Friday, May 19, 2023

dribs and drabs...

That’s what going on here lately! After finishing up the 1RT Pinkie I jumped right into using that marsh CannelĂ© that was gifted to me a while ago, still wanting that long, lace, button-front hoodie.  I had made several lace swatches in CannelĂ©, found some of them to be too stiff and was waffling, finally settling on this one – I  had used it way back in Knitwords #32, Black Cherry, in Wool Crepe Deluxe and, after swatching with the mercerised cotton and going with a larger stitch size, T7, resulted in a gauge of 27 sts and 40 rows, which gave lovely large holes. Previously, swatching at T6, like Borderline, from Knitwords #25  with the gauge being 30 sts and 42 rows, it gave a crispness to the fabric that I didn’t really want this time.

Deciding upon the lace pattern was one thing but I also wanted to change up the hems a bit and, like I told you, I get hung up on something and have to re-work it over and over to get it out of my system, so went with that knitted-back wrap cast-on in another way. Paired it up with my #21 50 Ways re-do   and here’s what happened!

21b.  KNITTED-BACK WRAP Cast-ON, LACE EDGE, HAND TRANSFERRED. 8 stitch repeat, side away is right side.

1.     Add extra stitch at right edge. Cast-on waste yarn, ravel cord.  RC000. CAR. Measure out MC 6X width of ns in work. Double it over on itself to have 2 strands together.

2.     Using MC double strand, place loop on left end needle. take both strands under and to the left, then back up, over 2nd needle and back into hook of first needle. Push back on needle butt to knit both strands through, making about main tension-size stitch. Repeat across row.

3.     Single strand, MT-1, knit 2 rows.

4.     #1 right is the centre of the 8-st repeat. Beginning with #2 right, transfer this stitch to #1 right, repeat across row to have 2 sts on every other needle.  Leave empty ns in work. Knit 2 rows.  RC004

5.     Using 3-prong tool, transfer as in chart, starting with#1 right as the centre with 3 stitches together. Knit 2 rows.  RC006

6.     Transfer as in chart, using 2-prong tool.  Knit 2 rows.  RC008

7.     1-prong tool transfer as in chart. K2R. RC010                                                

8.     Make a tuck stitch border as follows: set to hold. Select #1 left and then bring EON to HP.

9.     Knit 2 rows.  RC012.

10.   Cancel hold. Carefully bring all ns out, making sure not to disturb the held sts. Knit 1 row. RC013. Set to MT. Continue in desired stitch. Remove WY and allow wrapped edge to curl forward on the knit side.

It looks like a chained cast-on!

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

egg on my face...

You know that One-Row-Tuck thing? I’m so sorry to say, I haven’t really seen a punchcard machine for some time – not that that makes any difference but sometimes I write something and with no one proof-reading me, I do make mistakes. It’s just whether you catch me or not! No more excuses, but to make a punchcard for a one-row-tuck pattern there needs to be a lot of holes! Because, with any tuck pattern, there’s already a lot of holes because the holes represent the knitted stitch and the blanks/unpunched spaces are the actual tucks.

How many punchcard machines are out there? That’s still no excuse, and again, I’m sorry! I have been giving out this same handout for years, at least since 2013 and nobody’s caught this error or at least brought it to my attention.

Here’s the new handout, with the correction in bold:


To widen the fabric, add a subtle tuck with a row of plain knitting on every other row. On the knit side, it looks similar to a garter carriage texture and adds a masculine flavour. It can be used with the purl side as right side as they both look nice, but the purl side does have a slightly more lacy, girly look to it. The carriage setting is the same as all-over tuck, because the plain rows are programmed into the design. Use end needle selection to cancel tuck stitches on end needles. If doing this manually, it is only necessary to do it on the carriage side of the tuck row.

Tuck Stitch Pattern  Stitch design is 24 sts X 48 rows. Make punchcard as shown, repeating twice to make card long enough to rotate, making holes for white squares and leaving gray squares unpunched (which makes the tuck stitch) and add two rows of holes on top and bottom to join card.

