More Free Downloads!

Tucks and Twists is one of my all-time favorite sweaters.

I’m really happy to tell you that Knitter’s Magazine just gave me permission to share all of the patterns I did for them back in the 90’s. I have been busy scanning and have finally got them all added to the free downloads on my web site.

I think that most of the patterns have stood the test of time quite well. Just be aware that the yarns will most likely no longer be available and you will have to do some substituting. There is a wide variety of techniques to be learned from these patterns and many of them were done for the LK150. As always, you need to be registered for the web site newsletter to enjoy all the freebies. Also, feel free to share these patterns with your knit clubs and friends, but please make sure my name and the credit to Knitter’s Magazine remains on any copies.

“Back in the day” when I was with Studio, we used to advertise in Knitter’s (and other hand knit magazines) so they were much more open to featuring machine knit patterns than they might be today.

These are the patterns I just posted:

24 Gold Carrots – a multi-color tuck stitch pullover with 24 appliqué’s gold carrots that was the inspiration for the issue called Fakes and Funnies.

Basket of Flowers

Basket of Flowers – a really gorgeous hand-manipulated stitch that uses woven stitches to create an undulating fabric.

Little Girl Blue – a child’s cardigan with smocking.

Mozambique Mosaic – a fabulous LK150 two-color tuck stitch (AKA Tuck Mosaic) worked on the LK150. There is also a Tips & Techniques download on mosaic stitch and, of course, a whole chapter in Hand Knits by Machine.

Peacock Tails – is a light weight, open mohair cardigan that uses a unique hand transfer method that, in fact, I am revisiting in the ladder chapter of the current book project. This is a great technique to stretch your yarn further because the fabric is more air than stitches!

Sideways Vest – I designed it as a women’s vest, but they wanted more men’s patterns for the magazine and decided that this one qualified as uni-sex. This one features sideways construction and a neat little added detail at the beck.

Tucks and Twists – This was one of my favorite sweaters ever. It is a lush combination of tuck stitch, twisted stitches and the Judith Duffy cabled edging.

Royal Hawaiian – this one uses a narrow short rowed zig-zag band for the edging.

I also uploaded the pattern for an intarsia vest, “Como se Llama?” that I did for Knit ‘N Style Magazine, which has been out of publication for years.The entire vest is worked in intarsia and the charts are all included.

Lastly, Gini Woodward sent me the original directions that used to come with the garter bars (or, rather the “garter stitch accessory” as they called it back then). I have added that with the Tips & Techniques.

Silver Needles Electric Cone Winder

A couple of weeks ago, Barb Bankord contacted me and asked if I was interested in trying a Silver Needles electric cone winder. I have had a Simmet ball winder for years and was skeptical about whether or not I would use a cone winder, but I asked her to send it along so I could check it out. I am so glad that I did because right now I am going through yarn like “Grant through Richmond” working on The Book That Will Not End (TBTWNE) and all of the yarn, Cascade 220 worsted, comes in skeins that need to be wound into balls. Up till now I have been using the electric ball winder with a couple of little problems:

The ball winder requires me to tension the yarn through my hand and right now, in the dead of winter, the air is so dry that I keep building up static electricity that gets discharged when I turn off the unit. Ouch! The other issue with the ball winder is that it winds the yarn into a fairly tight ball and I usually have to re-wind each  ball to get a working tension on the yarn. I still love my electric ball winder, but I am also smitten with the cone winder and here is why:

First of all, it is hands free so no more shocks! The unit has a sturdy, non-skid base that keeps it in place even when winding directly from the umbrella swift. You can increase or decrease the tension on the yarn depending on how you thread the guide and there is also a knot detector. I didn’t bother using that feature to wind the Cascade because I almost never find a knot in their yarn (really) and I was afraid that it might put too much tension on the yarn as it came off the umbrella swift, but I’m not sure I needed to worry about that.

There is a little guide on the side that makes sure the cones fill evenly from end to end. You can use that stash of cones you have been saving (sorry, no more donations to the local nursery school unless cones are the wrong size) or you can order re-usable plastic cones with the unit. There is no comparison between the way yarn knits off a cone or a ball. I’ll take a cone any day, but up until now, none of the yarns I use had that option.

