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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Machine Knit Lace

September is almost over and I've not posted to my blog once this month. Hopefully I'll reform here sooner or later. I have been knitting, but mostly trying out new things and doing swatches.

I decided that the lace patterns in the Stitchworld manual look a little different than when knitted in person. So, I'm making a notebook. Have just 4 done so far:

I'm working on a lace edged "shawlette" that will have about 4 inches of lace at the bottom. It needs a scalloped edge so I was looking for the most exaggerated scallop I could find. I won't be able to block it very much since the fiber content will be cotton, so I'm thinking the more scallopy the better. I guess I'm leaning toward the last swatch. It's a combination of normal lace and fine lace. In fine lace the stitches are transferred but there is no yarn-over type of hole left behind. That would be the straight stitch up the middle of the motif. Haven't done that before. I am not advanced enough in programming lace into the machine so I'm going with the patterns in Stitchworld II and III. I've learned that the lace holes pull up on the knitting and the stockinette stitches push downward. Some of the lace patterns make a straight edge, some have this natural wave. They're all pretty, though. It's hard to decide!!

The multi-colored swatch is the yarn I'll actually be using. It's pale green, but I plan to paint it with Dylon dye, as I did the swatch. Not sure of the colors I'll use, but something like this.

Some things I've learned about lace: 1) you can't program lace into the Brother 970 machine. You have to enter it as a fairisle pattern and then know when to run the knit carriage 2) If you enter a pattern into DAK and then from DAK to your machine, DAK can screw up things. Since DAK has been told it's a fairisle pattern, it flips it sideways. You have to flip it back to make it work. Your machine might be very unhappy knitting the pattern backwards. Found that out the hard way. 3) Even weight on the knitting is a must.

Mary Anne Oger figured out a way to use the ribber comb to weight her lace knitting evenly across. You cast on with waste yarn, every other needle, push the teeth of the ribber comb up between the stitches, push through the wire and let it drop. Hang the necessary weights, push the other stitches back into working position. Knit a few inches of waste yarn and then do a permanent cast on with the main yarn. It works like a charm. I haven't had dropped stitches since using her method. If you haven't already seen her blog, it's a great resource. Needles to say....

Once I decide on the lace pattern, it won't take long to knit my "shawlette". I've already charted out the shaping. More on my progress later...


TracyKM said...

I don't have a lace carriage, but I'd love to know about the shaping of your shawlette and if it could be made in tuck or just plain.

Mar said...

Hi Tracy,
I'm still experimenting at this point, but sure you could make it in any stitch. I'm looking at some of the hand made ones on Ravelry and using their measurements. Some list them and some don't. Basically, I think I'm going to do two triangles and put them together because the machine isn't wide enough to knit it vertically. Will need to do some math for the decreases.