Sheep Checkup!

posted in: sheep, Uncategorized | 0

shetland sheep

Yes, there is always one sheep turned the wrong direction.  I should tilt the sides of the chute to keep that from happening I guess…  All the sheep are healthy and happy.  Waiting on lambs in Feb/March.

fleece

fleece

sheep

sheep

Washed Fleece and…

I have been washing fleeces.  Soon, I will be stocking the shop with locks and carded batts.  Today, I washed a light morrit Shetland lamb fleece.  The wool is next-to-skin soft.  I spun a small sample straight from the locks (no carding).  Nothing fancy, just a quick spin and a bit uneven (as I prefer it to be.)

shetland fleece

The kids’ kids (Nigerian Dwaft goats).

My daughter’s Paso Fino mare…an early Christmas present.  🙂

 

 

 

 

How to Cut and Sew a Hat

posted in: Knit, Machine Knit, Uncategorized | 7

I recently took an online class from Olgalyn Jolly.  Olgalyn is a knit textile and knitwear designer in NYC. She also teaches at the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Textile Arts Center.  When I saw she was offering an online class, I quickly signed up.  Her class answered my many questions about sewing knits.  I highly recommend her class if you want to learn about sewing knits with a sewing machine and/or serger.  When I say, “knits,” I am referring to sweater knits, not the thin commercial knit fabric.  To learn more about Olgalyn’s class click here.

This tutorial is for simple cut and sew knit beanie hats.  I have always wanted to make cut and sew hats.  They are simple and quick.  This is also a good way to use up leftover knit fabric and swatches.  I knit these hats (in photos) with a Passap E6000 and Silver Reed SK840.  Single bed fabrics are thin and pliable while double jacquard fabrics are thicker (warmer).  The thickness of the fabric may affect the seams.  The thicker the knit, the bulkier the seam.  This is not a concern, just something I thought I should point out.

You can use any knitting machine to knit your fabric or even use hand knit fabric.  You will need a rectangle of knit fabric which is wide enough to go around your head (minus ease), and tall enough to reach the top of your head/crown.

Use a flexible tape measure to measure the circumference around your head just above your ears.  Also measure from the middle of your ear to the top/middle of your head.  Once you have these measurements, you will know what size rectangle you need to knit.  Since knit fabrics have stretch, you will need to add some negative ease to your head circumference measurement to make the hat tight enough to stay on.  I am not going to go in detail about how to get gauge/size for your hat.  This information can be found easily online or in hand knitting books.

Hats are best when the fabric has some stretch.  Avoid 100% cotton.  It has no stretch.  Wool works very well.  Synthetics are also good.  Remember the seams are more visible on thicker knits like bulky knits and double bed jacquard.  Below, all the hats are double bed jacquard except for the green/gold which is a single bed fair isle.  I do find that wool steams very well and the seams tend to be nearly invisible.  The hats shown below where knit with mill end yarns/synthetics.  I did not pay much attention to pattern repeat or matching.  If you want a more invisible seam, be sure to have a perfect pattern repeat (this can easily be adjusted in DesignaKnit) and pin the back hat seam carefully.

Below is a rectangle of fabric knit in double bed jacquard knit on a Passap E6000.  This size is good for a women’s medium hat (See ruler measurements in the photo).  A starting point for cast on may be to make a swatch 50-0-50 with 100 lock passes (for Passap DBJ).  Make a swatch on your machine and figure gauge.  You will then know how many stitches to cast on and how many to knit.

I have the fabric laid out with the raw edge at the top and the cast on edge on the bottom.  The cast on edge will be the part of the hat above your eyes.  The raw edge/live stitches will be the crown seams.  In the photo below, you are looking at the right side (patterned side) of the fabric.  You need to fold the fabric with the right sides (patterned sides) together so you will be looking at the back (wrong side) of the fabric.

