Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Machine Knitting

News of Sewing

Machine Knitting

New Cooking Adventure – Fermented Foods

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. All chopped, over 3/4 full. . . at least for now. 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. I guess hands are not the best tool for squishing th..
News of Sewing

Sacramento Area Machine Knitters – Meeting Time Update

Time has been moved to 11-1pm, which actually works really well for our group. Improves the parking situation. Now we can park right by the door, which makes carrying a heavy knitting machine better.Sacramento Area Machine KnittersWelcome Sacramento Area Machine Knitters Just a reminder... This blog entry is here to assist the Sacramento Area Machine Knitter's Guild in advertising their meetings on the Internet. I hope you will stop by one of our meetings and share your latest project with us! Meet with local Machine Knitters. Chat and discuss the art of machine knitting. All machines brands users are welcome, from the Studio, Brother, Bond to the Electronic Passap. We welcome everyone to bring a knitting machine. Learn how to use, work on a project or learn how to maintenance a knitting machine and get it up and running. Sacramento Machine Knitters Guild, meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays 11am-1pm (we meet throughout the summer at our normal days and times if there is enough int..
News of Sewing

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..
News of Sewing

Sacramento Area Machine Knitters

Welcome Sacramento Area Machine Knitters Just a reminder... This blog entry is here to assist the Sacramento Area Machine Knitter's Guild in advertising their meetings on the Internet. I hope you will stop by one of our meetings and share your latest project with us! Meet with local Machine Knitters. Chat and discuss the art of machine knitting. All machines brands users are welcome, from the Studio, Brother, Bond to the Electronic Passap. We welcome everyone to bring a knitting machine. Learn how to use, work on a project or learn how to maintenance a knitting machine and get it up and running. Sacramento Machine Knitters Guild, meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays 10am-noon (we meet throughout the summer at our normal days and times if there is enough interest). We also meet the 3rd Tuesday 10am - 2pm. We meet at St. Andrews United Methodist Church, 6201 Spruce Avenue, Sacramento, CA (off I-80 at Greenback exit, turn right at first street, up about 2 blocks, bear right at the curv..

Iris Bishop Kaleidescope Project

I was really pleased how this turned out. The pattern look complicated, but it was easier to figure out than I thought. I thought it should be made on a standard gauge machine. It turned out kind of small, so I think I'll do another one on my bulky machine. I made only one swatch. It has purple scrap yarn on each end since I had a lot of it. I had used a little for the smaller stripes. I decided that I didn't like the purple stripes. After talking to a machine knitting friend she said she didn't like the purple edging. Since its the scrap this gave me the idea to to fold it under and look at just wedge. It took the purple out of the "definitely no" zone.

Working With Charts

This skill hasn't been one I've put a lot of time in on as it really confuses me. Working today with my machine knitting friends we figured out how to read a chart in Mary Anne Oger's new book "The Handbook For Manual Machine Knitters" for the leaf pattern. The very first symbol made no sense to me, but Ellen knew exactly what to do. She showed me and I was off. Following the chart and the list for the symbols. Next it was Ellen's turn to get stuck and I knew what to do. I told her we needed to work the bottom of the chart from the outside in and the top of the chart from the inside out. I hope I've got this figured out. Our swatches looked wonderful. Ellen did a one leaf swatch and I did a 3 leaf swatch. When practicing something I like to do it more than once to get it locked into my brain. It was a fun day knitting. I look forward to putting this leaf pattern on a project.

Dragon Scale Mitts by Machine

I thought I could do it on my knitting machine despite many telling me I couldn't! I've been hand knitting Dragon Scale mitts and wondered if I could do it on my machine. My first attempts the scales were hung in the wrong place and wrong direction. When I had an experienced machine knitter in my house like Richard Smith I thought I needed to pick his brain. He had great insight into looking for the obvious. This made me quit simplifying the method and quit over complicating it too. Once I could see how the scale should be placed in the knitting it was a breeze. I made the sample wristlet for an example. Next experiment will be to time myself hand knitting one and see if doing it on the machine is truly a time saver. I've done so many of these by hand they go pretty fast. First swatch with proper placement of scales.

