Thursday, April 14, 2016

MK Cotton Washcloths & Cast On Rag

These gems are easy to make and you're friends will love you if you make them a dozen for Christmas.  Tie a bow around them and give them to everyone.

Machine:  Standard Gauge, I used Brother 970
Material:  100% cotton, I've found people like the natural color or white so they can bleach them if necessary.   Use 1 strand 8/2 cotton or 2 strands 16/2 (available from weaving shops). I usually buy 2 cones rather than try to wind off this thin stuff.  It just makes life easier.


These are knitted using the tuck buttons as well as the slip buttons at the beginning and end of the cloth to create a pattern.
You don't have to change the pattern row count as  you push in the different buttons.
Machine tension loose, I used 8 on my Brother 970 carriage and a medium antenna tension

Pattern:   xoxoxo
              oxoxox  (x is tuck (or black), o is plain (or white)

Hang cast on rag on its bound off edge directly on 80 needles.  Place weighted bar in the hem.  NOTE:  You don't have to use a cast on rag but I just find it easy.   

If you used a cast on rag, knit across with ravel cord then crochet cast on or e-wrap cast on with your washcloth cotton.  (If these are for me I e-wrap cast on, if I make them to sell or give as a gift I do crochet cast on so that the cast on and bind off look the same).

Set up machine for 1x1 tuck stitch shown above
Turn on KC button and knit across.  Every other needle should be selected.
Push in both tuck buttons and continue knitting for 17 rows (total 18 rows counting 1st row)
About this time I add claw weights to each edge to make sure the edge stitches knit off properly.
Push in slip buttons and continue knitting for 10 rows
Push in tuck buttons and continue knitting for 162 more rows (total 172 rows)
Push in slip buttons and continue knitting for 10 rows (Total  182 rows)
Push in tuck buttons and knit for 17 rows, ending on left.  (total 199 rows) 

Turn off KC button and knit 1 row to the right.   Latch tool bind off.  
Washcloths will be loosely knit but shrink when washed.  
Wash and dry your washcloths and  steam them if you wish fold them and they're ready to give to friends.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Recharting a Wider Sweater to Fit On a Knitting Machine

A few years ago someone on the Hobby Machine Group asked how she could knit a sweater she wanted to make when she needed a size 3X and only had 150 needles.    I went into Knitware’s Sweaters 2.5 software and I charted a sweater for a mid-gauge machine with 7 sts, 10 rows per inch. Then I figured out how to turn the whole thing sideways.

Here’s what I did: 
Directions tell us to cast on 206 sts for the front and back which is impossible on  150 or 200 needles.  The sleeve stitches increase from the bottom ribbing to 125 stitches so that’s do-able.  We’ll leave the sleeves as charted but we have to turn the front and back pieces sideways.  By knitting a sweater this way, with the sleeves left as they are, we eliminate the “dolman” look and we have a defined shoulder seam which is slimming.

I’m not going to write the whole pattern out but below the images will give you an idea how I would convert a Knitware (or any software) pattern to work on the mid gauge.  I looked at "Just My Size" catalog and got the measurements for the 3X size.

Using a paint program I’ve turned the above front and back pictures sideways. To help me visualize what I’m doing as I calculate the sts and rows I’ll need.   If you don’t have a paint program, just draw your shapes out on paper.   Remember, we have a gauge of 7 sts/10 rows per inch.

All we have to do is change the stitches to rows and the rows to stitches to refigure this pattern.

Knitware’s Back:  The directions for the original back tell us:
  1. Cast on 206 sts in WY using tension 7 and open end method.  Work 5 rows ending COR (carriage on right)
  2. RC00 Change to main yarn and stockinette stitch.  Work 174 rows.  COR
  3. Armhole shaping:  Cast off 11 sts at beginning of next 2 rows.  COR.  Dec 1 st at each end of every alternate row for 52 rows.  Total 228 rows with 132 sts remaining.  Continue until 270 rows total with 132 sts remaining.
  4. Shoulder shaping:  Cast off 9 sts at beginning of next 8 rows.  AT THE SAME TIME, at row 272 start neck shaping
  5. Shape neck COR.  Thread center 50 sts to WY.  Decrease 1 st at neck edges every rows 5 times.
If we look at the original schematic we see that we need 17.4” from the top of the ribbing to the underarm.  Since we are working with 7 sts per inch (SPI) instead of rows, we need to multiply 17.4 x 7 sts per inch.  That works out to 122 sts.  This should be a closed cast on but considering the fact that we are increasing some stitches for armhole we won’t center it on the bed in the beginning, it will be centered after the armhole stitches are added.  I don’t shortrow, I like increasing on the right with e-wrapping and decreasing by just putting 2 sts together.  All the seams are covered anyway so what difference does it make?

RC 00:  Starting with waste yarn, ravel cord, Ewrap cast your 122 sts on needles 97 to the left to 27 on the right.
Knit 15 rows.
RC 15:  Armhole shaping:
Increase 2 sts every other row 9 times, then 3 sts 6 times for a total of 36 sts ending with carriage on the right.  K 2 rows then ewrap cast on 33 sts to get us from the armhole to the shoulder.

