machine knitting midgauge standard bulky machknit knit machine-knit patterns

Sunday, January 16, 2011

When Your Knitting Machine Gives You Lemons...

Make a pillow. How lucky was this? I had enough rows to make something out of this ex-scarf, rows that had the correct patterning. First I counted rows and marked off the same number for "front" and "back" with strands of red yarn. If you click on the picture it should enlarge and you will be able to see better where the red yarn markers were stranded through.

Then I stitched across where the red yarn markers were---twice---and surgically removed the messed up snowflakes. Pinned front to back...

With the sewing machine, right sides together, I sewed three sides shut. Turned it right side out, stuffed a pillow in and hand sewed the final seam shut with the main color yarn. Here's the front:And the back...Not perfect, but at least it didn't end up in the landfill, nor did an old pillow no longer in service.

My good friend Candace came to my rescue with suggestions as to how to get along better with my SR 860, Silver Link 4 and DAK.
* My pattern of 140 stitches and 578 rows (80,920 stitches) was too large for the system to handle. (My Brother 970 wouldn't have blinked an eye, but o well.) Solution: download and knit a pattern this size in several sections, like 4 or 5.
* Knit really slowly so that the signals have a chance to get through. She said she can actually hear the row changing. Not the click that you hear when you've gone far enough with the carriage, but a different sound. Will have to try to listen for that.
* Turn off any screen saver or virus program that is likely to come on and interrupt.
* Get a laptop with Windows 98, 2000 or XP and use it exclusively with DAK. No internet. (Probably won't happen soon since we have too many computers around the house as it is. Unless I find a really good deal....) 98 is supposed to work the best.
* DAK was designed originally to work with Brothers, so the adaptations for Silver Reeds are not perfect. (Ha.)
* Check out Knitwords 30 and 31 for articles titled "Messing With Matthew" where Mary Anne Oger talks about the Silver Reed systems and DAK. (Matthew would be Matthew Bragg, creator of DAK.)

Thank you, Candace. I really appreciate your help and maybe these suggestions will help someone else.

I think I might need to move on from the 860 for a while. Not fun to have to work so hard on a project, but I guess it was worth something because I learned a bunch.