2016, Year in Review

Butterick 6318 / Vogue 2429 Butterick 5747 / Vogue 8701 I was going to skip a review of my 2016 sewing here on the blog - I am so far behind posting finished projects, and I have not been that motivated to remedy that situation, and things never really seem to be completed unless they are posted on the blog. Silly, yes, but true. Gala Gown / Vogue 9071 Sew Over It "Tea Dress" / Advance 8750 But the exercise of reviewing a years worth of sewing and knitting projects really helps me to reflect on what worked, what was not quite as successful, and designs that I would love to make again. It also reminds me of certain garments that have been a bit neglected! So here we are. McCalls 8358 & Advance 5912 / Vogue 1027 Vogue 9103 / Sewaholic "Renfrew" & Jennifer Lauren "Ivy Pinafore" Over the last couple of years I have tried to add more separates to my closet, and I have managed to do just that. Butterick 6285 / McCall 7053 & Butterick 6285 Vogue 9082 & Butterick 6285 / Advance 8751 & Butteric..

Red and Green, Cotton Sateen

A couple of months ago, I was contacted by Organic Cotton Plus with an offer to try two yards of one of their fabrics. What I was expecting to find on their site was a lot of solid colored fabrics. Well, it turns out, there are also a lot of really lovely prints to be found there. After perusing the website, I had it narrowed down to four choices. My final decision had a lot to do with the fact that this ginkgo print cotton sateen is 110” wide! I figured I could squeeze a dress out of two yards of fabric with that much width to help me along. Once I had chosen the fabric, I decided that I wanted to make a shirtwaist dress, so I pulled out BurdaStyle 7179. I have been wanting to try this design for some time, and I thought it would work nicely in a cotton sateen, provided that I could fit all the pieces on two yards of fabric. To give myself another challenge, I decided that I wanted to graft the sleeves of Vogue 8193 on the BurdaStyle bodice - sleeves that eat up a massive amount of..

Different color palette and some tips for a Fayne beret

I thought I’d share with you my own version of my new knitting pattern, Fayne, that I actually knit for myself. If you missed Tuesday’s post, this is what it looks like, but in alternate colors! (Pullover I knit from a vintage pattern, blogged here) The green sample knit below went off to live with my lovely model and fellow knitter, Madison. But I love that palette so much, I may need to knit one for me at some point, too! I also wanted to chat a little bit about the colorwork for Fayne. I talk about this in the pattern, but you’ll notice that in the inner workings of the colorwork, it’s made up of a lot of vertical blocks, which help build the illusion of plaid. Because of this, you have the same width of stitches with the same width of floats (stranding the unused color behind the other color being knit with), all the way up the hat. Depending on your knitting style and your yarn, this can mean each vertical block may end up looking a tad bunched up while you’re knitting. So I’m ..

How Do I Decide Which Red Heart Yarn To Use In My Next Project?

Whether you’re a longtime Red Heart cheerleader or are just discovering a new Red Heart yarn in your local craft store, sometimes it can be difficult to decide which Red Heart yarn fits the best with your project idea or pattern. In this post, I’ll help you choose from 11 of Red Heart’s most popular and newest yarns so you can make the right choice for your next crochet or knitting project. Baby Hugs Medium Yarn Facts: 100% acrylic,; certified safe according to Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Class I, available in 18 colors, machine wash and dry. Best For: Projects for babies and toddlers, people with skin sensitivities or allergies, and those receiving medical treatment; projects worn close to the skin. Baby Hugs Medium is a super soft acrylic yarn that has been tested as being free from harmful levels of over 300 substances. This cuddly yarn is perfect for anything that will be worn close to the skin, such as neck warmers, or for gifting and donating projects to anyone with skin sensitivit..

