Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Machine Knitting - Part 5

So what about those baskets?

Those are done with a lace stitch. I can do those with hand manipulated stitches or with a lace carriage. To use the lace carriage, I take off the regular main bed carriage and put on the lace carriage. Sometimes I do the lace by hand, sometimes with the carriage. The carriage is very tempermental - it needs a very clean machine, a fairly new sponge bar (holds the needles down) and lots of weight. It is faster than hand manipulated, but frustrating.

Lace is done by moving a stitch to the next needle to get a hole. The next carriage pass closes the hole. That gives the open pattern. My baskets are done with a very simple lace pattern. The baskets are so small that anything more complicated would get lost. I admit that I haven't spent much time yet on the more complicated fashion lace, but it is on my to-do list.

It takes time to design the correct size for the lace to fit my forms. After the lace is knit, I sew up the seams and prepare a starch mix. The lace is put in the starch and then stretched over the form. I secure it with wooden clothes pins until it is dry. I usually do lace in the winter so I can dry it on our boiler - that is really fast.

The lace is then taken off the form and decorated. I decorate the top of the baskets and the edges of the box tops. The baskets are stiff and keep their shape as long as they are not subjected to too much moisture (like in a bathroom).

OK - I noticed that your knit bags do not have any seams on the sides or the bottom! How do you so that? Stay tuned for Part 6!


Sixsisters said...

Barb this sounds so complicated ! You must be
very adept at it now. I don't think you charge
enough for your work lol

ZudaGay said...

I love your lace baskets!! I've knit a very simple lace before, but I just can't quite get my mind around the machine doing it. I thought you did them all by hand.