Luciferins Machine Knitting Material Explorations

Knitting Machine III: The Ribber

When I was first looking at purchasing a knitting machine, I would see posts for machines with a ribber, ribbers sold separately, and all sorts of things. I vaguely knew that you could knit ribs with it (think: the edges of your sweaters at the arm and at the neck) as well as circular knit. It wasn’t my main concern to acquire one. Yet, it happened that the knitting machine I purchase had a ribber included with it. I am very grateful that it came with the ribber and it was in pretty good condition. I don’t foresee myself generating a lot of ribbing. Yet, I do see circular knitting in my future. Like right now!

Since I had never seen a ribber hooked up to a machine in person, nor used one, it proved to be quite a task to get the ribber installed properly. I poured over the instruction book that it came with. Again, I was lucky to get a original and physical copy of the instruction manuals. It’s been quite something to read, or rather to study and dissect these images, extracting critical bits of information.

I installed it and started knitting with it. I was doing okay, but then ran into some trouble after working with it for a bit.

I’d get these loops and backed up loops. Keeping the knitted fiber under tension is critical, so it doesn’t jump back into what is currently being knitted.

I was still having some trouble, as well as the ribber carriage was more difficult to pass in one direction than the other….hrm…..

The internet to the rescue! I posted to knitting paradise and got a bunch of helpful tips. It’s an awesome resource and community. I perused a older posts and picked up a bunch of information. The posters there also gave me some better documents outlining how to install the ribber. All this information together has been incredibly invaluable!

I realized there was another nut that needed to be tightened within a bracket. I also realized that I was taking the measurements in the wrong places to determine how close the two beds need to be. (And they need to be quite close). I also figured out how to align the ribber bed, which was also flipped.

The beds must be quite close together. The pin from the ribber carriage must lock into the knit carriage, fairly far up the chamber. Also, the number of needles must be the same on both bed. Otherwise, things get wonky.

After a bunch of trials, I was finally able to generate a pretty solid “sock”. I still needed some more practice.

Next up, was playing with increasing and decreasing the size/width. This was a bit tricky and took quite a few tries to refine.

Decreasing comes easy and looks nicer. With increasing, I get these gaps or holes. Which, makes sense. Perhaps they will be helpful during the felting process, as I get these pieces to shrink and gather at different places.

In this last one, you can see the line where I had some troubles and ended up sealing the tube. But since I’m practicing my techniques, I just kept going.

I’m at a good point now with increasing and decreasing while knitting in the round.Next up: working partial knitting or short-rows while in the round. This, I can tell is going to be a bit tricky. But once I have that down, I’ll have the critical skills needed to machine knit dimensional shapes that change shape and have interesting forms as a result.