Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Hybrid Yoke Jumper Working Notes HK/MK

Using Washed Haze:
T6 19st/26R = 10cm for stst parts
4.5mm for yoke.

aprrox 292 sts total for yoke
approx 63/64 rows high

Red: 87, (-6,-6), 60, (-6,-6) 8/75/8, (-6,-6), 60 = 294
four extra rows before starting with 1R K, 2R P.

8ply, for the Sapphire Melody:
??not proven??
aprox 340 I like the 40st but that's 320/280..
#183 is 40st rpt, 68 rows high. there's 3 sts gutter between,  if it was 4, then total would be 344.
approx 80 rows high, so that would work out with the extra 3 stitches in the gutter. in

yoke jumper = yoke from Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible
All these are nice
174 = 20sts = 300 sts 66 rows high
176 = 26sts = 286 sts 62 rows high - red done June
182 = 26sts = 286 sts 60 rows high
178 = 15sts = 300 sts 66 rows high

Short row front idea was modified from the Phyllo Jumper instructions. Aiming for row height is 63/64 plus cast off row.

**Yoke Prep:**
Look at how many plain rows before starting the yoke and do them on the machine and ALLOW 1 st each end each piece for seaming up these sections. (they are around 300 each round, so are worth doing on the machine) I think it would look better too, no slight change in the machine/hand knit join.

Work out how many decreases to do in those prep rows to hit the correct number for the repeats.

Remember a decrease each edge is 8 sts, (The Red one, I didn't decrease on the front sides, )
Three needle bind off makes 4 sts extra.
Knit rounds on 4.5mm needles,

Rnd 1: DEC 1 sts adjacent to armhole join
Rnd 2: knit
Rnd 3 & 4 rpt 1 & 2
286 sts

MARK OUT THE REPEATS, Starting with the CENTRE FRONT while the work is on the machine.

176 = 26stsx11rpts = 286 sts and 62 rows

10 sts repeat remain- possibly do 3tog at the centre of each of the sets would be 6 sts x 11 repeats
check with the pink Phyllo.

Purl 2 rounds to match the start then cast off.

This is the Red WH numbers.
CO 99
20 row relatched hem  111.111.111 = divide by 4 less 1sts.
-> RC46
-1 eee 6R x 4
-> RC76
+1 eee 6R x 4
-> 130RC
-6 eee 2R x 2 = 87sts

Front as for back to
->117RC 12/75/12
*(but should have been 119RC, if is a little too high, then go to 22sts and do and extra SR set of 2 sts per SR.)*

SR to 20sts each end, decreasing by 2 sts ev 2 rows to 16sts

*less 2 each 2R x 3 more times 128RC (was 126)
SR the other side 12 down to 6sts (128RC)
knit two (DID 4) rows across all sts RC 106 RC total on sides.*

-6 eee 2R x  2 = 87sts
MARK OUT REPREATS, STARING WITH CENTRE FRONT. Everything else fits in around this.

CO 39 sts
20 rows relatched 111.111.111
+1 on the short side 40sts
+1 eee 6R to 72 sts
-> 130 RC
-6 eee 2R x 2  = 60sts

did four rounds with decreases before commencing pattern, 
87, (-6,-6), 60, (-6,-6) 8/75/8, (-6,-6), 60 = 294

Sunday, April 29, 2018

3D Garter Bar For My Brother 7mm KX350 Plastic Bed Midgauge Machine

smooth side

I recently decided to get a garter bar for my KX350 7mm machine. And found that Kris has discontinued her 7mm range, but an Internet search found a place that is now making 3D 20 prong ones. It looks like the company started in the Netherlands and now has a New York facility. Good news, so I decided to buy them.

rough underside

Now this is the product description and I think it is important to read it because they are supplied as described:


This is a 20 Needle / Tine 7mm Garter Bar: (40 needle version is available in this store) A garter bar is used on a knitting machine to remove the knitted fabric from the needles, turn it around, and replace the knitted fabric back on the needles.    The ability to do this for an entire section of fabric (not just one needle) is necessary for garter stitches, and some lace patterns and cables.  It can also be used if you have a need to temporarily remove a project from the machine. It fits 7mm machines. It can be purchased in sections of either 20 or 40 needles or tines.  Purchase the number of sections as you need, depending on the number of needles in your typical project.   Any number of sections can be used.  The sections fit together and should be secured together using a piece of 1/4” threaded rod with nuts and washers on the ends.  Threaded rod is inexpensive and can be purchased at a hardware store.  The rod should be cut to the length of the assembled garter bars, with enough room to add a nut and washer at each end.  Note that this just needs to hold them together for convenience, it doesn’t need to be tight. The material default for printing this is “White Polished”. Without the “Polished”, the surface of the material is slightly rough.  If you find that your yarn still doesn’t slide easily on and off the garter bar, spray it with several coats of a glossy clear coat spray available at craft and hardware stores.  This will help smooth the surface even more.

