More hints and tips

Posted on

Turning circle

Dear Anne

Please could you explain what you do with a garter bar? It hasn’t got any machine instructions, so can I use it on my Brother machine, or is it for Toyota or Knitmaster? I’m sure you’ve been asked a million times, but I feel a bit embarrassed. The lady who gave it to me seemed really disappointed that I didn’t jump for joy, but I’d no idea what it was for or what to do with it. Please help or point me in the right direction. Thanks and best wishes, Maureen

Garter bars are wonderful accessories, but if you haven’t used one before, you may be slightly nervous. Yes, we’ve included similar instructions before, but it won’t do any harm to give them another airing. Follow these helpful hints for trouble-free turning!

1) Remove yarn from feeder and use a ruler to push all working needles to holding position.

2) Pull knitting slightly forward and put needle movement stopper in place.

3) Remove all but two small weights and make sure that latches on needles are open.

4) Hang garter bar onto needles, with indent groves facing upwards, lining up end needle on right onto end tooth.

5) Pull the garter bar towards you and at the same time pull knitting onto the teeth.

6) Lift garter bar off needles and push stitches down to base of the teeth.

7) Open latches of needles, make sure the latches lay flat against shaft of needle and then turn the garter bar.

8) Line up end needle and end tooth then, holding each end, push garter bar onto needles and pull it forward slightly.

9) Tip garter bar up slightly and check that all stitches have been caught on the needle hooks.

10) Pull both towards you downwards, then push knitting back behind latches and remove needle movement stopper.

 

Up the slope

Dear Anne

I stopped to realise that all those ideas we passed to each other years ago are probably not written down anywhere. Clubs have closed, so how do newbies find out the tricks of the trade? You’ve got to keep this going in MKM, Anne. I saw this idea many moons ago, I think in To & Fro, but can’t be sure. There’s no casting off and I’ve not shaped shoulders on a machine since.

1) At top of both back and front, add a good half inch (about 1½ cm) to the knitted length and take off on waste yarn.

2) With right side uppermost, sew all around the shoulder and neckline shape, in one operation either on a sewing machine or overlocker and cut to shape after finishing. When using my overlocker, I thread one end of 2/30s yarn through the upper looper to match the fabric.

3) Put the shoulders together, as you would a dress or jacket and using a small stretch stitch with a zigzag, or any stretch stitch for that matter, with light pressure on presser foot sew on a sewing machine about half an inch (1 cm) from the edge.

4) Fold back and catch down to the wrong side to produce a neat, flat seam. It can be stabilised with a non-stretch narrow tape or stranded cotton, which you fasten off securely.

5) Complete both shoulders before adding the neckband for a jacket or join one shoulder, then knit the neckband and complete the second shoulder for a sweater. Attach the sleeves and join the side and sleeve seams last.

I agree with recent sentiments that we ‘oldies’ have a duty to pass on as much as we know to the newbies, or how else will they ever learn? You get a really neat shoulder line using this method and it’s not just for Passap knitters; anyone can do shoulders in this way. Happy knitting everyone! Mary

 

Hot tip

Dear Anne

Here’s the easiest hot water bottle cover you’ll ever knit. It’s thicker and more cosy knitted in a Fair Isle pattern and great for using up the stash. Any yarn can be used but 4-ply is ideal. You can vary the stitches and rows but, basically, cast on around 75 stitches and knit 10 rows plain. Change to Fair Isle for about 115 rows. Knit 5 rows plain. Cast off centre 12 stitches with some scrap yarn and then cast them on again. This makes a hole for the bottle’s tail. Now knit the other half in reverse. For the tabs, measure 2½ inches in from each end, pick up 12 stitches and work 30 rows. Sew up the cover and, for extra strength, work a row of double crochet around the top edge and tabs. Sew snap fasteners on the tabs and front to finish it off. That’s it, and I told you it was easy! Best wishes, Ellen

 