Black Friday Sales Codes 2016

Last year I wrote a compendium of my favourite sewing patterns and fabrics shops discount codes. Discount percentages (15% to 70%) and duration (Thursday up to Monday) of discount codes do vary by participant. Be quick to not miss out!!! Happy Shopping! Sewing Patterns The Billie Collection PDF Tilly and the Buttons code: BLACKFRIDAY By Hand London code:TURKEYLURKEY Grainline Studio Give thanks sale code: GIVETHANKS16 Thread Theory Designs No code needed. Papercut patterns code: BlackFriday Cashmerette patterns code: GIVETHANKS Closet Case Files code:THANKSGIVER Schnittchen sewing patterns code: sewblackfriday Fehr Trade Victory Patterns code:THANK YOU Megan Nielsen code: BLACKFRIDAY2016 Deer and Doe sewing Filles a maman code:BLACK2016 Les Fusettes sewing patterns code: BLACKFRIDAY Pauline Alice patterns code:BLACK République du Chiffon code: BLACKFRIDAY Style Arc Etsy store code: BLACKFRIDAY30 StyleArc amazon code BLFRSA30 at the checkout to get your discount. Sale ends Monday. T..

New Workshops for 2017! (plus some workshop FAQs)

Hey everyone! Just a quick update to let y’all know about a few workshops upcoming for the beginning of 2017! Just in time for the holiday-buying season, ha Weekend Garment Workshop at Finch Sewing Studio February 24-26, 2017 Finch Knitting & Sewing Studio, Leesburg, VA Join me for another open sewing workshop, this time in beautiful Leesburg, VA at Finch Sewing Studio! This is the same concept as my other open sewing workshops – there is no set project, you just bring whatever you wanna work on! This shorter weekend means less time off work, as well as a smaller price tag We will start on Friday evening with a meet & great, snacks and shopping, then spend Saturday & Sunday working on our projects! Whether you want to start a coat, focus on fitting, learn how to sew a perfect collared shirt, tackle your first bra, or just sit in a beautiful sewing shop surrounded by creative energy with a teacher on hand to answer any oh-shit-what-do-I-do-next questions – this is the workshop for you..
News of Sewing

On minimalist wardrobes

Well. The best thing about this blog is your comments. Really what fascinating reading. You make me think. Thank you so much for that, for taking the time to share. A few thoughts of my own now, seems less profound than what you have written here but here goes. My house was built in 1958. The bedrooms have closets that are a little more than one standard door wide, probably less than 3 feet across in each one. This surely reflects the number of clothes folks wore then. Who had a walk-in closet in those days? How many families had three, four, five kids and one bathroom? Imagine trying to talk minimalism then? So this is about the times as much as about clothing collections. After all you need a fair amount of stuff before you "edit". I have just got back from New York where I did have to pack a minimalist wardrobe to get by with a case I could carry on, in black and grey (which I hardly ever wear at all at home these days) so I looked a little less like I had an out of towner sign on m..

A Bounty of Gifts

Soooo it’s been almost six months since my birthday at this point – and I still haven’t gotten around to showing off some of the amazing sewing-related gifts I was lucky enough to receive! You’ve all already heard about one or two of them – the gorgeous fabric my sister gave to me, and the overlocker from my grandmother and aunties, but there are still some great ones to share! Also, I’d love to give you all a look at my new sewing space, now that it’s just about finished – so here it is! I got this gorgeous sewing cabinet as a present from my grandparents on dad’s side – it’s really upped my sewing-space game; I have no idea how I managed sewing on my desk in my room for so long now!! As you can see, it’s a compact wonder – it fits both my Singer sewing machine and Janome overlocker, all the pedals, and many of my tools and notions: scissors, rotary cutters, pins, needles, thread and overlocker spools, pressing hams – and yet it still closes up so small! I keep my Janome machine in i..

