Luciferins Machine Knitting Material Explorations

Knitting Machine II: Exploring the possibilities

I’ve been becoming more familiar with the knitting machine,  it’s functionality, and maintenance.  I tacked up the pieces that I had knitted while taking a few workshops at the Textile Arts Center on a wall in my studio.

I studied these and worked to recreate them, as I refreshed my skills on the knitting machine. I used a white acrylic yarn so as it is easy to see and not something I’m going to get super attached to (i.e. it’s not a super fancy/expensive/pretty/unique fiber).

I practiced my increasing and decreasing of stitches/needles. This is important, as I want to create different spaces and volumes.

I played with decreasing/increasing one stitch at a time, then multiple stitches. It’s important to pay attention to what side the carriage is on. Also, depending on how you transfer stitches while increasing/increasing, effects the edges.

Using the transfer tool gives you a smooth edge, as long as you are picking up loops to make stitches on the recently emptied inner needles.

Some interesting shaping of the material is also possible, depending on which needs are brought into work and out of work over the course of the materials.

What initially brought me to machine knitting, was seeing these pinterest posts that utilized quite a bit of hand manipulation. The spider-web aspect is quite intriguing…. Something to experiment with at a later date.

I also played around with regular holes and managing those needles in and out of work.

Other aspects that are central to knitting are slip and tuck stitches. The machine has several buttons and settings to generate these types of stitches.

My Brother KH-890 also works with punch cards. This is an interesting feature, that I don’t see myself using too much of in the immediate future. It came with a bunch of punch cards. It certainly makes patterning much much easier to manage and generate. You can also make your own punch cards. I tried out this feature, to see what it was like and to make sure that the punch card mechanism was operational.

Partial knitting turned out some really interesting experiments. With partial knitting or short-rows, some of the needles are in holding position, while others are knitted. As a result you can build up more stitches in various areas.

I’m super excited to see these shapes and voids be created.

I played with this concept in regular intervals, which leads to loops.

It’s important to pay attention to loop the yarn over the edge needles in holding to get a nice clean opening and not have a stray yarn. As well, sealing the sides to get these “growths.”

Experimenting with this more, yielded some really interesting tensions and shapes.

I can’t wait to explore this with wool and then to felt it down! This is what I’m trying to do, but with circular knitting and wool. So excited!

After some crazy emails and order, I finally got some wool to try out the machine. I knitted a bunch of rows. I was a bit nervous as I thought this wouldn’t felt down as I had hoped. But I was wrong! It felts down quite nicely!

Now that I have a pretty solid idea on the basic functions of the machine, as well as 2 cones of wool, I want to knit some circular samples and play with short-rowing to get different shapes and sizes. I’m super excited for this!

But before I can get to that point, I’ve got to clean the ribber, which is a second bed of needles that attaches to the machine. My machine came with the ribber, luckily. I need to clean it, install it and become familiar with how to work it properly before I can generate these samples I’m after.

To be continued….