Machine knitting update

Picture heavy post to follow! ….. I’ve been on a steep learning curve with my knitting machine, and it’s all starting to click. I can cast on and do various things like ribbing or fairisle swatches without having to take out the manual every time!

First machine knit jumper!

The machine knit community had a month where we converted a hand knit pattern to machine and I used a pattern from Amy Milller, it has a fitted sleeve and a slight flare to the shape.

My handknit version from a few years ago is below, I didn’t go with the longer hem this time.

Hand knit Sweet Jane by Amy Miller.

I was able to match the stitch gauge of the pattern but had to make some calculations for the row gauge. Which wasn’t too difficult. First I counted the rows between increases, worked out how many cm it should measure and then figured out how many machine rows would give me the same cm measurement.

I made the back and used it to check my calculations. Then I made some mockup designs on my phone for the front intarsia:

I didn’t draw a chart for the design as it was simple angled lines. I took note of the rows where I would begin and end, and then hoped for the best.

Intarsia on my knit master uses a special carriage, the yarn is laid across the open needles by hand and the carriage passed across as you hold the yarn underneath to give it tension.

I then joined the pieces at the shoulders:

The yellow yarn is waste knitting which gets unravelled once the panels are joined.

Without changing the construction of the handknit pattern, I was able to short row the sleevecap straight into the armhole.

With a machine, all the stitches are placed onto the needles, then the outer needles are held in a non-working position until they are needed.

Short row sleeve cap, the needles on right are in non-working position.

All the needles at work for the rest of the sleeve.

After that I was able to rehang the sides and knit one loosely tensioned row to seam them. Followed by casting off.

I wasn’t confident in hems or ribbing yet so the roll neckline was finished with some loosely knitted rows of stockinette.

I was very pleased to finally get this far..!

The Finished jumper!

Machine Knitting a hat

I have decided that this is the year that I properly learn how to use my knitting machine. I own a (2nd hand) Knitmaster 360 and ribber. I have never given myself enough time to fully understand how these work.

The reverse of my hat, halfway through knitting

I have made a few things with them…you might find some old posts on this blog. (I still regularly wear that Cardigan!)

In order to motivate myself, I joined The Machine Knitting Community at the end of January. It’s run by a designer named Nic Corrigan who owns Whitehall Studio. The membership opens up 4 times a year, so that new people join in batches.

The Community operates through an app and website, where there are monthly Knitalongs, monthly zoom knit night, guest speakers and demonstrations. With all previous events recorded and available to watch at any time.

I’m slowly making my way through the videos, and have also followed the pattern and instructions for a previous Hat Kal.

My first machine knit hat! Pom Pom to be added!

I have never gotten to grips with my ribber, and within minutes of posting a query on how to get it set up, some helpful members directed me to some videos, and helped troubleshoot my setup. This alone was worth the joining fee!

My first hat was knitted and I made lots of great mistakes (I know that sounds odd… But hear me out)…

1. My ribbing was like cardboard… Due to setting it up wrong. I know better now!

2.The hat was too long… I will now remember to knit a swatch🤣.. (looking at my post from 7 years ago, I should have known that!)

3. If I don’t unlock the punchcard, the pattern will freeze and become vertical stripes (could be useful in future!.

Non stretchy ribbing and accidental stripes!

4.The patterning has some missed areas… Due to not pushing the carriage fully past the punchcard selectors.

It’s a steep learning curve and needs alot of patience/perseverance, but I’m enjoying the challenge.

I could have unravelled my practice hat and started again, but I needed to try to make it wearable, (why?…. Because sometimes I make life hard for myself!)

So I threaded a lifeline and cut off the grey ribbing.

I folded up a band and hung all the stitches back on the knitting machine…. (Probably won’t do that again… Too much time).Knitted a row and then cast off.

Once the side was seamed it was good to go!

Patterning mistakes are a bit more obvious on this side

I worked on some swatches during the week and plan to spend some more time at the machine this week, putting what I’ve learned into practice on a second hat.

And I’m also wearing a hand-knit in progress in the above picture… I’m working on the sleeves and will hopefully have a finished piece to show soon!

Caramel Cardigan

Sunset Posing

I started this Cardigan in April I think… And I finally finished it last weekend when I was nursing a sore back… (Nothing serious just too much running around on my week off work!).

The design was heavily inspired by one I had seen in a shop:

I didn’t have a pattern so I used a similar shaped coatigan to check my finished measurements:

This first sleeve attempt had to be ripped back…

I knitted the sleeves two at a time, to keep the shaping even. Checking them against the grey coatigan.

I only took rough notes as I was working on it in fits and spurts, so I might not be able to recreate it!

