Sunday, May 21, 2017

What The Sewing Lawyer thinks while working on a machine knitting project

"I should use the special features of that SK360 that I've never used in an actual project, like a stitch pattern that requires a punch card."

Gets manual out. Considers drive lace. [Drive lace is a kind of lace that forms open areas where stitches that are selected by a punchcard are allowed to run. Susan Guagliumi talks about it here.]

Compares cards. Wonders which ones would work with drive lace. Picks a card.

Studies manual in detail (see this video). There are So.Many.Steps!

Gets out cone of icky synthetic to try it. Plods through steps.

"The P Carriage is FUN!"

Picks another card to try. Forgets to set card to advance. Notices that the first row (on which the card is stuck) selects the same stitches to knit and drop over and over, and that this allows vertical lacey stripes to form.


Decides to knit a top with all-over vertical lacey stripes. Knits swatch, measures swatch.

Knits another swatch to try out ribbing.

Knits another swatch to try out a different kind of ribbing.


Looks on Ravelry for a pattern that is vaguely similar to what she has in mind.

Bingo!: Yamamichi-mon.

Bonus! It's a free pattern and it has a schematic drawing with measurements.

Prints out gauge specific graph paper and charts shape of Yamamichi-mon top.

Counts itty-bitty boxes to determine numbers of stitches and rows.

Agonizes over how to cast on for the chosen ribbing.

First step in casting on - the zig-zag row

Congratulates self for figuring it out.

Knits ribbing. So far, so good!

Starts knitting pattern. Edge stitches are not knitting. Tries to fix stitches. Catches yarn on gate pegs.

"Gate pegs are evil!"

Figures out how to get edge stitches to knit. [Sometimes, you have to pull the needles out to D position. Generally, you need more weights.]

Knits back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Repeat over 200 rows, more or less.

Time for short rows!

Consults manual.

"Where are the Russell levers?" (And why are they called that, anyway?)

"Better drop those stitches down while I have the chance."

"The P Carriage is FUN!"

Figures out how to knit short rows while simultaneously keeping pattern going.

Congratulates self.

Figures out how to continue knitting on all stitches, and how to convert the pattern back to ribbing. Knits ribbing.

Remembers to increase stitch size on very last row to enable stretch bind off. Congratulates self.

Remembers to remove all weights before casting off. Congratulates self.

Sore back from hunching over machine while casting off 185 tiny stitches.

"Done!!" Congratulates self.

Wet block overnight.

The next morning: "OOH PRETTY!"

Rinse and repeat.

Realizes at some point (irony) that this particular form of drive lace doesn't require a punchcard at all.

Soon there will be a new top!


  1. Haha, I enjoyed listening in on your knitting musings. Plus, the irony of not needing to use a punchcard after all! :)
    The knitting Machine keeps us constantly learning, which I love. I am looking forward to seeing your new top!

  2. Well, you should congratulate yourself on working through that. Too often I just get stuck in the rabbit holes and a project doesn't get finished; although that's still a fun process in and of itself, far better when a plan comes together!

  3. You remind me of a pilot going through the pre-flight and take-off checklists