Emery paper 99cents. metal rod $2.50
They have arrived, It is important not to
whinge about the underside being rough, they are and I've highlighted the bit that says that.

So off I went to Bunnings to buy some fine emery paper and a metal bar. Was tricky finding the bar, it was hidden in the very bottom slot and that was the hardest part.

This is what I needed to buy (or in the case of my nail polish - raid). They were right, $2.50 for a metal bar was cheap, but the emery paper was cheaper:

Underside with nail polish - this is three coats
It didn't take long to run the nail file along the underside and any of the prongs with rough edges then the fine emery. Here is a pretty good photo of the underside after I've sanded it and put three coats of nail varnish.

Here are the other four, drying their nail polish
OK now to see how three coats go. There are grooves both sides, which means there's no right or wrong side - this is good. I tried both smooth up or down and I didn't notice much difference. I used some thin cotton to see how it goes - on T2...

What I thought worked better:
  • use the single prong tool move the stitches onto the prongs in roughly a straight line. 
  • take off the edge claw weights
  • don't pull the stitches all the way back - there isn't a groove to put the tips of the needles into

The stitches are captured perfectly over the 20 needles
It works as advertised
So how did I like using them? Most definitely quicker and easier than relatching, even though I only had one 20 needle one dry and ready to try out.

Next - how did it go with all of them threaded onto their rod:

collected the stitches, but missed a few, which is pretty normal for me
Ready to come off the needles. I caught a couple of the prongs taking it off. will experiment with the best way to do that.
The caught prongs created a lot of dropped stitches

All the needles captured. Run finger over the prongs to find any missed. Just pop them on
Pull all the stitches forward to close the latches
As soon as all the latches are closed, pull the stitches onto the prongs
I hope you can see where I popped the rulers in both photos
The bars are flexible and it took several goes to get it to collect most of them.
I pushed the loops on the prongs into a line with the wooden ruler
I put the selector ruler and a wooden ruler between the prongs and the needles
Here it is all done and dusted 100 sts flipped every four rows
Well I do like them, so much better than nothing.

My technique is to
  • open all the latches
  • attach the bar.
  • pull the work all the way along but only to close the latches
  • once all the latches are closed, pull the work onto the prongs
  • I used a ruler to align the stitches in a row (don't pull them all the way to the end)
  • I wrapped the yarn around the end of the bar
  • take work off the machine
  • as the needles are in hold, set carriage to hold and move it to the other side, this also opens the latches, take it off hold
  • align up the prongs with the needle tips. I wiggled it just a tiny bit to get all the tips into the slots
  • the bar is flat on the top of the needles - almost flat against them
  • gently press along the length of the bar to collect the loops above the grooves
  • pull the bar away from the work (see photos) and pop any loops that missed the needles
  • if here are too many missed, take it off the machine again and repeat (this is why I popped a couple of pegs to keep any of the work away from the needle tips).
  • now this is only because the prongs are flexible, whereas the metal prongs aren't
  • to stop the bar tips catching in the needles, I placed a selector ruler and a standard wooden ruler into the space between the prongs and the needles.
  • remove the pegs on the bar, if used.
  • then pull down at an angle, I'd guess about 45 deg, underneath between the needles and the sinker plate.
  • put the work back against the machine, rethread the yarn, making sure it doesn't wrap around the rubber wheels
  • keep knitting, turning as you require. 
The metal rod worked well. I used a rubber band one end and a peg at the other, to hold them into place.

Remember to take off the claw weights. I used some pegs to LOOSELY hold the work out of the way along the bar. Not tight, that didn't work.

The prongs ARE grabby, rough, not smooth like the metal garter bars, that's for sure. However, It's not such a terrible thing. The stitches don't squirm all over the prongs and stay where they are put. I did have to put a few onto to needles after turning the work, but I also have to do that with the metal ones and because they hold on, it's better, I think.

