I don't know about you but instructional manuals are pretty thin on the ground for manual industrial knitting. The manuals I do have discuss beginning work by creating a provisional cast-on. I always found this a bit frustrating and time consuming but I could see the logic in wanting to reduce the stress the first row endures weighted to the cast-on comb. In April while I sat watching a veteran knitter it dawned on me that she was creating her edges without any preamble or precautionary cast-ons. When I asked her about temporary cast-ons she dismissed my question.
So I set about developing some edges which exploited tension changes and bravely experimented with weight or lack of weight on the comb to create a more time efficient approach.
I developed: a picot edge and welt (this one is pictured below), a picot edge and welt for necklines, a firm racked edge and welt and a picot edge with rib. These basic edges which work for Dubieds and Santagostino's in combination with a cast-on comb and weights, but without any temporary cast-on. The short explanation (without getting too technical) is to rib cast-on only selecting high butts (or manually select particular needles), this pulls in the cast on edge. Then when you select all of the needles in combination with a 1 needle rack, tubular welt knit or rib you can come up with very tidy borders. Without slecting high butts during the initial cast-on and keeping tension quite tight, my edges were very sloppy looking.
I also wanted to post this video on casting off. Amy Lawrence kindly gave me permission to show her video and because I am a bit of a futz with technology I am just providing a link. Amy's knitted jewellery work is fantastic and her videos are always well thought out. Check it out!
I have also added gauges charts for stitch structures to my knitting wiki here. The knitting wiki is an ongoing project in which I hope to add meaningful content specifically related to manual industrial knitting and its history. For now there are some intriguing punch card and cam patterns as well as the gauge charts.
Also pictured are some production samples for Fall 2013. These knitted pieces are intended to reflect my interpretation of knitwear as something more tailored, refined and modern. So you will see lapelled cardigans and slouchy jackets with fitted sleeves as well as the mittlets and gloves from previous years. Its been a very busy and exciting month developing work in my studio, perhaps so exciting that at times I had trouble putting down the yarn:)
This final picture although rather rough, shows a new technique that I was shown to me by the veteran knitter I mentioned previously. I thought it might be of interest to others:) This eyelet with increases combination creates a nice bias effect seen in vintage knits. To create it you make a tube and increase stitches on one side of the tube. So you cast-on, then knit a tube for 6 rows, then increase one stitch on the left side of the front bed, then knit 6 more rows and increase one stitch on the left side of the rear bed. By continuing to increase only on one side of the tube you end up with a cone shape which, once cut open reveals the eyelets and increases.
Anna is a Hamilton based knitwear and textile practitioner blogging about her collection development as well as pre-1950's knitwear technology.
amy lawrence designs