Category Archives: machine knitting

Neutral and neon cardi


The machine-knitted long cardigan is officially finished, right down to the wash and dry to soften it up and even things out.

Evening photos, so not particularly good lighting.

What would I do differently if I were to make it again? Modified drop sleeves to minimize the lumpiness at the seam, a bit less neon on the sleeves, and add stripes to the front for a more cohesive look.

However it was a good result in that it’s warm and wearable, and it fits.

Knittin’ the knits

Knittin’ the knits

I present to you my WIPs or, if you prefer, PIPs or MIPs (works/projects/makes in progress).

The green Sporto sweater hasn’t changed much this week because I’ve been focusing on the grey/neon cardigan.

Said cardigan is machine-knitted on my somewhat old Bond. I used keyplate 3 to give me a nice gauge with the Craft Smart acrylic from Michaels.

Making a gauge swatch is awesome on this machine because it literally takes 5 minutes. Once that was done, I drew up a schematic so that I could figure out stitches and rows. The back, fronts and pockets were easiest as there was no shaping. The sleeves were a little slower as I had to decrease every 4 rows to the cuff and on the second sleeve I forgot to change colour halfway down and so there was much cursing as I took the work off the machine, frogged some, and rehung it at row 50 to start the neon.

It only took 4 hours over a couple of days to make all the pieces. It probably took the same again to add the handknitted ribbing, bindoffs, and seams.

It’s at the point now where I can try it on. I would have preferred it to be a bit bigger widthways but I’m not redoing it. Next, I’ll add the handknitted ribbed bands around the front and weave in the ends. And sew on the pockets, which I don’t even want to attempt while there is still so much curl in those front sections. The dropped shoulders look a little bulgy when wearing, but I’m hoping that a trip through the washer and dryer will smooth and relax things.

As for the crocheted Elevation cardigan, I have now received the two extra skeins of I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby in Burnt Pumpkin.

Tonight I’m frogging the sleeves so that I can remake them with the new yarn because I just wasn’t loving the look with the lighter orange for the sleeves. I’ll get an up to date photo of that another time.

One last thing…a camping themed quilt for display at work. Quick and simple, just to show off the fabric. It’s small, 24 x 36 inches. The first of many I’d like to make.

Have a good weekend!

Throwback Thursday


Today I’m looking back at 2008 in my Ravelry notebook. And a couple of things stand out.

One is that there is no crochet. I was firmly in the knitting groove after a lifetime of On again/Off again, but hadn’t yet picked up the crochet bug.

Another thing I notice is that I was experimenting more with my Bond knitting machine. Eleven projects were made by machine and some of them were published on my blog as free patterns.

This striped vest was inspired, according to my Ravelry notes, by a pattern in a book. Rather than hand knit it, I machine knit it.


It actually came out rather well, though I don’t recall wearing it much.

And that year I was really into the James C Brett Marble DK again. I had knitted two sweaters in it the year before. Well, 2008 saw the same brown colourway used in these three projects:

Marble Wrap Vest which I designed myself

Button scarf

and Quick Hat

and there were three other projects using the Marble DK but in other colours.

It’s fascinating to look back at what I made thanks to the invention of Ravelry all those years ago.







Throwback Thursday




Deltora Quest sweater – my Ravelry project page

This week I’m featuring a sweater I made for my youngest son who, according to my project notes, was 9 at the time (he’s 21 now). He was mad about the Deltora Quest books so for Christmas I thought I’d knit him a sweater with a Deltora theme.

Featured in the books is the Belt of Deltora, a steel belt which holds seven gems, the first initials of which spell the word Deltora. I made the front, back and sleeves on my Bond machine and hand knitted the ribbing and duplicate stitched the gems across the front.

I can’t recall him wearing the sweater very much. He wasn’t a very cold-blooded kid, and even now he rarely wears a sweater, and doesn’t bother with a coat much either, unless he’s snowboarding.

I see I bought the yarn at Zellers – that’s a throwback right there – all the Zellers stores closed down years ago. I did like having that store in town, as it was a handy Canadian alternative to the dreaded Wally-world Wal-mart!

WIP Wednesday


Well, I do have some WIPs to show you, but first I have a TA DA!

FullSizeRender (35)

The Granny blanket is done! This is made with rather a lot of Loops & Threads Impeccable in various colours (from stash), plus some vintage acrylic, plus some new kelly green Impeccable. The kelly green is there because this blanket is for my friend and she and her husband support the Saskatchewan Roughriders football team.

I gave it to her today and I think she is pleased! She put it over her legs while we were visiting.

Another smaller FO is this hat…


Rather ugly, I think, in brown and gold, but it used up a lot of vintage acrylic! And I was happy to practise on some yarn without using the “good stuff!” This hat was made on my Bond knitting machine. It was just a long rectangle, half brown, half gold, which was seamed into a tube and cinched at each end, then you push one half of the hat inside the other and TA DA, a reversible hat that has a quadruple thick layer over the ears.