So, am I happy with them? Yes. Did I find them rough? Yes but not too bad after three coats of nail varnish. I don't think it's necessary to have a slippery high polish after all. I won't be putting another couple of coats on. I like that they don't slip off the bar like I have had on the metal bars.

And like the regular metal garter bars I've used before, they will take a bit of practice to proficient at using them. but after an afternoon I managed really well on the last one. I'm sure that the next project I have for them will be just fine.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Knitting Cotton with my Lace Carriage

I'm writing a bit about knitting lace with cotton so I thought I might as well blog it too.

I use commercial 4ply cotton, mostly from Bendigo Woollen Mills and other sources as well. I was surprised to learn “it was hard”.  Noone told me that before I started. A good thing I think.

I’ll start with the obvious. Cotton has no give, not a lot of memory and doesn’t want to bend or perhaps loop well within the needles. The more transfers in the row with a lot of stitches in work means problems with transfers.

There’s a little bit of difference between the KH lace makers and the SK’s LC 1 or 2. The brother lace carriage transfers all the stitches with the lace carriage and then two rows are knitted with the main carriage and will do fine lace. Whereas the SK’s LC is a separate complete carriage and either knit and transfers in the same row (called simple lace) or with the flipping of a lever and removal of yarn, works the same as the KH’s method – transfers all then flip the lever back, yarn back in and knit two rows. This is fully fashioned lace.

I prefer to use the LC2 lace carriage (on my SK280) simple lace for cotton lace work. I think this method best suits cotton. I’ve found the more transfers in the same row, the more opportunity for the stitches at the beginning of the row to jump off needles.  The fully fashioned method has more opportunity to slip off the needles after the stitches are transferred multiple times before being knitted off. Although some people say the angle of the ribber clamps works better, I didn't note any difference between having the main bed flat or on an angle.

Next is the logistics of getting your cotton lace project made with as few dropped stitches as possible. First thing is to make sure you have a really good sponge/retainer bar. A must. Next is to bring out all the needles that are planned to be used. I hope you can see from the photo.

If a needle has a bent shaft or tip. the stitches will not transfer correctly and drop. It’s far easier to replace them. It really is. If you pinch them together you will see – one way will transfer, but the next time you ask it to transfer the opposite direction, no luck, stitch drops.

Next on the list is weights. I know, I know some people don’t use them. Well they probably don’t knit cotton lace either, because for lace, we need them. Lovely even weight evenly across all stitches to ensure they  transfer correctly, knit off and stay put.

And the yarn. It must not have ANY KNOTS, breaks in the yarn HAVE to be on the sides, I’m sorry, but knots create havoc.

On that long row – a lot of transfers in the same row on a wide piece, I always run my thumb along the needle butts. I can feel the transfers that have not gone to plan as the needle doesn’t go back all the way to same place as its neighbour, the stitch hasn’t formed correctly, so I flip the yarn off the needle, check the transfer, fix if need be, and reknit. If I don’t, this one will drop next row, whether it is knitted or not. 

It never hurts to have really good light and check the row has knitted correctly. I usually do this at the same time I’m running my thumb across the needle butts. It adds a little bit of time to the project, but the bonus is no dropped stitches, no jammed carriages. After a couple of repeats of the pattern it becomes pretty clear where the transferring is a big ask in cotton. And the less dropped stitches the quicker the work is off the machine and on to the next project.

I’ve done hand transfers on 8ply cotton blend, excellent, but again, nice even, firm weights are essential to keeping the stitches on the needles. And it only took me an afternoon to do the front panels, pretty quick really.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Intarsia Carriage notes

For the Ravellenics this year I decided to get the intarsia carriage out and learn to use it. I like to find something new to try out. Previously it's been a project I've always wanted to find time to do, punch some more cards and so on, but this is time for the intarsia!

Prep stuff:
  • First thing run the carriage across the beds ONCE ONLY before the first row.
  • I decided to go from L to R - 1st colour, cross 2nd colour in front of 1st, cross third etc. so it goes the way of the carriage and the next row the same 1st, cross 2nd, cross 3rd.
Kniting stuff

I tried a couple of different ways of holding the yarns, but in the end I held them all together about 25-ish cm below the centre, firmly in one hand and allow them to run though my fingers

Things to look out for
  • all latches much be OPEN
  • yarn MUST lay on top of the flat latches
  • make sure the END needle is covered
  • make sure the crosses cover adjacent needles OR
  • don't miss a needle when positioning yarns
  • always cross even if at an angle
  • use weights evenly across the work
  • check to make sure that all needles have knitted, sometimes they don't
I'll add some photos tomorrow and anything else I want to add.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Dream Week 2017 and A week of Hands on with Tony Bennett

I should have posted this in September. But better late than never.

