27 Nov

60 Stitch Images

I’ve putting together a collection of images that are 60 or fewer stitches wide, that can be used with the free version of img2track. I may add to this collection from time to time.

These images are all ready to load and knit, however, some of them are not optimal for single bed, fair isle knitting, as they have large blocks of color, which means that the finished fabric will have long floats and laddering. Images of that type are probably better suited to DBJ.

Click HERE to download a file containing the images.

15 Sep

Fermented Foods – Part 2

My previous post left us all wondering whether I would eventually get to kraut.  Here’s the update.

After finding a better tool, and a lot more serious smashing, the whole mess compacted down to this:

 

After getting it ito quart jars (that whole batch fit into three jars!), I found that the handle of my krumkake roller made a great smasher.

And, lo and behold, after filling the jar and smashing it down, I had juice!

I was prepared to make extra brine to cover the cabbage, but didn’t need to.

I pushed everything down with my fingers and weighted the top with baggies of water. I put the lids on, loosely, and put the jars into containers, in case of any overflow. They’re now tucked away in a corner of the kitchen. Just waiting for them to do their private magic.

15 Sep

New Cooking Adventure – Fermented Foods

IMG_0341

I’ve tried a lot of different things when it comes to food and cooking, but one thing that’s been on my list for a very long time is fermented foods. After ending up with 2 enormous, beautiful heads of cabbage from my CSA, Vermont Valley Community Farms, I decided that now is the time to try Mason Jar sauerkraut.

I adore cabbage (and all of the brassicas), so I figured I can’t go too far wrong with this. And what could be more simple than cabbage + salt + time? Well, let’s see . . .

I decided in favor of chop rather than shred. Personal preference, I don ‘t generally enjoy stringy foods – too messy.

Hah! I though I’d only fill this huge pot about 1/4 full.

IMG_0342

 

All chopped, over 3/4 full. . . at least for now.

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Now the salt. I used Kosher, hope that’s OK. It’s not particularly fine, as many of the recipes called for. Ratio should be 1 Tbsp per “medium” head of cabbage. I think mine were bigger than medium, so I’m putting in 2.5 Tbsp.

IMG_0345

 

I guess hands are not the best tool for squishing the cabbage. I came away with quite a lot of salt on my hand. I had to replace that. I’ll use something else as a smasher. Now to let it “rest” for a while.

 

 

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After letting it rest, salted, for about :20, mashing with the potato masher – hard! – for about :10, where’s the ‘pool of cabbage juice’ that’s supposed to appear? Maybe this is one where I should wash my feet and stomp on it?

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Watch this space. . .

 

14 Jul

Come Join Me at the Finger Lakes Machine Knitting Seminar

I am so excited and honored to be a presenter at the 2017 Finger Lakes Machine Knitting Seminar on Sept 28th and 29th. (Click here for seminar info.) I would LOVE to meet some of you there. Over the course of 2 days I will be giving 8 workshops, with an emphasis on img2track for electronic machines, but also some fun sessions that will apply to any machine. Here is a list of my workshops:
 
1. Tips for Knitting a King-sized Photo Blanket — Many of you have seen some of the truly amazing blankets that have been created using img2track. I will talk about and demonstrate some techniques to use in creating image files for this process. How to split an image in to 2 or more segments, and construction techniques. I use GIMP on a Mac, but the processes will be similar in many graphics programs. (Single bed or Double bed)
 
2. Tips and Tricks for Optimizing Graphic Images for Knitting – This will be a computer-based workshop. I will be demonstrating many ways of manipulating an image to optimize it for knitting. Mostly I want to encourage you to dig into your graphics program (whichever one you like using) and explore and experiment to find ways of altering images for knitting.
 
3. Img2track – More Than Just Fair Isle – Explore some of the ways in which you can let your creativity and imagination loose with lace, tuck and slip
 
4. Bubble Pops Shawl – This easy and additcitvely fun stitch pattern uses the ribber and a drop stitch technique. You’ll wonder why you waited so long to try it. (Double Bed) AND Crochet On The Knitting Machine? – Learn how to create this unusual and beautiful open stitch pattern that you’ll swear is crocheted when you’re done. (Single Bed)
 
5. Knitting Outside The Box: Creating a True Linen Stitch – A true linen stitch is one of those very elusive techniques for the knitting machine. Because it involves slipping/passing yarn on the knit side, it involves hand manipulation. I will discuss how I’ve developed a tool that facilitates this technique and demonstrate its use. (Single Bed)
 
6. Single-bed Plaid Without Floats — Using intarsia and manual needle selection, you can create a plaid that mimics the look of a woven fabric. (Single Bed, Intarsia)
 
7. Creating Filet Lace Motifs with img2track – In this workshop we will USE computer graphics and img2track to create and then knit filet-style lace motifs, using the lace carriage. (Single Bed, Lace Carriage)
 
8. DBJ – 3-6 colors per row – Using img2track and computer graphics, we will explore how to maximize an image for knitting in Double Bed Jacquard with more than 2 colors. (Double Bed)
27 Aug

Rainbow Tuck Baby Blanket

full

This project has been in my queue for a very long time. Recently I ran across Sugar n’ Cream yarn on sale, so stocked up on a rainbow of colors and decided to undertake the knitting.

