machine knitting midgauge standard bulky machknit knit machine-knit patterns

Friday, July 28, 2017

Wow, it's been just over a year since my last post.  No excuses, just lazy.
I thought I would share with you my latest "quicky"/"quirky" knit.  Hope you can use.

Knitted Covers for Wooden Hangers  
A project that uses up scraps of fabric and small amounts of yarn and is quick and is useful and can get you out of a knitting funk!!!  What could be better?  I have a lot of T shirts and camisoles that I’d prefer to hang up rather than fold and put in a drawer.  They always fall off regular hangers.  I don’t hang my sweaters, but these are also good for jackets where you don’t want a hanger mark on the shoulders of the garment. 

I decided to take a tip from friend Donna V and make covered hangers. She does a lot of craft fairs and when she knits a beautiful shawl, she makes a matching padded hanger for display and to go along with it.  Hers are no doubt more elegant than mine.

This is a long explanation for a quick and easy project.

What you need:

1.    Wooden hangers (without the bar for pants) are preferred.  I have also sawed off the bar if it’s wooden, discarded the bar and used the hangers that way too. (The coverings prevent any rawness to show or be felt.)
2.    I have purchased many  wooden hangers from a local thrift store for 10 to 25 cents each.  You might be able to find them cheaper.   Also had some in  my own closets.  The only ones that I couldn’t seem to saw off had an extra metal bar that resisted my attempts to remove it.  Some of the ones I have purchased were almost rusty on the hook so I had to sand them.  You  can also use heavy duty plastic hangers, but they are less desirable because they break.  And then your efforts are wasted.

3.   Fabric scraps, any color, preferably cotton so no insect critters are attracted.  I ripped or cut the scraps into 1 ½ to 3” strips, any length. You can also use leftover batting, felt, polar fleece, etc. It all ends up being cushy.

4.   Knitting machine, any gauge, and yarn leftovers, preferably acrylic or cotton, again so that no insect critters are attracted.

First, wrap fabric around the hanger, as fat as you want and fasten it with safety pins where necessary, to be removed later as you progress sewing along the seam.  I used safety pins so that the pins wouldn’t be forgotten/left into the project/stick me.  Depending on the fabric you use, you may want to go around several times in one place before moving over.  Start and end by leaving ½” of wrapped fabric hanging off so the end of the hanger gets covered.

Knit the cover on your knitting machine.  I used the purl side of the every other stitch tuck dishcloth pattern.  On the 970 standard gauge it’s #45 and I doubled the length to get more texture.  You’ll have to knit one, try it on your hanger and then adjust.  I did some in stripes and some plain.  I suppose you could do any other stitch design---this was just easy and fast.

On the standard gauge, using the tuck pattern, my covers were 40 stitches, T 7, 8, 9 or 10 depending on the thickness of the yarn and  about 240 to 270 rows.  For the ends, I ewrapped on leaving a 10 inch tail and at the other end took off the stitches with a double eyed transfer needle, also leaving a tail of about 20 inches.  Too large is not a problem, but too small you might want to adjust and start again.

Fold the piece in half to find the middle of the length and the middle of the width and slip it over the hanger’s metal loop neck.  Stretch the knitting as much as needed to cover the ends.  Cinch up the stitches that were the end of your knitting and begin sewing shut.  For the other end of the hanger, take the 10” thread and sew in and out to be able to gather the stitches closed.  Take a few stitches and secure.  Using the 20” tail, continue seaming it up doing a mattress stitch. 

The knitting is very forgiving, so if the knitted piece is too large, just fold under one edge and stretch less.  If really too short and not wide enough, try again.  The seam runs along the underside of the hanger.  
 çunderside.   Hide your ends and voila, a nifty thing to add to your closet.

If using a midgauge or bulky machine you’ll have to experiment with your stitches and rows, but the construction will be basically the same.  For the midgauge calculate about 7/8 of the measurements here and ½ for the bulky.  You might be wondering why I didn’t cast on and end with every other needle.  It works, but the coverage of the fabric underneath isn’t as good in my opinion.  You can, of course, do whatever you want.  I also tried to use colors of yarn that would cover up the fabric underneath.  You could also tie a little bow where the neck meets the hanger, wrap yarn around the hook  or add a little sachet to make it fancier.

I confess, I have made 60 of them so far.  I plan to give some away to family for extra Christmas prezzies next holiday…..  I’m quite enamored with them and have most of my closet converted over to these.

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