I’m not going to tell you how to do the rest of this, I think you can get the idea from the schematic and directions above. 
Here’s the rest of the pattern if you want to try it:

     1-2 Follow steps 1 and 2 for back.  COR
      3.  Armhole:  Dec for armhole at both ends, as for back.  Continue until 236 rows total with 132 sts remaining
      4.  Shape neck.  COR. Thread center 30 sts to WY.  51 sts each side.
      5.  Right neck: LH needles in HP.  Dec 1 st at neck edge every row 15 times until 36 sts remain.  Then work 19 rows         even.  Total 270 rows.
Shoulder shaping:  cast off as for back
  1. Left neck: COL, work as for right neck, reversing shaping.
 The neckline is deeper so we need to get out the calculators once again but other than that, its fairly easy to convert.

Sleeves are knitted as written
  1. Cast on 70 sts in WY using tension 7 and open edge method.  Work 6 rows ending COR. 
  2. RC00 Change to main yarn and stockinette st.
  3. Inc 1 st at each end of every 5th row 25 times, then every 6th row 3 times to 126 sts (143 rows total).
  4. Work even to total 148 rows. COR
  5. Shape cap.  Cast off 11 sts at beg of next two rows (104 sts rem).  Work 70 rows, while dec 1 st at each end of every 2nd row.  Total 220 rows.  COR.  Cast off remaining 34 sts loosely.

Of course you’ll have to figure out some sort of hem or ribbing after you take the pieces off the machine.  .  Remember one thing, sideways knits tend to stretch vertically but there’s not much give horizontally so keep that in mind, you’ll need to add your ease horizontally.

Copyright 2006 by Rosalind Porter, Traverse City, MI

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Crib Size Baby Blanket

Baby Cabled Crib Blanket

My granddaughter is having her third baby, a girl very soon and I have been knitting a blanket for her but decided, since she lives in Washington State and the baby is due in July she really doesn’t need a knitted blanket so I am making  her a crib blanket that she can use this fall/winter.   I started by making a couple squares from the knittingmachinestwo group files that consists of a bunch of squares that some of us contributed a few years ago but my third square was one I designed and as I knitted it I came up with the idea that the whole blanket should be squares made with this pattern so this is what I came up with.  Three panels, each panel consisted of 2 sets of squares wide repeated 10 times.   I fiddled around with edging for a week until I came up with the final idea.  I wanted the edge to be two colors so I twisted the colors together and did the Worm Trim.    Here’s the picture of the 
finished blanket and edge which explains it better than I can tell you.   

UPDATE (7/17):  Baby was born before I sent the blanket but I just received a picture of her wrapped up in it and had to share, I think she likes it, she's smiling...

Machine: Standard Gauge Brother 970
Tension 7

Yarn and Abbreviations: Pick 2 colors Main Color (MC), Contrast Color  (CC), Upper Working Position (UWP),  COR Carriage on Right

Carriage Tension 7
According to the National Bureau of Standards, a  crib blanket measures Crib: 27x52 inches  Mine was very close to those measurements.

To make a tension swatch or just try the pattern: Cast on with waste yarn, 50 stitches and knit a few rows. Thread up your 2 colors in your antennas.    Now start with 1 of your 2 colors and knit 2 rows ending COR* Put Carriage in hold and put stitches left of 0 in hold.   With MC knit 6 rows on right side stitches. Put right side stitches in hold and push left side stitches to UWP – which is where the latches just touch the stitch on the needle (D on Brother machine, C on Studio LK 150) **With CC 2 knit 6 rows on left side of the bed. **How to knit across stitches in hold:  With carriage on the right of the needles in hold bring tail of new yarn across the Hold needles and drop it down between the needles in hold and the needles in Work.  Knit first row slowly until the first couple stitches are knitted. That’s all there is to it. Twist a 6 stitch cable using stitches # 123 (1 color)on the right and -123 (2nd color) on the left (always move stitches in the same direction).* Continue from * to * 2 or 3 times and then knit 2 rows MC, knit a few rows waste yarn and take off machine. This is your swatch, pull it horizontally and vertically and then let it rest overnight.

NOTE: You don’t have to make a swatch if you don’t care how the blanket measures when you’re

Now start your blanket. It can be as long as you want it to be of course.   To finish the blanket I used the “Easy Cable Join for machine knitting  from Diana Sullivan’s YouTube which is sort of a sew as you go join. 

I knitted the Worm Trim below but  to make the edging 2 colors I twisted the 2 colors together with my twisting table and wound them into a ball before knitting.

NOTE:  The worm trim came out a bit tight, I did increase my tension from 7 to 8 but it was still a little tight so I pinned it out and steamed it when finished knitting.    

Worm Trim
Ewrap 4 stitches and put 4 stitches from the edge of the blanket over the e-wrapped stitches.
With right part button pushed In knit 8 rows
Pick up the next 4 stitches and knit 8 rows
Continue to the corner.

Copyright, Rosalind Porter, 2015
Feel free to share this blanket pattern with your friends, but don’t claim its yours.

ps Baby was born just before I finished this, my 6th great grandbaby

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Jan Burch -Two Woven Placemat Patterns

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.