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The next level

June 26, 2012

Tuck stitch (Card 4)

I’ve tackled the punchcard thingummy on my knitting machine. (Cue applause and whooping, please!)

I was a bit scared of it, in all honesty, but now I’m not.

So I’ve learned how to insert and set up the card, and have a vague understanding of how it all works. I’ve knitted a few swatches.

Tuck stitch seems fairly straightforward. The punchcard tells the machine to keep certain stitches on the needles for a row or more, instead of knitting them off right away, and you end up with interesting textural effects. This swatch is just one of any number of possibilities. isn’t it pretty? And it just whooshes off the machine.

Slip stitch is much the same. Possibly. At least the swatch looked very similar (but tighter-knit to give a different effect) although it’s possible I did something wrong, or haven’t looked at it closely enough, or something. Anyway, whereas the tuck stitch swatch looked better from the purl side, the slip stitch version of the same thing looked nicer from the knit side. Haven’t yet figured out why.

Lace is a bit harder – I haven’t got going with that yet – as lace with the punchcard involves a second strand of invisible thread. Or something. I’ve got enough to be going on with for now without going there just yet!

Fair Isle (Card 4)

Fair Isle is the other main option. I knitted the pink & white swatch here (in about 10 minutes, including choosing what colours to do it in… OMG!)  using the same punchcard as the white tuck stitch swatch.

The lower portion (white with pink patterning) shows what it is meant to look like.

The upper portion (pink with white stripes) shows how it went wrong after I decided to swap the colours over and see what happened.

It took me ages to work out out why it went wrong and how to fix it. As usual with knitting machines the answer is – something very small and silly. I had locked the pattern feeder while I fiddled about changing yarns. I forgot to unlock it, so it just kept knitting the same pattern row over and over.  Oops!

Meanwhile, the marvellous people in Ravelry’s machine knitting group are helping me out loads and I’m currently steeling myself to try knitting an actual garment.

It will, of course, be for Miss Fly, which has several advantages. (One – smaller, and so quicker. Two – keeps her happy. Three – she won’t notice if it goes a bit wrong.)

Wish me luck!

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