It was a fun, but tedious knit. Knitting with this bulky, cotton yarn is awful!! Especially in a tuck pattern. It took me quite a while to discover some techniques to keep things running relatively smoothly, and even at that it took way more effort than most other machine knitting.

while knitting

The first thing I discovered is that the stitches next to the tucked stitches really want to come out of the needles by the time you’ve knitted a couple of tuck rows. I wanted to knit 6 rows in each color, with 2 tucked rows of contrast color between. But I found that 4 rows of each color was as much as the machine would agreeably accommodate.

weighted comb

Before knitting each contrast row, I pulled all needles out to E position. After every 2 rows of contrast I re-hung the cast on comb, full length, making certain that it caught every single stitch. If you’ve ever tried to put a cast on comb into your knitting after you’ve already got fabric hanging from the machine, you probably know that’s no easy task. As soon as I got one end hanging and moved along to the middle or the other end, the first end would pop out of the stitches. It took a while to come up with a technique to get the whole comb to stay in the stitches, and then I hung 6 large ribber weights along the length of the comb. Then I pulled down on the comb all along the bed, one section at a time, as I knitted across, to put maximum weight on the stitches as they were being knitted. Whew! It was pretty exhausting.

I was eventually very pleased with the result, in spite of a few glaring errors. (Can you see them?)

errors

I then knitted a fold-over trim which I sewed on by hand. (I learned this technique from Diana Sullivan’s video.) I will do that a bit differently next time. After getting one full side attached, I would count how many segments I used, and allot the same number of segments for the other side, baste it and then sew it.

edge closefolded

After sewing in ends I machine washed and dried the blanket. It pilled a bit, but I wanted it to be pre-washed before sending it off. I mailed it off to my niece, who has a new baby. Sadly, the package never reached her. The mail carrier claims it was delivered, but they never got it. I can only hope that some other lucky baby is enjoying it somewhere, and I will make another one for my niece.

11 Feb

My Personal Motto

For many, many years now, my personal motto has been: Never, never, never give up – but quit easily. It may seem strange at first, but the longer I live with it, the more convinced I become of its relevance.

When I want to accomplish something I will not be put off. But I have learned through my own suffering, and observing the unfortunate (and often unnecessary) suffering of others that you’ll do well to learn to hear and heed that little voice in your head that says, “I really don’t want to be doing this.”

Of course, I don’t advocate giving up too easily, just working on finding the line between easily and too easily. You’ll save a lot of time, a lot of suffering and a lot of wasted effort.

I believe in emulating the water of the stream, and not the rock in the stream more often than not. I love to try to do things that are very difficult, and sometimes I succeed and sometimes I don’t, but I know that as long as I’m alive I can try again – if I want to – and I’ll be wiser the next time around. But maybe that failure is serendipitously leading me to the next great success in my life. I’m always open to shifting my direction, to go around the rock.

09 Feb

Frost Flowers Lace on the Knitting Machine

Knitting on Brother KH930 using img2track

Knitting on Brother KH930 using img2track

Now that I’m up and running again, I thought I would finally make available for download my files for Frost Flower Lace, as I developed them to use with img2track.

Above is the photo of my first sample of this lace pattern successfully knitted on my Brother KH930 using img2track. I was so thrilled!!! when I finally figured out all the steps in writing, loading and knitting the pattern. Several others have now had success with it, as well. Until now I’ve been emailing the files to people individually, but to save the hassle I’ll just put them here, and anyone can download them and try it.

Please keep in mind that these files were developed specifically to use with the Brother 900 series knitting machines and img2track. There are several other ways to produce this lace, and you can find lots of info on the web about it.

If you try it, please let me know how it turns out.

Frost Flowers files click here

13 Feb

Beauty and Practicality

It is important to have, find and make beauty in our lives and our world. I am drawn to creating things of both beauty and practicality.  Come on along and see what’s new in my world.

Barefoot Accordion Girl w slogan