Category Archives: MACHINE KNIT

Mystery Yarn, Raglan Testing

“Now What??”

that’s how I ended the story of my first attempt at  machine knitting a raglan sweater . Perhaps it wasn’t fair to end with  a question to which I’ve already formulated an answer. It was clear to me that however right and perfect Sweater Maker’s set-in sleeve had been for me, something different was going on with  the raglan sleeve sweater calculations.   

After experiencing  a few moments of sorrow and regret because I wasn’t going to simply plug-in  a few numbers and get it right, I started considering what resources I have. Because  I do have some resources; some baselines I can consult.  I have a fabulous raglan sewing pattern from Silhouette Patterns;  Abbey’s Knit Top #314.  While I adore this pattern and have made several beautiful tops, I don’t think it is a good candidate to use as an machine knitting base — right now (maybe when I’m more experienced). It contains uniquely shaped sides panels and sleeves.  I don’t want to be struggling with unique and quirky at the same time I”m working out a basic template.

My next choice, believe it or not, was a raglan sweater purchased from Walmart in 2016. I slipped it on in the store and was dumb-founded by how nice it looked on me.  I took it home  (after paying for it of course) and took pics during wear  just to be sure it really did fit that nicely.  Now, a year and a bit later,  I laid out flat my WM Raglan on my 3’x6′ cutting table and carefully measured while referencing SM’s schematic.  I made sure I had measurements for everything SM  had a number. 

Then I knit a new swatch. I could have used the old swatch but I was experiencing an issue during knitting. The carriage seemed to drag and hesitate–not the yarn but the carriage. Typically this is the result of using a  tension too tight for the yarn. I’ve also noticed it is hard to knit when the KM or it’s needles need lubrication; or humidity is low and static electricity high.  I keep the humidifier running all winter. Really takes care of the static electricity. I also keep my yarn sitting on a dryer sheet which helps with the static electricity; and periodically, I will wipe the machine down with a dryer sheets which dissipates static on the machine itself. I’m tending to think static isn’t the issue, so I added some lubrication. Just little dots in multiple places with an excellent oil before knitting the new swatch (bumping  up my tension too). Could be overkill Could be the answer.

Once my new swatch rested, I pressed and measured; launched SM, selected “new garment” and plugged in the new swatch measurements (again selecting raglan, crew neck and women’s size 40) Then, I clicked on the sleeve schematic and printed it plus the measurements.

I still think that knitting a sleeve is my best quick test.  I know I may not end up with a wearable sweater this time — that’s why I’m using mystery yarn and not the good stuff.  This is a test.  I’m hoping to create a basis for many future raglan tops.

 

I said “significant progress” and admit what is significant for me could be boring and insignificant to you.  I hope you come back tomorrow for my progress but totally understand if you simply ‘blow off’ any or all of my knitting posts. I totally concede what’s important to me could mean nothing to you.

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Does this look like any raglan sleeve you’ve ever worn or knit?

 

Don’t let the sleeve length confuse you.  I’m working towards a spring/summer maybe even fall top knit on my very own KH970. The sleeve should be short for a summer sweater. Hence, without letting  sleeve length affect your judgement, have you ever seen or worn such a raglan sleeve like the one above?

I’m using a mystery yarn. Pretty sure it is acrylic but it could be a good quality cotton. Doubt the high quality cotton possibility.  It was an eBay purchase from  1 if not 2 decades ago.  At the time I had a goodly stash and only purchased when the colors were interesting and the price was low.  Rarely do I see good-quality cotton, machine-knitting, yarn for the prices I paid at the time.  Just didn’t happen. Acrylics? Yes. Good acrylics?  Yes they would have been cheap enough for me to indulge.

Yarn aside, what’s up with that shape?  I wanted not only a summer top, but I also wanted to continue exploring my knitting software Sweater Maker. I was so pleased with SM’s set in sleeve sweaters that I practically drooled over the thought of machine knitting  a raglan sleeve garment.  It was perplexing to me at how easily I can hand knit a raglan sleeve sweater but cannot reasonably calculate the size and decreases for a machine knit raglan.  Oh I can make calculations but the resulting sweater is stranger than the witches hat above.  I therefore have avoided MK raglan sweaters — until now. Now I was confident with the drafting and calculations of Sweater Maker’s Set-in Sleeve and I eagerly fired up SM for my first MK raglan sweater.

