Sunday, February 8, 2015

Two Woven Placemat Patterns by Jan Burch

Photo shows the hexigon placemat I knitted with Jan's pattern & another use for Jan's placemat
I recently received all of Jan Burch's patterns.   You may remember Jan as one of the people who constantly helped people on this group and earlier groups such as CompuServe and others.   Very recently Jan fought and lost the battle of Lung Cancer but before she passed away I called her and offered to sell her remaining patterns with the option of sending all money received from the sale of Jan's patterns to the American Lung Association.  Jan, her husband and children all agreed this was the perfect legacy for Jan.    

Jan had a pattern for woven placemats, written for a Toyota Punchcard Machine but you can knit weave it on any machine as far..  The first placemat is a rectangle which she states should be at least 19 X 13 inches and if you add a fringe will be increased by 1 inch on each side.   The second placemat in the pattern is a  hexagon,  she did not add a fringe to it however she states it also should measure 19 x 13 inches.   

Jan's pattern calls for Tamm 3 ply or Yarn Country 2/12 for the background yarn and worsted weight yarn for the weaving yarn but honestly you can use anything you like when you weave as we all know.   Just make sure the yarn won't shrink or matt up when you wash it.  
I have scanned Jan's 2 placemat patterns into a 2 page PDF and will sell it as I did the poncho via email after a payment from PayPal.    

If you would like to purchase the Placemat Patterns please send me $3.00 via Pay Pal to my email address:  and I will email you the patterns.     Remember, all proceeds will go to the American Lung Association in her honor.  We have donated $400 already to them in Jan's name with a beautiful card sent to her family.  I'll do the same with this pattern.


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Jan Burch's Poncho Pattern

I'm presently helping my dear friend, Jan Burch.   Jan has been fighting lung cancer for a few years and is presently under the care of Hospice.    

I called Jan and told her that I mentioned her knitweave poncho pattern on the knittingmachines group and people were interested in it.  She replied that she didn't know what to do with her patterns and I suggested that she could send it to me and I would sell it for her, after all this one isn't going to go out of style any time soon.    One of the reasons people like Jan's pattern is because it has sleeves.  I know a poncho doesn't have sleeves as a general rule but Jan added sleeves under the cape section of the poncho which gives the clever effect of a sweater under the poncho.  

I further added a ribbed cowl neck to mine under the woven neck that Jan designed, not because I'm a clever designer but because I charted my Jan Burch poncho with DesignaKnit using the schematics that she included with the pattern.  Unfortunately I got the neckline a little large and so added the cowl under the woven section to keep my neck warm.   I know, there's a scarf in the pattern as well but when I'm driving around and buzzing around town I sometimes would prefer to go without a scarf although this one is pretty darned nice because it matches the poncho.

I'm selling Jan's poncho for $9 using Pay Pal which makes it easy for all of us and once I receive a note from Pay Pal that you have sent me $9 I will quickly email  you a PDF pattern file which also includes a couple pages of notes Jan wrote on one of the knitting machine groups.

The pattern is written for a standard machine and as I said, is knitwoven.   You can pretty much use any knitweave pattern you want, I chose the 1x1 which is the simplest and doesn't have any floats that get caught in the car keys (my thoughts anyway). 

You can make this on the standard machine as written or you can use the schematics and your own personal knit gauge and make it on the bulky machine or mid gauge machine.    My poncho was made on the Brother 965i and I used MaryLou's Symphony (no longer available) which is a bit heavy and wove it with a discontinued worsted weight yarn from Cascade.    I wish that Cascade yarn was still available, it was beautiful.   When I make the next one I think I'll use Tamm Trenzi for the background yarn and I haven't chosen the weaving yarn yet but I know I want something that won't fuzz when worn and I might go again with a variegated yarn.   

Below is a picture of Jan's poncho and below that a picture of my finished poncho.
Remember, Pay Pal, $9.  When I receive a notice from Pay Pal I'll get the pattern to you.  I hope you love this poncho as much as I do.  (ps this was the first woven pattern I made on my knitting machine and I found it easy to follow).   All money received from the sale of Jan's patterns will go straight to the American Lung Association in Jan Burch's name.    Both Jan and her husband agreed this was a great way to handle it.     
My email address and PayPal address is


Thursday, November 1, 2012

My 2012 Winter Hat Project

I decided to try out some different ideas for a hat while I made some hats to send to the Grand Rapids Machine Knitting Club for their Winter Hat project.    Then  I bought myself a new jacket for winter (purple) and of course didn't have a matching hat so I had to get some purple yarn to match the jacket and make a hat for myself while I was in the hat mode.

