Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Not-Automatic Knit-in-the-round, mock-rib hem-top sock for the double bed knitting machine

This sock pattern is so not automatic.  It is all manual.  These directions should make sense on any model double bed superba/white and on the old swiss magic double bed and it’s sisters.  
You can also do this on the japanese machines with a ribber attached,  but I worked on a superba.
Also, CSM crankers will recognize this sock- many make a version like this all the time, as it is a classy sock, and it does not involve using the Circular sock machine ribber.

These directions are for a women's medium sock.  It is based on a 6 needle repeat, so add or remove 'ribs' in pairs to make huge or tiny socks.  
Cast on waste yarn:
This is an Every other needle zigzag caston.
Beds  are full pitch: set with needles opposite, and stay this way throughout the sock.  On the front bed, starting at L18, raise every other needle into working position to, and including, R17.  Do the same on the back bed, except go from L17 to R18.  

I set the bed spacing to ‘4’.
Carriage on right.  Set both carriages to knit, and tension 1.  knit one row.

Hang the comb, add some weight,  and set both carriages to circular. Change to Tension 4 on both carriages. Knit 3 rows, ending carriage on right.

Now, raise back bed needles L18 and front bed needle R18 into work position. Knit 10 or more rows, ending carriage on right.

take waste yarn out of feeder, and knit one row with ravel cord.  Remember: one full row is one row on the front and one row on the back! End carriage on right.

What the mock rib looks like
Here is where the sock really starts:

Now, closed caston for top of sock-  (This edge will be knitted to the inside of the sock to make the hem top.)

Thread the main yarn in the tensions and pull down yarn so that you a couple yards of yarn to work with and the yarn is slack.
Working by hand, from right to left across the front bed,using e-wrap in the hooks, raise each needle so that the ravel cord stitch is below the latch, e-wrap in the hook, and pull the e-wrap through the ravel cord stitch.  Make the new stitches loose.  Then, work the same  left to right across the back bed,

Now, on both beds, pull up into working position the rest of the empty needles to make the circular mock rib set-up.  On the back bed,starting from the left, the set up is two needles in work, one out, then 5 in work with one out of work across the bed, ending with 3 needles in work.  On the front bed, it is reversed- with  a set of 3 needles in work on the left, and a set of 2 needles in work on the right.  All the way around, you have 5 needles in work and one needle out of work,

Thread the work yarn through the carriage yarn feeder and pull the slack yarn back through the tensions, See that your carriages are set to knit circular,  Set the tension on both carriages to your garment tension- (I used 5.1on both dials)
Set RC to 0.
Carefully knit row one. (one row = one pass to the left PLUS one pass to the right.  And One row means the row counter counts “2”.

Knit to RC 60 (that is 30 rows). should end carriage on right.

You can now either hang the hem, or you can continue with the sock knitting and sew the hem by hand when the sock is off the machine.  
I hang the hem- but the first couple times it takes some concentration.  If you are planning on making lots of socks, make the investment in practicing.  It will pay off quickly.  However, the sock police are not making stops for hand sewn hems.

Mark row for hem now, if you are going to hand sew later:
With a separate short piece of matching yarn (you will need a piece about 18 inches long)   you are going to hand knit every other needle, first on the front bed working right to left, and then on the back bed left to right.  I do this on the second needle of the sets of two, and on the 2nd and 4th of the sets of 5, and on the 2nd of the sets of three.  tuck the ends of the short piece of yarn out of the way inside the sock or down between the beds.

If you are going to hang the hem, drop the ribber bed, and take off any weights.  You may want to put some very small weight on the center back and center front, just to assure the stitches stay comfortably in the hooks while you are hanging the hem.  You will actually be hanging the long loops between the stitches of the e-wrap cast-on row.  I start with the stitches and needles on the front bed, because they are the harder ones for me to see.  I use a hook to grab the waste yarn below the working yarn caston row and raise it up so I can see the caston row, and while I have a section raised , I put the loop on the corresponding needle.  Work across the front bed, and then do the back bed.  You should have added a loop on every other needle around.

The black thread is my ravel cord.  The red is my waste yarn.
I have pushed up the e-wrap cast on row with my fingers.
You can see the nice big loops that will make the knit in hem.
Add back your weights if they needed.  
Make sure that your needles are lined up in the right position, and resume knitting with the carriages.  
Now knit to RC180.  This will be a total of 60 more rows.  (Row counter was 60 when you resumed, and the 120 added to the row counter indicates 60 full rows.)  End carriage on right.  
On the back bed, put the empty needles into work position.

(If you do not want the top of the foot in mock rib, do the same on the front bed.   Otherwise replace the out of work needles on the front bed when you set up to knit the toe.)

Knit 10 rows (Row Counter advances by 20 to 200.)

