Friday, February 20, 2009

what every brother knitter should know...

I’m not going to name all the names, but, this problem occurs every now and then - usually involving a tuck pattern. I get a bunch of emails or frantic phone calls from knitters insisting that there must be a mistake in the pattern. The first question I ask - what machine are you using? but I already know the answer... ‘my brother’...of course.
This time, the pattern in question was ‘Take an old bag shopping’ , our ‘go green’ shopping bag from No 44 (also see April 2008, 'a bag or two'). The original one was done on a Passap by Pat Holbrook - oops, I said I wasn’t going to mention any names - I was so intrigued with the idea of the stretchy, mesh fabric that was created, I converted the pattern for the Japanese machines. But, I never said I was perfect! I guess I figured all brother knitters would know about needles out of work and the end needle selection thing and I forgot to mention it. If this has caused you grief, I apologize.
So, here it is (and a few other pointers) in BLOCK CAPS!!
1. When working with every other needle or needles out of work, such as tuck lace - DO NOT USE END NEEDLE SELECTION - set to KCll instead. If you use KCl, the needles beside the out of work needle become an end needle and you will get no pattern on that needle. So, think about it - this applies to any time you have needles out of work - tuck lace or even a double bed pattern, when there are needles on the rib bed to fill in the empty needle on the main bed... what I do is a dry run or ‘air knitting’. No yarn, bring out some needles. Pass the carriage across to put the needles in B position. Go outside the turn mark, set to KC1 to select the pattern, and move the carriage across. Look at what you have. For a regular tuck pattern, most of the needles will be brought out. These will be knit stitches. The needles left in B will be the tucked stitches if the pattern is properly entered... if it doesn’t look right, you may need to reverse the needle selection or, in the needles out of work scenario, set the carriage for KCll and voilĂ , you have your tuck pattern!! Use this to make sure you have the correct needles in work for tuck lace also.
2. Contrary to popular belief, you CAN ‘read/select’ the pattern from EITHER side of the machine - it does NOT have to be from the left side only.
3. On the 970, when programming in your own lace pattern (i.e. one that is not built-in), because there is no actual option for doing this, enter the pattern or download it as a 2 colour fairisle. You will have no memo information, so you need to pay attention and know when to use the lace carriage for transfers and when to knit rows with the knit carriage. Sometimes you may need to flip the pattern horizontally - DAK flips it automatically for you but you don’t want that for lace. In the patterns in KNITWORDS, we show the pattern the way it should be entered on your punchcard, mylar or screen.
4. That funny little wire thingy on the tension mast - that is a sub take-up spring, used for your fine yarn to add extra tension for thread lace knitting. Put the thin yarn in the left side and then into this spring.
There’s sure to be some other things...stay tuned!