A lace WIP

A WIP using punchcard developed in previous post . I missed a dropped stitch and wound up with a glorious run and giant hole, one of the ultimate joys of lace knitting. I find repairing such is more easily done if the knit is dropped off the machine, pressed lightly, and knitting is unraveled to the point where it can be re-hung on an all knit row. Lace traditionally is shown blocked, perhaps to maximize the eyelet pattern. If “left alone” it can have an interesting 3 dimensional surface. The latter is more likely to be retained if one uses a yarn with “memory”, such as wool, and knits the fabric in as low a tension as possible.

The images below show my WIP, and the difference in the untreated vs. the pressed and steamed portions of the piece. The yarn is a hand/ machine knitting super-wash wool/ polyamide blend. The manufacturer’s suggested machine knitting tension was 7-5, my cowl in progress is knit at 8.2 to make the transfers manageable.

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“Button holes” and “make many – increase” “lace”

An image often found on Pinterest, with its source attributed to a Vero Moda garment and accompanied by a “how to” request, led me to give “designing” it a shot. Here, I believe, 2 layers of a garment are pictured, resulting in the stocking stitch knit that appears behind the eyelets.augudAnalyzing the fabric: a wide, flat rib is created. The equivalent of “buttonholes” with fewer cast on than bound off stitches is in use, creating the narrowing effect at the top of each slit, four stitches are “lost”. Making multiple stitches from one (4 in this case) restores the original stitch count and returns width to fabric. To make 4: Knit 1, purl 1, knit 1, purl 1 into the same stitch, or in this case, the bar between the 2 center stitches. Executing this is not “practical” on the knitting machine. Below is one possible method that could be adapted for groupings with slits of varying sizes.

My chart, showing 4 repeats (black border) and 3 added starting rows. Green numbers on bottom indicate the repeat’s width (20 stitches), and on the left its height (12 rows). Slits are created every 6th row, with right side facing. Two more stitches would be added on far right for each side to match in the finished piece. Side borders and top and bottom bands could be made wider and longer respectively, knit in garter stitch to keep edges flat. repeatX4_31

the symbols used

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my unblocked sample, knit on 32 stitches in worsted weight acrylic, using #8 needles

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Zig Zag ladder lace 2: hand knit

I work primarily on a Mac, Maverick OS. Intwined software has had some issues operating in Mac consistently in the latest OS versions. The chart to text can be a really nice feature. The repeat, drawn here with symbols in the built in stitch library, shows errors in row 2 and 4 of the accompanying text.single repeatmistakes single

On a larger canvas, the original repeat is outlined below in red. Yellow indicates knit border stitches around ladder lace pattern repeats; row 22 is absent from the text that accompanied the larger chart.

full chart

full directionsSkitch is a free program, available for both Mac and Windows, that allows the opportunity for of highlighting or further editing a graphic. Taking the information above, here I added numbers that reflect actual repeat rows, used the arrows as a reminder of change in direction of zig zag, and the red outlines vs green indicate changes in type of knit decrease. It is easy to add as much or as little additional information as one feels helpful. There are controls for line thickness, shadows, etc.

actual repeat

JKnit is another program that may be of interest to anyone who prefers to track their projects, progress, and much more on their iPad or iPhone. The Lite version is free for both devices.

Below is an image of the hand knit swatch, unblocked, which appears three dimensional; transfer  lace has traditionally been blocked to lie flat and maximize eyelets. The fabric may be very interesting without blocking. If a slightly thicker yarn with “memory” is used, the piece may be steamed lightly, and the pattern segments will tend to shift in and out from the flat surface, whether the piece is hand or machine knit.IMG_1901

The yarn used was a “throw away” swatch testing acrylic. A very quick, light press and a bit of steam and here it is in the resulting killed, forever flattened version

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Zig Zag ladder lace 1: on knitting machine

My previous posts on combining ladders and lace: 1, 2 . The chart below, found in a random Japanese publication, started the process of my sorting out a possible “how to” on the knitting machine
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In hand knitting, the 2  empty circles generally indicate a double yarn over. On the machine these can be simulated by working with extra empty needles. For swatching, a few rows of stocking stitch will do as a start. In a final fabric, waste yarn may be followed by ravel cord and a crochet cast on. After the crochet cast on, the chain on the needles for the extra “yarn over” location can be dropped, leaving those needles “empty”, and the pattern may begin immediately.

One of the 2 yarn overs will be created by manipulating an empty needle, the other by transferring stitches by hand as one would in lace.

If the empty needle if moved back to A, a ladder is created that is essentially a float in front of the gate pegs up to the next knit stitch. For purposes here, the result did not give me enough yarn to be able to maneuver.

