>Knitting Numbers

>I was going to knit the sleeves of the striped sweater that I started the other week but instead I decided to try and figure something out on the Knitmaster 321.
It is a punchcard machine so the patterns it knits are 24 stitch repeats all along the width of the needlebed.
I wanted to try knitting a word instead of a pattern so I had a think about how I could do it.
I thought that if I set the carriage for fair isle and pulled the needles which would be knitted in the contrast yarn out to D position they would automatically knit in the contrast colour.
So I tried it. I put the main yarn in feeder one and the contrast yarn in feeder two.
I pulled the appropriate needles to D position, set the carriage for fair isle and knitted the row. It didn’t work. I tried a second row. It didn’t work.
So I decided that I would have to do it the way I used to do it on the Bond.
This is the chart I made (complete with alterations):


I changed my mind about knitting a word and decided to knit ‘1964’ – the year I was born.

I set the carriage for stockinette and partial knitting.

I even remembered that if I followed the chart working from the bottom to the top it would come out back to front. So I turned the chart upside down and worked from the top to the bottom.

I pulled out the appropriate needles and knitted the first row. So far so good. I then knitted the contrasting colour by hand manipulating the needles. I carried on until I’d finished the chart.

This is how it looked:

(floats not knitted in)

As you can see, the floats across the back are quite long. So I knitted through the chart again, this time knitting in the floats:

(floats knitted in)

Well, it looks a little bit neater but it could be better.

This is what the two attempts look like from the right side:

It worked! I know it’s not very neat but the chart wasn’t that good and I don’t think I had the tension set right. At least now I know how it’s done so if I ever want to knit words into something like, I don’t know, maybe a banner with ‘Merry Christmas’ on it, all I have to do is make a chart and away I go.

So next I thought I would have a go at intarsia. I don’t have an intarsia carriage, I don’t even know if there was one made for the 321. I had to really think about this one. I have a P carriage that came with the ribber. When you move it across the main bed from right to left it brings all the needles from B to C position. So I cast on 30 stitches and knitted a few rows, then I ran the P carriage across. Right, so all the needles were in C position. I took the yarn out of the tension mast and yarn feeder and laid it over the first ten needles, another yarn over the next ten needles and a third one over the last ten needles. I tried to knit the row, keeping hold of the ends. The yarn got caught in the sinker plate and the carriage jammed. I cast on again and knitted a few rows then I removed the sinker plate and laid the yarns as before. I moved the carriage across but because there was no sinker plate the stitches wouldn’t knit off the needles and I ended up with a mess.

How was I going to make this work? There had to be a way. Then it occurred to me to bring the ribber up to the main bed, that would allow the stitches to knit off.

So I cast on again, knitted a few rows, added some claw weights, removed the sinker plate and brought the ribber up to the main bed. I ran the P carriage across then laid the three yarns across the needles and slowly started to knit. I could see that the stitches at the start of the row weren’t going to knit as the yarn had gone behind the latches. So I used the hook tool and carefully put the yarn back into the needle hooks, holding it with the hook tool as I moved the carriage along until it was safe to let go of it. Success! The first row had knitted three different colours without dropping a stitch. Must have been a fluke.

I knotted the yarn ends together so I wouldn’t get any holes then ran the P carriage across and laid the yarn over the needles as before. I started moving the carriage across but this time held the yarn at the start of the row towards me with the hook tool until I knew it was going to knit then carried on to the end of the row. The second row knitted without any problems.

I carried on this way for a few more rows and produced this:


This is what the back looks like:

(intarsia back)

I know it’s not much of a picture but it worked. I wasn’t working from a chart, just making it up as I went along.

Now I don’t know if there’s an easier way of doing intarsia on this machine but if there is, I don’t know what it is. In fact I’m quite pleased with myself for figuring out how to do it. Whether or not I’ll actually do any picture knitting from charts remains to be seen but at least now I know that I can do it.

Talk to you later,


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