Saturday, February 18, 2017

Inspiration with Ozlorna

She's doing some beautiful things with tuck stitch and punch cards:

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Video for February - Horizontal Ribbed Band

Here's February's video:

This is a very basic ribbed band that is reliable for cardigans.  The ribbing stabilizes the edge, and these buttonholes are a great basic.

Monday, January 2, 2017

New Video for January - Embossed Leaf Lace

As I create a video to upload each month, I'm trying to have a wide mix of machine knitting topics - sometimes a small project, sometimes a simple technique, sometimes an essential skill, and occasionally, something fancy.

Today's video looks fancy, a double bed technique where you make a lace motif that stands up on top of a purl background.  Although this is hand-manipulated, it is very easy to do, and I believe it could be done on any double-bed machine. I just love the way this looks, and hope you like it, too!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year! Best Posts of 2016

Happy New Year!  I wish you every blessing in 2017!

Here are my favorite picks from my 2016 posts.  I stuck with my discipline of putting up a video each month, so many of these are videos:
  • Curved, slanted pocket lesson in a video.  This one's a little longer than most, but it's quite a thorough lesson.

  • Video showing how to knit both sides of a neck at the same time.   

  • Take the Ronnie Challenge!  I was so impressed with Ronnie, the lady who let me stay at her home while I taught at the Chicago seminar, her knitting expertise, kniting creativity, and her amazing charitable knitting output, that I wanted you to get that shot of inspiration, too.

  • You don't need a special Intarsia carriage or special setting to do picture knitting.  It can be done on just about any machine, with a little planning and manipulation.  Here's the video.

  • Want to learn picture knitting, and you DO have an intarsia carriage?  Here's a video teaching how to do Intarsia with the Brother carriage.  It's a 3-color cable design, by the way, but I do go through the usual Intarsia basics, especially how to manage all those yarn ends.

  • I love lace, and I do peculiar things to "hack" the knitting machine's lace capabilities.  Here's an old favorite of mine, Mirror Image Lace, shown in a video.  I often show this at seminars.  It gets you thinking about the directional movements of the machine and stitches.  

  • I interviewed Kris Basta, the creator of the wonderful, made-in-America, very cleverly designed garter bars for all sorts of gauges, bulky as well as mid-gauge.  Here's yet another hobbyist who has used her unique talents to help all of us.

  • Here's a post about stumbling onto and acquiring a fascinating vintage Juki machine.

  • February's video was a simple little craft project that is a huge favorite - stuffed hearts for Valentine's day!  I've made these into pin cushions, sachets, throw pillows, and heating pads.  

  • Based on reader feedback, I believe the most popular video of the year was the Cloche Hat project.  I hope you'll try this one and learn to make two-stitch English Rib as well as the flower embellishment.

  • Now this video teaches a darn good buttonhole technique.  
How do you plan to spend your Near Year's Day?  John and I aren't exactly worn out from partying, since all we did was watch a couple Netflix movies and then watch the ball drop.  This morning, we went to church.  We're relaxing right now with hot tea, but one thing for certain - I plan to have some time for knitting today!  Lately I've been having the best time with my antique sock machine and I've also been playing with Red Heart Scrubby yarn.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Jesus changes everything!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Another Video for December - Candy Cane I-Cord

I've done so many things with I-cord. Haven't we all?  It's good for edgings, trims, drawstrings, handles, and straps.  I've been fascinated for a while by variations on I-cord, and this video is a small example of that.

You can use you a little of your excess stash by making gift wrap bags and ties that you can reuse.  It saves money and reduces trash! 

Knitted cords often are much better than the fuzzy yarn ties you can purchase.  Cord knitted with sturdy yarn will hold up a long, long time.  For fun, you can mix different strands, colors, textures, and even add shiny run-along yarn.  In the video, I used the patterning system on the machine to make a candy-cane type of stripe. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

December's Video: Slanted Pocket

I had a request a while back for a video showing how to do a slanted pocket. Thanks!  These requests help me come up with teaching ideas.

This is a slanted pocket, and just to make it more interesting, it's also curved:

Saturday, November 5, 2016

New Video for November - Knit Both Sides of a Neckline at Once

Well!  I've been going, and going, and going, like the Energizer Bunny, but this morning I found a little time upload the November video, which shows how to knit both sides of a neckline at the same time.  A simple little thing, but a useful shortcut sometimes!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Take the Ronnie Challenge!

Ronnie generously put me up when I was teaching in Chicago recently.  Mary S. was there, two, and we were just three relaxed, happy, knitting ladies hanging out together. They were so sweet to me - I was tired and didn't have much voice left at the end of those days, but they made me feel incredibly at home.

Ronnie, a dedicated charity knitter, takes on the challenge of working with all kinds of donated yarns.  She says she like to leave them out where she can see the skeins and "let them talk" to her.  Sooner or later, she figures out just what to make of them - and she makes some very nice things.  I'm sure you all realize, as I do, that unfamiliar, "mystery" yarn can be tricky to use, requiring lots of experimenting and adjusting.

At one point, she got quite a mish-mash of interesting yarn and crochet cotton donations.  Here's Ronnie's pool table, stacked with yarn donated for charity knitting:

And, here's Ronnie's pool table, after she turned all this material into knitted goodies:

Ronnie says that she used it up, right down to the last yard or so of each ball.  As a matter of fact, she made this inventory of "before" and "after:"

White Cotton
Little Mended Hearts
Preemie Hats
Blue – Rose
Purple Eyelash
Orchid Eyelash
White Eyelash
Blue Eyelash
Green Eyelash
Pink Eyelash
Black Eyelash
Brown Eyelash
Brown - Black Eyelash
Red – White Eyelash
White Angora

I don't know about you, but I'm dazzled by this accomplishment.

