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Posts Tagged ‘half gauge loom’

I’ve been thinking that I want a different way to do the kitchner stitch. It’s probably most efficient to do it on knitting needles, but I always seem to mess that up (plus I seem to have an aversion to doing any knitting related tasks with needles). When I started making socks, I couldn’t find any detailed instructions on doing the Kitchner right on the loom. I did however find a video on making socks on an antique sock machine that had a method that worked for me. After turning the toe, you knit a couple rows in scrap yarn, then took the sock off the machine (or loom in my case). Then using a tapestry needle you just stitched the two ends together, using the stitches made with the scrap yarn as a guide.

I love the results. You really cannot see or feel the graft on either side of the work. BUT it just seems like I’m doing too many extra steps. Recently I saw a nice video by Kristen from Goodknit Kisses. She was showing how you could graft right on the loom and the results looked really nice. The only thing was that she was grafting a headband knit in garter and I wondered if it would still look seamless in stockinette.

Well, I was almost finished a sock and I was away from home without any scrap yarn, so I figured, “what the hay!” The results were pretty good, but not quite invisible. This was due in part from user error. I think I twisted a few of the threads. More importantly though, I could FEEL the seam even in the areas of the join that LOOKED fine.  If you’ve ever dealt with a child with sensory issues, you may know why this matters, lol. There was a noticeable rige on the inside of the seam.

Now I know this one sock done in in a busy community center full of distractions is NOT the best way to judge a technique, but it is enough to spark an experiment. My hypothesis is that the method I tried probalby makes a pretty invisible seam for garter stitch (like the piece in the video), but is less effective for stockinette and I think I know why! It may have to do with the original needle technique and the different perspective loomers have from needle knitters. Stay tuned. I’ll be swatching over the next few weeks and taking pictures. Will my hypothesis be supported by the preponderence of the swatch evidence? Can I find another method and have comfy socks?  We will see…..

PS If I take a bit too long posting the next installment, it’s probable because I am swamped getting ready for the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival (first weekend in May). I’ll be in Barn 5 with the Baltimore County Wool Producers. Feel free to stop by and say hello!

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When I started my sweater, I knew that I wanted to add border stitches to lessen rolling.  So I knit 10 rows of moss stitch along the bottom of the body panel and 3 rows of moss stitch on the sleeve edge.  The top of the sleeve, which forms the neckline, got 5 rows of single ribbing. 

Well, the edges didn’t roll, but they poofed terribly and turned under.  And I really just didn’t like the ribbing.  What to do?staggered moss edge

I decided to try an experiment.  What would happen if I alternated 5-6 stitches of moss with 5-6 of stockinette?  Well the stockinette and the moss sections seem to counter-balance each other.  So no rolling OR turning under.  And much less poofiness since half the stitches are still stockinette.  I think  I like the look.

Of course everything needed to be ripped out and re-stitched first.  Do you know it’s a lot harder to rip knitting out from the cast on edge?  Well I do, NOW anyway.  For the sleeve top, I put a lifeline in a couple rows back from the sleeve top, rehung the piece on the loom, and reknit the sleeve top border backward.  The body edge was just frogged and reknit normally and I decided that blocking would take care of the 3 rows on the sleeve edge, so left that be.

So all the panels are done.  Yeah!  Time to seam.  My inspirations stitched the sleeve selvages to the body, starting at the center.  That made an impossibly low and loose vee neckline (front and back).  I thought about picking up some stitches in the back and adding some sort of gusset, but still it would have been a serious, frogworthy UGH LEE thing.

So I unstitched the sleeves from the body (and back a few inches more).  I counted 15 rows in from the top sleeve edges and put markers there.  Then I found the center of the body pieces and marked them.  I stitched the sleeve pieces to the body, lining the markers up with the center markers.  It ended up crisscrossing in the front and back.  That solved the too deep vee and I think I like the design element.  Don’t you love accidental design?

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Take it Easy neckline detailSo I started a sweater for myself LAST summer.  I had found five matching skeins of worsted weight wool in a thrift shop grab bag.  Okay, it was a fairly hideous variated from Red Heart, so I wouldn’t feel too bad if the project didn’t turn out, but at least it was 100% wool.  I just don’t like wearing synthetics.

I knew I didn’t want to double strand it, since I’m pretty hot blooded.  So my knifty knitters were out.  Lucky for me, I have a lovely half gauge loom from Markman Farm that has about 120 pegs.  Now I need something easy and pretty simple.  So I find this vee neck sweater by Clella Gustin: http://www.provocraft.com/projects/projects.php?prdindex=kniftyknitter&dsp=project&idnum=34

It uses bulky or doubled yarn, though, and I really need sleeves.  Still, I like the simple rectangle construction.

Then I find this picture of a sweater by Denise layman: http://www.flickr.com/photos/84044692@N00/2177079216

Same idea, but with long sleeves and the yarn is just as hideous as mine.  Unfortunately the pattern isn’t available at this time.

So, I was on my own.  I swatched (shudder) and figured I’d need to CO with 96 pegs for all four panels.  For the body panels I did 90 rows of stockinette and 10 rows of border stitching (more on that latter) and bound off.  For the sleeves, I started with 5 rows of border (this will eventually frame the neckline), then 35 rows of stockinette.  At this point, I started decreasing.  On each third row I deceased a stiched on each end (well actually one stitch in from the end to make seaming easier).  I countinued decreasing for 84 rows (row 124 of sleeve). Take It Easy SweaterI probably should have stopped a couple decreases sooner.  The sleeve is just slightly snug on the forearm, but not too bad.  Then I did 15 more stitches of stockinette and three rows of border stitches and bound off.  With maybe 10 yards of yarn to spare!

Sizing  notes:  My gauge is generally pretty tight, so your mileage will vary.  This fit pretty well. I’m 5’2″ and a size large to extra large.

So this is what went right.  Next up: everything that went wrong first!

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