Sunday, May 20, 2012

Fair Isle on the LK150

When I first got the LK150, I had over-optimistic goals for my first few projects, considering I had 3 kids 5 and under, the youngest being only weeks old, LOL.  I planned out a wool cardigan, knit in the usual manner, but then I was going to knit wide Fair Isle button bands to sew on.  I got quite a bit of it done, but following the Fair Isle instructions in the manual just got to be too much for me. 

Recently, I was using the intarsia carriage at our machine knitting group, and part of the picture involved small segments of the same colour separated by a few sts of another colour.  Rather than starting a new ball, I decided to try doing it with the same ball.  It worked fine.  I did a bit more experimenting with the idea.  Why not use the intarsia carriage to do Fair Isle?

Why is this sideways?  This shows how the intarsia carriage puts all the needles in C position with the latches open.

 Here, I've used two balls of yarn, pink for the hearts, and purple for the background.  I laid them in the appropriate needles, going from the carriage to the other edge, one colour first, then the second colour.  I let the balls drop down to the floor, and hold a bit of tension on them as I start the carriage across the row, making sure the latches are open.
 I noticed that one of the colours was not staying under the needles of the other colour.  This resulted in some sts being knit with both colours.  I just fixed these sts by hand.
 I then made sure that the unused colour was tucked under, by bringing the needles slightly more forward, but not too far forward, so that the carriage would still knit them.  I also used a bit more tension on the yarn (by hand) as I went across.
 Then, I decided to try working both colours across the row at the same time.  This resulted in the yarns getting twisted around each other quite a bit and I thought it would make the row hard to knit.  It was a bit of a push to get it started, but I had no doubled stitches and it actually went quite quickly and easily.  I think I liked this way better.
This is the end result.  I see I had one boo-boo.  Well, when you're working from the backside of the knitting, it can be tough to see the pattern emerge from under the floats.  What I liked about using the intarsia carriage is that you only need to pass the carriage once per row.  All the other techniques, using the regular carriage, have you taking two passes.  This can complicate things with the row counter, and if you're doing any increasing/decreasing.  Doing Fair Isle this way is certainly not as fast as if you had the Fair Isle carriage (or using a punchcard machine), but it's probably faster than handknitting, and is certainly do-able, if you have enough patience and quiet time :)

1 comment:

Sheryl Evans said...

That looks really cute!! The intarsia carriage is easy to work with it when you're new to it, but after a couple of items it is easier. & it is hard to see the mistakes. Sheryl