Friday, January 4, 2013

E-wrap Cast On for Ribbing

(Click on photos to enlarge)

In search of a nicer looking cast on for ribbing, I ran onto this e-wrap cast on.  It looks really nice, as close to a hand knit cast on as I’ve seen and is just so easy and simple. If you can e-wrap, you can do this ribbing cast on.  It doesn’t flare, has elasticity to match the ribbing, goes back into shape after stretching and the back side looks as nice as the public side.  My first sample was knit with a lightweight worsted roving type yarn on my midgauge machine.  I think this cast on method will lend itself nicely to any ribbed band.  The second sample shows sock ribbing with sock yarn.
1.   E-wrap desired number of needles on the main bed.
2.   With ribbing tension, knit 1 row across on main bed only.
3.   Raise ribber and with a double eyed ribber transfer tool, transfer EOS to the ribber bed for 1x1 ribbing or for your desired configuration, i.e. 2x2, 1x3, 2x3 etc.
4.   Hang the cast on comb and evenly spaced heavy ribber weights.
5.   Knit desired number of rows at ribbing tension.

An afterthought....I should note that any e-wrap cast on should be preceeded by several rows of waste yarn and ravel cord.  This will give the e-wrap more stability and allow weights to be hung to give a nice even cast on.  Your carriage will love you for it and you will like the results.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Fingerless Mitts, Midgauge

I love mittens but don't like not being able to use my fingers while wearing mittens.  So fingerless mitts are the perfect answer for me.  They can be knit plain to be practical or in nice patterns for a good looking mitt.  Here's my pattern.

(Click on photos for larger image)
Machine: Brother KX350 or Silver Reed SK860 Midgauge
Yarn: Berroco Vintage or Classic Shades by Universal
Main Tension: 4
Ribbed Tension: 2
Gauge: 5.5 sts, 8 rows =1”
Size: Woman’s Med

Wrist Ribbing:
1.  E-wrap CO 42 sts with scrap and ravel cord.  (40 if Bickford type seaming)
2.  T2, K 18 rows, or length desired.
3.  Latch 1x2 rib.

1.  T 4, K  8 rows, or length desired.  COR.

Thumb Gusset:
1.  RC000.  T 4.
2.  Increase one st at the beginning of each of the next 16 rows.  (I use the 2 prong tool to move the sts out, then fill the empty needle with the ‘heel’  taken from the next st toward the center of the bed)
3.  Starting on the side away from the carriage, manually remove  8 sts from the edge of the needle bed on several rows of waste yarn, leaving the remaining hand stitches on the machine. 
4.  K1R across and remove the same number of sts on the other side away from the carriage.

Upper Mitten:
1.  RC000. 
2.  T4,  K 8 to 10 rows.  (Or length desired)
3.  T2 + one click, K 7 rows, or length desired.  (COR)
4.  Latch 1x2 rib on the 7 rows.
5.  Back stitch BO.  (I prefer from right hand side)
1.  RC000. 
2.  With purl side facing you and center thumbs neighboring each other, pick up and hang on the needle bed 16 thumb sts from each piece of waste yarn PLUS 2 full sts, one from each side of the body at the seam side. 
3.   T4,  K 2  rows.  (Or length desired)
4.   T2 + one click, K 6 rows (COR).  May need to knit 1 more row to move carriage to the right hand side.
5.   Latch rib in 1x2.
6.   Back stitch BO.

1.   Sew seams with mattress stitch or a Bickford type seam.  If using a flat Bickford type seam reduce CO by 2 sts.
2.   Weave in yarn ends.

1.   Use your ribber to work the ribbing instead of latching the ribbed rows.
2.   Length of the hand, thumb or ribbing may be adjusted by adding or subtracting rows.
3.   Cables, fairisle, tuck or other patterning may be used in the hand portion, but keep in mind that most patterning may alter the gauge.
4.   You may omit the ribbing on the thumb and/or hand if desired, but the edges will curl unless treated otherwise, such as a crocheted edging.
5.   Make 2nd mitt to match, unless using a pattern design on the back.  Then begin CO on opposite side of machine and reverse all shaping.
6.   Mitts may be knit in the round on machines with ribbers.  My trick to that is making the upper hand and thumb ribbings separately and grafting from the purl side afterward.
7.   The mitts may be worn over little knit gloves found at our favorite discount chain store.  But CO sts or tension may need to be increased to fit comfortably over the gloves.  They will be nice and toasty.