Electronics, enter as shown, use reverse needle selection.

Silver with DAK, enter as Fairisle fabric, main colour on the tucked stitch. (Use that air knitting technique from the April 1, 2023 post to make sure you’ve got it right)

Silver electronics, move the point cams in one needle from end, to cancel end needles from tucking.

Brother, use end needle selection and enter opposite – i.e. holes for blanks-black for white.

Less weight will be required than a regular multi row tuck, but some is still necessary. Use claw weights on edges and move up every 50 rows or so.

For Brother machines , using the built-in patterns for regular tuck, choose one that has double rows of tucks and when setting for tuck, push in only one tuck button. Then every other row will knit as stockinette or plain and you can achieve the same effect with the built-in patterns.  EG - 930/940, #230, 233, 227, 232, 237. 238, 243...   970 - 221-225, 228, 231, 234, 240, 242, 243, 249, 250...

For more one row tuck patterns, see KNITWORDS No 41, Tiger in Training. No 42, Big Sister,  Body Basic. No 43, The Caped Wrapper. No 28, ABC Carcoat. No 26, Fade to Favourite; No 50, several.  Serial Stuff 1 – Sophisticate; Serial Stuff 4 - Rectangles.

Margie, I’m truly sorry – I do remember what it’s like to make a punchcard and it’s not so much fun when you have a mistake!


Monday, May 8, 2023


 Finished and mailed – she loves it!

As I was completing this pink thing, especially on the darning-in-ends part, it seemed to get pinker and pinker, in my mind! I sent Janet an ‘assembled’ photo and told her I could still over-dye it to tone down the colour, maybe give it a blue rinse to alter the shade, before I sewed on the buttons. She said she was fine with it, liked the idea of having another colour in her spring wardrobe. Okay, then I’m good with it too! Before sending it off, I weighed and compared it to the other lace hoodies of the same yarn – I had mentioned that regular tuck takes 30 to 40% more yarn than the same thing in stockinette or lace. This one weighed in at 520g. The yellow one, Holey Moley,  was 468g, the natural was 486g and the clover was 488g, all basically the same size, so the 40g +/- more for this one-row-tuck project doesn’t seem that significant, less than 10 percent! Take note that this was knit quite loose, T9 as opposed to the T6 of lace.

What I did with the hems – you know how I get stuck on a technique (;0!) and have to use it again and again with maybe little changes here and there, back to that dishrag episode  and the knitted-back double ewrap…well, I put the cast-on and cast-off together and came up with a new trim, see below!

#154 Another Me-Cozy Variation  Double strand knitted-back double wrap and double knitted-back chain cast-offs create the look of a rolled garter stitch band added on – it is all manually knit on the machine. Start piece with waste yarn and ravel cord, knit two plain rows before going into whatever patterning is desired.

25-0-25 sts on WY.

Add to open stitches:

1. Reduce by 10% - 22-0-22 ns.  Rehang sts from WY, knit side facing you, gathering in evenly across row as required.

2. To add double-strand ewrap and knitted-back chain cast-offs, measure out 13X the width of needles. Using the fold end of the doubled yarn, from left, place loop on end needle, take doubled strand under and around next needle to right and back into hook of first needle. Pull back on needle butt to knit stitch through, approximating main tension stitch size. Take yarn under next two needles and then back into hook of second needle, knit back. Continue across in this manner. At right side, carefully bring all needles out. Yarn (still the doubled strand, at right, out of the feeder), take the yarn to the left, under the two next needles, and back into the hook of the first – knit that back for a large stitch, leave it in place. Take yarn to the left under next two needles, back to the right, drawing the first held stitch back, put yarn into the hook and knit it back for a large loose stitch. Continue across in this manner to left. Break yarn and then chain off all the loose stitches right to left.

