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.
Now this is the product description and I think it is important to read it because they are supplied as described:
|Emery paper 99cents. metal rod $2.50|
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|
|Here are the other four, drying their nail polish|
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|
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|
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.
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.