machine knitting midgauge standard bulky machknit knit machine-knit patterns

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Machine Knit Confetti Scarf

Wow, I see that it has been more than a month since I last posted something.  I have been knitting, but have neglected posting.  Maybe in the winter months I'll be more faithful.  Here's just one of the things I've knit lately.

Confetti Scarf  by MAR HECK    September, 2015
I took this to my mk guild for show and tell.  I introduced it by saying, “You’re probably going to think I’m crazy….” when I was interrupted by a dear but wonky friend who said, “Oh!  That boat has left already!”  REALLY!  We have a lot of fun in our guild mtgs, so I didn’t take it toooooo seriously.  This was from a person who made a quilt that consisted of more than 10,000 pieces.  So who’s cray cray now?
Here’s how I made the scarf.  Take a really thin yarn that you maybe can’t think of another use for and use it as your main yarn.  I used a cone of Tamm Spirit, which I doubt is made any more, as my main yarn.  The label says it’s 97% acrylic and 3% cotton.  I wonder why bother with the cotton since it’s such a minimal amount.  It looks and feels like a dress yarn.  Anyway, for the contrast yarns I took snippets, about 6 to 9“ long of seven colors of other yarns and doubled  them. (I used red, turquoise, blue, yellow, light green, purple and hot pink.)   I had a lot of cone ends that needed to be knit up.   I randomly ewrapped these snippets onto the needles in work.  The needles are pulled all the way out for the ewrapping.  I left ½”  hanging on each end and hung onto the beginning end when I pulled the carriage across .  No need to tie a knot at the beginning and no need to work in these ends.  Knitting with the thinnest yarn and a fairly loose tension makes the fabric almost lacy looking. 
Machine: any, but a midgauge or bulky seem to work best.  I used an LK150 midgauge.
Gauge:  doesn’t matter.  I used T 3 since the main yarn is so thin.
Yarn: as described in note above.  The contrast colors were Tamm Sky, Mary Lou Solo, mystery yarn, 7 colors.  A fancy novelty yarn would be fun to try too.
Skill level:  very beginner
Finished size:  for a scarf that is long enough to go around the neck and do some fancy tying, about 14” wide and 7 feet long.  Measure as you knit.   You could also make a circle scarf by joining beginning to end.  Twist or not. I seamed mine the long way so that the fringes and purl side were the public side.
Ewrap on the number of stitches you need to get the width.  Mine was 60 stitches wide on the midgauge.  Choose a tension that knits smoothly with your yarn.  Add weight evenly distributed.  Knit 10 rows.  Grab one of your snippets, pull out some needles and ewrap the snippet doubled on as many needles as it will cover, right on top of main yarn.  If you pull out too many needles for the length of your snippet, just leave them.  Since you aren’t doing patterning, they will just knit.  If you didn’t pull out enough needles, pull out some more.  Knit 2 to 4 plain rows (or more as you wish) with the main yarn.  I knit different number of rows randomly too.   Add other snippets randomly color-wise and placement- wise across the needle bed---- as many as you wish across the row.  Don’t forget to move the weights up every 20 rows or so.  Repeat until the scarf is long enough.  The more snippets you add, the longer it will take to complete the scarf, but the more colorful it will be.  If your snippets are made of fatter yarn, you may not need to double it.
I laid out my snippets on the chair beside me so that I could make the color scheme look random.  I didn’t want too many sections of the same color. You will need a lot of them.   Trim ends so that they are basically the same length. Steam the scarf to control the edges if you’re not seaming.  It’s kinda fun to make and definitely different. 

The yarn I used:    main and fringes


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Free Machine Knit Lace Shawl


I knit this shawl for my sister.  Her favorite color is blue, so I dyed some pink and tan mystery, slubby yarn and this is how it turned out.  The pattern is pretty easy so I'd encourage you to give lace knitting a try if you haven't already done so.

Shawl for Kaky  ©2010   by Mar Heck


You can use any lace pattern that either is built into your machine or is on a punch card.  This one is in the Stitchworld III for the Brother 970.  (See end of pattern)  Use a yarn that has some stretch to make the lace transfers go nicely.  I always try out a few different ones to see which I like best and which behave well.

Directions:  (The shawl is knit from the narrow point to the other narrow point)


Main part:

  1.  Permanent cast on 4 stitches at or near the far left of the machine bed. (Some machines don’t like being on the very farthest needle, especially if you have swapped it out.)  Hang a claw weight, knit 2 rows.  Use a tension appropriate to your yarn.
  2. Set up the lace pattern according to directions in your manual for your particular machine.  Add weights as the piece progresses.  Since you are knitting sideways, the lace likes to be evenly weighted.
  3. Do the lace carriage passes. Increase one stitch on the right side by pulling out a new needle. Knit 2 rows with main carriage according to the pattern.  Continue this step until desired length from mid back to bottom point is reached.  Remember that you can’t have a needle in E position when running the lace carriage or you will break needles!!! So only pull out the new needle right before the knit-2 rows,
  4. When you reach the desired length, start the decreases.  Decrease one stitch  on the right side by placing the far right stitch onto its neighbor to the left. Do the lace carriage passes. Knit 2 rows with main carriage according to the pattern.  Continue this step until you are back to 4 stitches. Stop the lace knitting. Knit 2 rows.  Bind off


(Add this to the two bottom edges or all 3) Use a tension slightly tighter than you've been using for the main part.

With wrong side facing you and starting at the middle of the machine, pick up 3 stitches (whole stitches, not loops) from the shawl at a corner.  Knit 12-20 rows.  Count out 4 stitches of the shawl (could use your thumb as a measuring tool) and hang 3 stitches from the shawl on top of those in work forming a loop .  Repeat knitting the cord and picking up the 3 stitches.  Do an extra loop at the bottom point.   When you reach the end, bind off.  

Try a practice run to see if you like the size of the loops and the distance between the places where you attach.  Adjust to your liking. You could make the loops with I cord, but this is faster and the knitting rolls onto itself looking like I cord anyway.



Once you get the correct amount of weight and get into a rhythm, this is a super simple pattern.  JUST THINK HOW LONG THIS WOULD TAKE TO KNIT BY HAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 I wouldn’t have the patience.
PS If you don't have a Brother machine, you'd have to consult your manual for directions but you should be able to use this basic idea.
PPS  If you want, you can use life-lines now and then to save ripping out the entire thing.  Take a contrasting colored yarn and weave it through the stitches on the machine at a point where you have completed the knit-2 sequence.  Do each stitch in the same direction make hanging the stitches easier if the need arises.  Write down the row number and position of the shawl on the needle bed.  Proceed with the knitting.  If you have to rip out, you only have to rip out to your life line.  Reset the machine for the correct row, hang on the proper needles and off you go again.  You can do this every 100 rows or so and use different colored yarn for each life line to keep track.  There's some kind of Murphy's Law that if you use life lines, you won't need them, but if you don't use life lines.... well, you get the idea.