Saturday, June 29, 2013

Stone Soup Hats

Have you heard the story of Stone Soup. It's a parable about making something out of nothing. I think of my charity hats as sort of Stone Soup hats.....I am trying to use up yarns that have lived in my house (or someone else's house) for too long. So, I am sort of making hats out of nothing. Much of this yarn came to me through donations/leftovers from estate sales.

Here is one of my favorite patterns:
It is Linda's Fun Fur Hat from the Machine Knitters Guild of San Diego.        then click on free patterns. It is made with one strand of fun fur and one strand of sport weight yarn.
I use any fuzzy yarn sort of like Fun Fur(Patons Cha Cha, Moda Dea Jai Alai, etc.) and any thin to medium yarn for the sport weight (even Jamie, or old baby weight as shown in the photo).
I use up odds and ends of the baby yarn, and don't pay attention if I run out of one yarn, I just tie on another yarn of any color and continue.
I also mix the fun fur type yarns, by using 2-4 rows of one color/type and then two to four rows of another. The hats are each different, but all will fit on my head.

My other fun hat which I have just tried for the first time this morning is Kathryn Doubrley's Bumpy Bulky Beanie from News & Views January/February 2013. My Stone Soup yarn (been in the closet for ages and ages) is Lion Brand Jiffy (at least I think it is)
I have not found it in her books yet, but maybe I didn't try hard enough. Check out her website:

My tip is to make sure that your punchcard is turning as it should. Mine sometimes did not turn and this lead to some pattern mistakes, but it is not super noticeable and I would wear this hat, so I hope the ones I give it to will use it too.  It is a soft and spongy hat in a lovely color.

Both styles are done on my bulky brother machine.

Friday, June 7, 2013

CMKG seminar Sept. 20-21

Our seminar will be at St. Giles Church in Raleigh, the same as in 2011...see my older posts for specifics about the location.

The hotel of choice, close to the seminar, is Comfort Inn and Suites, the same as in 2011. Ask for the seminar rates.

Our three demonstrators will be Kathryn Doubrley, Cindy Schmatz, and Diana Berns. Their proposed classes have been posted here earlier today.

Costs include the lunches both days, catered by Panara Bread and by Subway. More specifics will be posted later.

Here is where you can sign up:

Here are Kathryn Doubrley's classes for the September seminar in Raleigh:

