Short rows_ balls, tams, 3D rounds

These forms involve bilateral shaping. 3/4/16 Note: the charts below were produced using the program Intwined, which has been unsupported or updated for Mac since June 2013. At that time I encountered major problems using it, and after being restored the program has remained unpredictable, missing functions that influenced my choice to originally purchase it. The first row knit needs to be toward the first 2 row sequence in the design.

16 stitches, 6 rows, 8 repeats

28 stitches, 12 rows, 8 repeats

17 stitches, 8 rows, 12 repeats

28 stitches, 10 rows, 12 repeats

The samples were knit in “waste” yarns, and seamed on the machine;  if turned purl side out the latter is acceptable, or work could be flipped over and joined on the machine, bringing the join to the purl side; of course kitchener stitch is always the least visible but most time consuming option.  The green forms in the photo were knit using 8 repeats, the white ones 12)

Back to charting in Excel: knitting tams

tam 1: 6.5 sts and 9 rows per inch, 12 inch diameter, 12 gores, 38L, 30R

adjust for gauge:  mine below on bulky machine tension 3, ap 5 sts , 5.72 rs per inch, 10 gores, 26L, 20R

test swatch, if fewer rows are needed for head circumference formed on rt, first 2 rows may be skipped every third round or as needed, extra red rows on top may be added if additional width is needed to fit head comfortably

my hats in 2 different fibers, sizes M and L

going bulkier for an “urchin”: 2.5 sts, 5 rs per inch, 8 gores

step 1, HK, W = wrapped st

a way to size up, adding rows and sts

gauge may be hard to match even eon on bulky. HK version, flipped so as to knit increasing angle, no wrapping required with any of my yarns in this series, test swatches suggested

looking at it another way

in the above, the black represents knit stitches, arrows indicate direction of knit/ reading the chart, the yellow the unworked stitches in each row, no wraps; my sample was knit in garter stitch on size 11 needles, brim circumference = 21 inches

Programming for use of repeats on knitting machines (there are limitations based on gauge and machine model): black/colored squares represent knit stitches. When the machine is set to slip, those squares/punched holes will knit, while blank areas/non selected pattern needles will not, emulating holding techniques. Knit rows need to happen toward 2 row sections of charts, so that needles are “brought to hold” opposite the carriage;  KC (II, no end needle selection) row needs to start the carriage on the side opposite to the first such sequence. For example: in the charts for the balls the KC row would be from left to right, the first knit row from right to left, with the first set of needles to be “held” opposite the carriage on the second knit row. The principle is considered throughout, and the last row knit across all stitches will get the carriage back to the required position for beginning the sequence for the next segment. When knitting on the machine, if row counter tripper is turned off, the RC may be advanced manually as each wedge is finished. Tracing on the charts for such stitches, pretending to be knitting and following with a writing instrument the direction / movement of the carriage to each side helps to clarify the process and find possible errors or more needed rows prior to actual knitting.

If kitchener stitched together, finished hats will be reversible, may be worn in a variety of ways, and takes on a slightly different shape depending on which side is worn on the outside. An excellent series on kitchener stitch may be found on the TECHknitting blog

garter grafting video

if blocking of hat forms is required, plates may actually come in handy

if brim is too loose, work one or 2 rows of crochet or of knit rib to gather it in a bit