Under the quilt

Hi Anne

Have you reminded the newbies about an easy way to turn their knitting into a quilt? Do you remember (of course you do!) we used to find a diamond-shaped tuck stitch pattern and elongate it. Press the L button if you have one, otherwise make sure the card moves only every two rows. Cast on in 4-ply across the full width of bed, using a suitable stitch size and knit the required length in the tuck stitch. Cast off. Place the knitting face downwards. Cover with a layer of wadding and then with lining material, which can also be knitted. Pin three layers together, starting at the centre and working towards the corners. Tack all around the edge. Now quilt, starting at the centre again and working to the corners to get it even. Follow the lines of the pattern, use a sewing machine or backstitch by hand. Bind the whole thing with a strip of knitting. After I’d made enough cot covers, I plucked up the courage to make a quilted jacket using a bought dressmaking pattern. Since then, I’ve never looked back. Knit happy, Yvonne

 

Hand knitting help

Posted on

Rachel got in touch with us recently, after seeing one of the posts on our website at https://machineknittingmonthly.net/news/will-knit-socks-hospice-patients-christmas/

She’s a bit of a knitting geek and makes lots of hats, socks and toys – as well as anything you’d care to mention! She thought it was a great read and tells us she’s recently written her Ultimate Beginners Guide to Knitting. If you’d like to know a bit more about hand knitting, take a look at https://hobbyhelp.com/knitting/

With so many of us knitting on the Silver Reed LK150 and no ribber available, lots of us like to combine both skills by hand knitting the ribs and transferring the stitches to the LK150 for speed. Do check it out and we’re sure Rachel would be happy to help if you’ve any queries. Thanks a million for sharing Rachel.

Oxford blues

Posted on

Hi Anne

I’m taking over running the Oxford Machine Knitting Group. The trouble is our numbers have dwindled so much that I’m putting in a plea to any knitters living in Oxfordshire to come and join us. We meet on the second Tuesday of each month at Yarnton Village Hall. We quite often take our machines with us and get useful tips from each other. Although two of our ladies are unable to bring their machines, they have a wealth of knowledge which is greatly appreciated. However, if we can’t get any more members, I doubt if we will be able to carry on much longer. Do please email nisekoang@gmail.com so, here’s hoping. Best wishes, Angie Reed

As Angie mentioned, Oxford Machine Knitters meet monthly on the second Tuesday from 10.00 am to 12.00 noon. The venue is Yarnton Village Hall, The Paddocks, Yarnton, Kidlington OX5 1TE and you really would be most welcome to swell their numbers a little.

Word search

Posted on

Dear Anne

From cast off to purlpincushion to tack, there are many words associated with knitting.  As part of the Oxford English Dictionary’s 90th birthday celebrations, we have a host of fun initiatives taking place, including a number of public word appeals.  Our latest appeal focuses on expanding the dictionary’s coverage of the language of hobbies and we would be delighted if you and your readers could help us.

A number of knitting terms are, of course, already included in the dictionary.  For example, we have recently added an entry for FROG (to pull apart a piece of knitting in order to rework it, current earliest date 1996) and are monitoring the word STASH (one’s store of wool or fabric, current earliest date 1992).

We would love your readers to tell us the words they use when they describe a particular technique or a slang and colloquial expression that has arisen in the knitting community.  How do your readers use these words?  Perhaps they have evidence of earlier usage?  What new words and phrases are coming into use?

Words can be suggested via our online submissions form or the hashtag #hobbywords.

Best wishes

Kate Shepherd

Help needed with Brother 260

Posted on

Hi

The 230 was my first machine, after the Superba which I never mastered. I loved it. I put it away when I went into business and coordinated machines with my partner to the 260. I took it out to do intarsia and it was so much fun, but without the ribber on it so I ran upstairs each time to do the ribbing. Eventually I decided to see how inconvenient it would be to do intarsia with the ribber in place. Now the problem is that the stopper pin will not allow the ribber carriage to complete the row to the left. I don’t understand. There’s a stopper pin on my 260 which causes no problem. I look forward to any advice please and wish I could find the wonderful yarns here in the States.

