Monday, August 3, 2015

Condo Cable

Life's been very hectic, but lately I really want to at least knit a few minutes in the evenings.  Even if I only get to doodle, make swatches, try out ideas, and don't have time for a whole project, I want to fit it in. 

I'm calling this evening's experiment a "condo cable:"

Condo knitting is a technique with larger loops for some of the work.  Sometimes we MKers call it "release lace." 

I programmed the Brother standard gauge machine with the chart, above.  It's 12 stitches wide and 16 rows tall.  It could work with a punch card; you'd just have to repeat the pattern.  The programming is just to help me keep track of when to put ribber needles in work and when to cable.

The pattern is a multiple of 12, plus two extra stitches on the side edges.

The ribber is set up, but cast on 50 stitches on the main bed only for the swatch.  I was using tension 6 and a large, 1-pound ribber weight.  It's always harder to get stitches to knit off when you're doing single bed with a ribber, and weights help.  Machine is set to N, not H on main carriage.

Knit a few rows, then engage the machine's needle selection (KCII; if you can't suppress end needle selection, ignore a selected end needle.  Also, ignore the two needles that sometimes select on the edge.)  When the machine selects 6 needles in a row, I put the ribber on half pitch and brought up 5 needles on the ribber bed, just below the 6 selected ones.  Knit 1 row.  It selects the same needles again.  It will have laid down yarn in the ribber needles.  Drop the ribber stitches by uncoupling and sliding the ribber carriage across and back.  Move the ribber needles back down out of work.

Now, the selected needles have long loops and are the ones to cable.  Use two 3-stitch transfer tools and cable 3 over 3.  Because of the long loops, they'll cable just fine, even though they're groups of 6 stitches.  After you cable, bring the cabled stitches out to hold so they'll knit through more easily.

Keep knitting (main bed only), until machine selects groups of 6.  Once again, bring up 5 needles on ribber below those selected 6, knit 1 row, release ribber stitches, and put ribber needles back out of work.  Then cable the selected needles.

Repeat.  This is easy and fun!  A few thoughts:

1.  Be careful not to get the long condo loops stuck on gate pegs.
2.  Bringing the cabled needles out to hold really helps stitches knit off.
3.  No reason you couldn't do this with your bulky - in fact, I think it would look terrific!

Maybe I'll make a video out of it. 

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