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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Machine knitting road trip PART 1

At the end of February I had a lovely visit with Morgan Hicks of All Points Yarn, south of Seattle in WA. It's great to put a face to a name I've seen online for years. Morgan was very helpful to me last year in brokering the upgrade from Design-a-knit 6 on diskettes to DAK7 on CD, and in helping me get some landmarks in the sometimes Byzantine task of navigating North American DAK support.

It was interesting to be able to talk machines and DAK, and to hear about Morgan's recent work with a blind machine knitter, and efforts to allow DAK to provide the interface required to navigate it with accessibility software. Actually, it sounds like these changes might make the software more usable by those who could see, but would rather keep our eyes on our work while we are knitting.

All Points Yarn has a great feel to it. From the outside it's narrow, but inside it is open and inviting. The front looks a lot like hand knitting stores I've seen elsewhere, but through a wide doorway to the back room there is a conversation grouping of chairs for knitting, visiting and learning, and rows and rows of cone yarns. And, in the back room, I spied a midgauge silver reed machine, and a set of shelves with boxed up machines and accessories.

Oh, and the bookshelves were amazing to browse. Many books I hadn't seen before that were new and interesting. I came away with two: a book on modern twinsets to feed my imagination, and a book on understanding charted knitting, which I will used both to understand, but possibly also to write charted designs.

And I also bought some super wash yarn to knit a scarf for DH on my soon-to-be-new-to-me Brother 965i with Gcarriage.

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