Thursday, May 1, 2014

what’s another word for…

Long stitch or half milano, according to ‘A Machine Knitter’s Guide to Creating Fabrics’ by Susanna W Lewis, Julia Weissman – a really good book, BTW, but unfortunately, you do need to read – it is not for beginners but if you’re the type to want to experiment and learn more, this is a valuable resource. Again, unfortunately, it is out of print – I got my copy from a ‘friends of the library’ sale for $1 (ridiculous) about 15 years ago and have read and perused and used it many times. Actually I met Susanna once, a long time ago, she was very nice and even pretended (I think) to know who I was…
On page 108 (not listed in the index under half milano or long stitch), it says ‘one row rib/one single bed row’ and the diagram indicates the single bed row as being the front/rib bed which would be the Passap version of it. The Singer/Studio chart gives settings for the single bed row to be knit on the main/back bed. What I didn’t know was the stockinette row is referred to as the backing row, but I was thinking of it as the right side of the fabric because it (the stockinette side/side away) looks smoother and flatter – oh well, not to worry, it’s not like the machine knitting police are going to come here and tell me I can’t use that side if I like it better! Oh, I think I just got a new acronym – MKP – I love it!
More importantly, back to the book, it also says if this fabric tends to curl during knitting (again, I think that is something that could only happen on a Passap that knits without weights, because during knitting double bed especially, on the Japanese machines, we have too much weight on it for it to curl! duh!) make the SS (stitch size) on the MB (the patterning bed) one-third to one-half number larger. Translation, experiment with stitch size – it’s not necessary to have the same number on each bed and in fact, I loosened the stockinette row (maybe too much)and found that it just started messing up.
Main thing to remember with this (or any knitting),  if you’re having trouble with the swatch – change something – if it’s hard to knit and you’re constantly having to fix something that went wrong you’ll never get a nice garment completed, especially if your swatch is stiff and tight.
So, looking at my initial swatch after washing, I decided that the stockinette row on the main bed did indeed look better and that maybe T4/4 was a little too loose. I liked the double stranded stockinette at T8.
My swatch here, I fixed the cast-on edge, used a couple of rows of the racked cast-on (after waste yarn of course), then did T3/3 longstitch with the MB knitting the single bed row, threw in some stitch markers to see what stitch gauge was coming up (30 sts to 10 cm) – this one looks pretty good after washing. Then did T2/6 just to see what would happen – it began messing up at the edges, not knitting off properly on the stockinette, changed back to the T3/3 – works beautifully!
Onward and upward!

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