The Elusive Long Stitch Half Milano Edge

posted in: Machine Knit, Uncategorized | 0

half milano machine knitting

I knit the samples above a few months ago.  I couldn’t decide whether to write up a tutorial or not….  I rarely post tutorials on my blog.  I have always been inspired by my friend Carol’s blog.  She has a wonderful blog for Passap knitters with lots of tips and tutorials.  I thought maybe I should take some time to share a little bit on my blog too…

The photo above shows some samples I had knit a while back on my Passap E6000 (grey sample) and Silver Reed SK840 (mustard colored sample).  I knit lots of scarves which are mostly all knit on the double bed.  I don’t like how the edges of single bed scarves roll.

Over the winter, I thought I would be nice to have a single bed fabric for a scarf because it would be a lighter fabric.  There is the edge roll issue with single bed fabric.  But what if I could rib the edges?….  I have a couple of double bed books which reference the long stitch (also called half Milano) technique but most instances are as a backing.  I found a blog that showed the long stitch edge with stockinette in the middle.  I did not want plain stockinette for the center knitting but a tuck stitch or slip stitch design.  Since tuck stitch seems to curl a bit, the edges will be tamed with the long stitch edge.  Once I started knitting these samples, I realized there are many possibilities for the center design…

You can follow the directions in the blog I linked if you need detailed set up directions.  Basically, you are just casting on in full needle rib.  After the ribber circular rows, knit as much “end” border as you want.  Then transfer the middle stitches (which will be your patterned knitting) to your main bed.  (Main bed is: back bed Japanese, front bed Passap).  Leave as many stitches on the ribber as you want for the long stitch edge.  Passap use black strippers.

In the photo below (ignore the dark spots caused from my iron during steaming!), the sample shows an edge with 3 stitches and 4 stitches.  The scissors in the photo on the right show the line between the 3 stitch edge and 4 stitch.

I made a basic pattern in Designaknit (DAK) for my SK840 and Passap E6000.  I used a built in tuck pattern from DAK.  Remember to leave plain rows in your stitch pattern for the ribbed edges.  I have found that 5 stitches works good for a basic scarf.  The photo below shows 3 plain stitches on the side for the SK840.  For the E6000 you make your stitch pattern in plain black and white squares (no symbols), leave your edges stitches plain for however many stitches you want on the edge. When using the Passap and DAK you must “lie” to DAK.  On the DAK download screen, you have to enter a double bed jacquard technique (example 183).  Click download.  Once it is downloaded to the machine, you will enter your technique you will really be using.  I used T130.

When knitting on the E6000 remember you will have to slip one direction on the back bed.  You only want the back bed to knit every other row.  I messed around with different lock settings and I think there is a lot more to discover with this.  I used CX on the back lock.  I am going to knit up some scarves and try some other locks settings and see what happens.  😉

I saw a  wrap on Purl Soho which I believe is this same technique.  So you can knit narrow or wide fabric with this long stitch border.

 

 

Happy Scarves

flat rib scarf

These are flat rib scarves knit in bright “happy” colors. The flat rib can be knit on any knitting machine with a ribber (double bed).  Set your machine up for full needle rib (all needles in work on main bed and rib bed).  Needles are alternating–not directly across from each other.  Knit your cast on (zig zag, hang comb, knit circular rows).  After the cast on is complete, you will transfer some ribber stitches to the main bed and put those ribber needles out of work.  All main bed needles remain in work.  On these scarves I had 4 needles out of work (or was it 5?) on the ribber and then one needle in work.  Repeat this pattern across the entire ribber bed.  I had 2 ribber needles in work on the edges of the bed.  Once you have this set up, knit across slowly with the carriage/lock or knit across by hand. Knit across by hand by doing a “free pass of the carriage/lock, then knit the yarn into the latches and knit off– by hand.  This row will be hard to knit because of the doubled up stitches.  Knit scarf to length desired and bind off.  This pattern knits lays flat (edges do not roll).  It is a great pattern for using up stash and “gifting.”

Remember when knitting in full needle rib, you will need to use lighter weight yarns than what you would use for single bed or 1×1/2×2 rib etc.

The scarves photographed were knit on a 9mm bulky machine in worsted weight yarn.

