Friday, June 26, 2015

DIY Transfer Tools for MidGauge and Bulky Machines

Here’s another DIY project that lets me have more than a 3 prong transfer tool for my knitting machines.  With these tools, simply made with a piece of wooden molding or a ruler and some hair bobby pins and hot glue, I’m able to transfer multiple stitches the same as with a garter bar but much easier to handle and maneuver.  They are particularly useful when evenly decreasing the top of a stocking cap. 

I’ve made several lengths to be more adaptable to whatever I’m knitting.  I began with one the same length as the needle pusher and then made several sizes smaller.  You can make whatever length you desire, depending on your needs.  I made a set for each of my midgauge and bulky machines.  The bobby pins are too wide to go thru the gate pegs of the standard machine so I’m afraid that these are strictly for the midgauge and bulky machines.   

The every other needle tool is indispensable when I make my favorite crossed stitch hat band, especially nice for chemo caps, as seen in this project.

So here’s how I made the tools:   

1) With your favorite cutting or snipping tool, cut the rubber tips off the bobby pins. You don’t need to be real precise, just so the rubber tips are cut off. Then spring the bobby pins open just a little bit so the two sides lay parallel to each other and will be about the same distance apart when you hang them on your needles.

2) Open the latches on desired number of needles and hang the bobby pins, facing the same direction, on knitting machine needles. Push the needles back toward the bed just far enough that the bobby pins lay even and flat against the needle bed.

3) Place a wooden ruler or piece of wood molding in back of the bobby pins, with the flat side against the bobby pins.

4) Use little clamps to hold the end bobby pins onto the wooden strip. Make sure all the needles are hanging straight and the wooden strip is hanging even. Leave ¾ to 1” of the bobby pin sticking above the wooden strip.

5) With a hot glue gun, run a bead of glue over the middle bobby pins that aren’t under the clamp. Do not move until set. Remove the end clamps and run a bead of glue over the end bobby pins. Again, make sure they are straight and laying even.

6) When the bead of glue is dried and pins are secure, remove the strip from your machine and finish gluing the pins. Keep the glue about ¼” from the edge of the wooden strip. Cover the ends of the rest of the pins with glue making sure that glue gets in all the nooks and crannies.  The backside doesn't look the prettiest but gets the job done.

7) When the glue is thoroughly dried and set, cut the wooden strip so that only about ¼” goes past the end bobby pins. Don’t want to leave it too long otherwise it will bump into the other needles on your machine when you’re transferring stitches.