I had begun this post eons ago, and somehow it became a UFO. A recent discussion on Ravelry re using elastic yarns brought this swatch to mind, and here is the start of a return to the cable pretender category.
Big Pretender: this fabric is thread lace, using elastic for one yarn, and very fine mohair for other: a useful fabric for tightly fitting garments or garment sections, without the hand transfers or the rigidity of an all-over cabled item. The positions for the 2 yarns are reversed, so they both will knit the unpunched areas of the card, and where there are punched holes the elastic will create floats, pulling on the knit only stitches in the alternate yarn, creating the surface blistering.
Some suggestions for working with elastic yarn: the nature of the fabric created when knitting with elastic ie in FI is greatly affected by the yarn used, the elastic used, and the pattern being knit. Larger swatches than usual are required to estimate gauge for use of the resulting fabric in garments, at least 100 sts by 100 rows. If using a pre-drawn motif, doubling width and height may be a quick way to make up for “shrinkage” of the pattern. As with all fussy yarns make certain the elastic flows freely and is not getting hung up on the bottom of the cone. Sometimes if loose tension is not enough to make it manageable, the upper tension dial may be bypassed completely. Edges of fabric will be cleaner if the elastic knits on the end needle at least every other row. This is one fabric that benefits from the use of weights. Steaming helps the elastic to spring back after finishing the piece, test small areas, and best temp on your own iron.
A series of publications using a technique published much earlier in Japanese books as swatch samples “magic cables” by Ricky Mundstock, tuck stitch, and hooking up / ruching stitches combine to create the illusion.
more to follow