Wednesday, 25 August 2010

The machine just doesn't like it

Last night Sooz spent the evening locked in a battle of wills with a couple of different cotton yarns. The yarns won.

With the benefit of a night's sleep, and warm water flowing over my head to lubricate my thought processes, I think I have identified the critical issue.
The yarn was not flowing freely enough.. Now I know Sooz kept saying, "Look, there is no tension at all, and it is still stuck!" With the benefits of the previously mentioned aids to clear thought, and the experience of trying to remove the knitting from the needles last night, I see that the problem was too much tension on the yarn in the previous row.
So when knitting with cotton yarn with no 'give', make sure the yarn has every encouragement to co-operate with the machine to make good stitches.
1. Make sure the yarn flows unhindered through the tension mast., If the yarn is not flowing freely, rewind or at least unravel a few meters so there is no tension coming from the ball.
2. Move the carriage slowly enough for the stitches to form properly in the rigid yarn. If the springy bit of the tension mast uses up all its travel, you are going too fast.
3. If you use a silicone spray, it will be more evenly distributed over the  yarn if it is on a cone or a wound cake. Because there are edges where the yarn passes every turn, there will be a bit of lubrication every few inches.
So Sooz, if you are strong enough, we will have another go at those cottons and see if the people win next time.

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