Holding stitches/ short rows

I am planning a thread on motifs and miters, here is a brief review of holding stitches in preparation: short rows are just that. Instead if going the full width of your stitches across, you knit only a portion of the stitches on the machine, turn, and go back to the beginning, which results in one portion of the fabric knitting more rows than the other side or fabric. It is also referred to as partial knitting. It is used to create many angles and curves. The machine’s knit carriage needs to be set appropriately; needles pulled the furthest position (E_Brother_holding lever, D _ Studio _Russell levers, Passap will need pusher adjustments) will not knit. To return stitches to work in increments push stitches back into upper working position (C or D depending on machine brand). In patterned knitting stitches must be returned to the proper position for patterning with a transfer tool. In Brother machines needles need to be arranged manually in proper location for the pattern to knit correctly, Studio machines will do it automatically since they select and knit on the same row. When using holding with the lace carriage held stitches are knit back to A using ravel cord, and returned to the needle hooks in work position when they need to be knit. Because knit row sequences are in pairs (or more) there will be slits or “holes” perceived at the edge of the held knitting, these can be considered a design feature or nearly eliminated by “wrapping” first adjacent held needle before knitting the second row, or knitting one stitch less than the required amount toward the held stitches, and then bringing the remaining needle into work before knitting back. Bringing more that one needle into hold on the carriage side will create “floats, so multiple stitches are usually brought into hold opposite the carriage. Knits often tend to stretch more in width than in length, so in garments such as pleated skirts, it is likely the piece (knit sideways) will grow in length and tighten in width, with tension and garment weight providing 2 more factors. Large swatches and having them rest in the position in which the knit in the final piece will be worn are a necessity in calculations. Some references:

Settings and images of wrapping to avoid holes

Calculating frills and triangles online

Short row one side only Diagonal corner Short rowing 2 sides at once

Shaping shoulders and necklines (Studio) Knitting: see for PDF download info

Machine Geometrics – Susan Guagliumi – Threads magazine, April-May 1987, pp 66-71.

A ravelry post on topic with hints for hand knitting by Rox Knits

TechKnitting on HK topic


Using the Brother knitleader: some tips

I recently brought my knitleader out of moth balls after a long period of no use, tend to use the magic formula for most of my simple charting

some hints on using the Brother knit leader:

Standard machine:

Vertical control: before you can shift gears you must depress the clutch.

Testing for accuracy: set the row regulator to 150 mm and turn the knob 20 rows. The mylar should move the distance between 2 heavy lines, 5cm or app 2 in. After measuring your swatch: draw a small horizontal line on the mylar sheet, followed by a vertical one to match cm +mm measurement for 60 rows, and a small horizontal one again, air knit 60 rows, beginning at the bottom mark, and at their completion the top mark should be reached.

For ruler accuracy: there should be exactly 40 stitches between 0 and 40, lining up the tape on your swatch stitches and corresponding lines should match. If they do not, select another ruler close in range, until they do.

The pin is usually set in the feeding lever in the hole on the left.  The hole on the right is used when the length of 60 rows is less than 6.0 cm, which can occur in textured stitches such as tuck and slip.  In such cases the row measurement is doubled, and the pin is inserted in the right side hole.

Using it on the bulky: make swatch as directed. The bulky machine included stitch rulers when purchased new. There are 2 gauge numbers on each corner instead of 1.  Every 20 stitches and 30 rows should match the numbers used for measurements. With the pin placed on the left hole of the feeding lever the arm will be tripped twice with each pass of the carriage.  The shorter tripper on the back left of the knit carriage trips it once, the longer row counter tripper on the right also trips it on the travels from one side to the other.

Using half scale patterns on brother’s full scale knitleader.

Make the usual 40 by 60 row swatch (on the bulky 20 X 30 rows), or your preferred size and adjust measurements accordingly.  Measure swatches with any centimeter ruler.

The stitch gauge: 1: follow outline but double the number of stitches indicated at all times, or 2: purchase a set of studio half scale rulers and the accompanying “green ruler”. The S side of the ruler is used to measure stitch swatches over 20 stitches. The number just inside the right marker corresponds to the number of the correct stitch scale to be selected from the set. Each mark indicates one stitch. Measurements are based on 10 cm (4 inches).

Plastic rulers need to be taped into position. If there is a handy copier, paper tapes can be constructed and placed/adjusted to suit, after checking on accuracy of reproduced scale.

For the row gauge: On the knitleader the central peg is normally put in the left hand of the 2 holes on the plastic fingers in the front. If you put it in the right hand hole however, the chart only moves every 2nd row, which balances out the 1/2 scale in length. Program as always, setting cm and mm after pressing the clutch, but drop the connecting pin into the right hole of the feed lever.

