A DVD stitch compendium salute to Barbara and an interview with her. Most reviews online describe as it being most suitable for beginning knitters, a sample video from series may be found on youtube. For a treasure of her treasury patterns including some cable stitches, one may visit The Walker Treasury Project. The groups’s photo stream may be found in Flickr.
Archive for December, 2011
Cables on multiple brand KMs including some reversible at knittsings. A technique that first appeared in Japanese knitting books that “cheats” in creating cables by knitting tuck stitches that are regularly rehung on the back of the work was embraced by Ricki Mundstock, who published copyrighted designs extensively for a while, and named the technique magic cables. Superba was another machine knitting brand that may be familiar. At the site there is a thorough discussion of hand transferred lace patterns on the machine with clear illustrations and suggestions that could be applicable on most brand KMs. For “ideas/inspiration” sometimes magazine such as at the Austermann site will provide an idea of how patterns may appear when scale changes to bulky or larger.
In terms of charting software for designing one’s own pattern charts some sites to explore: Aran paint, Stitchmastery, Sweater Project, Knit Visualizer, Intwined Pattern Studio, and 2 online chart generators: Chartgen, and Knitting Chart Maker by Jacquie, in addition to previously mentioned tutorials such as those by Marnie MacLean.
I have to admit I can and do hand knit but now operate in life is short mode, and have decreased patience for projects that require a huge time commitment (relatively speaking) to complete. At a knitting seminar in the early 90s a demonstrator (who happened to be male) used to tour with a sweater he had “completed on the machine” that had more than 3,000 (yes, thousand) cables in it: complex twists inside larger diamonds in turn formed by cables. IMO such a garment would be faster done by hand. One of the advantages in hand knitting is that errors are more easily seen since one has the opportunity to observe what happens on the knit side closer to the event. The fixed spacing on the machines that twists must travel can be a challenge in forming fabrics, particularly in all over patterns.
One possible solution is to combine machine and hand knit panels. Hand knit center arans may be joined to plain side and sleeves knit in stocking stitch on the KM (also a solution when larger sizes are required), and stitch patterns may be used in isolated areas or selectively rather than all over the garment. Patterning shifts in the knit/purl ground in garter stitch patterns may produce knit and purl “illusions” of shapes otherwise created by moving stitches in cables.
I have recently been playing with this crossing idea. The original intent was to try it out in an all over pattern in a brick repeat, and only one row of knit in between transfer rows. With yarn at maximum tension, after the first round of transfers the second round of them became impossible to perform. Am still at the drawing board, but the idea may well simply end with a 2 inch patch as opposed to anything larger. Wonder if Barbie is in the market for a lapghan?
Follow up: the new working repeat with 2 rows of knit between cable crossings
a test on standard KM: the ladders were a “surprise”, a by product of the distance the stitches were moved
the same fabric with ladder “floats” being hung on adjacent needles to diminish ladders and produce holes
the stocking stitch fabric top and bottom of this last swatch is considerably wider than its cabled portion, a possible consideration for trims or insertions based on this idea; “you can’t always get what you want” but sometimes one can still quite work with what one gets.
Susan Guagliumi has written 2 books on hand techniques on the knitting machine
her first classic
and her most recent
In creating large scale cables in the pasts tension changes, supplemental threads, and other ways to compensate for moving larger number of stitches on a metal bed (things start to get hairy when crosses become larger than 4X4) have been discussed. An interesting, clear, possible solution to produce textures or macro cables such as in this piece
may be found in her books and may be viewed in her youtube video.
Some sweaters with varied interpretations of twisted and bridged textures: Nanette Lepore F2011, and galleries of Mark Fast . Handknit interpretations that also add lace to the mix may be found in Shirley Paden‘s portfolio photos of garments, she is the author of
her bio and approach to design may be viewed on youtube here.