Sincerely, Judy

Garter carriage help needed, please

Posted on

I have garter carriage KG-95 with a Brother 950i machine. I’m having difficulties getting started for the auto cast on. The Instruction Book says: “990 men button/men button insert 901 m” but the machine won’t accept 901 and the error light keeps coming up. This makes it a problem for the garter carriage to operate the cast on row. Also on the garter carriage when it’s operating, the slide No. 3 keeps changing and this changes the direction of the knitting. Can someone please help me? I live in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia and would appreciate any advice. Many thanks.

G-carriage help needed!

Posted on

I recently got my G-carriage out of its box after years of neglect and have forgotten the trick of getting it to start. It’s a Brother KG-93 linked to my Brother 950i. I’ve followed the instructions and watched a video on line. I get the pattern position red light to light up and that’s it! Any ideas please – if not, it’ll go in the bin! Thanks for any help, Elizabeth

Sock it to me

Posted on

Here’s a pattern for short 4-ply socks and they’re easy to knit on any standard or fine gauge machine with a ribber. If you don’t have a ribber, work ribs in mock rib.

MEASUREMENTS To fit shoe sizes 6 [7, 8, 9, 10, 11].

TENSION 32 sts and 44 rows to 10 cm, 4 in over stocking stitch with tension dial around 6 on standard gauge and 8 on fine gauge machines.

NOTES When shaping in HP, always take yarn round first inside N in HP to prevent a hole forming.

RIGHT SOCK With carriage at right and using MY, cast on 70 sts at centre of machine in 1×1 rib. K 5 tubular rows. Carriage is at right. Set machine for 1×1 rib knitting. Set RC at 000. Using MT-5/MT-5, K 11 rows. Transfer sts for st st. Set RC at 000. Using MT, K 3 rows. K 1 row extra for Left Sock. Shape sides by dec 1 st at each end on next and every foll 15th row until 60 sts rem. RC shows 64 (65 on Left Sock). Shape heel * Push 30 Ns at opposite end to carriage to HP. Cont on rem sts. K 2 rows. Push 1 N at opposite end to carriage to HP on next 14 rows. Push 1 inside N at opposite end to carriage from HP to UWP on next 14 rows. Push rem Ns from HP to UWP, K 1 row *. K 80 [82, 84, 88, 92, 96] rows. Shape toe Work as for heel from * to *. Using WY, K a few rows and release from machine.

LEFT SOCK Work as for Right Sock, reversing shaping by noting alteration in number of rows worked.

MAKING UP Press, then join side seams and graft sts tog under foot.

 

Make a mark

Posted on

Dear Anne

Can you or anyone in machine knitting help me, please? I have a Brother KH-910 knitting machine and I’m trying to find markers or pens for filling in blank Mylar Sheets. Does anyone know where I can find one of these pens please? Thanks in advance for any help. Best wishes, Tuula

This month’s top tips

Posted on

Get weaving

I was reading through some of my very old To & Fro magazines and spotted an absolute gem of advice from the real ‘old school’. (Happy memories of Joan Lafferty!) It’s about doing a weaving cast-on, which I so wanted to use but I’ve never got it to work for me. I’ve had a go at this tip and yes, it really does work so I’ll pass it on for the newbies. Well, first of all we’re told to lift up the end of yarn at the inner side of the carriage and move the carriage to and fro a bit before putting the yarn across the holding position needles. Sounds obvious, but I’d never done it. It lifts the yarn above the metal sinker plate and saves it catching in the brushes. Doh! Now the yarn is in the right place, you can put in the weaving brushes. I put both brushes in, though they actually say you just need the one on the inside leading edge of the carriage. When you come to close the hem, you just pick up the large loops from the cast on, onto every other needle. Here’s the best bit! Supposing you’ve a special needle set up, such as in tuck lace where some needles are out of work. You can still use the weaving cast on, as long as you bring forward every other working needle to holding position. Try it, it works fine!