I started by changing the last sweater & measurements  to a raglan type with crew neck; entered my swatch dimensions and  “Saved as ” “Bev Raglan” . Hmm now what could I change that would make this a summer garment and might even serve as a test of the raglan garment dimensions produced by AM?  I opted to highlight the sleeve length of 17″ and change to 4″ making it a short sleeve sweater. Saved again and printed the front, back, sleeve schematics and the Measurements Page. The sleeve schematic did look a little odd to me but I thought the shape might have been exaggerated so that the dimensions would be easy to read and I would know where they pertained. I trotted out to my KM and knitted the sleeve. Holy Cow!  It looked like the schematic!  Which looked like the witches hat pic above. C-r-@-p. What had I done wrong?

Yeah, my first thought was I did something wrong.  I measured the so-called sleeve in all the places that the schematic had numbers and compared the two (sleeve  and schematic measures). Yep, they matched. Which means I knit to gauge,; the gauge I typed into the software.

Could the shape be right but  just look odd to me.  I basted  the side seams together; slipped my hand in and pulled the point up until the underarm felt like it was at a comfortable spot. Another Holy Cow! The garment neck would have  crawled up my own  1+ inches. I mean even if I had accidentally knit the ribbing rows, I don’t think a “crew neck” would circle the bottom of my neck the way this was going to do. That’s a turtle neck, isn’t it? A crew neck is the standard T-shirt neck, right? Below the base of the neck ? Right

OK maybe the shape was corrupted because I started with my successful set-in sweater measurements. Maybe something carried forward that shouldn’t have? Maybe I should have started completely fresh.  So delete the whole saved file and measurements; start with a “New” “Blank” sweater.  Selected Raglan, crew neck and after remeasuring my swatch, input my swatch dimensions. Saved garment and measurements to Raglan 40 (Oh forgot to mention I changed the size to 40 because that’s what worked with the set-in sleeve.)  Next, open the sleeve schematic ; change the length to 4″.  Save.  (I learned a long time ago to save periodically, errrrrr….. frequently.) 

I printed out only the sleeve schematic and the measurements.  C-R-A-P-O-L-A!.  The two were exactly the same as the previous two i.e. the charts that produced the Witches Hat shaped sleeve is the same as the new, start from brand new fresh.

 

Now What??

 

 

Plating with the Garter Carriage

My next project will require 2 strands of yarn to achieve a nice fabric. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough yarn on the cone to use 2 strands.  I’ve opted to plate my main yarn with a marled grey.

What is plating?  It’s the use of 2 yarns in such a manner that each consistently appears on only one side of the knitting. I want to have my lovely purple on the public knit side and put the marled grey to the inside, purl side.  This doesn’t happen without a little help. In the standard feeder you can pull the plating yarn behind feeder A. Put the main yarn in feeder A. Use a latch tool and a little patience with the plating yarn.  I often turn the carriage upside down but I’ve heard of others who can reach up and behind feeder A with their latch tool easily.  I think this is common enough that a plating feeder was included with several models including my KH970. Too bad I didn’t discover it until a few weeks ago.  I’ve spent years fussing with the latch tool. The plating feeder is a god send not only in threading the feeder but for those times when the yarns need to be swapped. In my knitting, that’s for using waste yarn and ripper cord or when I want to use my garter carriage.

Which brings us to today’s post, how do you plate with a garter carriage? Here’s what I think:  I think that the yarns are prevented from twisting as they go into the carriage by being  held to the front or back, basically  each yarn is separated into one continuous path vs the twisting that naturally occurs, and fed into the needle to be grabbed and knit.   In the normal feeder, that is accomplished at Feeder A by separating the 2 yarns just before they are knit.  I think they are held separated for only about an inch between feeder and knitting. The plating carriage does exactly the same thing. It’s just easier to put the plating yarn where it’s needed. Long time ago I had a KH551 in which I was instructed to hold one of the yarns forward just as it proceeded into the feeder ‘so as to facilitate 2 color knitting’.  The manual showed what looked like a fair isle sample except that both yarns were knit and the yarn not held forward would appear on the reverse.  Those old manuals were cryptic and it took me a long time to figure out what it was saying.  I rapidly tired of trying to pull the correct color forward just as it was about to knit and look for other fair isle techniques. Point is, this is not a new technique. It has been useful for a long time. It would indeed produce floatless fair isle had I had the patience.