Turn heel on the back bed.  Set front bed carriage to (0) and back bed carriage to V.  Pull out to non working position one needle on the carriage side each row for 23 rows.  On row 24,  pull out one needle on the carriage side, and push the inner two hold position needles back into work.  Repeat row 24 until all needles are back in work.  When you no longer have two needles to push back into work position, manually place the remaining needle back to  regular work position and put the stitch back in the hook.  If you have to make another row on the back bed to get back to circular knitting, you can loop the working yarn into the hook of the left front bed needle before knitting across, to help close the hole.  (Fudge note: I don’t count rows.  When there are no longer 2 needles out of work on either side, If carriage is on right, I put the needles back in work position and resume circular knitting.  If carriage is on left, and there is a needle still out of work on left, I put the working yarn in the left end needle hook on the front bed before knitting to the right on the last heel row, and with carriage on right, set up to resume circular.)

Set row counter to 0.
Knit foot.  Carriages set to circular- knit 59 rows - row counter will advance  by 118.
put remaining empty needles in work.  knit one row.  row counter reads 120.

Turn toe, following directions for turning heel.

When toe is complete,, knit one complete row.  
Knit one complete row with ravel cord, and knit several rows with waste yarn.

You can immediately set up for the second sock, by transferring every other stitch to an adjacent needle.  Start with the 3rd stitch from the left on the back bed, or the 3rd from the right on the front bed.  Remember that the back bed set up starts with 2 needles in work, then every other needle across, and the front bed ends with 2 needles in work.
Knit another 5 or ten rows and begin the second sock with the ravel cord, and the closed cast on for the sock top.

Kitchener the toes and put them on. Take a 'sockie' for your ravelry post.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Freedon Wright's wife and her spinning wheel, part deux

Last year was too busy- among other endeavors, I moved to Virginia.  I had to weed out the homestead, as it would not all fit in the new one.
I still had the spinning wheel that was part of the Freedom Wright household.  I did not think that it belonged in Virginia, and I (fortunately) had not got around to 'restoring' it to a working state.  It now resides at the Lewis County Historical Society.
I felt an obligation because most spinning wheels do not have this kind of provenance.  We usually cannot know who made them, or who used them.  It was a privilege to own the wheel for a time, and a privilege to put it where its provenance can be appreciated and expanded.
Remind yourself what this wheel looked like by going to the old post in 2011.

Okay, it's been a while.... Really.

Okay- it's been a while.   And if not for those pesky New Year Resolutions, I would not be back here yet.
Here is a quilt top I've worked out, along with some pics to illustrate a few of the 'tricks' I used to make it.

Seeing Stars

This looks more structurally complicated than it is.  The single block that makes up this top is a 10 1/2"x 5 1/2" rectangle with it's lower left corner quarter in a contrast.  You make the light rectangles with a dark corner, and the dark rectangles with a light corner.  Then join a dark and a light (mostly) along their un-cornered sides, and you have 10 1/2" squares.  Pinwheel four squares around a common color center, and you have a  20 1/2" star block.  When you line up the star blocks, other stars will form between them, along with diagonal rows of 4 color squares.
I worked this variation out in two sets of colors:  Dark and light green, and Purple and very light tan.  You can see that my variation does not 'line up' like the one that inspired it.  (  All of my Dark green rectangles have the light green corner, all my light green rectangles have the dark green corner.  Same with the other two colors- so there are four 'bricks' here-
This was constructed by cutting 5 1/2 inch wof strips.  For each set of 4 20 1/2" star blocks, you will need 4 each of 16 inch strips and 6 inch strips of all 4 colors.
Mark the center line of the 5 1/2 inch square that is 1/4 inch inside the 6 inch side of the small patches.
This is how I did them.
Then I pinned all the patches and chain sewed the 1/2 squares.
Here's how I kept the patches centered while pinning.
Make sure that all your diagonal center lines travel in the same direction!!!
You need all you blocks to have the same corner-  no mirror twins!!!

Then it's cut the diagonals, and press.  I took care pressing those bias seams.
Then I worked from my cartoon to assemble my blocks.

Now I have the quilt top's 12 blocks to serve as my cartoon.  Well, that was fun.  Except for the number of times that I twisted one of the 10 1/2 inch sub-blocks the wrong way somehow, and had to rip and resew.  It was a testament to making the same mistake over and over again.  Apparently, I practice what I know.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Have you ever seen a maidenhair fern in bloom?

They look like little white crowns!

Table is 29 inches tall- Around 40 inches from top of pot to floor.
Have you EVER seen a maidenhair fern BLOOM? 
Until today, me neither!
I'm making note of all factors in this post- I have no idea what prompted Miss Fern to bloom, but my assumption is that she is very, very happy.
She is 4 years old.  At 2 years, I divided her and repotted. (People who "divide" maidenhair ferns are laughing as they read this.  The rest of you need to know that you need an axe to divide the rootball.)   She lives between two north windows, and next to a hot air duct. She's probably rootbound.  We are a week after the summer solstice. 
The blooms are clusters on spikes off mature stems.  Each bloom is about 1/8 inch across.  It has 6 curled-back petals, one each behind 6 gold-pollen tipped anthers.  The blooms on this one are all near the top of the pot, so if you hang your fern, you will miss the blooms, probably.  

