Sunday, 27 March 2011

Successful Socks

First of all hasn't this recent spell of weather been beautiful.  I always feel guilty staying indoors and knitting.
Anyway, I completed my first successful pair of socks which actually fit me. Socks seem to be all the rage and there are some lovely sock yarns in the shops - so last week I bought a couple of balls of Wendy Happy which is a bamboo and nylon mix and really soft. The pattern I used is the Flat Socks Pattern on

The first sock was just a tiny bit small, so I increased the number of stitches to 60 sts and then took 15 sts off on waste yarn at each side.  I completed my ribs on a ribber (1 x 1 rib) and added 20 rows onto the length of the main sock leg as advised by Susan.
I am really pleased with the result and am now on my second pair.  Socks are quick, satisfying item to knit. Thanks Susan

Monday, 21 March 2011

Hobby Horse

I finally completed my Hobby Horse. This is for exhibitions which the NI Machine Knitters Guild are holding throughout the year.  The first one is at the Kings Hall, at The Stitch and Creative Craft Show from 14th - 16th April.  The Guild always has a stand at the exhibition and the theme this year is The Knitted Nursery.

A guild member got me the pattern from Machine Knitted Toy Collection Book 1 and the pattern was easy to follow.  My only mistake was that I used red for the reins which were knitted on the nose and then I used the little piece of red wool up on a cushion! I don't know what I was thinking.  I tried various local wool shops for a small ball of red 4ply wool,  but all they sell are pale baby colours. In the end I had to order it online from Yeoman Yarns.  I ordered it last Sunday, and by Wednesday there was no email confirming they had sent me the item. I telephoned them and they told me it was out of stock and would not be in until about 2 weeks! I explained what it was for and the kind lady on the phone went to her shop and stockroom to check and found they had about 40g on a cone.  They dispatched it to me and it arrived last Friday - so I was able to make the reins.
So the moral of this story is to make sure you have enough wool before committing to a colour on an item.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Fishy Cushion 2

Well, I completed my second fishy cushion described as below:

Side 1
A panel of 4 stripes
1st stripe - 2 rows of 2 reversed fish of double width which the machine automatically placed for me
2nd stripe - 2 rows of 3 fish of double width again automatically placed by the machine
3rd stripe - 2 rows of 4 reversed fish (this is normal size)
4th stripe - 2 rows of 6 fish

Side 1

Side 2
I had to match the colour of stripes of side 1
1st stripe - positioned 2 single motif fish in the centre
Then I positioned 3 fish which were half on stripe 1 and half on stripe 2 as 1 single and 1 double motif
2nd stripe - positioned 2 fish as a single motif with the tail of the fish actually off the needle bed so if looks like the fish is swimming into the cushion.  Also on this stripe is a reversed fish* coming in from the left side.
3rd stripe - positioned 2 single motif reversed fish separately from the left
4th stripe - positioned 1 more reversed fish from the left to match the other fish in this shoal marked *. Finally in the top right I positioned 2 more reversed fish. 

This is 13 fish in total and for each line of fish I used a different colour of wool.  I trimmed the cushion in a shell type stitch in black wool.  With the wrong side facing you pick up 4 stitches, knit 10 rows and then pick up four more stitches to the left on the cushion and knit 10 more rows.  Continue until you have edged all round the cushion.

It took a lot of forward planning of where to position the fish, concentration to knit them all and to remember when to change colours.  Also there were a lot of floats which is ok for a cushion but would not do a garment. 
I did enjoy making my cushions and learnt about buttons on my machine which I had never used before.  I hope the members from NI Machine Knitters Guild will enjoy my talk.  Will keep you posted!

Also Happy St Patrick's Day from Northern Ireland.

Side 2

Monday, 14 March 2011

Machine Knitting Monthly April 2011

For the past few days I have been continuing with my 'fish patterning' project for my March Machine Knitters Guild Meeting. I am starting to sew it up tonight and will hopefully get some pictures up later in the week.

Anyway, I forgot to mention, I subscribe to Machine Knitting Monthly magazine  and I received the April issue last week. It is celebrating its 25th Anniversary and produced a bumper magazine.  I am hoping to be able to give a quick review of items which appeal to me in the magazine and hopefully you will also find interesting.

Interesting Patterns
DK Cardigan and Jumper in Garter Stitch which emulates an Aran type pattern
Chunky sweater with pockets 
Cushions with Garter Carriage - Ideal Project for Beginners 
DK Assortment of Baby Garments - Hooded Cardigan, Cardigan, Hat and Slipover
Aran Weight Jumper and Jacket knitted on a Chunky
Chunky tots to teens long jumper with centre cable - even if you do not knit the garment you could try out the cable on a cushion
4ply plain jumper with decorative raglan sleeve

Other Interesting Articles
Carl Boyd shows how to knit some flowers
How to create fancy raglans in the Learner Series
Pleats with Bill King
Passap - Using your Deco or Jac40

Well must go and get some knitting done!

Friday, 11 March 2011

Fishy Cushion 1

I got my cushion finished!

On the first side I centred the two fish and knit them as a single motif - as it was quite plain I added another pattern in red.

The second side was more complicated.  The first pattern was 1 fish placed to the far left, then 2 fish side by side and slightly to the right of the first fish and then 2 more fish above that again.  I knit these in brown, mustard and brown repectively.
Above this were 2 angel fish which took me 3 attempts to get right and I learnt that I had to programme my electronic as mirror image, reverse, double width and double height.
Finally, sewed the cushion up and added 2 tassels to finish.

I plan to make another one with more pattern sequences

Sunday, 6 March 2011


After patterning my fish into my machine, I got to the exciting part of actually knitting them.
I knit a quick practice piece first, trying out the reverse button so they changed direction and after a few pattern corrections I got a finished fish.

Then I knit a square with a stripe from a pre-programmed pattern in Stitch World first, the two fish in the middle in single motif and finished it with another stripe.  I plan to do different variations and then sew these togethre to make a set of fishy cushions.

Sample Fish

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Spent my window of knitting today programming in some fish which I plan to make different designs with the options on my electronic ie reverse, mirror, elongate etc.  I also had to go to Bangor and buy some black 4 ply wool and toy stuffing for my hobby horse.  I hope to actually get some knitting time tomorrow.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Pattern Exercise

For my next NI Knitting Guild meeting I have to do a small item on My Favourite.......punchcard.  Well, I don't really have a favourite but I was advised to pick a punchcard and tuck it, slip it, fairisle etc to get different patterns.  I have a Brother 940 Electronic so I choose Stitchworld Pattern No 234 which is a tuck and played with this.  I cast on 70 sts and completed a sampler as follows:
  • Tuck 2 complete patterns - Result - a nice tuck which would make a nice edging for the bottom of a garment
  • Slip - Result - a light pattern on the fabric which was not appealing
  • Fair Isle - Front of Fabric would again suit the bottom of a garment and the reverse side was interesting but due to the nature of the pattern left large floats
  • Fair Isle again - but on the reverse side, I lifted the floats about every 4 rows and caught these onto a needle producing a more pleasing fabric
  • Fair Isle again - but I reversed the colours
  • Weaving - produced a nice fabric but again I had long floats which I cut and pressed going up as they seemed to want to sit like this. This is a technique Iris Bishop showed me at the Machine Knitting Guild. This gave like an American Indian blanket look.
Conclusion : Was successful for Tuck, Fair Isle, Fair Isle lifting floats and weaving cutting floats

I will now label this sampler and keep it for future use.  This is a really good exercise to try with different punchcards.

Reverse Side of Sampler

Front Side of Sampler

Tuck Stitch

Reverse of Fair Isle with pulled up floats