Back to plating with the garter carriage, I thought that some similar action should be possible.  I opened the carriage and carefully looked it over. Even turned it upside down. I don’t see a place that would be used for separating the yarns. I asked at KnittersParadise but the answers didn’t solve plating so much as offering a work around and references to an unavailable fair isle adapter. So I thought and I thunk and I looked at the GC and decided to try something.

I took a dental floss tool and broke off the handle leaving only the little U shape.

Leaving the floss free, I wrapped tape around the plastic; positioned the U just above the feeder and taped it in place.

Funny writing that took seconds. Actually doing it was a challenge. I wanted to leave part of the tape free to be affixed to the carriage. Another issue was the tape didn’t wrap around the U. It wanted to wrap one side or the other.  Finally got the tape in place by situating a fold in the tape just above the floss, maybe 1/8″.  It’s enough that I could feed the plating yarn between tape and floss and main yarn on the other side of the floss. I thought “Kewl. This could do it”

Not.

I started with garter stitch (knit every row) which didn’t work. I realized that it probably wouldn’t every work with garter stitch because the way the stitch is formed is being changed back and forth. I am sure an attentive  hand knitter could control the yarns. The machine is not intelligent. So I changed to 1×1 rib which I though could give me a striped rib. Nope. As you can see above, I am getting the same effect as if the yarns were fed into the feeder with no effort to separate.

Even the reverse side looks no better:

or no closer to what I wanted.

I think this is going to be a journey. I’m wondering if the separation is taking place too early. The feeder is approx 3″ long and I’m not sure exactly at what point the GC needle interacts with the yarn. It could be that I need the separation to occur when the yarn exits the GC feeder. I haven’t given up hope. Just waiting for new ideas. But I do recognize that something in the way the GC forms the stitches could easily make this an impossible task.

************

My Notes

March Playtime

At my peak, when my machine knitting skills were sharpest, I worked  an hour or two most evenings after work and could knit a sweater in about a week.   Weekends were for sewing and family things. But no, I was not cranking out 4 sweaters a month. People like to think that a machine-knit sweater is a matter of dropping a ball of yarn in at one end and lifting a completed sweater off the other side. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Thing is, machine knitting is no longer a cottage industry (production knitting performed in the home). Like home sewing is  hand crafted couture, machine knitting is more of an individualized, designer process with many activities and lots of knowledge required.

While I feel a great deal of satisfaction with even a merely good garment, I receive a tremendous amount of satisfaction and pride from the entire process that went into making that good garment. So while I may have been able to crank out 4 sweaters a month, I never did because I invested a good deal of time into the entire process. A process I immersed myself in yesterday when getting my Garter Carriage to work.

There it as shown by machine4u which is a UK vendor.  There are numerous garter carriages for sale in the US and throughout the world.

Yep 8 hours, starting about 10AM and calling it quits around 11PM — with several breaks during–I invested in re-learning my Garter Carriage. The GC AKA Turtle, can replace a ribber carriage by selectively knitting knit or purl stitches in the same row on the main bed . It takes up much less room BTW which was one of my primary reasons for buying the GC instead of ribber when I purchased the KM970. Storage room is always important especially when the storage is the living room. I bought my turtle shortly before retiring. Got it to work and when I actually retired I packed it away. 10 or is that 11, 13 years later, I realized I’ve got the basic machine producing, it’s time to pull out the accessories. I will say that for me, the Turtle doesn’t have a great deal of applicability. I use it mostly for the occasional ribbed welt/hem. There are so many other decorative hem and edge finishes that the typical RTW ribbing becomes an option. An option that doesn’t show your skill and knowledge as an MK’er.