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

KoolAid to the Rescue

Bargains.  I love 'em.  They engender a feeling of contentment in me.  Like I deserved them.  There are some iconic fiber-related bargains that have really made me warm and fuzzy for years.  The $10 Lendrum wheel.  The $5 Singer 155.  
A more recent bargain was a box full of wonderful cone yarn (fingering weight) that is 50-50 wool and cashmere.  Yup.  I scored cashmere.  For around $10 a pound.  Warm and Fuzzy.  
A plus B = ??
I have several colors that are very nice.  I have a couple colors that will come back around in 5 years, and I'll still have this yarn, so it's safe to wait.  I have two full cones of pink.  Hot pink.  Saturated hot pink.  Even if hot pink comes back around, I won't be wearing it.  
I wanted to work out some socks and take down some tension numbers so that I can whip up  a right sized pair of cashmere socks at any time downstream from now, with no need for future swatching.  Naturally, I reach for the hot pink.  I can spare it.  I would off a couple of 50g skeins.  
Then I spied the bag of koolaid packages in the drawer.  Well, why not.
This is what you get with 6 cups of water, 4 packs of electric blue lemonade, and 100 g. of hot pink.

Cooking yarn and Kool-Aid

Not the evenest dye job, but a color I can live with.

  I am feeling warm and fuzzy.  

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Quilt Camp with the Tug Hill Quilters

DC K and I spent the week at Quilt Camp.  We had a wonderful time.  We met, over the week, around 90 quilters, and we are lucky to remember our own names, nevermind their names.
Monday through Thursday, we talked, quilted, ate and laughed.  DCK came with several projects ready to sew, and I did not get a picture of any of them!  That probably works for her, as surely one of them is a Christmas present for someone, and she won't want them to see it here!
DCK gave me a darling pattern, with a kit of 5 fat quarters, to make a christmas tree hanging, and I have the fancy part done.  I'll post the picture when it's done.  Meanwhile, here are pictures to inspire you.

Thanks, everyone, for the best time!
Headed for the Church craft bazaar
The quilters work and wander

Quilt-as-you-go strip quilt

At the cutting table

Quilter GD's dye project with her daughter

destined for the VA hospital

Hot colors and cut and sew triangle blocks

Beautiful hand applique

These are some of the material from the Ninja Yardsale adventure.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Boomerang Scarf at Blue Mountain Lake Fiber Festival

Sharon's preferred, asymetrical  style wrap

Note: the scarf in the pic is an early version.  When you follow
the directions below, you will wind up with a longer,  narrower, and
easier to wrap, scarf.  You'll see, and you'll like it.
I had a great time today at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake.  It was Fiber Festival day, and the yarn bombers had visited the museum!  There were knitting and crocheting (and felting, quilting, rug hooking, and on and on...) explosions all over the place.

I brought the boomerang to share with the other knitters, and I just enjoyed the knitting and sharing and meeting people.

The Boomerang scarf is an easy, warm and stylish scarf.  It is all garter stitch, so it wraps like a dream, and wants to hold onto your coat!  Knit it in wool, or a wool-silk blend.  Wool-alpaca would also work, and the alpaca will lend its drapiness as well.  Handspun yarn works well with this pattern.  Gauge is not critical.  Make it as small, or as big as you want (or as your ball of yarn dictates.)   You can knit this at bigger gauges for a softer, less structured knit.  It will 'collapse' on your neck better at bigger gauge, and it will 'stand up' better at the tighter gauges.

Let me know how yours turns out.


Boomerang Scarf

Yarn-  About 200 yards
Needles to knit at about 5 stitches to the inch ( for knitting worsted weight yarn) or 6 stitches to the inch ( for sport weight yarn). 

Cast on 2 stitches.

Row 1 (and all odd rows)       Yarn Over, then knit to the end of the row.  (increase of
                                         one stitch)
Row 2                               YO, knit to end of row. (one stitch increased)
Row 4                               Same as row 2
Row 6                               Bind off 4 stitches, knit to end of row.

Repeat these 6 rows until you have used about half of your yarn.


Row 1 (and all odd rows)       YO, K1, YO, knit to end of row (2 stitches increased)
Row 2, 4, and 6 as before.

When 15 or 20 yards of yarn remain, end row 5.


Row 1      Bind off 4, knit 5, turn.
Row 2      K 5, turn
Row 3      K 6, turn
Row 4      K 6, turn
Row 5      K 7, turn
Row 6      K 7, turn

Repeat these 6 rows to make sawteeth and bind off the open stitches.  If you run short of yarn before sawteeth are done, bind off the rest of the open stitches without making sawteeth.