The extra weight added by the double-stranding is just what is needed!

Saturday, April 22, 2023

in the pink...

Next on my knit list is to make that same long, button-front, hoodie using my One-Row-Tuck (IRT) technique. If you’re unsure what that is, check out

I’ve talked about this so many times and I wanted to try it out in this shape. Reasons: slightly different texture, not as boring as knitting stockinette, spring is coming sometime, could use something lightweight in a cotton, keep knitting, use up yarn, yadda, yadda, yadda…Anyway, I want to do a bit of research before I commit to one for myself. You know, make sure I have all the angles covered so mine is perfect ;)!

So, here I am, making this cotton candy sugar pink thing (2 ply cotton, used double-stranded) in a tuck stitch – you know, if you’ve been following me for any length of time, you probably know, after teal, pink is like my least favourite colour but I have sisters! I’m fairly certain Janet will wear this! I do have some ‘paper bag tan’ in the same yarn that would be fabulous but am uncertain as to how far it will go so, experimenting with the pink has value! I have 3 cones of about 300g each (pink) so should be fine. Remember when they used to say tuck stitch uses more yarn and ‘they’ probably even gave a percentage, like 30 to 40 percent more…than what? and who is ‘they’?

Brings me to the subject of research books – just thought I’d throw this in here. At one time I had a plethora of books on machine knitting, some good and some not so good – I’ve weeded them out, passed them on and the ones I have left are these three -

Regine Faust, ‘Fashion Knit Course Outline’ – a very good, quite old (1978 ), beginner to intermediate epistle with tons of information in a very readable, simple format with lots of exercises as examples – it was used as the basis for the 2 year fashion knit course at Sheridan College in Canada and at FIT in New York.

Mary Weaver, ‘Machine Knitting Technology & Patterns’ another very good, old (1979), tons of info, and easily explained.

The last one, Susanna Lewis, Julia Weismann, ‘A Machine Knitter’s Guide to Creating Fabrics’ a valuable research book for someone who wants to go beyond the basic.

If you can find any one of them at estate sales, yard sales, etc., do not hesitate, pay whatever pittance they are asking!

Anyway, some where it was lodged in my brain that tuck knitting requires more yarn that most any other single-bed technique and I guess it’s because they were referring to that bubbly, blistery, baby-blanket thickness of most tuck stitches. So, my current mission, how does it relate to my 1RT? (which is knit much looser than normal to make a thinner, stable fabric but still offers the added advantage of a wider fabric - the comparison is to stockinette).

from Knitwords #9
Back to making a tension swatch – the yarn is Yeoman’s Brittany 2 ply cotton (3/14),
used double stranded. Back in the day, I would knit this in stockinette at T6,  looking for a gauge of 32 sts and 46 rows to 10 cm/4 in. after wash and dry – it’s cotton – it will shrink, so knit it slightly looser than you want to allow for the shrinkage. Here, with the 1RT technique, I knit 60 rows at T7, T9 and T10 – the T7 would be what you would regularly knit this at (again, ‘they’ said to knit tuck one full number higher than stockinette) but because I want a thinner, drapier fabric, I go with the 9 and 10 and have the T7 as comparison.

Measure the swatch after laundering. T7 was 26S X 56R. T9, 26S X 50R and T10 gave 24S X 42R. Note the big change is in the number of rows.

I started off with the hem I used on the lace swatches and later separated the T9 and T10 swatch on the 2-row marker row to try out another hem technique.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

is it navy...

or is it purple? no, it's bilberry! Actually, this was No. 13! I forgot how lovely it is to knit a nice 4 ply wool with the lace carriage – it was a dream! Didn’t have to use yarn spray! Not a dropped or mis-transferred stitch in the whole thing!

I was randomly working on this long, button-front lace hoodie back in December while I was preparing for the Tennessee workshop and never got around to posting about it. I did wear it at the seminar, and everyone loved it – not sure if it was the colour or the actual garment, but I did promise to tell about it.

