Sunday, March 23, 2014

DIY - how to make a knitting pattern using Excel

... Because I don't have a knitting software

...perche' non ho un programma per la maglieria

I already mentioned here that I use Excel to simplify my life while planning for a machine knitted garment.
For necklines, for planning motifs, for stripes.
Ne ho gia' parlato qui che uso Excel per semplificarmi la vita quando devo pianificare un lavoro fatto a macchina.
Lo uso per gli scolli, per pianificare dei motivi, per le righe.

Last week I took on a different, rather more difficult challenge: I wanted to make a sweater that was in my mind, with an asymmetrical odd shape, that wouldn't look like a potato sack once worn.
La scorsa settimana ho voluto fare qualcosa di un po' piu' impegnativo: ho voluto fare una maglia che avevo in mente, con una forma strana asimmetrica, ma che nello stesso tempo non sembrasse un sacco di patate quando indossata.

Friday, March 21, 2014

DIY machine knitted pillow covers

owning a knitting machine means 

that everything around you suddenly should be knitted

So when my mom asked me to make her some pillow covers, I didn't even blink. 

I made these 4 pillows using a very thin cotton yarn (2/50 - used in 6 ply) passing the yarn through the paraffin 3 times. 

The finished pillows measure 42 x 42 cm (16-1/2 x 16-1/2 inches)

...and here they are, in action!

machine knitted pillow tutorial:

these are the two punchcards
I turned the two screws on the back of the carriage
so that the side stitches were making the edges 
once I all the 365 rows were done, 
I did few rows  with scrap yarn and closed the last edge with the crochet hook
The soft part of the velcro is on the crocheted bind off edge,
while the rough part onto the ribbed part with the tubular edge.
Because the tubular part will be the one on the top once closed,
I placed the velcro strip at 1/4" from the tubular, so that it wouldn't be
visible once the pillow cover is closed.
Since the velcro has been machine knitted on the edges,
close the velcro strips with the pillow cover inside-out

Place the opening (while firmly closed with the velcro) in the center  of the
pillow cover, and pin (and sew) the sides.

 ... and what I didn't plan right...

(or what it went wrong...)

I did the 13 rows of ribbing thinking of the width of the velcro  strip.
Once I pinned the velcro, the strip was becoming visible from the edge,
so I placed it about 1/4" farther inside the edge.
Unfortunately, now the seam of the inside part is quite visible since it's on the jacquard motif.
...but it is ON THE BACK SIDE.
Anyway: a happy mom... PRICELESS.


keep in touch! 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

DIY dyeing wool yarn with food coloring

My first, second and probably last attempt at dye my own yarn!

I saw all the pretty colorful yarn dyed with food coloring and I wanted to give it a try.
If you are in the US, you can find everything you need to know about yarn dyeing on the website. (thanks Filitaly for the hint!)

In Italy, lots of these brands aren't available, and I wanted to make my yarn exactly that day, without waiting for an amazon delivery... So a trip to the supermarket later, I started to get busy (and quite messy). My local supermarket carries only one brand, and only four colors... so I had to try and make it work with what I had.

Inspiration comes from the wonderful yarn I saw on Filipbrat FB page.
One thing to remember: things won't go according to plans!
This is what I was aiming for: and this is what happened.

A closeup of the swatch made with my DIY yarn!

In the end, I was happy with the result, even if it is quite different from what I was looking for!

Because these food colors are really bright,
I started with a skein of light grey 4 ply merino wool.

preparation of the colors: I used: blue, red and green.
I added a splash of  blue to the red and green to get the purple and the teal shades.

folded the skein in three parts and placed into the glass jars with the dye,
as for the tutorial on la fiaba russa

The skein took about two days to dry.
I speeded up the process by hang onto the radiator for the last 5-6 hours.

This is how it looks once rolled on the cone and knitted!
I had fun, indeed.
But I will most likely not doing it again! Why?
Between colors, time, and a high chance of not getting what you're looking for, this project is a bit on the expensive side.
Not to mention that best results will happen while working with a small skein, rather than what I did: I had a thick 400 grams (almost a pound) skein to be able to complete a sweater.

Before that, I tried with some white yarn.
This yarn was given to me by the lady that sold me the knitting machine.
It a huge cone, and I didin't know the composition.
I followed the tutorial from artherapy .
.. and this is what happened.
Major Craft Fail! turned out... it was acrylic. The blue didn't stick to my yarn at all,
and all I got was a spotty dirty-white and pink yarn.
Pink isn't really my thing!

xox, d.
keep in touch! 

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