One Crazy Fiber Lady

The ramblings of a fiber-affected single mother of twins who makes a living as a code monkey

One Crazy Fiber Lady

More Machines

December 15th, 2008 · 4 Comments

This post is another about machines, but this one is less computer-y and more knit-y. Last post I mentioned I was off to pull out one of the knitting machines to make some i-cord. Must be the Apple fanboy in me that has me correcting iCord “typos” 🙂

 

Brother KX-350

Brother KX-350

This machine is a Brother KX-350 plastic flatbed machine.  I bought it off eBay a few years ago and tucked it away.  There are 3 different basic knitting machines out there.  Standard, Mid and Bulky.  The standard takes fine yarn and does insane things like 16 st/in or better up to about a sport weight.  The bulky is just what you thing, worsted to bulky yarns.  The Mid-gauge handles the yarns that most hand knitters are used to working with:  fingering to worsted.  The other two have added toys like ribbers, and fancy electronics, but are way way more expensive.  The mid-gauge, which includes the Incredible Sweater Machine of TV infomercial fame, is far cheaper and with hand manipulation, can do just about everything the fancy guys can do, just more work.  The Brother is modeled after its fancier siblings made by the same company and has a tensioned yarn mast.  The ISM does not (btw, I had an ISM, it was my first and I hated it).

Flat bed knitting machines have a carriage that runs back and forth along the length of the bed.  In each slot is a needle with a latch hook type end. As the carriage moves, the needles are pushed out, the stitch on the needle is moved to the other side of the latch, yarn is set in the hook and the needle is pulled back into position sliding the yarn through the old stitch.

 

i-cording

i-cording

To make i-cord, the carriage is set to only work the needles in one direction and “hold” in the other. ¬†I have it working the stitches when the carriage goes to the left. When I moved it to the right, the yarn went unworked, just like when you slide the stitches from one end of the DPN to the other.

Here’s a quick (and not so good video):

It’s not easy to hold the camera and move the carriage one handed, but I think you get the general idea of how it works.

It took about 30 minutes and I had about 160″ of iCord. ¬†Can’t beat that 🙂

 

I like iCord

I like iCord

There’s as much of the darker stuff on the left as there is of the pinky stuff. ¬†It just didn’t want to sit nicely on the bed for a photo op. ¬†Here’s the cord with the bags.

 

pre-felting

pre-felting

They’ve since had a bath in the washing machine set on heavy duty along with a pair of jeans and felted beautifully! ¬† Both bags are busy drying in front of the heat vent in the living room.

I’ve moved onto the hats for my nephews. ¬†The first is for the older boy, M, who will be 12 in a few days. ¬†This is the STR Heavyweight in In the Navy, pattern is here. ¬†

 

Seaman's Cap

Seaman's Cap

The color is off here.  The blue is way more navy.. and honestly, the photo is out of date as I finished it on the ferry coming home this evening.

This is the color…

 

In the Navy

In the Navy

I cast on for the second kid’s hat during the train portion of the commute. ¬†When both hats are done, I should have enough yarn and time to make them coordinating One-Row Scarves.

Time to get the monkeys into bed.

Craft on!

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Tags: Gifts

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 lynne s of oz // Dec 15, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    Hooray for getting Christmas (Hannukah?) knitting done!
    I used SWS for a felted bag. I expected the usual 30% or so shrinkage. Umm, it shrank more than 50%!! Eeek! LOL

  • 2 Ina // Dec 16, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Teehee – iCord! Thanks for the photos and video.

  • 3 Kim // Dec 16, 2008 at 11:47 am

    Ahoy there tensioned yarn mast! As I watched that video, I thought about how hard it must be to work the machine and film! Good job.

  • 4 JessaLu // Dec 17, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    It sounds like the flatbed makes stitches happen the same way a CSM does – only flat instead of tubes…supposedly you can use the CSM to make iCord too but I haven’t had much luck. Maybe if I had a third hand… ;o)