Kathryn Doubrley bio:
I live and work in an old house in the small town of Crawford, GA. I bought my first
knitting machine in the 1980's. I wanted to knit the kind of sweaters I was seeing for sale
and could not afford to buy.
That machine was so dumb! I called it every name in the book. There was nobody near
me who had even heard of a knitting machine so I learned painstakingly from books and
by trial and error. But I did learn and added many machines to my collection. I finally
discovered guilds and seminars and really made progress. After many years, I got out that
original HK100. Goodness it had learned a lot! It works great now and I still have it.
Remembering how challenging it was to learn to machine knit in isolation, I always enjoy
teaching now, with special empathy for beginners. I write and design regularly for
Country Knitting of Maine News and Views magazine. It's lots of fun and keeps me
always looking for new ideas to develop in knitting. I also sell patterns and knitting
supplies from my website have an active Youtube channel
called “The Answer Lady Knits” and enjoy sharing with other needle-workers via yahoo
Ask Jack: Kathryn’s husband husband, Jack Doubrley has spent his career fixing
everything from airplanes to lawn mowers. He now applies his extensive mechanical
knowledge to knitting machines and helps knitters as “Ask Jack”. He’ll have a table
where you may consult with him about your mechanical issues. If you have a machine
that is malfunctioning, bring it along and he’ll have a look at it. If you cannot bring it,
bring pictures and a clear description of the issue. Consultation and minor matters will be
handled at no charge. If more extensive work is required, Jack and the knitter will discuss
terms and agree upon how to handle the matter. Jack has made several videos that appear
on my channel. These will give you examples of his work.
Below is a list of classes that I offer. All of them are suitable for all gauges and
brands of knitting machines.
Great Knitted Gifts
A great knitted gift has wide appeal, easy to fit or requires no fitting and is modest
enough in time and yarn investment that you can give it with pleasure. In this class we
look at a number of things that make great knitted gifts and knit one or two of them right
in class.
Fuzzy Logic is a discussion about working with furry yarns. I find that knitters feel much
more confident in using them after seeing and feeling the process so we’ll knit a scarf in
class and one of the knitters will take it home. This class shows how to choose a furry
yarn that will succeed on the machine, how to knit it on any gauge of machine and how to
finish fur projects to maximize their fluff. We’ll also look at several fur knitting projects.
Socks of All Sorts There is more than one way to knit a sock! Some ways don’t require a
ribber or moving batches of stitches. We’ll look at the many approaches to knitting
socks. I bring samples of all styles and usually can knit 1 or 2 in class
Knitting and Sew On. Is NOT typical cut and sew but instead a demo of professional
sewn finishes on knits. I bring samples to show and discuss and I bring a sewing machine
along and demonstrate any techniques that interest right in class.
I feel like Felting covers the principles of felting and a demo of how the oddly knitted
shapes become felted items. There are some basic principles that apply to all felted
projects. We cover those, knit a few samples and look at many felting projects including
shoes, jackets, mittens, purses, hats and more. Usually I put a pair of outdoor soles on a
pair of felted shoes in class. This involves using stinky glue so we can leave it out if
anyone has a problem with that.
Circular Logic is a class based on patterns that begin with circles rather than rectangles
as the main building block of the body shape. It covers the Merry-
Go-Round sweater and Circular Logic which is a book of sweaters knitted with circular
yokes. These are simple to knit but the concept of its construction is so unusual that
knitters benefit from seeing it work in person. We de-construct and re-construct a miniversion
of Merry-Go-Round to make things clear. Also covered are multiple short-rowing
techniques because these are needed for creating the yoke.
Crazy for Cables demonstrates a whole bunch of ways to get a cabled look besides the
classic cable. We include: reversible cables, wanderlust cables and faux cables that may
be created without crossing stitches. I bring a lot of samples and demonstrate knitting as
many of them as time permits.
Snug as a Bug: Learn to make cocoon style sweaters where a simple rectangle becomes
and amazingly good-looking jacket. These are wonderful because they fit nearly everyone
plus they are easy and flattering. In class, we'll examine several samples, pass them
around and try them on. You'll learn the principles that make a cocoon jacket work so that
you can go home and design your own or knit one of the designs in my book Snug as a
Bug which includes several complete patterns plus universal fill-in-the-blank patterns so
that even the arithmetic-impaired can design successfully using any yarn and machine.
Here are Diana Berns' classes for the September seminar in Raleigh:

