Sunday, May 31, 2009

Punch/Thread Lace

I recently acquired a Singer 500 electronic knitting machine. The reason I "needed" to have it was so I could knit punch/thread lace. Of all the amazing machines I own and use, none of them were able to perform this particular form of knitting, so of course, I had to have it. Talk about any excuse to buy another old machine. The irony is that if I had a few thousand dollars I could buy a newer SilverReed electronic machine that would have the ability to do all the things I want from my knitting, but until then, I have my collection of machines that individually do what I want. When I want DBJ and tubular knitting like socks, I use the doublebed, transfer lace from a Brother card is accomplished on my Toyota KS901, All In One transfer lace cards for the S/S/S/K machines are knit on my Toyota KS950 etc. I know, it sounds like a lot of hassle, but really, it keeps me interested in my knitting machines and designing different fabrics :)

My first test to see if this older Singer machine was knitting properly and that the electronics were ok was a huge success, there are a couple of miss patterned stitches, but that's a-ok, I've been advised that it's a sticky latch on the needle issue and I have lots of extra needles that came with it to replace them.

My next step was to design my pattern and color in the squares on the card. After I got my design transfered I decided to test it in fair isle. I love it! So, next came the punchlace test swatch.

After this mess, a good friend pointed out that my design didn't allow for any actual lacy spots. It was a great DBJ design, but "where's the lace part?" Back to the drawing board and a new and improved, punchlace design. Of course, all my self teaching is surrounded by lots of drama and this was no exception. I had spent so much time finding the right ink for my White 1602 mylars, I made the assumption that the Singer would use the same thing. Come to find out, the Singer scanners read reflections from soft lead, not light blocking ink. Oops! Wasted a very expensive blank card, but learned alot, and after figuring out what I had marked incorrectly on the card, another online knitting buddy helped me figure that little mistake out, I have SUCCESS!!

I still need to change out the bad needles, see the columns of stockinette? Those are the bad boys. I also need to fine tune my design, there are some places on the card that I need to shorten the number of unknit cotton thread stitches and change where some of the solid squares are, but all in all I consider this a huge success for my prototype. I'm going to space my roses out a little differently too, so there is a better balance on the panel, but this is where it stands right now. I also need to thank another knitting list pal for the gift she sent to me of the clear nylon thread so I could try this technique.

Since I'm moving soon, I had to give it up and pack up my knitting machines so I could concentrate on packing and organizing for the move. A list group friend gave me a really good laugh by ssaying she figured I would have at least one machine set up in the back of the moving van so I could knit during the long drive LOL!! Does she have me pegged or what!! Unfortunately, I have to drive my car with my kitty cats in it so it will be hand knitting at stop lights, traffic jams and waiting in drive thru food lines :)