Saturday, October 1, 2011

Embellish Your Knits with Duplicate Stitch

Sometimes you don't want to do a big fairisle design and sometimes you might want to add a little something to your fairisle design.  Or maybe you have a special picture you want to add to your knit but you don't want to go to the trouble to program it into the machine.  Well, in those times, Duplicate Stitch may be your answer.   Its easy.   Look at the diagrams below and read the directions, easy peasy!

  1. Bring the needle up through the point of the beginning stitch and insert it behind the point of the stitch above it.
  2. Put the needle down through the beginning point and bring it up through the point of the next stitch.
  3. Pull the thread through and insert the needle behind the point of the next stitch on the row above.
  4. To begin the next row insert the needle into the base of the stitch directly above the last stitch made.
  5. It is easier to do this row if the garment is turned 180 degrees. Duplicate this stitch as you did on the previous row.
  6. To complete the first stitch on this row, your needle is inserted behind threads that have already been stitched.
  7. Work from right to left starting at the lower right. (opposite for left handed peole). The graphics are placed on the page in the manner in which you will be stitching. The numbers here coorespond to the numbers next to the graphics.
  8. We've found for best results, use DMC threads. Presoak the darker colors in white vinegar and water, allow to dry.
  9. On a standard (7 sts, 10 in) garment, 6 strands of DMC work great. Before you start, separate the 6 strands and then put them back together, this makes them stitch fuller. Krenik metallic threads work great also. (We haven't tried the new DMC Metallic Floss yet)
HINTS FOR DUPLICATE STITCHING
  1. Use cotton embroidery floss for your next duplicate stitch design, you'll be thrilled with the results.
  2. To make the floss fuller, separate the 6 strands, wet your index finger and thumb and run down the single strands. Then put the 6 strands back together again. This will make them fuller and the wet finger method will keep them from twisting.
  3. Make sure you have room in the designated area of the sweater to actually duplicate stitch your design. In other words, make sure there are enough stitches and rows.
  4. If you want to use a cross stitch pattern on your sweater, remember that cross stitch is square, knitted stitches aren't. To get the graph correct it's best to use knitters graph paper. Any variation in knitting gauge will change the picture but not too much if you stick to a standard gauge machine sweater but be sure to rechart again if you want to work with a bulky sweater.
  5. Before starting make absolutely sure your cotton floss doesn't run. To make sure, soak the floss in white vinegar and cold water and then rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse in cold water.
  6. Make sure you have enough thread to complete the picture. Floss comes in dye lots just like yarn. I once had to start completely over because of this little omission.
  7. Don't stick to just duplicate stitch. You can use French knots, running stitch, beads, buttons and charms to further enhance your sweater. You can even design a motif around charms or buttons.
  8. If you are going to make your own sweater, try making it textured but leave the section where you want the duplicate stitch plain. For instance a purl lattice design surrounding a blank section would look great combined with a flowered embroidery design. If you don't have a machine that will do textures, try using baby cables (1 x 1 twisted cables). Try separating the textured area and embroidery area with garter stitch, using the garter stitch as a border.
  9. Try combining duplicate stitch with machine embroidery stitches. This will look OK as long as the machine embroidery design is fairly open.
  10. Don't wash and dry or steam your finished garment until AFTER you've duplicate stitched the design. Machine washing and drying acrylic yarn sets the stitches and you want the duplicate stitch to "set" with the garment.
Feel free to make copies of this page for your personal use or for use in classes.
The following copyright notice must appear on all copies
Copyright © Rosalind Porter, Piney Mnt., 1997
-1999.
The information, patterns and images contained on this page are for personal use and may not be altered, converted nor uploaded to any electronic system or BBS nor included in any compact disk (CD-ROM) or collection of any type

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ideas for my quilt

Last Saturday I had the extreme pleasure of attending a quilt show here in Traverse City, the best part of it was, it was right up the road from me.  I don't usually go to quilt shows because I really don't need a new hobby but everyone knows I've been working sporadically on a crazy quilt using my embroidery machine.   So--I have 11 squares finished and am wondering how I'm going to put them together. I thought maybe I'd find a few crazy quilts at the show and I didn't find a lot but found a couple and got other ideas from other quilts that I found.   I also shopped till I thought my feet were going to fall off and of course, bought some fabric to add to my stash and the niftyest (is that a word?)  flower arrangement made with buttons that I just had to get.    Here's a few pictures of what I found and unfortunately I ran out of room on the SD card so couldn't get a lot, doggone it.   I thought I had deleted everything on the card but unfortunately....so oh well....  This is a  panel I bought that features Laurel Burch (my most favorite artist of all times).  Its a Christmas panel and all I have to do is add some quilt batting to the back, quilt around the edges of the pictures and add a backing.   I might even embellish some of the designs in the pictures.

Below is the button bouquet.   I have lots of buttons my husband made for me that aren't quite finished, I'm seriously thinking of finishing them and making my button bouquet with some of them and of course, adding some of my button collection to them as well.   Now its time for me to go visit some vintage shop for some vintage button.  Doggone it, I gave away my huge collection when I moved :-(.  I bought the florist wire stems from one of the quilt dealers at the show and she says you can get them at any florist shop (you probably knew that, right?)   If you look close you can see she sometimes has one button on top of another button, fabulous idea to decorate any room but mine is going into my sewing room. 

