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Friday, August 17, 2012

Machine Knit Tubes!

This may be the goofiest post to date, but thought I'd share anyway.  If you don't have the same laundry set-up that I do, the first part of the post may be of no use to you at all.

Here's the deal.  When I had my washing machine and dryer set up, the plumber advised me to buy these metal mesh tubes that attach to the hose that expells the water from the washing machine.  The purpose of these metal tubes is to catch all the lint so it doesn't go down the drain.  Our house is 80 feet to the main sewer and we are always afraid of tree roots, etc., and don't want to wake the sleeping giants.  So I dutifully bought these deals.  They are almost $3 for 2 at Home Depot.  I found I was going through lots of them, like every two weeks or so and throwing them out.  So I switched to panty hose and knee-high hose, of which I had a plentiful supply from my working days.  I cut off the foot plus about 6-8 inches and hooked them onto the rubber hose, attaching them with a tightly wound rubber band.  I felt pretty self-righteous to be using these up rather than tossing them.  (ISH!  Panty hose.)  Anyway, they are now all gone.

So, having also a humungous stash of cotton, I decided to knit these tubes using a circular setting.  On the Brother, push in the left part button on the main carriage and the right lever up.  I don't know what the settings are for other machines, but your manual would tell you. I used a loose tension even though the yarn was thin, just so I'd get a meshy look to them.  Start having the end closed with FNR, then switch to circular to make the tube.  They are about 8" in total length, leaving a little to slip over the tube and secure with the rubber band. And about 7" in circumference.   I suppose you could knit an I cord to run in and out of the tube top for a tie, but as soon as the idea hit my head, it left.  Too much work.

I got on a roll and knit several of them.  They actually last a bit longer than the metal ones because they are a little longer.

Now for another use for the tubes.  Our guild knits hats, mitts and scarves for the Salvation Army.  I like to use up yarn and make Gap-like, multicolored scarves.  It's nice to knit them tubular so that you don't have any seaming to do.  But those ends when you use different colors--whew, they are time consuming to work in.  As long as you have to work in the ends, how about making them decorative?  Make them wide enough for a warm scarf, of course.   When you change colors, leave about 6-8 inches of both colors and alternate where you start the next color.  When done knitting the scarf, bind off in your usual way.  Then take a crochet hook and from the right side make v's by pulling up chains.  Like this:

 I copied the stitches from DAK, but DAK doesn't do sideways stitches, so I attempted to draw them in in the Paint program.  Hopefully you get the idea from my terrible drawing.  You probably want to do this to just one layer/ side of the scarf, then when the chains are done, knot the last one.  With the needle, push the end into the center of the scarf.  Pull up a bit, then snip so the end slips back into the center.  It's just another idea if you need a change of pace.  I seem to not do well with repetitiveness in my knitting, so I like to come up with something different.

Happy knitting!