Long stitches on KM (single bed)

Though long stitches in a pattern may be created by a variety of methods, I will begin the topic by discussing long stitch stripes across the width of the knit.

The easiest, quickest long stitches are produced by simply working with extremes in knitting tension. There are size limitations in this technique. One example would be fabric produced by knitting 2 rows at as tight tension as possible for the yarn ie. 2, and one row at the loosest tension possible: 10. Testing the yarn will help define the limits.

The loose stitches may have a tendency to jump off, so even weight is required. The tension dial must be adjusted for the appropriate stitch formation. Playing with the number in sequences will change the look of the fabric.

If 2 carriages appropriate to the machine model are available, then corresponding tension dials may be set to desired tension numbers. To get carriages back where needed and keep the yarn continuous 2-row sequences or even multiples will get carriage back to the desired location on right or left, and threading with different color yarns will produce stripes easily, while also making it possible to avoid cut ends that must be woven in.

Another single bed method is to knit stitches back to A position, in turn pulling down on the knit since A position is an alternative one for holding and needles pulled back there will not knit; again, care and weight will avoid the long stitches created jumping off the needles. Weights need to be moved up at frequent intervals.

Leaving needles empty and out of work in either of the above methods will create ladders intersecting the long stitches, opening yet another series of patterning possibilities.

Rows of long stitches may, in turn, be manipulated ie. by cabling, stringing beads at intervals onto selected loops, and solid knit rows may incorporate patterning ie. lace, or tuck. As a larger number of continuous rows are knit or patterning is introduced, the tight tension may have to be adjusted accordingly, and long stitches may then appear inadequate in their height for the desired effect.

Cast on comb or ribber sinker posts may be used to create longer loops. If using a cast on comb, secure it with paper clips or lengths of yarn just outside the width of your knit, hanging enough weight on it to keep it from shifting. On the carriage side item used to secure the comb must be either adjacent to the first stitch to avoid loops on that edge or yarn may be placed in front of it to avoid the same.

Ribbon may be threaded through loops, drawn thread work may be imitated, though I would argue if this is the main intent for the long stitches, simply creating ladders may be just as effective and much quicker to create.  “Cable” groups may be created, twisted, pulled through each other, and otherwise manipulated, some such groupings may evoke broomstick lace.

Some people find it easier to wrap yarn around an item of fixed width such as a ruler to achieve the desired loop length.

If a ribber is in use it may its gate pegs may be used for wrapping the yarn. Enough knit rows then need to happen on the main bed so the loops may be released from the gate pegs. The yarn is wrapped counterclockwise in most instances for loops, swatch results to test the desired effect for any twist in stitches. Long stitches are knit through the preceding row one at a time, long surface loops sit on the surface of the knit, may need to be e wrapped as they are created to further secure their placement.

Simple horizontal rows of elongated stitches may also be accomplished by knitting with the ribber in use, knitting fabric on the main bed;  ribber is set to slip throughout except for “long stitch” row, where the ribber knits across all the stitches, and at the end of the row those same stitches are dropped by any preferred method.

Any of these methods may be combined with hand manipulation and holding to vary loop sizes, locations, fiber content, color, etc. Susan Guagliumi’s book “Hand Manipulated Stitches for Machine Knitters” is a good reference for several variations.

Transferring all stitches to ribber and having the main bed knit in selective pattern and techniques opens up a whole other area of textured, lacy fabrics, whether in monochrome or color but that is for future discussion.

For swatch photos please see post and a bit on method