                                                                                   
 A crazy quilt below. To the right of it is a close up that hopefully will give you an idea of how she finished the edges.                                                                              Above is a denim quilt, using squares of old denim jeans.  My Daughter-in-law has made a couple like this and I took the picture for her because this person embroidered designs in every square.  What a lot of work but what a fantastic quilt for teens (or anyone).

To the right is another crazy quilt, this lady calls it Globe Trotting and has fabrics that are taken from places they've visited throughout their lives. Sort of the same Idea I'm doing, I'm personalizing some of my squares with embroidery designs that are part of my life such as knitting needles, design of a cute white dog, spinning wheel, etc, so I loved that idea and I think the way she finished it is how I'm going to finish mine, with strips of fabric between.  Love the globe in the middle, I might have to do something like that.
Laurel Burch Christmas panel I bought, I plan on backing it with quilt batting and sewing around the squares and maybe around some of the designs to emulate a quilt and then add a backing to it. 


Below, beautiful goose sitting in a basket, all hand sewn
of course. I want to make one, it reminds me of the cement goose I used to knit clothes for,
Goosie Porter I used to call her.  It irritated some people on the knittingmachines group so I had to shut up about her :-(.   If I make one like this I think I'll use outdoor canvas for the fabric so she can sit out on my porch in the summer.  Of course I COULD knit her a hooded jacket for winter, right?

Above is a bunch of quilted squares with a border around each one.  I took a picture of this because I liked the idea of different colored fabrics surrounding each square.   Obviously I need all the ideas I can get to finish mine and this is a good one since my squares are all different colors as well.  

If you haven't seen my 11 finished Crazy Quilt squares, you can go to http://flickr.com/rozporter  to see what I've completed.   Of course I have a lot more to go and lots more ideas, I'm thinking I'll hang my quilt behind the head of my bed when its finished because my dog loves to lay on my bed and play on it, I can't allow that after all this sewing, now can I?      Here's one of the latest that I made with a white doggie design.   My dog, Biscuit almost always  lays on his back when he sleeps so I had to use this design for my "Biscuit" square.
Just in case you think I've quit knitting, think again.  My knitting room is moving to the master bedroom and master bedroom is moving to smaller spare room but first the master room needs to be painted so I can't knit till I get things re-arranged  but I am HKing every evening while I watch TV.  After all, I can't quit knitting, its too much of a habit for me.
                                                                                  .

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fixing Windows Live Email's annoying problem

I just bought 2 Win 7 computers and both have Windows Live as the default email client.   The problem I've had with both computers and this software was, every time I type an apostrophe or quote symbol I got wierd symbols in their place.   I found a fix for the new desktop but when I got my laptop, I couldn't find the fix again.  Finally today I persisted in my search until I did find the fix.   If anyone reading this blog has the same problem, I thought I'd save you the search....here's the fix:

This seems to be a problem for people using Windows Live for their email client with Win 7:

Here's the fix if anyone else has the problem and wants to eliminate it forever.

[4] At HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail\Compose\Preferences\PostEditor\Autoreplace, set the data for SmartQuotes to 0 (thanks as usual to Peter.R for the fix).

If you're not used to editing the registry, it's best to be very careful so you don't wreck something. Start by setting a restore point:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Create-a-restore-point

Then:
1. With WLMail closed, type regedit into the start search box and press Enter. Give permission where necessary.
2. In the left hand pane, navigate to
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail\Compose\Preferences\PostEditor\ Autoreplace
and click on Autoreplace.
3. In the right-hand pane, double-click on each of the four Names where the Type column reads REG_DWORD. In each case, type 0 into the Value data box and click OK. Press F5 and then close the window.
4. Launch WLMail and test.
It worked for me, TG I found this, it was driving me crazy!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Making Buttons for your Knits

Slice up your own dried tree branches. If you take a branch off the tree, let it dry before you make buttons. Here in South Carolina, I find them in my woody backyard. They are as easy to slice as a piece of lunch meat.



You can actually slice up a whole branch in no time and they don't all have to be the same width or length, as you can see, some of mine have little knots on the side which I love.

My DH liked the ones with no bark but I loved the ones with bark so we did both.

After you slice them drill 2 or 4 small holes and lightly sand.

Soak them overnight in a (clean) margarine tub filled with satin polyurethane or shiny polyurethane (makes 2 very different looks). I like to leave the pins in the holes so they won't get filled with polyurethane.

Next sand both sides lightly again.

Once sanded pin them to a box, a pizza delivery box with sides intact is perfect, then go outside and spray the side facing with satin or shiny poly and let them sit outside overnight. I purchased some steel straight pins (you remember, the kind we learned to sew with? Because you'll be spraying the pins as well as the buttons, the pins are pretty much ready to throw away after you're finished with them. Don't worry a box of pins are inexpensive compared to the price of hand made wooden buttons. I left them in the house to dry since I live in a humid climate winter and summer.

