Friday, June 28, 2013

Lesson 3A - Part 3 ( photo intense)

Well I spent a good part of the week working on this lesson. Discovered a few things along the way. (1)       I'm getting pretty good at picots and hanging hems.  (2)  I suck at doing mock ribbing. Nearly every attempt has turned into a train wreck. Today's first attempt was a train wreck. The second attempt was much better. My last attempt was even better. Another few dozen skeins and maybe I won't stink at it so much. Time for photos.....and there are quiet a few.

Hung hem with picots on the top......mock 1x1 ribbing on the bottom. Looks pretty good, right? Thats what I thought until...........

........I turned it over. Somehow I managed to get a picot pulled down and knitted into everything. Haven't a clue as to how it happened or why. Lack of attention on my part obviously. Lesson learned.

I did learn a new bind off that is done right on the machine. I believe it is called a full fashion bind off. Fairly easy to do and rather stretchy. A bit awkward working around the cylinder but nothing learning how to use both hands and practice won't fix. The practice piece is inside out so you can see the bind off........located at the bottom of the photo just above the mock ribbing (which had a hung hem done).

My next practice piece came out much nicer. I did run out of yarn about halfway through but simply grabbed another bit of left-over and continued on. The hung hem with picots came out beautifully as did the mock 1x1 ribbing. The tension on it is much nicer.

Now for a photo of an attempt where the hung picot hem turned out beautiful but the mock ribbing was a train wreck. In order to save the piece I took it off the machine, unraveled back to the nice knitting and finished it off with a few rows of garter stitch and a 3-needle bind off (all done by hand). The I-cord was done on the CSM then run through the top of the tiny bag using a latch hook tool and some patience.

Another photo of another mock ribbing train wreck that was salvaged. This time there were a few rows of mock ribbing that could be saved. I ran my yarn tail through it and closed it off. Folded up the picot hung hem and a tiny hat was created. Still had some yarn left so I decided to play around with the mock ribbing. Set the machine up for a mock 2x2 ribbing. Knit a tube. Closed the ends by running the yarn tail through and pulling it tight. Knotted each end. A lovely little scarf to go with the tiny hat. Some day I will make a teddy bear for it. Or maybe a snowman.

For those of you that are curious as to how you do a mock ribbing on the CSM....well, it's actually pretty easy. You simply remove needles. You want to do a 1x1 mock ribbing remove every other needle. This will draw the knitting in giving it the appearance of ribbing with the stretch. The key is the tension. Too loose and the mock ribbing doesn't look very good. Too tight......train wreck!

The photo below shows preparing the machine for mock ribbing. Every other stitch was moved to its neighboring needle. The now-empty needles are raised and then removed from the machine. Pretty much any knit/purl combination (2x2,  3x1, etc) can be done as mock ribbing just as long as the numbers work out evenly for the size cylinder you are using. After all you wouldn't want to end up with uneven ribbing.....mock or otherwise.

My last experiment of the day involved using my hand spun yarn. I was curious to see how it would knit up on the machine. I opted to use a smaller skein (little over 200 yards) of a hand dyed hand spun superwash wool yarn. It knit up on the machine surprisingly well. Came out kinda stiff feeling and not so soft. I finished it up then tossed it in the washer to see what would happen. Ended up with a very soft scarf. Now I wish it was a bit longer.  :)

What's next? Well I could continue practicing lesson 3A...or I could move on. I have decided to move onto Lesson 4....Learning how to do heels. I'm not giving up on Lesson 3A completely. I will continue practicing my mock ribbing in between heel attempts. If I stay on Lesson 3A I will get discouraged and may not continue on with learning how to use the CSM. This way I can bounce between the two lessons and hopefully keep my enthusiasm up.  :)

This is not as easy as it appears. One would think " oh, you just crank the handle and socks appear. That's not hard."  If that's all there was to it, then , no, that's not hard. Now toss in all the little intricacies and nuances....well, you're talking about something totally different now. It's been a challenge, but one that I'm thoroughly enjoying.  :)

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