Now onto the prettier stuff.

I found this Christmas-inspired Bernat Pop! at Walmart recently and was itching to knit with it. So I started a fair isle hat using a chart out of my Alice Starmore Charts for Color Knitting book. I’m using two cakes, pulling one strand from the outside of one cake, and the second strand from the inside of the other.

I don’t claim to be particularly good at stranded knitting, though I have the technique down. One yarn in each hand, plus the catching of the floats, no problem. My tension, well, that remains to be seen.

FullSizeRender (36)

I just love the colours. So much more appealing to me than the standard red, green and white. The colourway is called Candy Cane. One pattern repeat done. The background will be changing to aqua in the next repeat.

I started another project today too. I am not usually such a prolific starter (I still have two other WIPs which have been neglected and I don’t like having too many on the go) but I wanted to take something out with me to work on that was restful and didn’t need much attention while I visited with my friends. So I started this…


I made a scarf just like this last year so I looked up my Ravelry project page to see what hook size I used. One skein and a 6.5mm hook gave me a scarf 9 squares wide by about 60″ long.  This bulky yarn (Loops & Threads Barcelona) is pretty and soft and makes a lovely texture in the C2C stitch pattern. I think I may make a coordinating hat like I did with the other colourway last year. And perhaps pompoms at each end…?

Gotta run – dinner is nearly ready. Happy crafting, y’all!




FO update


FullSizeRender (34)

The granny blanket that I showed you last time has grown quite a lot but I don’t have an up to date photo. It’s just more of the same! The rounds get longer and looooonger and one starts to crave some immediate gratification from a smaller project – or three.

Also, a blanket project gets more unwieldy as it  gets bigger, which means it’s less portable.

The yarn I used for the fingerless mitts in the picture above is Red Heart Unforgettable Waves. I picked some up on clearance a long time ago and it’s been sitting patiently in the stash ever since. The colourway is Bazaar. It’s thick and thin (very much so in some places) but even though the really thick bits can present a challenge I was a little disappointed that the second mitt didn’t have as many of the bumpy bits as the first.

I didn’t use a pattern. I just chained 28, double crocheted 13 rows, joined leaving a hole for the thumb, then single crocheted around the thumbhole, adding some decreases where I felt they were needed.

I used another skein of the same yarn to make these gift card holders too.


These buttons were perfect for the little cosies, and I’ve had them in the stash since I picked them up on clearance at work.

The final Finished Object for this week is this slouchy beanie, which on Ravelry I have called the Blah hat! That link will take you to my Ravelry project page for more info on how I made it.


It’s Blah because of the colour, which is a bland beige vintage acrylic that I didn’t mind wasting in case my experiment didn’t work out. This is knitted on my Bond knitting machine, which I’ve had packed away in my craft room for a long time. I decided to set it up and have a play. The one thing the Bond does well is acres of stockinette. The ribbing is slow going as you have to latch up the purl stitches by hand. And decreasing for the crown of a hat is not the same as hand knitting one, unless you want to spend ages manually moving stitches over to different needles, so I followed a tip on a You Tube video to decrease across one row and cinch it up. It actually worked out well! The ribbing is stretchy, the top closed up nicely, it fits me (I had no idea what size it would turn out) though it is not a colour I would wear.

I also used the Bond to knit up a small cast-on hem, just to try it out, and next I need to make a longer one. The weighted hem that comes with the machine is as long as the needle bed, which is fine if you’re using a lot of stitches but if you just want to make something small then a shorter cast-on hem and smaller weights are helpful.

I have the next couple of days off and hopefully will see the granny blanket grow from its current size (about 48″ square) to 60″ though if I have enough yarn to go bigger I’d really like it to be 72″. Can you imagine how long it could take to crochet one round that’s 24 feet long? No, I can’t either.

Daytime photos


The background is a little bright, thanks to the snow/wall of my house, but here are more shots of the yoga mat bag. This colour is MT33 which has beautiful bands of pink, red, purple, stranded with blue and green, which my iPad really doesn’t pick up well. I knitted this loosely (biggest Keyplate on the Bond) so it’s very stretchy, and I think I might have run out of yarn if I’d knitted it tighter.






Yoga Mat Bag


Since I set up my crafting table, I have been feeling edgy and wanting to use my knitting or sewing machine. I took a look at the Notes app on my iPad tonight and reminded myself that I wanted a knitted yoga mat bag. Since starting yoga sort of regularly, I bought myself a lime green mat which came in a cheap black mesh bag. I’ve seen a few patterns on Ravelry but didn’t really want to handknit one.

Bond to the rescue! (Ha, sounds like James Bond, but not this time. No, sadly, no handsome tuxedoed gentleman is going to swoop from the sky to rescue me, this is just the name of my knitting machine.)

It took a few minutes to reacquaint myself with the machine (Why isn’t it working? Duh! Forgot to hang the weighted hem!)