Have to add, I also selected a GC instead of ribber because ribbing is about the only thing I did with the ribber. I don’t make blankets. Not really interested in DBJ, racking or cables.   My Turtle, a KG 95, was actually less expensive than the KR260 ribber I bought for my bulky machine. Both BTW previously loved (i.e. used) and costing much less than factory new.

Anyway, I finished the day able to set the Turtle up and get him knitting. Plain knitting like I do with my main bed. Definitely not worth the $$$ I spent. A little later, I had him programmed for a seed stitch

I like seed stitch borders. Also nice for accessories but I doubt I’ll make an entire garment using seed stitch. Just not my preference. Especially when there are so many stitch options. But I do like seed stitch, it’s flat.

Little later I found the pattern numbers for the ribs and after programming the CB1 (computer for the main bed), produced a lovely 1×1 rib

At this point, my knowledge and ability equals what I was doing when I put the GC away. And I could quit. Put the GC aside and go about my knitting until I want ribs. Or seed stitch borders. However I am rapidly finishing 7 decades of living (looking at the big 70 in a very few years).  I tend to think I don’t have a long time left to do the things I wanted to do. Which means, 10+ years ago I stopped learning about the GC because I thought I had plenty of time to learn the things I might want to do.  Now? Well now, I continued to play with the GC and learned how to Cast off!!

CO row is above the orange dashes.

OMG! Wish I’d taken the time to learn this trick 10 years ago.  Just as there a many hems, there are many cast-off but I usually cast-off around the needles which is very similar to what I am showing. Manually casting off takes a lot of time. It can make my wrist and fingers hurt.  My little turtle had the test swatch done in less than 2 minutes (  think it took 1 for it to chug up to the knitting). I was afraid the COFF would be too tight.  It is a little snug but I think increasing the tension of the last row and the tension of the COFF itself would take care of that. To tell the truth, the sample of above is what I would want around necklines.  I want the cast-off to be the final nudge to the neckband  to make it lie flat against my neck.

Then I worked for a few hours trying to get the Cast ON procedure to work. I’d set the machine up as described in the manual. My Turtle would chug over to the first needle. Make a frightening noise and quit. I mean power down, stop-it, NOW. When I’d get it free to look, the yarn was broken and a knot wrapped around the GC needle. I re-read directions. Checked settings. Changed tensions. Nope. Watched Youtubes and repeat checking setting and tensions. Turtle didn’t like it and wasn’t doing it.  I ended the evening by crying for help at KnittingParadise. The next day, one helpful person explained that the difference between CO and COFF was the the CB1 was powered on during CO and powered OFF during COFF. Once powered on Turtle chugged over and produced:

CO is at the bottom of the swatch. I had Turtle continue to knit 7 rows of garter stitch (by hand you knit every row) because I like garter stitch welts and edges too.  I’d been knitting at tension 3. The row before bind off/COFF (top row of the swatch), I cranked the tension up to 10. Then had Turtle COFF. Not exactly what I want. the last 2 rows at T10 have produced a gap between last row and COFF.  Improvement needed, but I’m still tickled that I was able, with the help of my internet friends, to get my GC doing these tasks.  Really, as I get older and experience some physical weakness and pain, have the GC do these kind of things can make it easier on me physically.

However before I turned the lights off, I took time to finish some experimenting I had been doing the day before.  I knitted a small swatch, leaving a needle out of work in 3 places across the swatch.  Working from the right side, I picked up the edge of one of the thread ladders. Not the ladder part, but the next row of knit stitches and bind off.

On Rib1, I picked up the stitches, hung on the needles and then bound/cast off around the needles. Makes a subtle rib but I don’t see an advantage to picking up stitches over using a latch tool or crochet hook to chain stitch up the ladder.

Rib2 I picked up 3 stitches on the right and then 1 on the left. Knit 1 row and then bind off.  the rib is a little more prominent. I almost thought I might use #2 sometime …

….until I played with the GC on Rib3.  The stitches were again picked up and rehung onto needles (just like Rib#1).  I knit one row then set up the GC and bound-off .  Nice, prominent, neat rib. Much easier to do than the other 3 and faster. Even at it’s slowest, the Turtle can bind off faster than me. I can see using this rib. Also, It would be easy to make traveling stitches like diagonal lines and diamonds formed with diagonal lines.

