Single bed slits aka horizontal “button holes”

There are many good instructions online for producing buttonholes in doubled over knit bands. This version is from the Brother Knitting Techniques Book, now downloadable for free online

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Many hand knitting patterns are published, often in garter stitch, using slits that one may think of as larger “buttonholes” to create a range of interesting fabrics. Trying to produce such slits single bed, without the use of additional strands of yarn and in turn having yarn ends to weave in, leaves few options.

This method may be used when creating multiple slits across a row as well. Holding is used to break the knitting into segments. The drawn illustrations show steps taken, not needle positions.

COR, for the bottom of the slit: 1. transfer the first stitch in the buttonhole group onto the adjacent needle to its right

bhole_012. transfer pair of stitches together onto the now empty needle to their left. The knit carriage, holding the yarn, will be on the right

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3. push the needle forward until the first stitch (green) passes over the needle’s latch bhole_044. push needle back to work position

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5. the forward stitch (red) is now knit through the one behind the latch

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This essentially binds off a stitch. Repeat steps 1-5 until for the number of bound off stitches required; the last stitch in the group is then transferred onto adjacent needle to its left. The bottom edge of the “buttonhole” is now complete. bhole_06aTo make the top edge of the buttonhole/ slit bring its corresponding needles out to hold, cast on desired number of stitches with latch tool from right to left.bhole_07aIn order to best accomplish this with COR set KM for holding, push empty needles back to A position, knit up to now empty “buttonhole” needlesimg_4069bring empty needles out to hold img_4070insert latch hook from back to front through below the last stitch now knit on the right screenshot_36twist tool clockwisescreenshot_37bring empty needles out to holdimg_3966come up between the first 2 needles on the group’s right screenshot_38continue with latch tool bind off, last loop in chain is hung on needle already holding 2 stitches from the last bind off transferimg_4071tighten up loop 
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return “buttonhole”  stitches into needle hooks, back to B position
img_4073COL: set KM to slip in both directions, move to right img_4074COR: cancel holding, adjust tension, knit across remaining stitches to Limg_4075COL: cancel slip <–>, continue knitting screenshot_08

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For hand knitters: my new favorite hand knit buttonhole in video format
in written/ illustrated form
two fabrics using slits: a free Ravelry pattern 
my blog post in response to a Pinterest request: variations in rib with holes

Thread Lace on Brother KM

Thread lace has also been called punch lace over the years. The “lace holes” are formed by knitting a fine thread with a significantly thicker yarn as the “second color”. When the fine yarn knits (B), a larger stitch in it alone is formed, with the thicker yarn floating behind it. The thicker yarn goes in Brother’s A feeder, the thinner in B.  As in FI patterning, the unpunched holes/ blank squares/ no pixels knit yarn in feeder A, punched holes/ black squares/ pixels are knit in B feeder yarn. In this instance however, both yarns  knit the unselected needles, corresponding to blanks in card or blank squares/ unmarked pixels. Tension may need to be adjusted due to this fact.

Test swatches for tolerance to pressing/ steaming to make certain final garment will bear blocking and cleaning. I had a sweater front finished using an industry “clear” thread, thankfully tried to iron it before finishing the piece, and discovered a lovely melting quality to the clear “thread”. In theory clear serger thread should be safe to use, there are 2 easily available manufacturers. YLI brand (nylon) is stocked at most chain stores that carry sewing supplies.  One “light / clear” is “whiter” than other; there is a “smoke” version as well, sold on cones. Both produce a bit of a sheen on the surface of the knit fabric. Sulky (polyester) clear is sold on spools, is superior for sewing pieces together, zippers, etc with no “sharp” when cut ends poking at the skin, but in a different price point and quantity.

This was my garment’s test swatch, the black is a wool rayon yarn.

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The fabric is much quicker to produce than traditional transfer lace. Cards can easily be drawn by filling in solid shapes over a mesh  ie repeat seen in the 1X1 card. Double length may produce an interesting fabric as well.  End needle selection needs to be cancelled. If end needles are selected because of the pattern repeat, push those needles back to B position manually before knitting the next row. The latter step insures that both yarns will knit together. Either side may be used as the “public side”, depending on personal preference. The thread lace option is also available in the 260 bulky machine. Here a very thin acrylic was used as the “thin” at the start of the swatch, monofilament for the remainder (bulky KM)

img_3851once again, with monofilament as color 2 img_3852

Taking it to a garment (standard KM): color 1 = wool/rayon blend, color 2 = sewing thread. Note the difference in color where there is no needle selection for pattern, and how one color is more prominent on one side than the other. Sometimes the latter may be used to advantage when the goal is a plaited fabric, but no plaiting feeder is available. Simply program in a blank row, and position threads using thread lace setting to produce the knit.

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For more details for some unconventional uses for setting see post. I knit on a 910 electronic, with no option for such fabrics built into knit carriage. I was able however, to modify and use my punchcard carriage with the intent of producing yet another “unconventional”, ribbed fabric.

Added tips: the tension dial usually ends to be a bit tighter than stocking stitch. The fabric produced is also thinner and shorter than stocking stitch, as is fair isle.  The finished fabric tends to elongate when blocked.

The setting may be used instead of plating. A plated, solid fabric is produced by non selected needles. The thread lace thread tends to appear on the knit side, as opposed to the plating yarn, which appears on the purl side. The color mix may appear less even than in traditional plating. Simply lock the card or needle selection on an all “blank” row.

If the “lace” thread is too thick or too contrasting in color, the eyelet pattern may be lost. Simple geometric shapes are best. Some knit weaving patterns may also work well. In terms of altering the repeats using the buttons on the electronic models, double length or sometimes double wide as well as vertical mirroring may produce interesting results. Sewing or serger threads may serve as the thin yarn and match yarn color well if that is desired.

On the select/memorize row both yarns are fed into the same feeder (A) as the thick yarn, and the “lace” yarn is then removed and placed in the second feeder (B).

An option for drawing your own patterns: shapes can be superimposed on mesh designs as described in “filet crochet” posts, with no elongation of the motif. Punchcard machine owners may use tape over sections of card  number 2, or card 1 which in turn gives the option of testing the design elongation X 2 for both eyelets and motif as well. The tape may be moved to suit, and once the pattern is satisfactory, the final pattern design card may be punched.

Both Brother and Studio offer the cards in their standard  punchcard assortment with purchase of respective machines