Next day turn them and spray them again. Another light sand, another spray , let dry, spray other side, let dry and they're done. So you've sanded them 3 times and sprayed them twice.

After the first test one was done I sewed one to a swatch and machine washed and dried it 5 times that day while I was doing laundry. The test one came out just like new so I knew we had a winner. I've had my wooden buttons on a best loved cardigan ever since we made the first button back in the 80's. The buttons look good as new although the sweater could use a replacement. I always take them off the garment when I toss it so I have never run out of buttons.

When you sew them on, don't necessarily look at the dimension, try it in your buttonhole, it depends on width as well as thickness and the little knots on the sides, whether or not it will go through the hole so your sweater may have 5 different size buttons.

BTW, after you have finished spraying them with the poly, you can get some acrylic paint and a small paint brush and paint flowers or toys or whatever you want on them, spray that after its dry and you have a button that will match any theme and they look very different from the plain ones.
The picture above is just one of my buttons.  We tried several different kinds of tree limbs and each one looked different.  I think it was ash that gave us a larger lighter color.  We also used maple and cedar.  Cedar were my favorites.

Try a branch, I'll bet you love them.

Monday, July 11, 2011

New Garden Flag

Its been a while since I've sewn anything but I decided I needed to make a garden flag for the next Holiday, Labor Day.  I checked my files for the Tweets (birds in a tree doing Holiday things) from Embroidery Library.com but there wasn't a Labor Day Tweet.  Oh well, I found one called "What I'll Be When I Grow Up" and thought, perfect, it shows workers, a fireman, astronaut, pop singer, cowboy...and I added Biscuit at the bottom, wearing a fireman's hat.  Well, when I got it finished I liked it so much I didn't want to wait till Labor Day week to put it out so I put Happy Day at  at the top  instead of Happy Labor Day and put it out.
I made this one a little different from the others I've done.  I like the sterling chain at the bottom to hold the flag down in the wind so made a little casing at the bottom.   I did a rolled hem on the sides instead of sewing a doubled hem and I like how it looks.   I made the top casing wider so that I didn't have trouble threading it onto the flag holder which is a royal pain.   Then I tried to iron a fusible stabilizer to the back because the flag fabric is fairly thin and really needs more than the medium weight tearaway I have always used.  Also I didn't like the idea of a wash-away stabilizer because I didn't want to have to soak it when it was done but next time I hope I remember, the fusible stabilizer doesn't fuse to the flag fabric well.  You can't use a lot of heat on these things because hot heat will melt the fabric so I couldn't get it hot enough to fuse.  Doggone it.  I ended up leaving it half-way fused and hooped the tearaway, sprayed the fusible with sticky stuff to hold it to the hooped tearaway.  When I got done I had to cut the fusible out around the design in the back.  Pain in the neck but it looks ok so that's all that matters.  
The casing that holds the chain is a good idea, it holds down better than the chain I put on the last one (which I just tacked on when the flag was done).   So in all, I like this flag, every one I make teaches me something new.    The additional stabilizer was a good idea, maybe next time I'll use Badgemaster which is a washaway and I'll soak it when finished.  Obviously its the easiest way to go.
BTW, the flag looks a little wacky, the wind was blowing just a bit when I took the picture, hence the crooked sides.  Really, its straight.

Next project---I'm making another pair of socks once again trying the Interweave sock book called Favorite Socks, I'm learning with this project too, it calls for 5 double pointed needles, 4 in the circle and 1 to knit with.  I'm making Retro Ribbed Socks, one of the first in the book.   I had a heck of a time casting on with 4 needles but did manage to get started last night while I watched Housewives of New Jersey. Since its raining and humid out today I may just sit under the ceiling fan and knit all day.  This project requires a little concentration until I memorize the pattern.

Monday, June 20, 2011

EZs Surprise Baby Jacket

Note:  This sweater and blog post was done in Sept 08.  I knitted it for a contest my MK guild was sponsoring at the time, we were all supposed to make a BJS.  Only a few of us did it but it was a challenge I was pretty proud of.    I came across the pictures the other day, not sure why I didn't put them up when I knitted the sweater but anyway, here they are now, June 2011.

Well, I finally sat down and knitted this sweater and it took me as long to figure out what went where as it did to knit it. I decided to just knit per the pattern as written (http://www.junebugsplace.com/) and disregard my tension swatch because I just wasn't sure what went where. I striped it randomly just to see where the strips would go and they sure didn't turn out where I thought they would
I also couldn't figure out where to put cables and honestly, after looking at my finished product, I still don't know where to put cables so that they end up as hearts. OH well! I've now decided that with all the ends left with the stripes, I'm going to make a plain blue sweater and trim it with the other 2 colors somehow (to be determined when done).

Now that I've got this made with all the different stripe patterns I can at least figure out where I did what. The back turns out to be the biggest piece you knit between the shortrows. The shortrows become the sleeve backs at the cuffs and bottom front of the sweater. Its easy to figure out where the center front neck is, you have decreases there and they HAVE to be the front neck. When you look at my pictures, remember, I have packed my pins and so rather than pin it out, I threaded knitting needles through the edges so that I could see what I was doing and hopefully you can too. The green bit, by the way, is the beginning waste yarn. I ewrap cast on over it. (& that's the beginning of my knitting).