The first hat (the one on top was woven with a boucle yarn and I wondered if it would even work as a weaving yarn, I had to double it but I loved the results.  The second hat used the same pattern only I wanted a wider band, this is the purple to match my coat.   Both hats have a flat crocheted flower on top with a tiny pompom on top of the flat flower to hide the hole at the top. 
 Beware, when you get the hat off the machine you're going to think it won't fit.   Here's a picture of the purple woven hat fresh off the machine.  Have faith, it stretches when you put it on your head.

You can try out different techniques with this pattern.  You could  put a fairisle band instead of weaving or leave the band off altogether or even slip stitch a few rows or tuck or not tuck.  My head measures 21 inches, the hat is only 19 inches around but that's because I live in cold country and need a hat that keeps my head warm when I walk the dog so I like it snug.   If you want to rechart yours to make it wider, just measure your head and cast on enough stitches to make you happy.  Since there's no shaping until you get to the very top, you could rechart it for the standard gauge machine with a different yarn or even the bulky machine.    Another note before you start, I have just discovered this yarn.  Its soft acrylic and knits nicely on the  LK 150.  Its very inexpensive and no dye lot.  I think its perfect for winter hats.

MACHINE:  LK 150 Mid Gauge 
YARN:  Red Heart Soft Baby Steps, #4 Worsted Acrylic (no dye lot)
Tension:  5
Fits 21 inch woman’s head snug
Gauge:   5 sts per inch, 7.5 rows per inch (using 2  LK cast on combs with weights or a metal rod* inserted in hem and 3 weights)
E-wrap cast on 90 stitches, every other needle,  (needles 45 – 45) hang cast on comb and weights
Knit across and bring out of work needles into work.
RC 0   Knit 60 rows
Hang hem on every other needle using the beginning cast on loops.  I used a metal rod to hold the folded work down as I  bring the cast on comb up to put the loops on my needles.  Leave the metal rod in the hem as a weight..  If you prefer to use your cast on combs, return them to the bottom.
Turn row counter back to 0
Knit 8 rows and turn work (knit side facing you)  
Knit 2 rows plain
Weave a contrast color yarn over and under every other stitch across then knit the weaving row and 1 more row (2 rows knitted)
Weave on the opposite every other stitch over and under the needles and knit the weaving row and 1 more row (2 rows knitted).

You can knit plain now or continue weaving but remember weaving won't stretch as well as plain knitting.   I liked 4 rows of weaving which looks like a hat band but its up to you. 

After weaving, knit 2 rows plain.

Turn work (purl side facing you)
Continue knitting to row 35 then turn work again (knit side facing)
Bring forward every 4th needle to D position and set Russel Levers to tuck “I”  Side levers stay on triangle.
K 4.   Set Russell levers back to normal  (“II”)  K 2 Rows. 
Carefully turn work, you can easily lose your tuck stitches here, I suggest not using a garter bar unless you are confident using it, I prefer to use a contrast color yarn and knitting at least 4 rows before turning.   (purl side now facing you again)
Knit 10 rows.
Transfer every other stitch to the right, put empty needles back to A position,  turn tension to 3 and knit 2 rows. 
Cut long piece of yarn (2X width of work) and take stitches off onto the yarn with a tapestry needle.
Sew seam with the excess yarn.
Finish with a flat crocheted flower or a knitted flower with a small pompom on top 
I don’t normally crochet but found an easy crochet flower that even I could make here:
I found the perfect, very easy, tiny pompom directions using a table fork here:
*I have 3 metal rods that i think came with the Incredible Sweater Machine.  You can buy metal rods at a hardware store.   I suggest since you have to have them cut  you get one that fits across half your machine bed and another one that fits all the way across.  My 3 are all 21 inches long and weigh 7 1/2 ounces each.  .
Copyright:  Rosalind Porter, 2012.  
Feel free to make these hats and sell them if you wish but don't sell the pattern.  

