Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Swag blanket 1 - Cast On

This post begins the directions for a lightweight expansive blanket, which I use for travelling. It is equally suitable for camping in a not too cold climate, or for BYO bedding when freeloading accommodation from friends and relatives.
The yarn is a fine mohair blend, precise specifications lost in the mists of time.
I will be using a standard gauge punchcard machine with the standard Card 7 in the Silver Reed / Singer / Studio / Knitmaster  family.  No accessories other than those that are standard equipment with the machine are used, unless you count an improvised cast on rag, and a fine welding rod.

The sharp eyed among you will notice that this card is the same as the 1 x 1 card, standard for most machines,  elongated.

I use a cast on rag to provide a smooth cast on with evenly distributed weight from the first row

I have used a tube knitted on a toy circular knitting machine for my rag. I've picked up a loop on every second needle, because that is enough, and because it works better with this relatively bulky knit cast on rag. 
1. Pick up loops from the cast on rag.
2. Slide a metal rod into the tube for weight.
3. Knit one row of Ravel cord. It needn't be official ravel cord, but must be smooth enough to remove easily to separate the rag from the knitting.
4. Pull all needles out and cast on the blanket yarn using the knitted back double ewrap cast on. There is a handy clip demonstrating the technique here

You will note from the photo that I have made the cast on loops very large. This allows the cast on row to stretch to be much wider that the width of the machine. The beauty of this cast on is that it makes for a variable width, depending how much the loops are drawn back into the wound on edge.

This sketch attempts to show how the loops , drawn back into the wound on section, widens the end of the fabric.
5. Carefully pull out all the needles again(to help the first row knit properly), and knit one row of Stocking stitch at Tension 10
6. Select Tuck and continue to knit at Tension 10, selecting end needles to ensure stable edges (a manual process on my Singer machine, automatic on Brother machines)

When you need to move the weight up, the tube and bar can be rolled up and secured with a blocking wire / welding rod.

Claw weight at the sides will help keep the edge stitches disciplined.

To be continued

1 comment:

  1. The swag blanket is an amazing piece of work. I am amazed at how wide it is, having been made on a standard machine. Thankyou Christine for these instructions.