The first step is to decide on the repeat between transfers, and emptying appropriately spaced needles, seen here in A position

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for the longer “float”: before the first row of the pattern, the empty needle is brought out to work, a row is knit, resulting in loops on those needles, that will create extra yarn slack

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the loop is in turn dropped

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turned  clockwise for  casting on  in one direction,

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and turned counter clockwise for casting on in the opposite. Note that in one instance the long leg of the e is in back of the knit on the purl side, in the second in front. This makes a difference on the knit side of the fabric as well.

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to get the look of ssk and ssp as seen in hand knitting (instead of a simple decrease),  depending on the direction you are traveling, the needle 3 stitch is moved to its right or left onto the center one to create the second “yarn over” . Both stitches are then returned  together to the needle 3 position

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and with the transfer and e wrap completed, one is ready for the next row of knitting. Bringing the 3 needles out to hold gives one the opportunity to check all transfers and wraps, makes the next row easier to knit

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the turn of the zig zag: pick up from row below for increase, instead of e wrapping for a neater turn

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my first swatch: 1/ ladder at start of row; 2/ shows chain moving along the knit side, emulating ssk and ssp decreases seen in hand knitting; all my e wraps were made clockwise, 3 shows the long leg of the wrap moving to front of fabric as opposed to the rear as in 5, each giving a different look to ladder’s edge; 4 indicated the pivot point for reversing the direction of the zig zagnumbered_1892below shows the results of alternating the directions of the e wraps in each section: clockwise when moving to left, counter clockwise when moving toward right. The large eyelet at the top illustrates what happens typically when an empty needle is brought back into work at the top of a ladder.

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Ladders may be created in any desired width. The look of the vertical knit edges becomes a matter of preference. Good note-keeping helps insure consistent results.

 

Broomstick lace on the knitting machine

Some illustrations of this fabric may be found in my previous posts: forming long loops and stitches using cast on comb and weights or ruler , some long stitch swatches, a few more tips and ideas from the earliest post on topic.

Here are some ideas on creating a basic 3 loop “broomstick” cross. Most of my teaching has been on 4.5 mm machines, so the above swatches were executed in thinner yarns. For this post my swatch is knit in a random scrap yarn from my studio, on the 260 Brother Bulky machine.

The basis of this type of stitch is to create long loop stitches, and in turn to re- hang them in various configurations. The look I prefer among others I have tested, results when loops are hung in on every other needle, whether singly or in groups, and the next row is simply knit. Here, as in any machine knit  fabric, if there are 2 or more empty needles side by side, any other than a single needle must be e wrapped, cast on, or have a loop lifted up from the row below (used in increases), or the result will be a ladder vs. knit stitch formation on that needle.

Begin with waste yarn and some rows of knit. As long stitches are formed, some weight will be required to keep loops from jumping up, forward, and off the KM. Since you are asking the loops to stretch quite a bit on a fixed width metal base, some testing is required to determine the best tool for forming the optimum loop length. Yarn thickness factors into this as well. I found knitting stitches back to A loops too short, and using a cast on combs and paper clips or any of my rulers made them too long, so I opted for the plastic rod insert from one of my window shades.

I like to work my loops from left to right, so the last row is knit from right to left. They may certainly be formed in either direction. In this instance, COL needs to be returned to the right before resuming knitting. This can happen before or after forming long stitches, by any method you like. Consistency helps eliminate errors.

I bring needles out to hold/ E position, lining them up to form new stitches one at a time, the yarn is brought around to the end of the “ruler”

61guided under the needles yet to be wrapped, resting to the right of the next needle out to E on left side

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placed in the needle hook

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and knit through, repeating process across the row: the number of loops should match the original number of stitches

63the spacing tool is removed; the next 2 steps  may be easier to perform if the needles are once again brought out to holding / E first

64pulling down on your knit will create the long stitches

65working in groups of 3: remove first 2 loops on right, transfer to needle 3 on left

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insert tool in center of group of 3, lift strands onto needle 1 on right

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bring center needle (2 of 3) out and over multiple loops, all 3 to E pos68

repeat across row 69COR: knit 3 rows (or more, odd #),  ending with COL, so the yarn tail will once again be on the left to begin the process of wrapping.

knit next row carefully, adjust stitch size and loop length if needed

the top row in photo shows all 3 loops transferred onto center needle, with crochet cast on  (indicated on purl side by blue arrow) on all needles involved in the plain knit areas before the next row of knitting

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Hairpin lace diagrams can be a source of design inspiration for designing loop configurations. The crochet cast on  any empty needles could be used where chains occur in crochet diagrams, and it needs to be loose enough for the next knit row to be formed easily. In my swatch I actually had to hand knit the first/ next row, my carriage jammed in the areas where the triple loops were in needle hooks as well as my cast on chain.

The number of knit rows between forming the long stitches may be odd or even, providing one gets comfortable with working in both directions. The carriage gets switched frequently from side to side. Sometimes the least likely to drop your work carriage “free pass” is simply to take it off the machine on one side,  bring it to the opposite side, and engage it on the machine  once again, with no need to change cam settings or worry about traveling with it across your knit piece.