Here's the piece as it comes off the machine, the bottom is where I cast on


.


here's the back. As you can see, its the center section between the short rows.




Front, & yes, my stripes don't match up because I didn't try to make them match, I had no idea what part I was knitting when I made them. But I'm glad I did that because now I know, the right front is the beginning edge I knitted and the left front is the ending part. The short rows are at the front sides and theback sleeves at the cuff sections. Wierd? How in the world did EZ figure this out.??

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Day

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead" (Source: Duke University's Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.   (copied from Wikipedia)

When I was growing up I remember my dad always had a big flower garden in the field next door to us.  He would pick big bouquets and we'd all go to the cemetery to put flowers on my grandparents graves.   We didn't give a lot of thought to the Military who died because honestly, we didn't have any that I know of that gave their lives while in Service.   My dad was around 18 yrs old when he was a soldier in WWI but I have no idea and don't remember him ever talking about it.  All I have is a very old picture of him in his uniform taken someplace in the U.S.

Meanwhile, my husband was a 21 yr veteran of the USAF. He loved the Air Force and believe it or not, in spite of all the moving we did, I loved it too.  He passed away in 2007 and was buried in a brand new VA cemetery in Anderson,SC.   Nowadays, naturally, I do think of the Veterans and those who gave their lives for us.  My husband didn't but he could easily have since he went in the AF before the official end of the Korean War and served during the Vietnam war.  Lucky for our family, during the Vietnam War time,  he was sent to Biloxi, Mississippi to teach those who were going to Vietnam and managed to stay in the States during the entire war.  Still, he always felt guilty for not going even though I always felt like someone had to train the young  troops here in the States and maybe he was one of those who kept them safe while there.  

This weekend I hope everyone takes a few moments from the big Department Store Sales, the picnics, the beach, and just say a little prayer for the people who are serving and those who lost their liveswhile serving  in the Military and lets not forget the people who are suffering from the terrible weather we've had the past couple weeks.

Howard Porter, taken just before being shipped overseas in 1960
Veterans Cemetery; Anderson, SC where my husband rests
Tornado picture courtesy of Wikipedia

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New Guest Room and Wall Hanging

I finished my guest room (which WAS my knitting room) and a wall hanging to hang in it, just in time for a visit from my daughter who lives in Tacoma.  Yaaay!   Got the wall hanging done just before I went to airport to pick her up. Here's a picture of the hanging
The room turned out nice I thought.  I went to the local Comfort Center and bought a futon and the guy threw in a "better" mattress for it than the cheapie that was on it.   I love it.   Naturally, the color meant I needed to sew the wall hanging onto a red background.   Here's the finished room with the hanging  and a second picture to show a little more of the room.  The lady who lived here before me had a carpenter husband and grandson and apparently they built the nice inset with shelves beside the window.  Its perfect for some of my knickknacks, which include a couple of the bunnies that prompted me to knit the bunny that I posted the pattern for in my last post.  Lucky enough, one of the bunnies is wearing a red plaid dress so she goes with the room :-)

I can still put my knitting machine back in that room, its legs are on sliders so its easy to slide to different rooms, it is presently in MY bedroom but I don't like it there because I tend to put clothes and "things" on it and even though its covered, that's not a good practice.   Besides, my bedroom isn't as bright as this room and I don't have a lot of company so its a better place all around for my knitting machine.

I learned a lot with the wall hanging, mostly about stabilizers, I used some of my fabric stash because I had a lot of the blue cotton that I sewed the squares on. The cotton was fairly thin and I used a medium tearaway on it but should have either used 2 layers of the tearaway or better yet, a fusible.  Reason:  The pattern shifted on a couple of the squares.  Actually, one of the squares came out larger than the others and didn't quite fit...naturally it was a center square so I had to do a lot of fudging.  If I had more fabric I would have done that square over but already had to do 2 over again so ran out of fabric.   Lesson learned!    But in the end it turned out ok and I like where its living although originally I was going to hang it out on my front porch.   NO WAY!  It has to live in the guest/knitting room.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Easter Bunnies

Yes, its time to knit for Easter and what's Easter without a couple bunnies on your shelf?

These bunnies were not my original creation (so to speak) I received a couple made out of fabric by one of my school buddies. Hers had dresses that are like bean bags.  I decided they would be fun to knit.   The one with the red plaid dress was made by a Compuserve member back when I wrote the original pattern. (does that tell you how long ago this pattern was written?)

Bunny Pattern
Materials: MC--any color for dress
CC--any desired for dress trim
Baby pink for bunny head, hands and feet
Use any yarn that is similar to Trenzi, Trenzado or Solo
Small amount of polyester stuffing
Machine: Any standard gauge.
Tension: Tension 6 on any Brother or Knitking standard  machine. This should be knitted tight
Dress: C/O 90 sts with waste yarn and knit a few rows. K 1 row ravel cord.
RC000: With MC knit 36 rows. Weigh well. *Pull every 5th stitch to holding position.
Carriage on hold, with CC work 4 rows. Break CC. Turn carriage off Hold.
With MC K 1 row.*
Repeat from * to * 1 time.
If desired, pick out any small fairisle pattern and place here. (tiny flowers look good).
Knit to row 80. Take off on waste yarn.