Winter Update

posted in: farm, Uncategorized | 0

With the New Year just a couple of days away, I figured it was time for a blog update.  We have added a flock of fine wool Shetland sheep (several ewes in many colors and a couple of rams) to the farm and will have breeding stock and fleece available.

shetland sheep

I am posting a great video by British Wool to share.  Hope you have a great New Year!

Summer Update

Summer is here!  I have added some new wools to the shop with more to come.

 

We always have Killdeer nesting in the gravel along the driveway. They are so small, but are up and running around soon after hatching.

 

We have had so much rain that the riding arena has grass growing in it!  The horses are working hard to mow it.

 

In my “spare” time, between working with the sheep, riding, dyeing, weaving, and spinning, I have been knitting up bunches of swatches for items I will have in the Cincinnati Weaver’s Guild sale in November.  With summer here, it seems as though November is far off, but it will be here in no time and so will winter.  So enjoy summer while you can!

knitting swatches

Spring Soon

HELLO SPRING?  Well, it may be a bit early, but the forecast says 60 degree weather for the next few days!

A few months ago, I dropped off some Cormo fleece at America’s Natural Fiberworks (ANF) in Sommerville, Ohio.  They always do a great job processing fibers and spinning yarns. Cormo wool is usually carded and then pin drafted to remove the neps/noils/short bits of fiber.  There are only a couple of mills in the US that have the equipment to pin draft wool.  I have always had my Cormo pin drafted but I decided to see how it would turn out if it was carded into roving.  AFN have their own flock of Cormo sheep and are experienced with processing Cormo.  I recently picked up the finished Cormo roving and it turned out really nice.  The roving spins up into a more rustic type yarn (not smooth and fine) with lots of character.  I really love the spun yarn.  I hope to get the roving listed in my shop in the next week or so.

I took a few photos of the mill when I picked up the roving.  The mill also has a yarn shop stocked with lots of natural fiber (wool and alpaca) yarns, rovings, and accessories.  They also sell handwoven rugs and felted saddle pads.  There are lots of other items in the shop too.  They have a website for the yarn shop at: www.ilovetheyarnbarn.com  and also a website for their alpaca farm http://www.blessedcriations.com/

The photo below is the fiber washing machine.  It is really nice!  I wish I had one.  🙂

Photo below is the felting table they use to make large felted items and blankets.

 

Studio stuff??  I have a warp wound and waiting to be put on the Saori loom.  It will be cloth for a jacket (eventually!)

 

The sheep are ready for spring shearing.

sheep

sheep fleece

 

 

 

Winter Update

Winter is here.  Winter work consists of keeping the livestock in the barn (during the bad weather) and fed.  I am outside and in the barn more than I am in the house…  So far winter has been mild, but I am sure the snow is not too far off.

The sheep are happy and their fleeces look nice.

fleece

 

fleece

fleece

sheep

 

I have been finishing up some weaving.

This is a straight draw twill with a mix of different cottons (all different weights) for the warp and weft.  The warp was haphazardly sleyed in the reed.

towels

 

Below is a Saori style scarf which is also a mix of different cottons for warp and weft.

saori

 

I will be back to listing more wools in the shop since the holidays are over.  🙂

 

Wensleydale locks

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The locks below are Wensleydale and Coopworth lamb cross.  They were dyed in the same colorway.

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Until next time…

 

Washing Wool

Fall is here and I have been busy washing fleece.  After posting a photo on Instagram, I had lots of questions about how to wash raw fleece.  I put detailed directions on website if anyone wants to see how I wash fleece.

Washing fleece in my dye room laundry sink.
Washing fleece in my dye room laundry sink.

 

The animals are enjoying the cooler fall weather.   The weather has been perfect for trail riding too!

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Fall is Around the Corner!

I know it is not officially fall, but once the kids are heading back to school, it seems as though fall is here.  It is still hot here (in the 90’s) but the evenings are cooling down and feeling more like fall. The sheep have welcomed the cooler evening weather and so have the dogs.

sheep

sheep

dogs

Frances and Dakota think it has cooled down enough in the evenings to play.

dogs

I have stocked some new hand dyed Wensleydale rovings and locks in the shop.  If you have not spun any farm fresh Wensleydale roving, you should give it a try.  It is so soft and drafts effortlessly. The shop is stocked with natural white and black roving along with hand dyed roving.  The hand dyed roving drafts just as easily as the undyed roving.  I will be adding new hand dyed fibers weekly so be sure to check the shop.

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locks

locks

locks

 

 

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