Converting Patterns for Different Gauge Knitting Machines

Standard Machine = 4.5 mm    Mid-Gauge Machine = 6.5 mm or 7 mm    Bulky Machine = 9 mm

The Formula:  Multiply the number of stitches in the pattern by the gauge of the machine for the pattern.  Divide that result by the gauge of your machine to determine the number of stitches to cast on.

Example Mid-Gauge to Bulky:  You have 100 stitches to cast on for the pattern.  Multiply times 7 (gauge of machine for original pattern – this example is 7mm) = 700 ÷ 9 (gauge of machine going to use – for this example it’s 9mm) = 77.78 is the number of stitches to cast on to the bulky.  In the case of fractions, round up or down depending upon the pattern and stitch pattern repeat.

This same formula is used to calculate rows.

Example:  Mid-Gauge to Bulky: You have 168 rows to knit in the pattern.  Multiply times 7 (gauge of machine for original pattern – this example is 7mm) = 1176 ÷ 9 (gauge of machine going to use – for this example it’s 9mm) = 130.67 rows to knit on the Bulky.

The same formula must be used to make the calculations for a gauge swatch to determine the stitch and rows to match the pattern gauge.

Example conversion calculation for a swatch:

5 stitches & 6 rows = 1” Gauge of swatch knit on a bulky 9mm – converting to a mid-gauge 7 mm machine

5 stitches x 9 = 45 ÷ 7 = 6.43 stitches per inch

6 rows x 9 = 54 ÷ 7 = 7.71 rows per inch

Color Discharge on Your Knits

What is color discharge?  It is the technical term used when you remove some or all of the color from yarn or textile to reveal a lighter shade.  It is also possible that some discharge will reveal a different color, rather than a lighter shade.

It is important that you prepare your swatch or garment before starting the color discharge process.  All pieces should be washed, dried and blocked.  This also ensures shrinkage (if applicable) has happened before proceeding.  Note: always make sure your dye lot is the same for the entire project or you may end up with different color variations.  This is especially true with black, which is typically made up of whatever combinations of colors previously used in the dye pot.

The Recipe:  Mix 1 part bleach with 3 parts water.

Methods for applying bleach solution:

1) spray bottle 2) rubber stamps (mist lightly) 3) eye dropper 4) syringe 5) paint brush 6) stencils

Straight bleach will work, however you need to be use caution as the fabric can become compromised or weakened.  Splash-Less Bleach, fragranced bleach, and bleach pens are fun to work with but are not as strong as a plain bleach solution.

Stop the color discharge: Once you have reached the desired color results you must stop the color discharge action by using either one of the steps below.  Left unattended or unstopped, the bleach solution will strip color all the way to white and will eat away at the fibers of your swatch or garment if left long enough.

1) Immerse in a bucket of straight peroxide (this will foam and give off fumes – use     outdoors or in a well-ventilated area; masks are also a good idea) 2) 1/3 cup white vinegar in a bucket of water

Once the color discharge action has been stopped, rinse piece in clear water.

Shibori:  A traditional Japanese method for dyeing cloth with a pattern by binding, stitching, folding, or twisting fabric.  Using this method with color discharge creates some fabulous designs.  Using rubber bands to bind your piece(s) onto a PVC pipe apply the bleach solution at random – this makes some really interesting designs.  Other ideas include:

1) Scrunching fabric in a small container  2) Make accordion pleats in the fabric  3) Twist fabric  4) Using wide clamps – clamp fabric

A great example of a garment made with color discharge can be seen on Ravelry:  http://www.ravelry.com/projects/janeknits2/color-discharge

Multiple Row Latch Tool CastOn

Multiple Row Latch Tool CastOn

One method to prevent the bottom edges of stockinette knitting from rolling is to add multiple rows of latch tool cast-on to the bottom edges of your knit pieces.  Here’s how…

Carriage on right.  Latch tool cast-on from left to right.  Add yarn to the carriage feeder.  Knit to left.  *Push in right part button, free pass carriage back to right hand side.  Remove yarn from carriage.  Behind the knitting on the needles, latch tool cast-on another row.  This will show on the knit side of your piece. For the final needle, take that stitch off with a single prong transfer tool, put the stitch that’s on the latch tool onto that end needle then put the stitch on the transfer tool back on that needle. Thread carriage.  Knit 1 row to the left.*  Repeat between * to * once more.  This will prevent the natural curl towards the purl side at the bottom edge.