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Here's Biscuit walking at the park in his new Lion Brand Amazing sweater.   The sweater picture I uploaded  few days ago is made out of the same yarn so I put buttons on mine to match Biscuit's.   So much fun, I can't wait for it to warm up enough to walk without a jacket so I can wear my sweater when he wears his.   Everyone admired him the day he wore his.      
Below is a picture of mine and his together.   I almost wish I had put cables on mine, his cables are so pretty.   To be honest, the picture of him in the park shows the colors the best, it was taken outside, the other 2 pictures were taken inside and the lighting is NOT good!   Oh well, you get the idea.  
The buttons were made out of ash twigs, directions are on this blog.  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Visiting the Grand Rapids Area Machine Knitters Club

Tomorrow I'm going down to visit with the GRAMKC at the Kentwood (MI) Senior Center.  On the agenda is  ‘HAT SEW UP DAY” for the Kniting for Christmas Giving program.  I'll take my needle and help sew! 

 Its always fun to visit with other machine knitters.   I had such a good time last month when I went down to help celebrate their anniversary.   It was a Members Only workshop with show and tell and lots of teaching.   I met up with friends I haven't seen since the last time I went down for a seminar.  

Definitely I'm going to go down more often now that I know how to get there, its a 2 1/2 hr drive down but worth it to be around machine knitters, we talk the same language.   Unfortunately winter is coming here in Northern Michigan which means I won't always get to go down, I don't like to chance a snow storm although generally the roads are pretty clear on the highways.  Still, I'm a bit leary planning trips until the day of--to make sure I'll be able to make it home.    Funny, I always drove about 30 miles to work and home again when I lived in the U.P.   There were time when I could only get home by following the car in front of me because the wind used to blow snow across the road at fever pitch up there.  I'm hoping this year will be like last year, not much snow!  

Will take pictures of (hopefully) a mountain of  hats tomorrow and put them up.    If you are a machine knitter living in Michigan, come visit the group, they meet on the 2nd Wednesday of every month.  If your coming tomorrow, bring a needle and help sew!

You can visit the Group's web page at  They meet on Wednesdays at 355 48th St, SE Kentwood, MI    Easy to find and fun to visit.  

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Shawl Collar Pullover

This is my latest endeavor.  I've decided that since I lost quite a bit of weight (which is still ongoing) I had to give away all the clothes that don't fit and buy new.   That was fun but now Fall and fast approaching and Winter will be here soon and I need clothes.   I have some blue jeans I bought, my favorite brand was on sale last month and I bought 3 pair that "almost" fit then and do now...Yaaay!    Anyway, for the last 3 years I've worn sweatshirts.  They are comfy and easy to throw in in the morning but gee wizz, I had 4 sweatshirts that I was either washing or wearing every day and I decided to keep the smaller ones for those days I really just needed to throw something on and  give away the bigger sloppy ones and make myself some sweaters that fit.  The shawl collar is the first of those sweaters that fit. 

The yarn is Lion Brand's Amazing, color is Roses.
                                        Bright Magenta, deep fuchsia, and dark wine red

It was knitted on my LK 150 mid gauge machine.   
I've put a picture above that shows the "real" color of the yarn, my picture comes out with a wierd color.      Its amazing yarn, so it has an appropriate name.  Its labeled as 4 (medium weight)  by the Yarn Council measurements which is a bit heavy for the LK 150 but I've found you can't always go by that number.  I think the reason this knitted so nicely on my LK was because the yarn is softly spun and gives as it stretched.  In fact if you aren't careful, it will pull apart as you're sewing up the side seams.  That's OK but I was a little worried about pilling with this softly spun yarn.  What I've found though is that if you knit it a little tighter it might  not pill as easily as if you knitted it loosely.  So...I made 2 tension swatches.  I used tension 5.5 and tension 5.  I ended up not being able to tell a lot of difference in the look and feel but went with 5 because it knitted easily enough, wasn't any strain on the carriage and still felt soft.   My gauge ended up 19.2 sts by 29.7 rows over 4 inches.

The pattern is a Lion Brand Freebie, its called Modern Lodge Pullover and you can find it at the Lion Brand web site if you search for patterns.    Of course, my gauge didn't match their gauge so I had to rechart the sweater.   I used their schematics for most of the sweater but wanted my sweater longer than theirs and the sleeves a little longer.  I made a bit of a mistake in the neck, my front neck opening isn't as wide as theirs but its OK although I have changed the pattern in my charting software to make it wider.   

I used Knitware for my charting software because I love the set in sleeve in Knitware.   Other than that  and the length, I made my sweater the same as theirs although I didn't check to see how many inches their ribbing  was, etc.    The sweater fits so well that I have gone in and changed a few things and resaved it with a different name for my next project which is a round neck pullover out of Diamante on the standard gauge machine.   I love knitting software and that's why...once you have something you like, make a couple changes and you have another one you like.   