Head: Rehang on 60 needles, wrong side facing thus: 1 st, 2 sts, 1 st, 2 sts, across.
Now rehang the cast on edge as above, 1 st, 2 sts, 1 st, etc as above.
RC 000. With pink K 30 rows. Transfer every other stitch to needle on right. Leave empty needles out of work. K 1 row. Cut thread 3 X the width of work. (use this to take off with double eye needle). Gather top of head and sew seam with the mattress stitch. Stuff head tightly and run thread through neck to gather neck closed.

Ears: Make 1: C/O 14 sts with waste and work a few rows. Work 1 row with ravel cord.
With pink K 80 rows. Break thread about 1 1/2 x the width of work and take sts off on double eyed needle. Gather just the end and secure and cut thread. Take open cast on sts off on beginning thread, gather, secure and cut. Tie a knot in the middle of ear fabric and sew the knot to the top of the head. Embroider mouth and eyes.

Arms: Make 1. C/O 14 sts in waste yarn and K 1 row with Ravel Cord as above. RC 000 Knit 90 rows. Take off as you did ears. Tie knot in the middle and secure each end to the side--more to the back than front. About half-way between neck and bottom of skirt so the knot sits in the middle front, not loosely, not tightly, knot is the hands.

Legs: Make 2. C/O 14 sts with waste and ravel cord as above. K 50 rows. Take off as above but sew seam for about 1". Stuff lightly for foot and gather at ankle (at top of 1" seam). Tie knot between ankle and top, closer to top (knees). Gather up open sts at cast-on and secure under dress in front. Sit bunny on the edge of a shelf or chair with her legs hanging down.

Variation #1:

You can put a tuft of orange yarn up through the knot in her hands and she'll look like she is eating a carrot (variation thanks to a Prodigy member).

Variation #2:

When making the ears, arms and legs, rather than casting on with scrap and ravel cord, use the pink yarn and the Weaving cast on. Then when you want to gather the ends, just pull the weaving thread and it is all gathered! (variation thanks to a Compuserve member).

Variation #3

Here's a DAK enhancement by a new Compuserve membere:" I've made 3 bunnies and using Dak I put (what else?) bunnies on the dress. After reading a discussion of using the lace carriage to transfer stitches for reducing , I did the reductions for the bunny with the lace carriage. I just added a few extra lines to the Dak pattern for the needle selection for the lace carriage. (I was knitting from screen-color pattern only, and I turned it off for the plain parts and turned it on for the tuck, the fairisle, and (now) the transfer of stitches). On
Bunny #3, I started the tuck pattern at R 32, hung the hem at R 72 (this was much faster for me than hanging it when you rehang after the decreasing), transferred stitches for the decrease at R 76. Then put the empty needles out of work, and threaded a separate piece of doubled yarn over and under the pairs of needles left in work. With the weaving brushes engaged, k one row. This installs the drawstring to gather the neck. Then scrap off and rehang the live stitches on 60 needles, knit the pink for 30 rows for the head, then transfer every other stitch, knit 1 row, take off and gather. "



Sunday, March 20, 2011

Stained Glass Embroidery

I've been working on and off on this stained glass embroidered wall hanging since the day I first bought them (I think the first day they came out. You can see the whole set at http://www.emblibrary.com/EL/new.aspx?date=030911 .     I plan on getting a piece of upholstery fabric for the backing. Emblibrary has excellent directions for making this, I have them all printed out and following them to the "T".   I am making some of the colors different than theirs but then that's the fun of machine embroidery.

These are pretty and its fun to put the pieces together and see them match up. I haven't ever done anything like this before. As you can see, so far I have the first row completed.  I finished the center piece of the second row last night  but my embroidery machine messed up just a little when the bobbin thread decided it didn't want to work and the whole design shifted just a little.  I can fix it and will before I start the adjoining pieces. Phooey, I know better, the machine doesn't like it when I leave it even just long enough to put the dog out and get a drink of water. That's what I get, the machine needs me.    :-)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

New Multidirectional Scarf

I knitted a multidirectional scarf in November (2009)  and loved it but gave it to a friend.   So I found some hand dyed yarn in my stash of yarn as I was trying to clean out the closets, etc...and decided to make myself one.  I love the scarf.    The other one was pictured in another blog note here: http://rozspot.blogspot.com/2009/11/multi-directional-scarf.html

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Saving Gas (worth a try)

I've been filling up when my gas tank is at 3/4 to 1/2 full thinking if prices go up today at least I'll save a couple pennies and won't have to totally fill up.  I've also been driving slower, taking off from a full stop much slower and trying to combine trips.  But, this was sent to me this morning and son of a gun, I'm going to give it a try as well.    
TIPS ON PUMPING GAS

I don't know what you guys are paying for gasoline.... but here in California we are paying up to $3.75 to $4.10 per gallon. My line of work is in petroleum for about 31 years now, so here are some tricks to get more of your money's worth for every gallon:

Here at the Kinder Morgan Pipeline where I work in San Jose , CA we deliver about 4 million gallons in a 24-hour period thru the pipeline.. One day is diesel the next day is jet fuel, and gasoline, regular and premium grades. We have 34-storage tanks here with a total capacity of 16,800,000 gallons.

Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold.Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground the more dense the gasoline, when it gets warmer gasoline expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening....your gallon is not exactly a gallon. In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and the temperature of the gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products plays an important role.

A 1-degree rise in temperature is a big deal for this business. But the service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps.

When you're filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode If you look you will see that the trigger has three (3) stages: low, middle, and high. You should be pumping on low mode, thereby minimizing the vapors that are created while you are pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapor return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some of the liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you're getting less worth for your money.

One of the most important tips is to fill up when your gas tank is HALF FULL. The reason for this is the more gas you have in your tank the less air occupying its empty space. Gasoline evaporates faster than you can imagine. Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves as zero clearance between the gas and the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation. Unlike service stations, here where I work, every truck that we load is temperature compensated so that every gallon is actually the exact amount.

Another reminder, if there is a gasoline truck pumping into the storage tanks when you stop to buy gas, DO NOT fill up; most likely the gasoline is being stirred up as the gas is being delivered, and you might pick up some of the dirt that normally settles on the bottom.


Its 10 a.m. /Roz is on my way to fill up, my tank is 3/4 full....will I save? Good Grief, I hope so!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Beaded Bags On The LK 150

The larger bag was made to go inside my hand knitting bag; it will hold accessories like clippers, tape measure, tapestry needle, stitch markers, etc. The cell phone bag was made to fit a Razr 3M phone.



Materials:
1) 1 skein (4 ozs) Down Home Art Yarns Sock yarn, Turquoise Fade. from www.knitivity.com My larger bag final measurement is 5” X 8”. Cell phone bag took final measurement is 4 ½” X 2 ¼”.
2) Fabric for lining (cell phone bag isn’t lined)
3) 7 inch zipper
4) Button for cell phone bag
5) Crochet hook
6) Beads: Beaded Treasures 6/0 Czech Glass Beads from Hobby Lobby, it took 4 vials and I had beads left over. If you just make the larger bag, you will only need 3 vials.
1 package Oral B Superfloss for beading unless you have a bead tool that fits through the beads.

Machine: LK 150 mid gauge machine
Tension: Carriage was set at the lowest possible tension (R) antenna was set at 1.

Gauge: 11.4 rows per inch, 5.7 stitches per inch but gauge isn’t really all that important unless you know exactly how big you want your little bag to be.

Machine Knit Technique: The bags were knitted and woven with the skein of yarn I bought from knitivity.com. I chose to weave it because I thought it needed to be thicker and I didn’t think I’d have enough yarn to double it for a heavy stockinette. Weaving takes very little yarn and I actually ended up with
2 ounces left after I made the 2 bags.

Picture above shows the woven side of the weaving

I did want the stockinette side to be the right side though so although I like the woven side, it will be hidden by a lining.

Stitch Pattern: Knit weave 2 rows, place a bead on every other stitch every 3rd row alternating the stitches where the beads will be placed. By always starting your beading from the carriage side of the work, you can start with stitch 4 each side stitch 2 and your beads will be alternated every 3rd row. Also because you have 44 stitches on the needle bed you can start weaving each side with a yarn over so you won’t get lost trying to figure out if you’re supposed to do a yarn over or a yarn under, its hard to tell when you’re using the same yarn for knitting and weaving.

Wind your yarn into a ball and then put it on an ounce scale. Wind half off into another ball. Knit the first side and switch balls for the second side.

I have a bead tool and the beads I wanted to use didn’t fit on it.
Thanks to zackDS@comcast.net for the following directions:
“I use Oral B Superfloss. Use the smooth stiff part like a needle and thread as many beads as needed for each row. Tie a knot below the fluffy part so the beads won’t fall off although the fluffy part usually holds them on.”
(NOTE:  I tied the floss in a bow knot below the fluffy part so that the beads wouldn’t fall off the other end (just in case).

Directions:

With waste yarn cast on 44 stitches and knit a few rows, knit 1 row with ravel cord
Ewrap cast on over the ravel cord with your main yarn.

Knit one row over the cast on row (carriage on L)—we won’t count this row.

Row 1: Carriage on L, begin weaving starting with needle 1, over, needle 2 under--over and under, over and under (1x1 weave). ) you’ll end with a yarn under at the end of each row and start each row with a yarn over. Knit across, carriage ends on the R.
Row 2: Knit weave this row end with carriage on L.
Row 3: Load 20 beads onto your floss and begin on the carriage side (L) start with stitch 4 and put a bead on every other stitch ending with 2 empty stitches remaining on the R.
Weave your yarn across the bed and then knit across the row slowly. Don’t force the carriage.

Row 4 and 5, knitweave
Row 6: bead across starting with the 4th stitch on carriage side.

Continue weaving putting beads on alternate stitches as above on row 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, etc as above to row 51, continue weaving-only to row 55.

Finishing:

When finished, pin the 2 pieces out on a blocking board and steam to set stitches. Crab Stitch the 2 top sides of your purse before installing zipper. Hand baste the zipper into the 2 top pieces. Once it’s basted by hand, take to sewing machine and sew zipper in, be careful not to sew through your crab stitches.