You can add an additional row of latch tool cast-on if desired.  Some cotton yarns can really fight to curl.  This techinque is also fun to do in a contrast color.  Glenda Overmann used a contrast color latch tool cast-on behind the knitting to add rows of interest in her lace Little Darlin’ pattern.

Cotton Yarn

Cotton Yarn

Cotton

 

Cotton typically surges forward as the yarn of choice for our summer wear. If you haven’t tried cotton on your knitting machine yet, jump in the water is fine! The thing to remember is that cotton is not as forgiving as wools and acrylics. Be sure to cast on loosely and err on the side of a looser vs. a tighter tension to start. I’ve broken many needles thinking I could knit a cotton yarn at the same tension as I would a similar weight of acrylic or wool.

Cottons and cotton blends have some of the most fabulous colors I’ve ever worked with – from deep rich color to the palest of colors. However, especially with those deep rich colors, these can fade quickly in the wash. Here are some tips to keep your colors bright and to prevent them from fading as much as possible.

Tip A

  1. 1.You’ll need
    1. 1 Cup White Vinegar
    2. ½ Cup Salt
    3. Color Safe Detergent
  2. Set your washing machine to cold water wash/cold water rinse
  3. Fill your washing machine tub to half full
  4. Pour in the vinegar, salt, and detergent
  5. Engage the agitator for 2 minutes to dissolve the salt and integrate the solution
  6. Add garment(s) to the washing machine one at a time to ensure they’re fully soaked in the solution
  7. Repeat until the wash water remains clear

Tip B

Use Dharma Dye Fixative, which can be found atwww.dharmatrading.com. This dye fixative will increase wash fastness, offers resistance to perspiration staining, and seawater fading. It’s used to fix dyes so fabrics won’t bleed. It enhances the actions of soda ash (if you’re doing your own dying) for darker fiber colors in the dye bath technique.

Tip C

Use Color Safe Detergent and Shout Color Catchers to ensure colors do not bleed. For example, Fairisle or weaving with two different colors such as red and white could possibly bleed into each other when washed. These new products help prevent this from happening.

Cotton yarn works really well in all our machine knitting techniques. One of my favorite patterns, included in this issue, is the tone on tone woven placemats made with cotton. Although the weaving technique lends itself to a vast array of color combinations, I’ve done many of these placemats in white on white as shower gifts. Pick the lucky couple’s favorite colors and have some fun!

Many are afraid to try lace with cottons but they’re so well worth the effort! Just remember while you’re practicing, cotton doesn’t like to stretch. Never to force your carriage lest you break several needles!

Placket Edge

Placket Edge

Neck openings and tunic bottoms which have placket openings tend to roll unless an edging is added.  There are times, though when you want a simple clean line and an edging is just not what you want.  Here are a few methods to prevent roll on your placket edges.

1. Set aside several yards of your yarn before you start knitting.  Using the separate length of yarn, e-wrap over the last 5 needles opposite the carriage.  Knit 1 row.  Using another length of yarn on the other side of the knit piece, e-wrap over the last 5 needles opposite the carriage.  Knit 1 row.  Continue to add the e-wrap to the end needles alternating each side every row until you reach the end of your placket.

2. If you have a ribber, you can set your main bed and ribber needles at the two edges of your knit piece for full needle rib.  That would be the 5 edge needles on either side of the main bed and only the corresponding 5 needles on the ribber.  Knit to the desired length of the placket.  Check your machine ribber manual for full needle set-up.

Double Marker Row

Double Marker Row

This is a great technique to make hanging stockinette hems easier and the pick-up cleaner. Use this for neck bands, front bands, bottom of garments. There will be 2 passes of the carriage and one row knit.
Technique: Rehang your garment, non-public side facing you, put every other needle to hold position, set the carriage to hold. Knit 1 row (The needles in work position knit, those in hold do not.). Remove the carriage from hold and set carriage to part or slip. Knit 1 row (The needles in work position do not knit, those in hold position knit.). Reset your row counter back by 1 number.

The photo shows upward (white) and downward (pink) loops that are easier to pick up to enclose a hem. Contrast colors were used to show the technique. Typically the same main color is used.

double row marker

Double Marker Row