I enlisted Tai Chi Man to help me convert some dollar store forks (metal but really thin) into claw weights. I can’t remember where I saw this idea, but if you bend the prongs of a fork over and attach a weight to the handle, voila, you have weights for small items or areas that need a bit of extra tension like the edges when the work is getting long. I could have done it myself, but he has a LOT of tools in a large number of boxes and it was easier to get him to dig out the right tools for the job. The ones I saw online used rolls of pennies, which is probably a better idea than the heavy magnets I used, as they tend to misbehave and get too friendly with each other.

I shall probably write up this pattern. It’s really easy. I’m looking forward to seeing this yarn in the daylight. It’s James C Brett Marble DK and I shall post the exact colourway when I get a daytime shot. In the meantime, here are some photos of the work in progress, a close up of the fork weights, and the finished item.






I had a frustrating couple of hours today. I finally brought a table upstairs so I could set up my knitting machine. You may recall that what was my sewing/knitting room is now a fitness room.

Initially I tried my ironing board but the clamps wouldn’t hold properly and my poor Bond went crashing to the floor along with a short length of knitting that I’d managed to complete before the Fall. A little piece of plastic broke off the end of the Bond but thankfully it doesn’t affect the operation of it.

So, I start again on a sweater that I’d planned to make with the Sienna brown Brava Worsted. It took me ages to decide on what to make but I found a cardigan pattern on Ravelry issued by Cascade Yarns called the Summer Lace Cardigan, a pretty little number, long in the back, sleeves, with two drapey lacy wrap fronts. Aha, I thought, I’ll use the machine to knit the back and sleeves and hand knit the lace fronts (I am limited to 100 needles on the machine).

Well, it was a good plan and I did all the math and thought optimistically I might even get all three pieces completed in one day. Hmm, guess not. The back progressed well at first, past the waist shaping. Not sure what happened with my gauge as I reached the 78 rows that I thought would give me 12 inches of length but it was only 11… and this while stretched out with the weighted hem. I added 12 extra rows. Time for the raglan shaping – and here’s where I came unstuck. Twice (TWICE) one of the sides started to unravel, right where I had been decreasing. I almost gave up the first time but my trusty crochet hook and a lot of patience got me through. The second time it happened I just couldn’t seem to fix it AND I spotted a knot in the yarn further down that I hadn’t noticed while pushing the carriage across. Gah! I ended up taking the #%*€¥ thing off the needles, putting in a lifeline below the knot and the unravelled bit, ripped out down to the lifeline and then painstakingly put each stitch back on a needle.

I have fewer stitches than I should. I am tempted to forget the whole thing.

When I ordered all the Brava, I bought enough of the sienna and the currant to make sweaters, but now I am feeling very underwhelmed by the thought of making another dark sweater, preferring to go for something lighter and brighter. It’s time to say, okay, I can put away the brown for another day, it will get used eventually, but for now I shall work with other colours.

I gave away a massive bag of odds and ends last week to a friend who only seems to knit and crochet with thrift store yarn. I’m sure she will appreciate it. It feels good to clear that out as I am not a natural stasher of yarns. It’s nice to have a little extra lying around for mystery KALs or spontaneous projects, but not a tonne of it.

So yes, time for a bit of frogging methinks, put that brown yarn away for another day. I have just enough time to do that before starting on dinner.

Have you frogged anything lately?

another One night Stand wrap


If you look at my free knitting patterns in the sidebar, you’ll see a One night stand Wrap. Why’s it called that? Well, I made it on my Bond knitting machine and it only takes a couple of hours from start to finish. Maybe an hour of knitting and another hour of finishing. Here’s a photo of the second version that I made today, before I tossed it into the washer with a towel to upset those stitches a bit. Right now it’s in the dryer on low heat and will (hopefully) emerge all warm, fluffy and relaxed! This is for a friend who has been going through a tough time emotionally and physically during 2012. It’s her birthday next week and what more excuse did I need to knit her something. I didn’t have time to handknit a prayer shawl so this made for a perfect alternative. The yarn is Lion Brand Homespun – yes, not a yarn that’s very popular with some people, and not one that I use much, but it is lovely and soft and my other wrap has stood up well to the tests of time.

I went in to Michaels today looking for Homespun, expecting to use a coupon to get 40% off one ball and pay full price ($7.99) for the other two. Instead I found myself rummaging through the clearance bins, looking for matching dye lots on skeins of certain colours that were marked down to $3.99.


I ended up buying 6 of this plum colour and 6 of one called Spice. They had tonnes of the Spice – I could have come home with 50 skeins if I hadn’t had an inbuilt moderation mechanism!

They also had packs of 5 notecards marked down from $1.50 to 25 cents, so I bought a few of those too.

We were out to dinner at our favourite restaurant tonight, so I didn’t have to cook. 🙂

And tomorrow we’re having friends over, so I will have to cook lots, and I still haven’t figured out what we’re going to be eating. Oh well, it’ll all come together in the end.