So, here's the Ronnie Challenge - and I should take it myself.  Instead of yarn coming in and taking up semi-permanent residence, let's make soft, warm, useful things from it that someone needs and will truly enjoy!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Saturday, September 24, 2016

MORE Inspiration at Rhythm of the Needles

Yet another beautiful mini-mitten!

You should look at them all.  I've only linked to them occasionally, but there are 19 tiny, beautiful mittens pictured on the blog now!

New but Old - My Sock Knitting Videos on YouTube

For various reasons, I'm taking down the old sock knitting videos on YouTube, and putting up new ones with the music stripped off.

This is something I had been meaning to do, and getting it done this morning reminds me that these lessons were a very cool ribber exploration.  These are a little long, but spend 30 minutes watching, if you'd like to get more out of your ribbing attachment, or if you're thinking about getting a ribbing attachment, or just for a review:
  • This video shows a very practical use for circular knitting with a ribber.
  • This is a darn good sock.  The foot and ankle is seamless, which saves you sewing time and makes a more comfy sock.  I used regular hand knitting sock yarn, which is easy to find and produces the best socks, IMO.  I show how to do each step.
  • The book that goes with this, "Knitting Socks on the Standard Machine," has twelve sizes, from little babies to big guys.  I put a lot of tips in to help you get a good fit and make nice seams.   The book, which comes with a hi-def DVD, is available here.
Here are the videos!  Popcorn not included...

Mary Anne Oger has a new book!

This IS exciting!  Mary Anne Oger is a fantastic machine knitter, who for many years published the incomparable Knit Words magazine.  I have gotten so much over the years from her patterns and other books, and I hope you'll consider picking up a copy of her new book at Amazon. 

Right now, Amazon is showing it in stock, eligible for Prime, , and if ordered now, it would be delivered on 9/27.

Click here to see it at Amazon.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

What I'm Knitting

I've actually been knitting quite a few things!  I'm plugging away at a mid-gauge book.  I wanted to include a warm scarf.  Even though the book is written with beginners in mind, I didn't want the usual beginner's scarf - an ordinary rectangle.  I wanted it to be interesting to knit and interesting-looking, as well.  I wanted for fellow knitters to say to the knitter, "How'd you DO that?"  I also wanted it to be easy, not to require a tremendous amount of hand-tooling.

I decided to go diagonal and use a self-patterning yarn.  I like this alpaca blend from Hobby Lobby, "Fair Isle." One day I saw the yarn in the store, and the next morning I had the idea and went back to the store to buy some.  The geometry was great fun - the whole thing is slanted, and initially, I wasn't sure how to get nice scarf ends.  The way it's folded and sewed together solves that problem. 

I am also getting ready to teach at two seminars.  I'll be in Milwaukee weekend after next, and then in Chicago in October. 

Later in October, I'm attending Mary Anne Oger's seminar in Dallas with my girlfriends.  I'm excited about that, as well, since I haven't yet attended one of her seminars and I loved her magazine, "Knit Words."  I hear she does a terrific seminar.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

New Video - Picture Knitting Without Intarsia Carriage

I try to do a new video every month, and I keep hunting for ideas.  Luckily, readers send good questions, and this video is in response to one of those questions:  Can one do picture knitting on just any machine?

Intarsia (or picture) knitting is a multi-color technique.  It differs from Fair Isle, which is a technique where you carry colors across at the same time.  In Intarsia, you pick up a color, knit it into the part of the row you want that color, drop it, and pick up the next color. 

Yes, Intarsia can be made on just about any knitting machine!  I suppose there might be some unusual or antique machine that simply won't slip past needles, but the knitting machines I know have a setting that lets them slip.  You turn on that slip (or part, or Russel lever) setting, and only selected, that is, pulled-out needles will knit.  That way, you can easily knit pictures.

Intarsia carriages and Intarsia settings make this quicker and easier, but some machines don't have that option.  You can still do it, though.  Here's how:

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Scrappy and Blended Handknits

I actually do this a lot - I will use a number of different yarns to hand knit something.  I have made several afghans using different colors and textures for something beautiful -

Here's a very pretty one at Yet Another Canadian Artisan - listed under "Easy Chair Stash Busting."

It SO hot here - I vote for the easy chair!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

New Video for August - Beautiful Buttonholes on a Folded Stockinette Band

Sometimes we overlook doing a plain folded buttonhole band, but it gives a great result.  It does not require a ribber or any fancy stitches, so you can do it on any machine.

I've seen a lot of different buttonhole techniques for this situation over the years, but I want my buttonholes to look perfect, or at least, look so good that if something's wrong you won't even notice it.  I do not want any lumps, bumps, tight or loose spots, or changes in texture.  Over the years, I've tried all kinds of things and I've finally come up with two preferred techniques that give the effect of the knitting just continuing right inside the buttonhole.  This is the one for a band knitted vertically. I have a little different way to do it if your band is knitted sideways, and I'll put up a video about that later.  It's grafted, and the buttonholes look incredible. 

Yes, this buttonhole can be also used for hand knitting. 

Best of all - if you can do a Kitchener graft from the wrong side, you can do this - it's easy.  And if you don't graft, this buttonhole is do good that it's a great excuse to learn how.