Tip for making an easy gauge swatch

I used to have trouble when I made my gauge swatch counting the number of rows and stitches, especially if I used a furry or boucl√© yarn. To solve this problem I cast on at least 20 more stitches and knit about 10 to 15 rows. At this point I tie on a brightly coloured contrast yarn on the stitches just prior to my gauge stitches. For example, if the gauge is 20 stitches and 30 rows to 4 inches I put the yarn on the 9th row and the 9th stitch and the 21st stitch (this is based on knitting 40 stitches for the whole piece). I then knit the 30 rows and place the marker again on the 31st row and the 9th and 21st stitch. I knit a few more rows, take the piece off the machine and stretch it a bit and let it settle. It’s absolutely essential to let it settle for a few hours and overnight is best if you can wait that long. When I measure the piece I just measure inside the coloured scrap pieces and adjust from there and this method has never let me down.
Hope it helps someone and good luck with your knitting.

Unravel It

1) Rewind the yarn onto cones, preferably the wide topped ones.
2) Place cone (s) in shallow microwave proof container and pour hot water round.
3) Cook for about 4 minutes. My microwave is tiny and only 750 degrees, so I’m severely constricted as to height and width. With bigger microwaves you may have to rethink the length of time and power. The important thing is to not let the water dry out. In my opinion, steam never kills acrylic, it’s only the appliance, the (iron or whatever) that does the damage.
4) Remove cones from microwave and allow yarn to dry on the cone. It doesn’t matter if the yarn gets wet, it just takes longer to dry. My photo shows three cones of 4-ply in the microwave which is my limit. Best wishes from Nancy Marchant in Oz.

I’ve been machine knitting for several years but had a pause for 8 years when I didn’t touch my machines.
I had no time for it but now I’ve started and I just love it. I have a question and it may be a bit stupid? I saw this message concerning unravelling yarn that’s completely unknown to me but I’m absolutely sure it’s something very useful. Can anyone tell me why you do it and explain how will the yarn changes after having been steamed?
2011-09-30 20:23:27

Double Jacquard

In response to the query about this stitch/yarn thickness and 1×1 patterning, 4 ply is too thick for Double Jacquard. Effectively it has become an 8 ply fabric. 1×1 patterning always causes problems with LILI buttons. You get a sort of ragged zigzag. The only solution I have found is to revert to striper backing, or try a double length 1×1 pattern.

4-ply thickness works very well if you use ladder jacquard, with only one stitch in 3 or 4, or even 5 on the ribber. Make the ribber tension as tight as is practical for it to knit off the stitches to avoid ‘tramlines’ on the right side. Experiment a little on a tension swatch to find the ideal.
Jo Newton
2010-06-08 11:37:24
I think it was Mary Weaver in her book “Easy Fairisle for the Brother Ribber” who introduced us to the idea of ladder jacquard. Subsequent experiments have shown that widening the space between ribber needles in work can produce a lighter fabric, hence Jo’s comment that every 5th ribber needle can be used. Another tip is to set the ribber carriage to slip in one direction which traps the floats every 2nd row. Tramlines on the face of the knitted fabric reduce or even disappear.
2013-01-27 18:30:35

Board Games

Thank you for all your efforts in keeping the magazine going. Every month gives me fresh inspiration – after a break for a year or two whilst having two cataracts removed, a knee joint replacement, a carpal tunnel operation and more recently major abdominal surgery, I am now back in full swing and coping with keeping ten grand children in knits! Keep up the good work!
Yours sincerely, Jean Herbert

Tumbling Blocks

Always use all three colours in each colour sequence. If you don’t, you will not only find counting impossible, but also get a different colour on the back, which will show.

Have the colour changer set up so that you work from left to right {for example 2 rows red. 2 rows blue , 2 rows green = 6 rows). Now you are always working in multiples of 6.

If you are working with a punchcard machine, writing the pattern and punching it can be tedious! I have DesignaKnit 7 so I am able to input the design to it and then print out the template, {ST) in colour. Just have to make sure all three colours are bright and it doesn’t matter if they are not the ones actually used. If you have not got DesignaKnit 7, I’m sure someone in your club does and you could borrow their expertise.

Anne, if you could pass on my comments together with my e mail address, we might be able to discuss double bed Jacquard. Love the new look mag and the new contributors.
Best wishes
Nancy in Oz

Hi Nancy in OZ
This sounds very interesting, but alas I’m only new to all of this but I really enjoy reading the comments.
Best wishes from Maggie in OZ
2011-07-20 12:41:36