Simple markers make seaming simple

This is handy and pays off big time as you seam sweaters and such. All those pieces of yarn that you cut when you’re working on the machine?–snip a bunch of them into ten to twelve inch lengths and keep them handy. Collect different colors so you always have a contrast marker. Then, next time you’re knitting something that will be seamed together, hang a piece on the end stitches every 20 or 40 rows; the number isn’t important, the consistency is. When you’re seaming pieces together, these markers eliminate any question as to whether you’re staying even. Very helpful when seaming Fair Isle because changing colors puts different tension on your stitches and makes them tricky to match up if they’re not marked.

Taming the Curly Cord on an Electronic Machine

Summer’s over; landscaping is done! Time to knit!

My electronic machines have “curly cords.” Those of you who have them will understand: on every pass of the carriage, the cord grabs the mast. The curls are just tight enough to hang up for a second. One, it’s annoying. Two, I’m worried the stress will eventually take a toll on the wire(s).

PVC to the rescue again. I found a piece in the basement, about a foot long, narrow diameter. I lifted the mast out of the hole, slipped the PVC tube onto the bottom of the mast, and reinserted the mast into its spot. Now, on every pass of the carriage, the curly cord comes into contact with the tube, and it just spins. No hang up. No distraction. No stress.

Tips for new machine knitters: schematics

I thought I’d start posting tips for new machine knitters as they pop into my head. Today’s tip is one I have passed on to new machine knitters before, with big thank-yous later.

Do not buy a knitting pattern that does not include a schematic, with dimensions of course, and a few notable exceptions.

Exceptions are common sense and generally square or rectangular: hat, scarf, leggings, pillows. There is no other way to tell at a glance whether the pattern will fit you or whether you can modify it to do so. There are too many patterns out there with schematics to waste your money or time on those without. Machine knitting does not lend itself to knitting a while, then holding the piece up to you to see if it fits. You can’t even measure it while on the machine to see if it will fit, because the horizontal stretch across the needle bed has an inverse affect on the length.

Sites that have schematics:

Drops Design

Knitty –I’m not sure if all of these have schematics, but some do.

Ravelry –You may add “schematic” to the search field. If the designers have included that tag to their patterns, they will show in your results list. Ravelry requires you to join, but there is no fee.

That will get you started. If you find other sites that include schematics with their patterns, let me know and I will add them here for others to follow.