Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Read the card, choose your own texture

Some time ago I found an insignificant looking piece of paper and got so excited that I reproduced it and passed it around to any machine knitting friends nearby. No one shared my enthusiasm, but I'll put it here. This chart refers to the Silver Reed  (Studio/Singer/Knitmaster)  24 stitch punchcard machines. I think it is accurate for the Brother punchcard machines as well.

Below are some photos illustrating just one way of using a favourite card, Singer/Studio/Knitmaster Card 4, using tuck stitch and needle selection to make a fabric with sections of different textures, and as a bonus, an automatic wavy edge.

Each needle is controlled by just one column on the card, so with reference to the chart, you can see that there is a 4 stitch pattern repeat, with two needles knitting every row, and two needles alternately knitting and tucking. If you take the needles that knit all the time out of work, you will get an all over  tuck pattern. If you remove from work the needles that tuck, you will get stocking stitch. Study the markings on your needle bed and you will be able to work out which needles are tucking and which are knitting. If you alternate between a few needles tucking and a few needles knitting, you will get nicely contrasting textures in either lacy or solid knit, depending on your yarn and tension.

  1.  It helps to start by identifying what the middle 2 needles are doing, then work outwards from there.
  2.  Selecting needles that knit for the edges makes for neat edges.

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