This little video will give you a good idea how the winder operates. You’ll also get a look at my studio space, which is next on the list for a good spring cleaning now that I have finished the charts for all 160 swatches in the 2nd chapter of TBTWNE. Just have to finish winding the yarn for the third and final set of swatches…….so the end is in sight.

I am really happy to recommend these cone winders. There are so few companies out there who cater to machine knitters’ needs. Silver Needles is a small, family owned business that has managed to stay in business since the 90’s. The winders are not inexpensive, but this time I think you will get what you pay for.

Contact info: Barb Bankord, PO Box 2722, Carefree AZ 85377-2722

Email: SilverNeedlesWI@aol.com     Phone: 480-488-2620

 

News, News, News

I have 4 things I want to talk to you about today – seems like everything happens all at once! – (1) The formation of a New England Machine Knitters’ Guild, (2) A class I am teaching in April, (3) A seminar in Minnesota and (4) some great used equipment for sale.

New Machine Knitters’ Guild!   

There are machine knitters all over New England and the Northeast and many (perhaps most) of them have few machine knitters in their area. Shops and clubs have mostly disappeared and people are on their own. If we all unite to form a single, large club/guild to meet twice a year, I think we could provide support and education for each other and help to keep machine knitting alive and well in this corner of the country.

With that in mind, I have reserved a meeting space for April 22nd at the Northford Recreation Department, 1332 Middletown Avenue, Northford, CT 06472 from noon to 3:00. Depending on how many people attend, we can assess whether there is serious interest in having such a group and move forward – or not. Northford is about 6 miles outside New Haven and fairly easy to reach from anywhere.

If we decide to meet again in the fall, we need to choose a governing board for the group. I am happy to get things started and to act as the conduit for this meeting space (a mere $20/hour for town residents!), but I do not want this to be the Susan Guagliumi knit club. I will be happy to see others step up to the plate and take on the roles of president, VP, secretary, treasurer, program, hospitality, etc. The membership may also have other ideas for a meeting space and that would be fine too. We need lots of input!

I really hope that as many of you who possibly can do decide to join and attend the meeting. We need to discuss what the most pressing needs are and plan our fall meeting accordingly. I would love to see some workshops for newbies and experienced knitters, to think about renting table space to vendors to bring in yarn and supplies, to work towards a full fledged New England seminar a few years down the road. How much can we charge for annual dues? Do we want to provide coffee? Lunches? Workshops in the morning before a general meeting – hopefully with a speaker or demonstrator? How would a club like this best serve your needs?

If anyone has any ideas about a short program we could offer on the 22nd in addition to all the business and organizational stuff, just let me know. I have asked the rec center to set up 50 chairs – I am an optimist! Please email me (Guagliumi@comcast.net) if you plan to attend the meeting so I can ask for more chairs if need be and so I have some idea whether I will have company on the 22nd. I hope to see lots of you there!

Machine Knitting Sweater Workshop

I have had a  number requests from begining knitters who want a step by step sweater class to get them started – so, here it is!

May 20 & 21,  Sat. & Sun., 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. STW Community Center, Northford, CT
Fee: $150 (includes lunch)
Description: This class will focus on all the steps of knitting a sweater by machine from charting and planning right through finishing. The instructor will advise students on suitable yarn for their machine and then students will purchase and gauge their yarn prior to the course. The instructor will assist in charting an individualized pattern for each student based on their own measurements and yarn gauge. Students may add embellishment or patterning to their sweaters based on experience and prior approval from the instructor.
Registration is through the North Branford Recreation Department, 1332 Middletown Avenue, Northford, CT. phone: 203-484-6017. Registration will not begin until March 20th.
Questions? Email Susan at Guagliumi@comcast.net

 

Minnesota Seminar March 24 & 25th!

I will be teaching a two day program for the Machine Knitting Guild of Minnesota and they have made space available to non-members on a first-come-first served basis. Click here MKGM Seminar for the registration info.

Used Equipment for Sale!

I don’t want this to become a bulletin board for selling used equipment, but a former student is no longer able to use her machines and I offered to list them here. You can contact her directly for additional info. The machines are located in Norwich, CT and can be picked up or buyer pays shipping. Click here for the list of Used Equipment.