One thing I had to do with this sweater just because I was using the LK 150 was the ribbing.  I did the sweaters ribbing by hand manipulating a 2x2 rib but the sweater front and back took forever to do that so when I got to the neck ribbing I used my knitting needles.  They called for a size 6 so that's what I used as well.   I picked up the back neck stitches just as they said to do in their pattern and I knitted my 2x2 ribbing for a row, then increased 8 stitches and knitted back, 8 more and knitted and repeated these 2 rows 6 more times.  Then I measure it around the neck of my sweater and decided to do 8 more each side and then changed to size 8 needles and continued knitting till it was the correct width which wasn't that many more rows since my neck wasn't all that wide at the bottom (their directions said to continue until it fit the opening then sew to the bottom neck, lapping right over left).  Well, obviously I didn't have that much more to go.  Anyway, the neck ribbing was going to be difficult to do on the LK I thought and it would break my back sitting there doing it, plus I wouldn't be able to measure as I knitted so HKing the ribbing was the answer.

Love the finished sweater, now I'm waiting for a cool day to wear it but don't want to say that out loud, I really don't want Fall to arrive this quickly.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Another Vest Knitted

A friend of mine came in one day with a pretty vest that I absolutely loved.  The vest was knitted with squares divided by reverse stockinette and hand manipulated stitches.  Some of the squares had a hand manipulated stitch in it and some were blank.   I asked if I could borrow her vest so that I could make a diagram of the details and that's exactly what I did but I ended up changing it a bit because hers was obviously knit on an industrial fine gauge machine and I wanted to make mine on my Brother 970.  That meant that I couldn't do as much hand manipulation as her vest had but that didn't stop me.

I went to my computer and brought up DesignaKnit (DAK) and brought up a built-in shape for a waistcoat (vest).  I changed it around a bit in Original Pattern Drafting and then after picking out my yarn from my stash, I made a swatch.   I chose Panama as my yarn and plugged the measurements of my swatch into DAK.  Once I had the shapes the way I wanted them I went into Stitch Designer and brought up a new pattern with the number of stitches and rows one of my front pieces was going to require.   Then I started drawing my hand manipulated stitches.   I used 2 colors, the background was of course, my Panama and the contrast color became my hand manipulation..

Next When I thought I had it the way I wanted it, I integrated my front pieces into the Stitch Pattern section of DAK and lined it all up the way I thought it would look best.   Then I went to integrated knit from screen and proceeded to knit the 2 fronts.  To the right is what my stitch pattern looked like before I integrated it with a shape.
Once I liked the way I had it set up I went into Knit From Screen and proceeded to knit the 2 fronts.  DAK's Knit From Screen is great, every row I knew exactly what to do as far as hand manipulation and what to do when I shaped the front V neck and armholes.    Below is a shot of my computer screen showing a sectionI was knitting and at the top right, the whole front piece.  The numbers at the top are telling me that I needed to cast on L 43 and R 44 on my needle bed and I had knitted 18 rows and was now going to knit row 19.  You can see the hand manipulated stitches and below them the needles I needed to do them on.

This vest could have been done without DesignaKnit but honestly, I tried drawing it out on paper and after working with paper and pencil all day I told myself...why am I doing this when I have DAK and can just draw the pattern on it and put the shape over it and knit!    Why did I buy DAK if I'm not going to use it for what it does so well?

The nice thing is, I have the pattern saved now in my computer and can easily change the gauge if I want to make it again with a different yarn, maybe on a different gauge machine.  I think I'd have to integrate the shape with the stitch pattern though to make sure the pattern is going to work with a different yarn, I was thinking I might like it done with a sports weight yarn on the LK 150 machine.

My friend's vest has flowers embroidered on the blank squares.  I'm seriously thinking of finding a lightweight  embroidery design, maybe something like an outline of a flower and doing that on my blank squares.  I have some solar active embroidery thread and I think it would be fun to use it for the flowers, there's about 5 different colors of thread so each flower would be a different color when I step out in the sun and be white when I'm inside.   Wouldn't that be fun?  Well...if I do that I'm going to try it on a swatch first to make sure it looks like I would want it to look.

If you have DesignaKnit, give hand manipulated stitches a try with yours.   Let me know how it worked for you.