Friday, February 4, 2011

In the Studio Today: Machine Knitting

I've been working on a vegan machine-knit scarf for Hazel, who designed the excellent banner that you see at the top of the page here.

I pulled it off the machine so you could get a look at it. That metal tool in the background with the row of eyelet teeth is called a garter bar. It's used to removed fabric from the machine in order to turn it around and rehang it so that the back becomes the front. It's how you do garter stitch on a single-bed knitting machine.

When you knit on a machine the threads (or yarn) are kept under much higher tension than when you knit by hand. Weights are used to hold the fabric down and keep it from jumping off the row of hooks across the machine bed.

When you remove the fabric, it looks very different from how it will after it is blocked.

Here's another picture after it's been straightened and smoothed a little. You can see in this picture a better idea of how it will look after washing and blocking.

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