Working out the kinks in my drop stitch lace saga

Still geared up for accessories, I felt compelled to come up with an edging: the following is an end stitch release knit. Prior to binding off the “tape” end stitches are transferred to the knitting bed, and then they and the remaining stitches are bound off. The transferred stitches do not drop, and create a long stitch double knit segment. I am still working with the white acrylic

bound off and before release

with the release starting

after release

after pressing: flat, edge stitches too short

attached to back bed before knitting pattern  (purl side)

knit side

how to get top and bottom joining to match?

alpaca and silk swatch

surprise: this baby knits up/steams fairly flat!

the most regular dropped stitches happened when the stitch ditcher was used at least as frequently as every 4 rows, the lock was too hard to push with it resting on the knitting bed before each pass. I thought I might break down and use a built in technique and my color changer to drop stitches: Technique 256 here I come, and figlet! this is a completely different fabric and there is one row of loops formed for every 4 passes of the lock

I now get why some people call drop stitch with this technique mock garter stitch, but that is so not what I was going for, so back to the drawing board for me! I have an idea….

if the repeat is twice as long, and 2 of the 4 rows are knit without yarn, then loops created on the first 2 rows should in theory be dropped. Tech 130 in essence doubles repeat length. Using it and the same back bed pusher arrangement and settings as tech 256 the fabric is much more like the original, but tension now needs to be adjusted, denser knit stitches are now too loose… time for a very long break!

you can’t always get what you want, do you sometimes get what you need? . Curses! triple the number of stitches and tension problems occur, stitches don’t want to drop in specific areas of knit, now using combination of empty lock and occasional hand ditching, different yarn, totally different look fabric than on first sample: here it is on machine

here is why any lace needs blocking

finishing on the Brother : bottom and top of ruffle rehung and cast off around 2 gate-pegs for length matching width of “pleats”; piece and “ruffles” also rehung for same type of join after 1 row of knitting through both layers

the finished piece measuring 17X60 inches after partial blocking

a different stitch pattern (E6000 1130) in the white acrylic

color striping in the alpaca/silk blend, requiring dealing with yarn ends at color changer side

had the interesting experience while knitting the one above of both locks jamming in the color changer. So many ways to have fun! and … I still want some bubbles!

a thicker yarn, larger tension difference between the locks, a bit more bubble on knit side, but  too  much effort to knit

Mosaics and Mazes: knitting on the machines

Two great books on the subjects by Kathleen Kinder:

another article/printable PDF resource by Susan Guagliumi (this link no longer works, subscription and log in are presently required on her site for access to her free pubs)

Susanna Lewis:  “A machine knitter’s guide to creating fabrics” pp. 71-78, 1986. “Designing your mosaics” and “Figurative designs in machine knitting”  published in To and Fro Magazine, and presented at Passap University app. 1992

Denise Musk: “The technique of Slipstitch” pp. 36-46 1989

Barbara Walker Mosaic knitting companion CD by Morgan Hicks 381 motifs “charted and converted for your electronic knitting machine or crochet, .pat or .pcx format”.

 

Mosaics and Mazes: Hand Knitting

Interweave knits (HK) offers 2 events a year in their KnittingLab per year, and they are upcoming in the next couple of months. Of late in print, runway, and online another fabric getting lots of attention is that created by knit mosaics and mazes. A workshop is offered by Interweave at their seminars. Some books on the subject include

the standard (some samples may be seen here)

while crochet is getting nearly equal time including several publications such as this at Annie’s Attic

and writings and DVDs by Lili Chin including through Interweave

The hand knit versions incorporate garter rows, crochet working through posts, and there is interesting surface textural variation in addition to the overall patterning. Choices may be made for using the technique in seamless 2 color  pattern fields, in bands, trims, or all over designs. One may add striping within either color. In hand knitting purl stitches may also be added to the mix. Of course then the question follows: can these be done on the knitting machine?

Knit bubbles and “stitch ditchers/dumpers”

I encountered a photo of a commercial sweater not too long ago while knit surfing the web

and a bubble blanket available at Nordstrom’s during 2012

I had already been considering laces other than transfer for yarns that have been too crotchety to knit in that particular technique, and my Passap has been knitting idol for far too long.  The fabric above seems to alter between purl and knit sequences that would would require transferring all stitches to opposite bed for every other pattern sequence: out of my range of patience and time. The number of fabrics involving “lace” produced using the ribber involves a series of names with sometimes variations simply being specific to the technique performed on a particular brand, though possible on all.On the list: drive lace, pick rib, summer fair isle, drop stitch lace, etc. The above commercially produced knits seemed to be good candidates for drop stitch lace.