Now measure and cut out your lining fabric in 1 piece, folded at the bottom.
Mattress stitch the 2 sides of your knitted purse together and turn inside out to sew bottom and weave your ends in. Insert the lining and hand stitch the top to the zipper facing, hiding your zipper stitches if you want. Don't you love how my lining happens to match the yarn?  Its Laurel Burch fabric, I bought in a quilt kit when visiting in Tacoma, WA.  Never will make the quilt I'm having too much fun with the fabric pieces.

Cell Phone Holder
Yarn Used, ½ ounce
Technique, knit weave on LK 150 as above
Cell phone bag isn’t lined because I made it snug so it would stretch a little wider to fit phone.

Cast on 16 stitches with waste yarn and ravel cord (as above)
Knit 1 row plan and start knit weaving and beading as above beading on row 3, 6, 9, 12, etc. Continue to row 108. Stop beading and knit weave 2 more rows. (end RC 110).

Pin your piece out on a blocking mat and steam to set stitches.
Fold piece over your cell phone and determine where you’ll want the bottom to fold. Sew up the sides using that measurement. Crab stitch around the entire top of the bag. Sew button on and crochet a chain buttonhole to fit button.  (I found a mother-of-pearl button that looks so great with the beads).


BONUS BAG
Since I had yarn and beads left over after the first 2 bags  I decided I’d make an iPod bag that would hang around my neck when I walk. I wanted the iPod along with its case in the bag because I feel like it’s a likely thing to get broken without its case. The iPod in its case measures 6 ¼” around its width and is 5” long. I decided to decorate it with beads rather than knit beads in every 3rd row and it’s infinitely faster that way.

DIRECTIONS

Cast on with waste yarn 16 stitches and knit a few rows. Knit 1 row with ravel cord.
With main yarn knit 1 row and then begin weaving as we did with the other 2 bags. Knit and weave 115 rows. Cut your weaving yarn and latch tool bind off with the main yarn. Crochet a crab stitch around the top.

Double the yarn and knit a 3 stitch ICord (knit 1 way, slip the other way). I’m sorry I didn’t count how many rows of ICord I knitted, I knitted until it was 30 inches long. I attached it to the 2 sides of the bag.

POCKET I decided to make a pocket for the ear buds because they are always in the bottom of my purse or pocket, all mixed up with pens, comb, etc and how handy is it to have them right there in the bag with the iPod.

With waste yarn cast on 12 stitches and knit a few rows. Knit 1 row with ravel cord.
With main yarn and weaving yarn, knit weave 11 rows as above.
ROW 12 start the diamond pattern with beads. Center 2 beads on the first row, 4 beads on the second row, 6 beads on the third row, 4 beads on the fourth row and 2 beads on the 5th row. Feel free to make your own bead pattern or omit it altogether.
ROW 17 continue knit weave to row 29.
Cut weaving yarn and latch tool bind off with main yarn.
Sew pocket to front of bag leaving the top open. If you wish, crochet a crab stitch across the top of the pocket. Steam the bag and you’re ready to walk.

By the way, I still have 1.1 ounce of yarn left over, enough for another little bag.
These bags won first place in a 1 skein contest that Ray at Knitivity.com was sponsoring.  Maybe they won because they were the only entry but I like to believe they won because they came out so great and I made so many things with that one skein of yarn.   What did I win?   Why, another skein of yarn (different color).    Maybe I'll post a picture and pattern of what I made with that skein some day...........
ps.  apologize for the quality of the pictures, I had to scan them from the original pattern and they never come out as nice as if I'd taken a new picture.  

Copyright © 2009, Rosalind Porter

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tatted Panels-Joining Afghan Panels

Joining Your G Carriage Afghan Panels With Needle Tatting
This article was featured in Machine Knitting News and Views November, 1995.
©Rosalind Porter, 1995-2011


Your basic afghan can be any design, to do one like mine you'd want one with 3 or 4 panels but you could use the edging pattern below and just edge a baby blanket or a neckline. I chose a garter carriage afghan that was divided into 5 panels. I also tatted around the edge of my afghan but that is an optional step. I love the way it looks though and the edging I've come up with is very easy and fast to do.

Abbreviations:
Ch Chain
Rw Reverse Work
R Ring
Cl Close
Ds Double Stitch
"-" Picot
"+" Join


Materials:
Needle Tatting Needle # 2-0 (smaller size Yarn needle)
Yarn: Your G Carriage Afghan Yarn


With right side of afghan facing you start at the top of first panel.
1. Chain 3ds + ( to afghan at 5th row down from top) 3 ds Cl Rw
2. R 3-3-3-3 Cl Rw
3. *Ch 3 + ( to afghan 5 rows from the last join) 3 ds Cl Rw.
4. R 3 + to first picot on last ring, 3-3-3 Rw

Repeat from * down the side of the afghan panel joining your work at the middle of each chain every 5th row ending with a chain. attached to the end to the afghan with a knot.