The photo below shows the fabric folded.  Right sides are together with the open edge on the left.  Be sure to match the edges up good.  Pin if necessary.  Be sure to sew starting at the cast on edge to ensure the seam matches up perfectly.  Take your fabric to the sewing machine and sew the seam from the cast on edge to the top live stitches/crown.

Below shows the seam sewn.  Steam open the seam to flatten.

Photo below- Now you need to use something round to mark the corners of the crown/live stitch edge.  A plate of any size will work.  Place the plate by the corner and mark the round edge line.  (I am using a yellow chalk marker to mark my lines.). Mark both sides.  Then sew on the line.  There will be an open gap that is not sewn (see note on next photo).  Use a serger or a zig zag to sew another stitch line by first line to reinforce edge for cutting.

Below shows after sewing.  Now cut off excess fabric.  Note: The top/middle of the crown seam of the hat is not sewn.  Only the corners have been sewn.

Below- Excess fabric cut off.

Below- Now you will fold the hat in half (the opposite direction) to sew second crown seam.

Below- Mark the seam by rounding both corners.  You will be sewing across the center seam to close the gap.  Be sure mark your sewing line so you do not leave a hole where the two crown seams intersect.

Below– After sewing the seam.  Be sure to sew the zig zag or serge the seam to reinforce the edge.

Below– Cut off excess fabric.

After cutting off excess fabric, steam the seams to flatten.

If you have any tips to share, please post in the comments.

Fall Weather and Riding!

Lots of things need to be done around the farm before winter sets in… but one of the most important is making sure there are no cold feet!  I have been knitting wool blend socks on my circular sock machine.  These socks are a basic pattern with a ribbed top and short row heel.  Knit on my Erlbacher Gearhart circular sock machine with a 54 cylinder.

 

circular sock machine socks

 

circular sock machine

csm

Yes, there is more going on than just sock knitting.  The cooler weather means lots more trail riding!

paso fino

 

Fleeces and Lambing!

posted in: farm, sheep, Uncategorized | 0

The 2019 lambing is not too far off.  I have been checking pedigrees and deciding which ewes I will be breeding this fall.  If you are looking for fine wool Shetland lambs, I will have some available in the spring.

shetland wool fleece

Here are a few photos of the 2018 fleeces.  I will be listing 2019 fleeces on my website (not my Etsy).  More info to come about that around shearing time.

shetland fleece shetland fleece shetland fleece shetland fleece

 

Fancy Pots

posted in: Knit, Machine Knit, Uncategorized | 0

OK, from reading the title of this post you may have been expecting something really amazing... but no...sorry to disappoint you...  LOL!  I found a pattern on Knit Picks website for flower pot cozies.  I didn't like their colorwork pattern but thought it would be a great way to knit swatches and have a use for them.  I knit my cozies on my Silver Reed 840 standard gauge and used Designaknit for the patterning.  In Designaknit, I opened a new pattern of 30 stitches and 100 rows.  For the fair isle designs--I imported a vertical border and centered it in the middle of the pattern. (edit/import/vertical border).  The purple cozy was just knit in a tuck stitch pattern (not centered).

 

The cozy pattern is simple:

Cast on 15-0-15.  I used fingering weight yarn.  (You can use thicker yarn, but knit fewer rows of patterning.)

Knit 7 rows.

Place eyelets approximately every 4th stitch or so.

Knit 4 rows.

Set your machine up for patterning (fair isle, tuck, slip whatever you decide) and knit 100 rows.  (This is what I used for the small and medium terra cotta pots--adjust as needed for your pots.)

Knit 7 rows of stockinette.

Place eyelets approximately every 4th stitch or so.

Knit 4 rows.

Cast off.

Finish with heavy steam.  (I knit with wool yarn.)

Wrap cozy around pot and lace heavy cotton yarn through the eyelets (like lacing a shoe).  Adjust to fit pot.