When I’m learning like this, I often take a break; stop and think. Re-read. Double Check. One of the breaks I took was to carefully write out my instructions.  All the info is in the manuals. But it seems to me that the manuals were written in Japanese and translated exactly i.e. without knowing the nuances of the English language and in particular American way of talking knitting. So while all the info is in the pages of the manual, I had a hard time finding it and understanding it. Without the internet, I’m not sure I would have gotten my GC working again let alone doing new stuff.

Just in case  I’m  away from the Turtle for a while, I will have a procedures I understand. It could be meaningless to everyone else but I understand.

 

Teal Stripes Finished!

Even though I’ll be pointing out some issues, I’m really happy to be sharing this finished project.

First, I successfully managed to invert the stripes as planned and nearly identical to the inspiration garment (on the right). Which I love because it is a more current handling of stripes. So even though my teal and aqua are not current colors, the over all design does say ‘today’, or at least Winter 2017-18.

 Even with the help of the Color Changer, knitting the stripes was a challenge.  The challenge arose from interspersing the shaping directions from Sweater Maker with the color change rows calculated. After having to rip several times, I stopped; got out the old legal pad and made hand notations of the row number and change needed. It was a 30 minute job, at least half of which was spent finding the legal pad.  In retrospect, I wish I had created the sheet immediately after making the stripe calculations.

The dark teal, 2/24 acrylic yarn continued to resist the changer even with silicon spray and my make-shift yarn twister. The result was some bad places where I used duplicate stitch to correct and several yarn ends that needed to be finished.

I tried a modification to my hemming. I rehung the sleeve and hem with the thought of being able to make it longer if needed. So I was knitting hems from the top down. No problem but I got cute and first transferred stitches EON and then bound off around the gate pegs.  I used the lace carriage to transfer the stitches after manually pulling needles to B position. Well I don’t know what went wrong but quite a few didn’t transfer. So I was binding off groups of EON and groups of every-needle. Can do but it looks amateurish.

I think I have a good handle on the lengths I need with this pattern. Thank heavens, because I prefer to knit the hems from the bottom up and rehang. That method requires no binding off at the hem which results in a smoother, flatter,more professional finish. Between hem, changer issues, a few unnoticed dropped stitches and those  extra ends, the finishing became bulky. Definitely not professional. I did not steam press because I did not want my finishing to grin-through or ghost on the public side.

Fit is always a big thing for me and first up for analysis is the back:

Those diagonals and the rising hem are from my rounded back. You know, it’s even easier to make an RBA in knitting that it is in sewing?  I need add about  3 short-rows about mid-armscye. The other issue I’m interested in is further up, the shoulder width.  I’ve not been adding shoulder pads which I do to even my purchased sweaters. The shoulder pads would make the length unnoticeable and might even help with the back wrinkles. My only reasonable excuse for tolerating both these issues is that I have been testing Sweater Maker.  Honestly, I want to be sure of what SM is doing, before I start making too many changes.  Up to now, I have concentrated on length and circumference, Which is about to change because, I really need a few of those short rows over my tummy too!

Look at that front hem rise to the skies!  I’ve already added 1″ to the sleeve length so that Sweater Maker will automatically calculate a longer sleeve.

Still undecided about the shoulder pads, so future changes are limited to the longer sleeve and manually adding short rows for round-back and full-tummy.

I have found something I don’t like about Sweater Maker.  I am a pear. My hips are wider than my shoulders and my shoulders are narrower than standard.  Thing is Sweater Maker calculates the set-in sleeve pattern for the rectangular or apple-shaped figure. For the life of me, I can’t make SM change. If I make the hips wider, the shoulders get wider. Start with hips big enough and narrow the shoulders? Well then the hip follows (narrows.) What I’ve been doing so far is  inverting the shaping between hem and underarm.  At my hem, I cast on the number of stitches given for the underarm and then decrease instead of increase up to the underarm until I reach the number of stitches SM gives for the hem. Confusing? It’s really easy. I don’t even mark up instructions. But I can’t get SM to do it for me.  However, I have no intentions of giving up on SM, at least not yet. Fact is for $40, I am getting sweaters I will wear. I’m not making landfill. I can completely attribute that to SM’s basic measurements and easy to use interfaces.  My opinion is bolstered by SM’s prompt customer support. IMO, having help is more important than lots of features.