Miss Gloria Feels the Heat: Papercut Sway Dress

Hello, my loves! After six years of blogging, quiet summers have become something of a tradition on Idle Fancy, haven't they? The temperature skyrockets and all I want to do is wear yoga pants, drink iced tea, and wallow around in the air conditioning. Sewing begins to sound dreadful. Fit-and-flare dress? Ugh. Too tight. Cozy cardigan? Beyond depressing. I wouldn't be able to wear it until October. Jeans? Your optimism is hilarious. There is one silhouette that has been on my mind, however: the tent dress. They've been everywhere in stores again, this year, and have won me over. Sure, they're shapeless and--well--tent-like, but they're also flowing and lightweight and ideally suited for triple digit heat. I fell hard for a striped knit swing dress at Old Navy, then an embroidered white version at Anthropologie. They're not my usual silhouette, but they're the only garments I crave right now! Since I'm hopelessly late to this bandwagon, there ..

I Am Still Machine Knitting!

Admittedly, I don't craft as much since getting fit. Staying active became my main focus in 2012. I had a lot of weight to lose. I got it off and I've kept it off! What losing weight did was reinvigorate my desire to knit clothing. I often felt nothing would fit or look good on me. This steered me to making accessories and toys. Don't get me wrong I really enjoy making hats, bags, shawls, scarves and toys. I think they may get used more often than a garment, but I'm looking forward to making some clothing for myself. I have a couple patterns planned this year. Sometimes getting the pattern and yarn matched up takes some time. Right now I'm working on something that I wonder if I could take to the machine. First I have to figure out how to hand knit it. You know I'm not very good at hand knitting that's why I machine knit! This is a Dragon Scale Mitt. My scales are already upside down and I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. I have an ema..

Pattern Testing: The BHL Sarah Shirt

If you follow the By Hand London blog, you may have seen that I was included in their round-up of pattern tester versions of their new pattern, the Sarah Shirt! I was so flattered and excited when they asked me to test earlier this year, and it was perfect timing, because I was just starting second semester and not (too) busy with school yet. I'm definitely starting to embrace some looser, more casual styles, and I fell in love with the line drawings! Having said that, my secret shame at that time was that I still hadn't bought a table to set up my new sewing machines, and I hadn't tried either of them yet! So, for that week, I took over our kitchen table at our apartment and finally used my brand new sewing machine machine for the first time. Aaaand... it's amazing! It handled the drapey rayon so nicely (although the walking foot helped!), and the automatic buttonhole feature is just beautiful. Having only ever sewed on either a cheap machine or a machine that..

Out With the Old – a (Long-Overdue) Photo Dump!

Hello again, it's been a while! Once again, I've disappeared completely from the blogosphere for a couple months. One of these days, I will figure out how to juggle writing a blog while I have midterms and labs and assignments and applications and dance and life... maybe. In the meantime, I keep my Instagram a little more up-to-date with a mix of sewing, knitting, food, and pictures of Montreal when it's not slushy and gross like it has been the past few weeks. I'm currently enjoying some well-deserved time off over my reading break after a really crazy midterm schedule. I've had a chance to catch up on life a little bit, including finally setting up a dedicated sewing space in my apartment. No more sewing on the kitchen table anymore! I hadn't checked on my blog in close to a month, so I was a little surprised when I signed on the other day to see a lot of new traffic, since I've been voted one of the best sewing blogs of 2016 on Madalynne, in the &#..

january blues

Wow you guys! It feels like it has been FOR. EV. ER. since my last post! Happy Holidays! Happy New Year! So much belated happiness! My holidays were lovely, with a nice long visit with family on the East coast. Since coming back to Texas (and real life) I've been a bit slow to find my groove. If you follow me on instagram I've been trying to give little peeks at what I've been up to, but honestly my life feels pretty boring right now! I started a new knitting project (the Riptide pullover from Brooklyn Tweed's new Winter 16 collection - and I'm in luuuuurve with it). And I also joined a local gym which feels like a big step since my last post on my fitness journey. I decided I really wanted to lift heavier weights, which just isn't feasible in my apartment. So far it's been good! I've never been so sore, or hungry! Seriously, I'm like an eating machine... I also got a new lens for my camera (Christmas present from Nick, he's good to me)..