JOINING SECOND PANEL
To join the next panel, you will be tatting on the second panel and joining to the first panel at the 2nd rings picot as you go. Make absolutely sure you have both panels facing the right direction (top up). Also make sure you have the correct side facing on both panels so that your design is going in the same direction on both panels. With right side of second panel facing you

1. Ch 3 + to new panel 5 rows down from top 3 ds Rw.
2 R 3 - 3 + to second picot on first panel 3 - 3 Cl Rw.
3.* Ch 3 + to 5th row down from last join 3 Rw.
4. R 3 + to last picot on last ring, 3 + to second picot on first panel, 3 - 3 Rw
5. Repeat from * down the side of the afghan panel joining your work at the middle of each chain every 5th row. Make sure you end with the same thing (either a ring or a chain) on each panel.

NOTE: Check to be sure your afghan panels are lining up evenly as you go down. My afghan pattern consisted of a series of squares so I checked at the end of each square to be sure it was lining up. You could pin your panels together before you start and you can always skip to the 6th row down for a couple joins to even things up as you approach your checking point.

Optional Edging:

With right side facing attach to corner by bringing thread through from back.
**Ch 3 - 3 + to 5th stitch down the edge.
Attach to 5th stitch by bringing needle in from back to front, tie slip knot.
Repeat from * * All the way around the afghan skipping the rings at the middle of each panel if desired.

Here's a picture of the afghan, taken today (2/1/11)

You may copy and share this pattern but please keep the copyright intact.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Michigan Machine Knitting Seminars

Since the topic has been mentioned this past week on the knittingmachines Yahoo Group I thought I'd add the upcoming seminars/workshops coming up in Michigan.; Its time to plan for them now.

BTW, this information came from Sandee Cherry's web site http://sandeeskwikknit.com/seminar.html. Sandee will be teaching at the Monroe seminar in July. If you can attend do, her patterns are quick and easy and spot on for up-to-date-fashions. While I'm at it I added Peru, IN...Charlene Shafer always has a fun seminar, its inexpensive and people leave with a carload of yarn(ask me how I know)

March 25-26, 2011 Monroe, MI USA DAK Hands-on Workshop
for more info call Cathy Reaume (734)243-3016

April 1-2, 2011 Grand Rapids, MI USA Grand Rapids Area Machine Knitters
for more info call Sara Coates 616-887-0675

April 15-16, 2011 Peru, IN USA Spring Fling Knit Knack Shop
for more info call Charlene Shafer 765-985-3164

**July 22-23, 2011 Monroe, MI USA 23rd Monroe Seminar
for more info call Cathy Reaume(734)243-3016

I am planning on attending the Grand Rapids seminar and possibly the Monroe seminar, depending on other obligations. There's nothing like a seminar to learn more about your machines and to have a great time with other like-minded people.

I hope to see all you Michigan and surrounding state machine knitters at one of these seminars, I promise you'll have a fabulous time.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

Yes, another pot pie recipe.  I think they are so easy and so tasty and its an all-in-one dinner.   If you want a little salad with it, its even healthier and for ease of preparation, you can't beat it.

This recipe came from the Pillsbury.com/calendar2011.  Its the January recipe and I knew as soon as I saw it I was going to make it.

INGREDIENTS:
Crust: 1 box Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts softened as directed on pkg. (I did mine in the Microwave for a second or two...don't go too long (ask me how I know)
Filling: 
1/3 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
1/2cup milk
2 1/2 cups shredded turkey (I used chicken, hence  the change in title)
2 cups Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers frozen mixed vegetables, thawed.

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 425 F   Make pie crusts as directed on box for two-crust pie using 9 inch glass plate.
2. In 2-quart saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, cook 2 min stirring frequently until
    tender. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until well blended.  Gradually stir in broth and milk, cooking and
    stirring until bubbly and thickened.
3.  Stir in turkey or chicken and mixed vegetables.  Remove from heat.  Spoon into crust lined pie plate.
     Top with second crust, seal edge and flute.  Cut slits in several places in top crust.
4.  Bake 30 to 40 min or unti crust is golden brown.  During last 15 to 20 min of baking cover edge of crust
     with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning.  Here's my pie ready for the oven

Very yummy, as you can see 2 of us did a good job of eating it although I did take out a slice for my friend for his freezer.  It will make a nice lunch in a few days.

NOTES:

OK, I didn't have any leftover poultry so I used 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed almost totally and then chopped into about 1 inch pieces.  I used Pam in my frying pan and cooked the pieces until all pink was gone.  I salted and peppered them as they were cooking and also sprinkled in some McCormick Chicken Seasoning (it has a little bite, makes it sooooo good) and some poultry seasoning.    Put it in the fridge until I needed it, there were some nice juices  in the bottom of the plastic tub I had them stored in  and I added that to the chicken broth in number 2 above.  I also sprinkled just a little poultry seasoning on the crust.
Next time I'm thinking I'll use Cream of Chicken Soup for the liquid it has a nice flavor and I can add the liquid from my cooked chicken to make it a little more juicy. 

I hope you try it and ENJOY!

The crust comes out really nice and flakey.  It really was a delicious dinner and we're eating the leftovers tonight  :-)   That's making a couple chicken breasts go a long way, don't you think?