Little did Lauren and I know when we planned our Dream Week this year, it was to be the last one.

My tutors for this year were, Carol, Erica, Tony, John, Bill and Jane. Carol went over finishing for us, Erica introduced me to working with wire; Tony did  two classes, working with colour and simple squares into garment design; the delightful John took a break from his usual jacquard instructions and played with sqaures; Bill - well brilliant as always bringing his slant on how he designs knitware for a living with an amazing collection of his samples; and Jane demystifying the circular sock machine,

Selfie with Bill and me

Some of Bill's creations

Lauren hard at work
Erica's working with wire classs

This last yarn challenge from Uppingham's Nick was a simple fussy tube yarn with blobs of colourful "pills".  Owen wonderful dress he did on his E8000, embellished with the blobs of colour - won!
Hem detail of Owen's creation.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Falling Blossom Scarf

I found an LC2 punchcard on the Russian site that I thought might be good for an idea I had for a messy looking, or random placement of lace flowing into less and less holes in the middle of the scarf continuing down the other side to a messy lace..

Here is the card I found. T6 on the LC2, with some cone "100% wool" looks like it is. about 3ish ply.. Looks and feels very nice, will wash and block when it's finished.

I don't think it's actually tried and true, there were a lot of dropped stitches in the same place on each repeat, so I'd say it's not too good for the first rows, but I just reformed them anywhichway, adding to the random ness.

Not many other notes to add, and as I have a couple of posts still in draft, I'll post this one off, add better photos so it's easier for me to make some adjustments and a photo of the end.

Update. Unfortunately, the wool had been chewed by moths!! so the whole thing has been thrown and and new yarn chosen.

I didn'like Tony's figure of 8 no roll edge for the lace carriage. The needles cannot be brought out to hold - the lace carriage needles must not go further than the gateposts, sot he edges weren't as nice as I'd like. I'm going to do Diana Sulliban's idea - that will suit, but I'll leave a lace hole and not fill it.

A Ravelry friend found the pattern. It's Hanami Stole herre on Rav.

II'll put up photos when it's finished. Very happy with the idea to project.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Dear Diana

I was shocked at Diana's recent monthly vid. on her cone winder. She has mentioned my blog on occasions and now it's my turn to return the favour.

Diana's review - Silver Needles Cone Winder

Of course I recognised the family resemblance immediately I have it's great, great, great grandparent. And it comes with it's own special story - of course it does.

It goes like this. My friend gave it to me. Initially I said - Oh No! I can't just take it, I must give you something for it - Oh no, you must take it, I don't need it anymore, I bought a new one.

OKOK says me. So I take it home and rapidly going off the idea of giving money for it - and then I used it... OK that settles it, I should have been paid to take it away.

Here we have the transformer. Which is, as we all know necessary to transform our 240V into something great grand dad can use, I put it on the bathroom scales so you can get an idea of it's weight, 15.4 kg, which is about 34lbs in the old money. Very, very heavy and all care must be taken not to drop it on my toes, the tiles, the cat etc. etc.

Once over that shock, no pun intended but it does have have that lovely 1950s hum, which I'm sure you all remember - if you need a reminder - just the opening seconds of the Beatles I Feel Fine will give you the sound it makes. But for as long as it's on.

And now for the unit itself - no knot turns it off next to the switch, no that would be my toe.. and the lovely new improvement of the yarn feeder to the cone... well I did have to bend mine a little bit to get it to work, really it looks like an old bit of bent coat hanger wire..

And it's sooooooo slllloooooowwww, 30 minutes to wind (beautifully wind I might say) 100g of the 2/28 that I need to wind off for a blanket.. while holding the yarn - just so - above it, while operating the patented on/off knot detecting foot operated switch.

So while I don't envy anyone anything, I just thought I'd like to share The World's Worst Cone Winder That Winds A Very Nice Cone (Mostly). And the 15.4kg transformer that the 1950s called and wants back to operate some Cold War spying-dogoodery, but was highjacked instead into a cone winder.

Now while I have every respect for Diana, and her blog, I wasn't sure that the added bits along with her nice lightweight transformer were appreciated. Really now, aren't you all glad I shared.