 

The Neckline that Whipped My A**

No fooling. This was a chore and a disappointment. I wanted to use the edge finish I was so taken with a few weeks ago.

It was easy to knit. Well not the simplest, easiest or quickest but not difficult and did not involve me digging out the Garter Carriage and learning how to use that all over. (Having been 10 years since I used the GC last, I am expecting a re-learning phase.) Most importantly, using the flat-bed only, this combination did not roll.

However, my hopes and excitement were dashed quite soundly.  First I estimated the neckline length. Need to know how long it is to calculate the number of needles required. Right? So I measured the neckline. I calculated needles needed; cast on and knit the facing band. Oh yes, when knitting the front and back I opted for my modified cut-n-sew neckline.  I love the resulting neckline and full own that I will need that 4 rows of knitted facing to make a clean finish.  I started and finished the facing with waste yarn and ripper and then hung the neckline on the machine. Wow, that was tight. The neckline was stretched. I expected to double up some stitches, instead I was picking up some loops.  Alarms started but I proceeded never successfully getting the first 4 rows for the public side of the neckline knit. I dropped it innumerable times. Dropped the whole fricking knitting of less than 3 rows and started over.  Finally decided a break was in order and hung my sweater-in-progress (already joined at one shoulder) with clips on a hanger. Stomping off to my easy-chair, I looked back and realized that neckline was too long.  It rippled. Fluted. Ruffled. I wanted a neckband that hugged my neck. Good for keeping gust of wind and prying eyes away from more tender parts.  I pouted for a while and then got lost in DH’s movie selection for the evening.

That was a good thing. Overnight, I realized exactly how I wrong my procedure was. I suppose I could blame that on the fact it has been several years (10 maybe?) since I’ve knitting this type neckline. But point is, I realized how a**backwards my process was.  I started over. Back at calculating the neck length.  See when I knit the CNS neckline, I already know how many needles I will need for the front and back portions of the neckband.  It is only the sides of the neckline I need to calculate. Sweater Maker tells me that  each side is 4″.  I have 2 sides so 4″*2 * StitchesPerInch Plus front and back needles gives me the total number of stitches.  I add 2 more, one on each side for the a seam to join the neckband. (I won’t be knitting in the round. Must sew this together at some point).  The number of needles need 146 was much less, about 5″ less than the previous number calculated. So I made the facing again. No problems this time. I did a double-ewrap with my Aqua yarn on the needed needles and then hung my neckline. Well, now I’m cookin’ with gas. Neckline practically hopped up there without gaps or excess.  Then I hung 1 side of my facing and hand knit – cause that’s pretty thick – the first row. I knit 2 more rows with the machine before hanging the other side of the facings. Then 1 row to join facing and neckband while automatically neatly sandwiching and hiding the cut neckline  edge.

Then I proceeded to knit my band but I made some changes. And I think that’s were I went wrong.

First off, this band should be knit a MT-1. I knit at MT. Possible mistake? Secondly I did not want to change colors. Possible mistake? Which gave me a delimma when rehanging the first row of the repeat. Dang, I couldn’t see which was the first row and which the second nor which the previous ???!!!??? My solution had been to do an EON slip on the first row of the repeat.  That gave me a nice clear “pick up here” notation. I picked up the slipped stitches. Would be picking up every-other-needle.  The band instructions had me picking up every stitch in the first row. Possible mistake?  The end result was a band that was soft and a little floppy. It tended to roll as plain ol’ stocking knit always does.  Was the significant difference the yarns themselves? i.e. would the teal have been stiffer? Did changing the yarns between aqua and teal and back somehow add more body?  Or was it the use of the slip stitch and hanging every other needle?  I’m still not really sure.  When I first took the neckband off the machine, I thought it would be fine once I joined the other shoulder (and neckband ends).  Nope. It still rolled. I thought to weave elastic though the back side and through 3 different rows.