Shoulders are a bit wide here (also see 4 stitches at the seams)

It’s made from the bottom up with a seamless body and raglan sleeves, with 4 purl stitches at the seam.

I used short rows to build up the back neck and also to bring the shoulders in towards the neckline. The short rows blended well with the moss stitch.

Shawl collar and raglan seam reduced to 2 stitches

There were 4 stitches at the raglan seams, but after trying it on, I used mattress stitch to close 2 of them up so, that the seam was sturdier and narrower. (The raglan seams could be a bit neater as I think I mixed up a few k2tog with k1sl1psso!).

Reducing raglan seam using mattress stitch

I also added a row of crochet chain across the inside back neck for some extra strength. The front bands were knitted by picking-up stitches along the edges and around the back neck. Short rows and increases shaped the shawl collar.

Love the sleeve length… I like my thumbs to be almost covered!

This next one is for Stephanie! I found a moth wearing colours to match!

Wondering if I should add buttons..

I might add buttons and maybe pockets, but I’ll wear it a while first and see how it feels.

I’ll sign off with a lovely calm picture of a nearby beach cove… I love the evening colours over the sea.

Sunday Cardigans – PetiteKnit pattern

This post contains 2 cardigans for the price of one (It’s a Black Friday special!)

I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve finished making something and told myself that I need to make another version. It rarely happens though, instead I get distracted by the next new shiny pattern and forget all about it. Except this time…

Sunday Cardigan – I’m showing off the cuffs here – not just the lovely nail colour!

The picture above is actually the second version I made of the Sunday Cardigan by PetiteKnit. I made my coral one below first, I used a bulky wool and made it close fitting rather than having any extra ease in it.

I love the shaping lines and the doubled-over neckband

I love the shaping on the yoke and pictured a looser, snuggly version, in a longer length. I had a large ball of black acrylic in DK weight and mixed it with a light brown sock yarn to give it a marled effect. I went up a size from the 1st one (maybe 2 sizes actually – I can’t be certain now without counting the stitches!) .

Both cardigans needed a bit of added structure along the front bands. So on the coral one I added a strip of lace binding at the back:

lace binding

And on the longer cardigan, I decided against any closures and handstitched black tape to stabilise the edges which were stretching out.

You can see the before and after below:

Left edge without tape – right after tape was added

I have gotten so much wear out of these, that I might even make another one…… just as soon as the other 40 things on my knitting wish list are done 😉

Marled Sunday Cardigan

Knit improv…(knitting without a plan!)

Raspberry coloured and blackberry stitched cardi!

Somehow it’s March already and I feel like I’ve lost track of the year! The last few weeks have been hectic and I realised I hadn’t knit a single thing in February.

BlackBerry stitch cuff

So before I make a plan for some March knitting, here’s what I finished in January. It’s a child sized cardi.

It started out as an experiment – I wanted to use blackberry stitch for something for myself and just wanted to get knitting without swatching, so I cast on what I though would be enough stitches for a sleeve. But it wasn’t quite big enough to wear without cutting off my circulation 😂!

Tight squeeze sleeve

It did fit very nicely on my daughter’s arm, and the colour really suited her, so instead of ripping it back I decided to make a child sized cardi instead. Because I started this over the Christmas holidays, my muse was about the house all day, so I tried it on her every time she got within arms reach!

Body knit from the hem up
Trying on for size

When it fit to underarm height, I joined the sleeves and body to continue upwards to a circular yoke. I used scrap yarn for the design, which I also made up as I went along.

I gradually decreased the yoke as it got towards the neck, but there was no real method – except to evenly space the decreases on the decrease rows. The no plan approach had worked this far so I kept it up!

Made to include some growing room!

The neckline was finished in rib to match the hem and all that was left was a button band. I picked up stitches along the edge and evenly spaced the buttonholes….

First attempt at the button band

But I wasn’t happy with it…it seemed too thin for the weight of the blackberry stitch and the cardi in general. So for once I actually ripped back some knitting!

2nd attempt at buttonband

I knitted two bands using double knitting, and then Kitchener stitched them to the fronts.

Finished bands attached

The new bands gave it the structure it needed, and I used two large snaps to close it at the yoke and it’s being worn open below the yoke.

Snaps were added to the upper section afterwards

I really enjoyed making this, and because it’s a loose fit, it works really well as an extra layer over a school uniform on the colder days. It should also fit next year, and I might even add a centered zipper along the front instead of the snaps if it gets too snug for the bands to overlap. !

If you want to make something similar…. I loosely based my ‘plan’ for this cardi on info gleaned from Elizabeth Zimmermann’s book Knitting Without Tears. Which I bought after Kate mentioned it in her series on seamless knitting ☺