What I truly had never heard is that all isn’t lost if you don’t have a cast on comb or any weaving brushes, such as on some earlier machines. Bring every other needle to holding position, knit the row and lay the nylon cord across in the usual way, between the needles and sinker posts. Bring out of work needles to working position and continue to knit. The effect is the same as the weaving cast on. After laying in the cord they say don’t forget to bring forward (a little bit) needles with stitches on, so the cord doesn’t get tangled up with the stitches. Good tip! Being able to do a weaving cast on has given me such a lot of confidence, after thinking I could never do it.

 

Have you any ideas for getting a really good rib cast on edge? I knit on a Brother and mine always look frilly and, frankly, a big mess. Hoping you can help please.

To get a fine rib edge on your Brother machine, use Tension 0/0 and set the slide lever at II for the cast on. You can actually wind the yarn anti-clockwise round the ribber joining knob to slow down the flow, as you need the cast-on to be as tight as possible. You can also try putting the ribber cams to tuck, just for the zigzag, but none of this works unless you pull down all the slack yarn at the back of the yarn tension arm before you start to knit! After the zigzag row, put in the ribber comb, but no weights, until you’ve done the circular rows, still at the same tension. Now add the weights and lay a nylon cord right across between the needles. Hold the ends below the beds, just for the first actual rib row. If the rib tension is to be (say) 4/4, do the first rib row around 2/2. When the work is off the machine, pull up the stitches on the nylon cord and tug the cord away from the work. This will straighten out the edge beautifully and is much easier than threading a fine knitting needle through the edge afterwards!

 

One great tip about making life easy for sewing up garments.

Fran McCarthy has made me really think back to my early knitting days and how much of a struggle it all seemed to be. One great tip I read was about making life easy for sewing up garments. If you’re using 1×1 rib, a simple trick for the cast on is to put one extra needle to work at the left on the ribber bed. After the first rib row, transfer it to the main bed so that two stitches are working side by side. The extra stitch gets taken into the seam in mattress stitch, corresponding with the one on the main bed at the other end, so the rib is continuous. For cardigans, put one extra stitch at each end on the back rib, but none on the front ribs. For 2×2 and 2×1 industrial rib, you don’t need to do anything. The normal set up joins perfectly when you mattress stitch the two pieces together. Isn’t that handy?

 

It’s the time of year for making winter warmers and I make lots of hats and scarves for charity. They’re nothing special, just gathered into a pom-pon for the top of the hats and ends of the scarves, so have you a quick way of gathering up a rib edge?

Thanks for asking Flo and you may also knit hats which are made double length then one edge is pushed inside the other. For the cast on edge, leave an extra-long end of yarn when you cast on. It needs to be about 20 cm longer than the width of the working needles on the machine. First knit the zigzag row. Now lift the end of yarn up between the beds, take it across the zigzag and down the other side of the work. Hold this end down until the first rib row is knitted and then you can release it. When the work is off the machine, just pull up the rib stitches on this thread and fasten off securely. Old hands will recognise this as something we did on a single bed machine when we couldn’t find our nylon cords to cast on!

 

I prefer to knit sideways bands on my cardigans, as I can’t stand all that sewing up. Is there anything I can do to stop the ends on the fronts pulling up? Pressing doesn’t work and, anyway, we can’t press acrylic unless we want to wreck everything. Don’t take it the wrong way, but did you do something in the dim and distant past I might not know about?

You need what we used to call a ‘flat rib’. One bed, usually the main bed, knits with all needles in work whilst you put into work the needles which will show the rib you want on the ribber. Here’s an example for a 2×2 flat rib. On the ribber, have two needles in work and two out of work all the way along. (Don’t forget the pitch set at H, of course!) You can’t cast on like this, so cast on in full needle rib and transfer the unwanted stitches from ribber to main bed. The alternative is to use a 1×1 rib cast on, transfer all stitches to the main bed (easy if you’ve a transfer carriage!) and then return the needles you need on the ribber to working position. If you just put the needles into work and knit, you’ll get small holes at the base of the rib, which you could get away with by calling it a design feature! Otherwise, you’ll have to fill up those needles with the heel of a stitch from the main bed. Hope this helps.