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knitting cast-on hints, web finds, and more

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  • Rocking Horse Farm
    Hello friend, I have some interesting websites to share. Hopefully these will spark your imagination to warm a chilly winter day (unless you already live in a
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 19, 2008
      Hello friend, I have some interesting websites to share. Hopefully
      these will spark your imagination to warm a chilly winter day (unless
      you already live in a warm place!)


      VOGUE KNITTING recently sent an email announcing that "after some
      technical difficulties, www.vogueknitting.com is back and here to
      stay." Check out their free handknitting pattern downloads, including
      a cute racer hat, here:


      (some readers will have to cut and paste this link)


      ELLE magazine also has new free handknitting patterns. This offer
      requires signing up at this website: http://www.knit1.co.za/


      Machine Knitters are probably already familiar with the website for
      Knitwords magazine: www.knitwords.com

      We will soon have an announcement about a special guest at Rocking
      Horse Farm who will be familiar to Knitwords readers. Stay tuned for
      details about our February 2nd Silver Tea and Knitwear Style Show.


      We now sell SPIN-OFF magazine at Rocking Horse Farm. This magazine is
      for anyone who loves yarn. Each issue features articles of interest
      to spinning wheel enthusiasts, felters and fiber artists. There are
      also knitting and crochet patterns. The current issue was reviewed in
      the Rocking Horse News. Visit the SPIN-OFF website here:




      I've just uploaded new pictures from this month's Polar Fleece Hat
      Class by Barb Kuklok, the January gathering or Antique Round Sock
      Machine (CSM) enthusiasts, and pictures from the Winter 2008 issue of



      At Embroidery Club this month, Barb gave a great demonstration of a
      sewn polar fleece hat. Everyone had a chance to get a pattern
      template or cut fleece to make a hat. She demonstrated hooping the
      hat, embroidering and seaming. One of her extra hints was to save the
      thin strips cut from the stretchy side to embellish garments. Some
      people actually call this "Polar Fleece Yarn." It can be used to
      embellish the top of a pocket, as a hatband, or anywhere else your
      imagination can take you. There is a picture in the photos section
      (click on "2008 January fleece hat class" ) of some Polar Fleece Yarn
      braided into a strip suitable for use as a bit of decor on a felted



      Consider this a "Back to Basics" hint...
      We've received several emails in the past few weeks from people who
      are new to machine knitting and are having trouble casting on. I've
      just added this information to the Q & A page on our website:

      Q: I'm new to machine knitting and eager to get started but I'm
      having trouble casting on.

      A: Machine Knitting is an enjoyable pastime and shouldn't be
      frustrating. But sometimes it seems as if the cast-on described in
      knitting machine manuals isn't always easy to follow. We've had the
      best experience using the following cast-on, suitable for ANY
      knitting machine even if the manual doesn't describe this cast-on

      Do this method for a permanent E-wrap cast-on:
      1. Pull selected needles all the way out.
      2. Place carriage on the right.
      3. Starting with yarn at the left, loop the yarn around each needle,
      from left to right, counterclockwise (as if handwriting "e").
      4. Push loops back to stems of needles, close to the sinker posts.
      5. Thread the carriage.
      6. Move the carriage across needles to the left.
      7. Hang cast-on comb and weights. Always hang comb immediately for
      best results, not after a few rows.
      8. Continue knitting.

      If problems persist, check the condition of the knitting machine and
      carriage. Ask yourself some troubleshooting questions:

      Does the sponge bar have firm, fresh sponge?
      Has the carriage been lubricated and is it free of any excess fuzz or
      Do all the brushes and wheels on the underside of the carriage move
      Are all the levers and settings on the carriage in the proper
      position for cast-on?
      Are the needles in good working order, or are the latches difficult
      to open and close?
      Is the yarn easy to pull off the cone or ball?
      Does it flow freely through the tension mast and yarn feeder?
      Does the take-up-spring on the Tension Mast pull the excess yarn out
      of the way so a loop doesn't form on the side of the carriage? (Take-
      up springs can be replaced if they don't function properly.)
      If skein yarn is being used, has it been wound into a somewhat loose
      Is the yarn too thick or of poor quality making it unsuitable for
      machine knitting? Does it have enough elasticity?
      Is Knitting Machine Wax or Yarn Spray needed to help the yarn flow
      freely through the Tension Mast and carriage?
      Is there a problem with static electricity?

      All of these things can cause problems with the cast-on or general
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