Since I recently posted on knitting long loops/stitches single bed, it seems natural to follow up that post as well with creating long stitches using the ribber, and using automatic patterning as well. The following photo is familiar to most Brother users:

In this instance the fabric is produced as a hand technique, requiring racking and row counting. The process is easier if all stitches are transferred to ribber in Japanese KMs or back bed on Passap, and long stitches are then created by selected stitches knitting on the opposing bed, and in turn being dropped. Punching a card, drawing on a mylar, or downloading to machines makes it possible to do so in pattern much more easily.

Punchcard books have several useable examples for such patterns. Two methods of release are used. One is end release, where the pattern is knit until the piece is completed, and stitches are dropped then. This works in friendly yarns and continuous repeats uninterrupted by rows of stocking stitch. If the design is interrupted, then regular dropping of stitches whether at the end of the repeat or intermittently throughout is either required or preferable, depending on the design.

As for dropping those loops that will form the long stitches, one can do so “manually” with improvised tools. For more “automatic” dropping of stitches using knit carriage in Brother patterning, one may punch a card or draw a mylar with a method akin to color separation that will allow for  a pass of the KH carriage across the knit with no yarn in feeder, “color 2” is actually “no yarn/empty”, while establishing the proper needle selection on its return. Studio selects and knits in same row, so needle selection disruption is not an issue, and in Passap techniques are built into the console that allow for “free/no yarn” passes. Both instances involve extra “knit” rows per item. As another alternative tools may be used that help the stitch ditching process. Studio had their P carriage, and Brother their own “D slider” for the bulky KM.

Studio/ Bro Bulky viewed from front

Studio/ Bro Bulky viewed from back

Passap’s need was anwered by an Australian woman: Faye Butcher,  who developed the item shown below. Such tools were often discussed in seminars and publications of the time, in conjunction with pile or “carpet” knitting, so “P” for such knitting in Studio, and “carpet stitch tool” for Passap, seen below

front view

rear view

in use on front rail

If patterning for long stitches occurs on the front bed, the Passap tool sits on rail where you see it in photo, it will release all stitches from needles in its path. Often directions for using it recommend its use  for 2 passes with locks on right. Passap preselects pushers for the next row of knitting as Brother preselects needles, pushers are below the rail, so in theory they should be unaffected by passes of its travels. Once things are up, going, and “working” I have found it possible to align the tool as seen in photo ahead of the next lock pass, so on right of lock from left to right, to its left from right to left, a bit of pressure will keep it in its place, and stitches are released each pass of the lock. This may result in having to operate the lock with one hand. There is also an optimum speed: if movement is not smooth and regular and needles are jostled, pusher selection may be altered in response, thus resulting in a patterning “mistake” on the next row. Challenging yarns may make this method impossible.

Some samples follow: the yarn used was acrylic, I attempted to press it on swatch completion, and this flattened the fabric considerably. Of note: the disparity in width between the stockinette portions of the swatches, and the dropped stitch segments

too open

a bit closer, much more so before steaming

a “mistake” that may lead to a future accessory, with some revising and planning

I am using Stitch Painter to plot out my repeats, exporting files as .cut files, using win crea to import cuts and download to console with a cable purchased from England. I replaced an ill tower dell with a 64 bit dell laptop half its age, and am now running windows XP instead of 98! My leaps into the present technologies/software are made using apple products. Technique 129 will work, color may need to be reversed using the alter loop, or within wincrea depending on how the pattern is drawn in the original graph, but that is a topic for another day (see april 2011 post: a bit on Passap for some information on Tech129). Back lock on N throughout, front lock on LX (slip/part on main bed for Japanese KMs). Single bed slip and tuck stitches may also produce “bubbles” of a different quality.

Coincidentally the 10th anniversary issue of Knitty has just been released, arriving in my virtual mailbox this am. There are 2 patterns in the issue that may be of interest, one is tin roof, the other employs ribbed/bobble/bubble for hand knitters. Another hand knit version by Kieran Foley may be found here

Re: copying/pasting my articles

I recently have received some posts asking  in the line of “Is it possible for me to copy and paste your articles for my blog site or is that copyright infringement?” I have chosen to share information freely here, appreciate the question. There certainly is no way to police what people do with the data, and google searches or sites such as tumblr sometimes will turn up some photos/info with credit as to its origins missing. I have made it a habit when posting articles compiled by others to give them credit, with direct links to their publications as provided by them, would appreciate the same courtesy being extended if my own information is to be shared on the web. TIA.