The stitch pattern was that floral mesh 60 st X 60 row lace pattern I had used twice before, but both times it was using the Bonita 4 ply mercerised cotton.  I really liked the stitch pattern and wanted to see how it translated to wool instead of the firmness of that cotton.

Playing around with the placement of the stitch pattern was fun – nothing matches – I changed the needle-1 position of each piece and, it’s not like anyone else would notice but I love it!

Wednesday, April 12, 2023


 I had the strangest conversation last night with sister Janet – I have made quite a few garments for her over the past several years

– I have a new one underway for her - it’s a pink cotton 2 ply, double stranded One-Row-Tuck long, button-front hoodie – more on that another day.

She was telling me that she was currently wearing a green, cotton-y cardigan with a cabl-y pattern, button-front vee neck with pockets, that I made, it is perfect for layering in the cool spring weather, and I was dumfounded, just couldn’t picture it. She emailed me a photo and I went Omigosh, that’s ancient history! It must have been from 1994/5 and, I didn’t tell her that I hadn’t really made it for her, she just got a hand-me-down.

The real story: I had to go searching. Fortunately, my friend Eloise, from TN, had made an MAO binder over the years, which she gave to me last month. In it, she had everything pre-Knitwords! Stuff I had long disremembered, everything I had ever had in print, from back in the day – right from my very first submission to The Carriage Trade, in 1990, all the way through to 1996 when it was Canada’s Fashion Magazine, all of my stuff in Machine Knit America, and even the few submissions to Machine Knitters Source which I had totally forgotten I ever did!

It didn’t take long for me to find Janet’s ‘new’ favourite cardigan. It first appeared in Canada’s Fashion Machine #56, but it was ivory? Now I recall! It was a cream colour, but when I got it back from the publisher I decided that I had no need for yet another light/non-coloured cardigan and I dyed it forest green – the next issue of the magazine had the dye-job story!

Gee, I still have some Suva…

Friday, April 7, 2023

slippery slope...

knitted back double wrap 
Back to that dishrag, I had emailed Janet to ask about the cast-on and cast-off. The first row of the pattern is tuck on every other row (so is the last row) and if a simple ewrap is used, you need to knit a row, putting the carriage at the left. Then, another row is required to get back at the right for going into the tuck stitch, because DAK tells you what side the carriage must be on. I couldn’t wait for her reply so using that ‘2-needle ewrap’ (single strand) was perfect to eliminate the need for that second row of stockinette. 

double tuck row
I haven’t used this much on the standard gauge machine, but several of the trims I use on the mid gauge/LK150 start off with this, using the yarn double-stranded for extra bulk and in my book  The Handbook for Manual Machine Knitters, I’ve called it ‘Knitted Back Double Wrap Cast-on’. While making the third dishcloth, I was thinking of the cast-off. At the top, there is a doubled-tucked stitch on every other needle and again, to cast off over that with one row, it will roll to the back and because of the tucks, look messy. On the first one, I knit a row of stockinette to get rid of the tucks – rats! the carriage is on the left! I could cast off from here but it is slower so knit another row and then cast off. 

Current scenario, hey, what if I did a reverse of that cast-on? Ending with carriage at right, at the end of the tuck pattern, bring all needles out. Yarn at right, out of the feeder, take the yarn to the left, under the two next needles, and back into the hook of the first – knit that back for a large stitch, leave it in place. Take yarn to the left under next two needles, back to the right, drawing the first held stitch back, put yarn into the hook and knit it back for a large loose stitch. Continue across in this manner  to left. Break yarn and then chain off all the loose stitches right to left.

This results in both edges looking similar with a chain-stitch look on the purl side, matching the tuck. What the heck? It’s just a dish RAG! But, you never know when you can use that again in something real!

Oh man! I can see this is a slippery slope! Next thing, I’ll be knitting a tea cozy! ;)