Sunday, 26 April 2015

Swag Blanket - Addedum

My knitting friend Tracy adapted the directions for the Swag Blanket to make a wrap.

You can read all about it on her Ravelry Project page if you are a member of that fine community.

She shared a brilliant little tip for all of us Singer/Studio/Knitmaster knitters. Use an odd number of stitches. That way, when you are using Card 7 Tuck, the end stitch of each row will be the same, selected either to knit or to tuck. Hand select the end needle for the two ends-tucking rows, then have a rest for the next two rows. Neatly halves the amount of hand selection in your project.

I was asked to show my Swag blankets to the Surrey Hills Passap group (Surrey Hills in Melbourne that is), so it seemed only proper to try a Passap version. Now the Passap is a very fine machine, but, if I can be anthropomorphic, rather set in its ways. It is not inclined to co operate with techniques and effects that were not contemplated when the manuals were written. It really doesn't approve of the kind of loose tensioned airy fabrics I rather like to knit. I'm sure it would not do a bit of good to point out that the nimble Japanese machines are only too pleased to collaborate in the production of such textures.

I did manage to knit a sample piece in a stitch that would make a splendidly wide blanket if you have just the right yarn to keep the Passap happy with the stitch pattern.

Swag blanket, the Passap version

The essence of the swag blanket is lightness, airiness and comfortable width achieved using tuck stitch.. The sample demonstrates one way to achieve this. The width on the needlebed was only 15 cm. the swatch has simply relaxed out to 36 cm, no stretching or blocking involved. It was begun and ended on waste yarn and both ends cast off by hand, as I had no cast on technique for the Passap, capable of allowing the fabric to stretch to its widest. Even the experts at Surrey Hills couldn't come up with adequately stretchy castings on and off to accommodate this impressive expansion.

Swatch details,
31 needles brought into work on each of the front and back beds. (62 total)
Bring all 62 pushers out. All pushers on one bed in working position, all on the other bed in resting position.
Begin and end with a couple of N N rows
Select AX and both arrows on each lock
Knit 100 rows at Tension 8

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Swag Blanket - In Short

Machine; Standard gauge flat bed, Knitmaster (Singer /Studio/Silver Reed) 700
Stitch pattern; Card 7 Tuck
Tension; 10
Stitches; 200
Rows; 1030
Finished dimensions, unblocked;  2.3 m x 1.25 m ( 91inches x 49 inches)
Finished weight; 350 g
Yarn; Fine, fluffy mohair

Finished blanket, pegged out on my clothes line

For a longer version, complete with excessive detail and diversions, see
Swag Blanket 1- Cast On
Swag Blanket 2 - The Middle
Swag Blanket 3 - The End

This is a very adaptable pattern, suitable for lap rugs, scarves, wraps, shrugs, shawls or whatever your imagination dictates.
It is a very open stitch, so take care if catching is likely to be a problem. If the yarn will co operate, fulling can be an improvement. Fine Alpaca fulled would be excellent.