Bits of yarn may actually be found on perusal at street art utopia 106 of the most beloved Street Art Photos – Year 2011
Cables seem to be in vogue once again in myriad permutations. They pose some interesting issues when created in machine knitting. Interweave Knits Winter 2011 published an article on “Cables 101″ that includes a way to color code and graph cable crossings. Some complex variants for those who like KM hand techniques may be found at Knit, not Knit , their courses here. “Back in the day” of regular, world wide machine knitting seminars several authors provided collections of machine knit cables including George Le Warre at Passap universities (copyrighted, George presently in England).
Simple crossings are a good place to begin and produce texture. If one is not interested in freeform but rather constant, recurring patterns it is possible to use punchcards to produce visual cues when stitch twists and crossings are to occur. This is not an option in Studio Machines, easy on Brother because of the fact that needles pre select, and Passap pushers may be used for a similar set of clues with a bit more fiddling.
When color coding information for referencing as one works, it is possible to be generous with symbols or edit down to bare elements. For example, one way to approach a schematic follows below, where knit stitches are illustrated as well as cable crossings. Red indicates stitches moved to the front, and the green indicates those traveling to back in each cable set. In hand knitting vertical or horizontal bars would represent knit and purl stitches. Since these are identical in this HK graph, they could all be eliminated
B the isolated repeat
The choice then remains whether or not to revert the crossings to match the HK pattern. One way to do that is simply to reverse positions for colors. The mantra becomes “red moves first, green moves second and over red”.
With all machines if the knit carriage is left set for normal knit, even if the patterning option is engaged (KCI or KCII if there are any needles out of work) needles will be selected, but the fabric produced is stocking stitch. The usual considerations are in order: the number viewed on the card outside the machine corresponds to the design row being read by the reader, but the punchcard holes in view are not necessarily the same as the design row selected. Because one is producing the cables on the purl side of the knit, if hand knitting charts are used the cables themselves will be mirrored. In many instances this may not matter, but if one is using the twists for representational crosses ie. in trees, owls, diamonds and other geometric shapes, it is a good idea to scan the repeat, mirror the image vertically, and then begin translating it into machine knit interpretations. Relatively easy with simple scanning and printing software (ie. the flip horizontal function in Preview, a bit harder by hand.
When I can I color code my cards: ie. with lace I draw a line across the card when I reach each knit row sequence with color pencil. This provides me with an easy to follow visual cue as to when the rows must occur, and also facilitates returning to previous selection sequence when mistakes in patterning occur.
Some basics: with a punchcard there is no row length limitation, but repeats are limited to 24 or a factor thereof. In this particular use wherever needles are selected, one has a visual reminder to move those needles in the desired direction.
I used the cards below to illustrate the idea in my intro to knitting classes. When needle selection occurs in the first, remove the selected stitches off the machine with a 3 prong tool in each desired location, then insert a second 3 prong tool back through front of those same stitches, in turn removing from the initial tool used. Rotate the twice transferred stitches 180 degrees consistently either clockwise or counter-clock wise throughout, and return them to their original position on the needle bed. The result is a consistently textured fabric with no counting stitches or rows between repeats.
a swatch using it
This card begins to address regular cable crossings, mine was punched in repeat the full 60 rows. A color may be assigned to help with opposing twists’ directions ie. to left (pink) or to right (green) when the corresponding color bar appears just above the card reader.
I have shared this site before. It is a treasure trove of generously shared information with excellent tutorials for DIY knit stitch, symbol, graphing, and charting design though not specifically a machine knitting resource. The author also publishes video tutorial on youtube uploaded by “sdamot”. She is a contributor to Twist Collective , Ravelry, in several issues of knitty online magazine, and her website for sale patterns may be found here.
Many of us grey haired knitters may recall the art to wear movement and some of the that became familiar at the height of home machine knitting and seminar circuits. I am beginning a thread that makes an effort to discover them in present time, will add to this post as I find links. The order is purely random, includes published teachers and some of the knitters/ fiber artists found in the book documenting the birth of the movement pictured below.
John Allen. Nicky Hitz Edson. Susanna Lewis. One of thousands of entries that may be found via google for Norma Minkowitz. Jean Williams Cacicedo. Linda Mendelson recent work and juror in upcoming show on Art and Human Form at bluedoorgallery.