Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Swag Blanket 3 - The End

After 1030 rows, I judged that the blanket was long enough to tuck under my feet, pull up over my head and still be wide enough to cover me in camping mode.
I cast off using a stitched cast off, because it is the best I know of to give adequate  stretch for such an expansive piece. It is not the fastest, nor the most structurally satisfying, if that makes sense, but I know I can make it stretch far enough to not pull in the end.
The excellent and generous Diana Sullivan has a video demonstration
1 Knit a final row in Stocking Stitch, with the carriage finishing on the side most comfortable for you to start stitching from. I am right handed, and for me, that is the left hand side.
2. Break the yarn, leaving as much as is manageable to stitch with, and thread a suitable blunt needle. I favour the double eye tool. Officially it is part of the ribber set up, but is the single most useful piece of machine knitting equipment. I buy them by the handful.
3. Stitch across the end of the knitting very loosely, starting a new thread whenever one runs out. I needed three.

4. Remove the blanket for the machine, and mend any flaws that need mending. My blanket has a few end of row loops of yarn, and one spot where a prong of a weight and the carriage arm collided and broke a thread. There are a few other places where things are not exactly as they were meant to be, dropped stitches picked up the wrong way round without tucks for instance, but they are not going to cause any trouble, so they just stay.

I mention the flaws and mending so that you know not to be despondent if your piece is not perfect. So few machine knitted pieces are. Speaking with someone from one of the many knitwear factories around here, whose work is now outsourced off shore, I heard that of the people previously employed there, the one kept on was the mender. The one indispensable employee is the one who can correct the flaws the machine creates every now and then. 

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