Saturday, February 06, 2010

A Little More

I wanted to thank everyone, here and in the Ravelry Machine Knitting group and the Yahoo Knitting Machines group, for the encouragement with exploring my ribber! Despite things like, taking 20 minutes to cast on for the second sock, it has been fun.
I also wanted to add that you can see the info and origins of the yarn for the baby sweater if you click on 2008 then August 2008. I had used it for a tuck st baby blanket on the LK150 (pattern in an old KnitWords) and thought the Fisherman's Rib would be a nice option for a sort of matching sweater. I followed Diana's pattern for the smallest size, and, um, it turned out a fair bit smaller. I think it took about 200gr and I still have 180grams of that original skein. Enough for a plain little sweater, or could I try little pants?
And, I just wanted to also add, that those socks, although full of imperfections, are very cozy and soft after being washed. For so long the loose ply and "Sportivo" name had me fooled, but they turned into great socks.

I decided to try another pair of socks, with 2x2 rib for the leg. Found the instructions in my manual, and there was an ambiguity about the tension. Took a guess, tried casting on. Well, first I tried a swatch and had problems casting on, then I tried the sock (different yarn) and had trouble. Ended up casting on both socks by doing the zigzag row by hand.
Flew through the ribbing (although I wasn't sure how to set up the end needles so that when I sew it, it would stay in pattern).

Then I got to where you transfer 1/2 the sts to the ribber bed and 1/2 the sts to the mainbed. In 1x1 ribbing, it's "every other needle" (EON) on both beds, so they just transfer to the empty needles. There are two versions of 2x2 ribbing, and I did the first one, that does xxoxxoxxo on both beds (o being an empty needle). So, you end up having extra sts. In 1x1 rib, you cast on 34 sts on each side of 0 (middle) on both beds, but because you're using EON, you end up with 68sts in total. This time, I pulled out 68sts on both beds, then put every 3rd needle back out of work on both beds. Anyone see where this is heading? There's extra sts that need to get doubled up, and the ribbing ended up with something like 80-odd sts.

At first I thought I was doomed. But it's really odd. Although it's made as a 2x2 rib, it's spaced differently than if you did it by hand. Remember that a purl st is just the back side of a knit st? I really don't know how the machine does it in this configuration, LOL. The ribbing turned out perfect. If I had pulled out 68st in total then the ribbing would have been too small.
I got the sts re-arranged and continued on down the sock. I added a few extra rows this time, and did a 'wedge' toe with decreases like handknitting.It's Lana Grossa Meillenweit "Arizona". Same tension as the first pair of socks, but I used 66 st. They're much greener/olive than these pictures.
I started the needle set up differently for each pair--after I had done the first one, I didn't think I had set it up right for seaming well. But, in the end, they pretty much looked the same once seamed, although inside, one is flatter. I also noticed that I should write things down. I think, for the first sock, I did 60 rows ribbing instead of 50, then I did 10 rounds tubular before the heel. For the second sock, I did 50 rows, which I didn't realize, but then I did 20 rounds before the heel. I realized that, and thought I'd rip back a few rounds, but after or two...I gave up and decided they'd just be different.
So, in actuality, they are almost the same length after all. Whatever. I also decreased the heel down to only 12st instead of 14 and that helped the fit.
Also, with the toe, when I handknit, I do the dec. on every other row until 1/2 the sts are gone, then I do every row. Well, I forgot that and when I took it off the machine, there was a l-o-n-g toe. I tried it on and it didn't look too bad, but was a little short. Of course I had made both before I tried it on. Trying to get those little sts back on the double beds...must try hard to not have to do that again!!
I washed them today and they softened up, but they're not a 'fluffy' sock yarn. They are a better fit overall, but I think the next pair will have a heel flap! I know it can be done! However, my printer is out of ink and I don't want to write the pattern by hand, LOL!


Mar said...

Good job on the socks! Your persistence is paying off. Have you tried MAO's 2 x 1 cast on? It's described in this issue---Bunny Sox. It makes a super rib. Will be anxious to see the next pair you do!

Anonymous said...

The piece you can't recognize ia to keep needles safe in transit. It is attached to the left side of the KM and the carraige,keeping the carriage in place and needles safe.