Every other needle knitting: measure the swatch in the usual way, divide it by 2, and count every other line as a stitch, or use a ruler that factors in the number of needles as “stitches” before needles were put out of work.   If the row count is higher than the highest number available on the regulator, divide the total by 2, and draw the outline half scale.

I like to measure a large swatch, and get my final measurements via math to the second decimal point. It is possible on my model to shift tape to change the center 0 postion. For sideways knit or wide pieces tracings of rulers can be made with 0 marking at the far left or right as needed.

The mylar sheet may be turned over, shiny side up for use in asymmetrical shapes that need reversing / do not have a central axis.

Drawings on mylar may be followed for colored intarsia, or intarsia weaving.

Altering scale of pattern drawings: he studio half scale ruler was quite handy, pictured

studio gauge rulers

a ravelry post on “unraveling the green ruler’s mysteries; scale drawing and rulers’ use; instructions for creating printable rulers

water soluble markers are helpful  for colored cues for garment segments, multiple drawings on a single sheet, etc. I use

template marking pencils may also be found in colors

Lace mesh motif charting_ Mac Numbers_ a touch of Excel

This lace “separation” for a mesh motif was created using Mac Numbers, for use on ane Brother knitting machine, with Lace Carriage on left side, the final design requires 4 passes by the lace carriage followed by 2 rows of plain knit throughout. Similar results may be achieved even simply using color pencils and graph paper.

hand knit motif inspiration

assigning colors/ coding direction of transfers

splitting rows

copy and paste above in a “blank” part of spreadsheet creating a new table; resize cells by selecting all in the new table, and clicking/ dragging on bottom line of any of the grey, numbered row cells on left to number/ measurements of cells in the original document. Release the mouse, and all cells will be uniform in size. Note: on first and all odd rows colors occur, but no symbols. On even, there are both colors and symbols. On odd rows (no symbols) now “erase” the green, on even (symbols) erase the red, results below,  on the right

mark outside of motif on above right with a third color, beginning on the second row; cut and paste complete motif in a “clean area of your sheet so it is surrounded by blank space, this will save a lot of “erasing” (technically this creates a new table)

select and copy blank rows as wide as your motif (blue outline on left)

click on 3rd color square beginning at bottom left, use insert copied rows command, adding 2 blank rows between pairs of rows that will become markings for lace transfers,  moving up the design, ending with 2 blank rows as well

the resulting “separated” mesh repeat, now 92 rows long:  spacing between repeats and number of knit rows at its top may be adjusted to suit preference/ taste. Red and green squares are what is punched, or black squares on mylar sheet, etc. Note: red containing rows have no symbols now, while green ones still do, another visual check

with repeats this long, it is worth marking up the final  template like that encountered on the card or mylar as described in previous posts: a pdf tree_lace for downloading and marking to suit, depending on mylar sheet or punchcard use

the resulting swatch

some added notes: I own 2 Brother 910s, one I can safely categorize as cranky. It took using the same mylar on my less temperamental machine to get accurate and consistent patterning for my test swatch. Mis patterning can be due to a large number of causes, enough to warrant a separate post at some point

the full repeat could  be used singly, to create a border, or to become a  part of a much larger one 

same motif in excel

any change to repasted motif affects whole document in that area, unlike as in creating a new table in numbers as I recently “discovered” (a very convenient difference)

to elongate the design,  so far my solution has been to mark as above, click on third color cells on the left, beginning at bottom, then using the insert row command. Doing so yields results that can be seen in the partially expanded chart below

the remaining process may be carried out, using slightly different tools to achieve the same results.

HK trim as MK edging

the link to this trim has often appeared on pinterest, I knit it as directed, and in turn slipped it off the needle and onto the bulky KM

a closer look

the  cast on edge had a very sharp curl to the knit side

even with blocking and hard pressing, it still really wanted to get back there

it is however, a fun idea to play with

B/W illustrations for some of the steps