Diana Berns Classes
1. (First class on the first day) Bulky machine—for demo-----------------------
Fun Gifts-----I will be showing Felted Purses, a Felted decorator basket, a child’s
bag, FUZZY DICE, a mitered purse, and super easy CROCHETED necklace ON
THE MACHINE(this has been as big a hit as the knit dishrags!!!!) We’ve sold
tons of these.They use a novelty yarn.
2. (Second class on the first day) Bulky machine for demo--------------
I will show my ONE-HOUR Prayer Shawl-or SCARF--Triangle shape—all short
rowed. There are many variations using an added lace ruffle- self knit fringe---even
tuck versions.
. New Ruffled items: these use the newest in purchased yarn that ruffles.(hat—
bag—and more)
I also have a cute Christening Dress using the new ruffled yarn for trim.(on the
standard machine)
3. (Third class on the first day) bulky machine with ribber-----for demo---
-Fun garments -Adapted from hand knit patterns to the bulky machine.
My examples will be a Lacey Schrug ---or afghan
Knit a cool ribbed shrug,too.
I will also be showing how to do the greatest Babies zip-up the back
sweater with a MITERED RIBBED HOOD. (I also have this featured in my new
18” doll HOODIE pattern.
LOVE THE KIDS---bulky hooded jackets.
4. (Forth class on the first day) Bulky machine with ribber-- BULKY JACKET---
with three different necklines(ribbed neck or—collar—or----hood) There is a short
or long length version. for adults.(this also has my wonderful front band --- there
is no hand sewing---I will be showing this several times-----it is a must!!!!) This will
be your favorite cardigan band ever.
1 .JACKETS----JACKETS----JACKETS (First class on the second day) Standard
machine with ribber for all classes on the second day.
Wrap Front Cardigan----this class will go through the steps on this very simple yet very
elegant jacket. It features a double front which forms the large pocket and the collar.
This is knit in 1 strand of Velveen and 1 strand of a fine Boucle yarn together OR a
double strand of a thin dress yarn)---great texture and great draping.
The front edge is finished off with a cable trim.
Thread Lace Cocoon----This long cocoon has a great front draping effect. Knit with
the thread lace technique in velveen and a fine thread---I used a super fine metallic. Knit
this in 5 simple panels.
FLARED JACKET: This is a very different jacket designed from a Vogue sewing
pattern-----Now you can knit it. I will show the no-hem Hem used on this garment.
I design many jackets that go into PLUS sizes.
Including the new SLIMMING JACKET.This is showing the new draped front
that is so popular now.
2. BEADS---LACE---AND CABLES This is because BLING is BACK.
Did you see in all the new hand knit books---Knit Skirts are back,too
3. “All in one” Sweater---the sweater with a built in shell---this technique of
knitting a garment with all the neck bands knit on each piece as you go. Featuring the
great front band that lays perfect every time.This band has no hand sewing.(includes
I’ve found the greatest bands for the bottom of garments that hang perfectly
straight. These are found in my book called “Tunic Trims”.(hems)
You will see a fast & fun shell neckband.
All combined with Super fast assembly. All for a very Classy looking sweater.
I’ll also show a sport weight cardigan called CLASSY CARDIGAN.
4. “It’s the Slits” This garment uses a unique double bed technique. I will be
showing you how to combine ribbed effects to create a beautiful piece of fabric with
great drape. It is designed as a long vest or long jacket. This garment has deep side
slits and ALL the bands are knit on each piece with no extra finishing----and no
curling. It is the greatest hanging jacket you’ll ever see. Use this technique for a
long slitted skirt also.
I will show how to make this garment in a 2X and even a 3X size .with one simple
change. HINT; sizes 1x-2x-3x all use the same tension and same number of needles.
Class 1-3--4-on a Brother Standard (930-940- or 965) with ribber
Class 2 on a Brother Bulky (260 or 270) with ribber
Diana Berns
Expressions Gallery/Knit Nook
1200-9th Ave SE
Watertown,SD 57201
Here are Cindy Schmatz's classes for the September Seminar in Raleigh.

Casting on: Single e-wrap, Double e-wrap, crochet, scrap & ravel, & broken toe, Etc
Binding Off; single post, double post, crochet, linker, etc.
Neckline trims
Lace, Fine Lace
Transfer Carriage
Instant Afghan/ Double bed tuck
Button Holes
Blocking & Finishing
Ribber adjusting
I've begun knitting hats for News&Views hat contest....that is MachineKnittingofMaine News&Views magazine. Some are hand knit, hey, I was traveling a lot, and others are machine knit. The earflap hat is from Clearwaterknits and is free.
I used the built in design #59 in my brother standard electronic machine. I think it came out okay, not perfect but usable. Here are some pictures:

I plan to knit many more hats by the early fall deadline. Check this page for info about the contest:

I have entered in the past, and the prizes are great. Linda says this year after giving out prizes for the best in each of the prize categories, that the names of all people who send in hats will be put in a drawing for all of the rest of the prizes.  I love this contest!