 

 

The Elusive Long Stitch Half Milano Edge

posted in: Machine Knit, Uncategorized | 0

half milano machine knitting

I knit the samples above a few months ago.  I couldn’t decide whether to write up a tutorial or not….  I rarely post tutorials on my blog.  I have always been inspired by my friend Carol’s blog.  She has a wonderful blog for Passap knitters with lots of tips and tutorials.  I thought maybe I should take some time to share a little bit on my blog too…

The photo above shows some samples I had knit a while back on my Passap E6000 (grey sample) and Silver Reed SK840 (mustard colored sample).  I knit lots of scarves which are mostly all knit on the double bed.  I don’t like how the edges of single bed scarves roll.

Over the winter, I thought I would be nice to have a single bed fabric for a scarf because it would be a lighter fabric.  There is the edge roll issue with single bed fabric.  But what if I could rib the edges?….  I have a couple of double bed books which reference the long stitch (also called half Milano) technique but most instances are as a backing.  I found a blog that showed the long stitch edge with stockinette in the middle.  I did not want plain stockinette for the center knitting but a tuck stitch or slip stitch design.  Since tuck stitch seems to curl a bit, the edges will be tamed with the long stitch edge.  Once I started knitting these samples, I realized there are many possibilities for the center design…

You can follow the directions in the blog I linked if you need detailed set up directions.  Basically, you are just casting on in full needle rib.  After the ribber circular rows, knit as much “end” border as you want.  Then transfer the middle stitches (which will be your patterned knitting) to your main bed.  (Main bed is: back bed Japanese, front bed Passap).  Leave as many stitches on the ribber as you want for the long stitch edge.  Passap use black strippers.

In the photo below (ignore the dark spots caused from my iron during steaming!), the sample shows an edge with 3 stitches and 4 stitches.  The scissors in the photo on the right show the line between the 3 stitch edge and 4 stitch.

I made a basic pattern in Designaknit (DAK) for my SK840 and Passap E6000.  I used a built in tuck pattern from DAK.  Remember to leave plain rows in your stitch pattern for the ribbed edges.  I have found that 5 stitches works good for a basic scarf.  The photo below shows 3 plain stitches on the side for the SK840.  For the E6000 you make your stitch pattern in plain black and white squares (no symbols), leave your edges stitches plain for however many stitches you want on the edge. When using the Passap and DAK you must “lie” to DAK.  On the DAK download screen, you have to enter a double bed jacquard technique (example 183).  Click download.  Once it is downloaded to the machine, you will enter your technique you will really be using.  I used T130.

When knitting on the E6000 remember you will have to slip one direction on the back bed.  You only want the back bed to knit every other row.  I messed around with different lock settings and I think there is a lot more to discover with this.  I used CX on the back lock.  I am going to knit up some scarves and try some other locks settings and see what happens.  😉

I saw a  wrap on Purl Soho which I believe is this same technique.  So you can knit narrow or wide fabric with this long stitch border.

 

 

Happy Scarves

flat rib scarf

These are flat rib scarves knit in bright “happy” colors. The flat rib can be knit on any knitting machine with a ribber (double bed).  Set your machine up for full needle rib (all needles in work on main bed and rib bed).  Needles are alternating–not directly across from each other.  Knit your cast on (zig zag, hang comb, knit circular rows).  After the cast on is complete, you will transfer some ribber stitches to the main bed and put those ribber needles out of work.  All main bed needles remain in work.  On these scarves I had 4 needles out of work (or was it 5?) on the ribber and then one needle in work.  Repeat this pattern across the entire ribber bed.  I had 2 ribber needles in work on the edges of the bed.  Once you have this set up, knit across slowly with the carriage/lock or knit across by hand. Knit across by hand by doing a “free pass of the carriage/lock, then knit the yarn into the latches and knit off– by hand.  This row will be hard to knit because of the doubled up stitches.  Knit scarf to length desired and bind off.  This pattern knits lays flat (edges do not roll).  It is a great pattern for using up stash and “gifting.”

Remember when knitting in full needle rib, you will need to use lighter weight yarns than what you would use for single bed or 1×1/2×2 rib etc.

The scarves photographed were knit on a 9mm bulky machine in worsted weight yarn.

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