, too, and have had a hard time with them.  One of my internet group suggestions was to run some “regular” yarn through the machine to make sure it is working properly.

    So, I went rummaging around my stash of yarn and found some Lion Brand Fun 100% acrylic yarn that I’d bought at a ridiculously cheap price a couple of years ago, when I thought I’d make a Bronco scarf or something and never got around to it.  This hat is the result, and I’m thrilled with it!

    The light doesn’t do it justice, it’s really darling!  I had no idea how big it would actually turn out to be, because I was experimenting, and it’s much too small for my small adult sized head, so I’ll give it to the church charity hat drive when I finish sewing up the side seam.

    One thing about making round objects on a flat knitting machine is that you have to seam most of them to complete them, and I’ve found that is my least favorite part.  But I learned a lot on this project and had a blast doing it.

    A Finish!

    Posted on Updated on

    DSCF6235I just finished my first long skinny scarf  using one skein of novelty yarn out of my stash.  I used my Bond Ultimate Sweater Machine, which I’ve had  forever, and took me just under an hour!  That is, after the learning curve where I figured out how many needles to use and after I ripped it out the first time. Confused smile  The trick was using every other needle and going very slowly. I was afraid I’d run out of yarn before I got it cast off so I actually could have made a few more rows before ending, but that’s also part of the learning curve.

    I used 9 needles total, although I thought I had cast on more, but that was before I started over.  I think I may sew this into an infinity scarf as it will wrap around my neck 3 times, which looks like a faux fur collar.  I thought the weighted hem was really too heavy so I only used one weight bar on each side, and once it got long enough, I used my knees to support the weight.  Again, I can’t stress “go slowly” enough!  When it got really long I started using the claw weights.  I had to rip back a few rows a couple times, which was the reminder to slow down.

    I have several more skeins of this, and some eyelash, yarn that I want to get out of my stash.  They make really great, fast, inexpensive gifts and add a pop of color to an outfit.  And yes, they are surprisingly warm, although you do have to get used to the fibers against your bare neck. 🙂