Float on

Dear Anne

I design a lot of my own punchcards and on my chunky machine, six-stitch floats are a bit long for a neat finish on the back of my work. Worse still are those even longer floats, which are sometimes unavoidable. There’s a limit to how many ‘odd dots’ I can put in here and there without spoiling the effect, so do you have any ideas? Many thanks and Happy New Year to one and all. Best wishes, Maggie

Thanks for asking Maggie and the usual thing we do is pick up the loops. After knitting the row that creates the long floats, use a single transfer tool to lift the middle of the float onto the needle above it. Push the appropriate needle forward, but not too far out of working position. Place the long loop in the open hook along with the newly-formed stitch, then push the needle back in line. If the float falls in a similar place on subsequent rows, don’t use the same needle each time. Move to an adjacent needle left or right so the loops are staggered and this will give a smoother result. Simply knit across the next row in the usual way. You should find that the long loops are safely caught up and their length is effectively halved. Using chunky weight yarn and a Fair Isle pattern, it’s almost undetectable from the front. As it’s done as you go along, there’s not much extra work. If there aren’t too many rows with long floats, you can always mark the punchcard so you’ll know when to stop.

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