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.
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)
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.
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.