I tightened the elastic. Well the neckband stood up better but looked like crap. Decided to wet block. Sort of a semi-wet block as I laid a towel down; arranged the neckband on top and then carefully arranged a wet cloth on top of that. I do man carefully because I know from experience that wet-blocking will change the yarn forever. Even when using acrylic. (Well that’s my experience.) 24 hours later I removed the now dry cloth and could only shake my head. This was an unsat neckband made ugly.  To totally frustrated and whipped, I removed the 3 strands of elastic…

… hung my sweater up and just stared at it for a day or so.  Didn’t want rip. It was never easy to unstitch seams. There is a big chance when using a seam ripper to rip the wong loop and create a hole — which grows. I knew I didn’t want to get a hot steam iron near it.  I love high-bulk 2/24 acrylic.  It’s like wool without the itch and it is washable (place in lingerie bag, machine wash on cold, dry on med until damp dry, lay out flat to finish drying). I like 2/24 acrylic but I don’t like this neckline…

… or did I.  Once I got past of my preconceived, my visualized neckline and could look at it for what it is, It’s OK.  Not what I wanted on planned, but really not bad.  You’ll have to wait for the finished garment pics to see what I mean. I’m just glad that even though it whipped my a** bad, I finished with an interesting neckline. One that I may use again.

 

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Update to My Color Changer Notes

I thought I had conquered the color changer. I mean I knit a mile long swatch before I finally was smoothly changing yarns.  Fought my way through the issues with using yarns double  (even devised a yarn twister) and then easily knit and blocked a nice swatch. All good. All ready to go. Right? Well, almost. Maybe.

I started by loading up the color changer with 4 ends.

  • 4-ripper cord;
  • 3- waste yarn
  • 2-Contrast Color (CC)
  • 1- Main Color (MC)

Right off the bat, I stumbled. For the gauge or my swatch and the size of my rear, I needed to cast on 93 L though 93R.  I almost reknit the swatch at a higher tension or  added a few more ends. Although my bed does have 200 needles, it knits most effectively, easiest at 80L to 80R.  This could just be my body, my arm’s reach rather than something to do with the machine. Umm especially since I had the same issue with other standard gauge machines and I find that the bulky is more efficient when I am using about 2/3 of the bed’s needles.  I never read/heard of anyone else having the issue, so maybe it’s just me. Anyway, wasn’t thrilled with casting on from 93L to 93R but I did. Knit my waste yarn. Couldn’t change to ripper. Well no big deal. I really don’t have to have these in the changer. They are only used for a few rows and I can explore using 4 yarns when I’m less eager. So I start knitting with MC Teal. 104 rows knit beautifully. Can’t change to aqua. In fact every time I tried to change form MC to  CC or back, I fought the changer.  I was pretty good at catching before causing the knitting to drop from the machine, but man was this a pain.  I swear, before I started my  project swatch and all the way through it the changer swapped yarns back and forth like a dream.  What had happened over night?

(Overnight because I had knit the swatch and left it over night to settle. So I was starting to knit the sweater the next day or over night after the swatch.)

 

I was almost all the way through the back before I got it!!  Overnight I had forgotten:

In the single bed changer, the yarns stay within their ports; their buttons. This is different from the KRC900 and therefore still confusing to me. With the KRC900 the yarns completely pop out of their ports and then pop back in when not being knit.  The buttons actually extend far enough out there they almost don’t have a choice.  With the KHC820, the yarns are held in the port always.

When the next color is started,  both yarns will extend in front of the bed

caught in the carriage, but the not knitting yarn  will drop free of the needle bed and needles a little ways out there

In these pics, I’ve already trimmed the initial ends that were “tied” on the changer at the  start . Otherwise the pic would be filled with multiple strands of yarn.

 

One last note:  I am used to following the admonishment to take your carriage completely past the end stitches. So much so that my carriage usually clears by a couple of inches.  I run into problems with that with the color changer carriager.  Pushing it all the way to the left engages it’s mechanism to  select a new yarn.  With the Color Changer Carriage, I need to remember to push the carriage until I hear the ‘click’.  It looks like I have not cleared (passed) all the needles on the  left, but if I hear the ‘click’ I have and need push no further.