Open Spaces: Machine Knit Eyelets, Ladders and Slits

So much news this month – my head is spinning!

After more than four years experimenting, continually asking myself  “what if I…..?” and then following that path to the next great discovery (and a few disappointing disasters), The Book That Would Not End is finally done!

Following the required introduction, there are lengthy chapters on eyelets, ladders and slits – open spaces that are very different from your grannie’s lace of old! Many of these examples will produce gorgeous garments, but be forewarned that some of them absolutely must be worn over a camisole if you want to avoid being arrested!

The book is 225 pages and contains more than 300 swatch photos and charts as well as a number of inspirational garments by some of my favorite designers. You’ll notice that this book is a larger format than my previous three. Increasing the size from 8 x 10” to 8.5 x 11” saved about 40 pages, which translates into lower costs for us all. I guess I’ll just have to get used to the way they all look on the shelf together, with the new one a bit taller and wider.

 

 

You can download the free pattern for this slit topper on my web site.

There are already several free sweater designs based on material from this book available on my web site and I plan to add a couple more so do check the Free Stuff for practical applications of these techniques.

As with the previous three titles, the new book is available from www.guagliumi.com with free shipping or you can order from Amazon.com. It goes without saying that when you order directly from me, I enjoy a slightly higher profit than I do when you purchase through Amazon, which will probably survive nicely either way. Whether you order directly from me or through Amazon, please know that I sincerely appreciate your purchase and hope that you enjoy the new book and find it full of useful ideas for your knitting. I think it is a beauty, but I am probably a little prejudiced…..kind of like asking a mother what she thinks of her new baby.

While I’m on the topic of new additions, I want to introduce the newest specialty tool on my web site! This 4/5-prong transfer tool is for 6.5 mm mid-gauge machines like the Silver Reed SK160, SK860 and LK150 or LK140.

These individually crafted and smoothly finished wooden tools are available exclusively on www.guagliumi.com and they feel so much nicer in your hand than a hunk of plastic!

You can use either end (4 or 5-prong) to move groups of stitches for traveling stitch designs or to create wide full-fashioned decreases along a raglan slant (for example). If you move 10 stitches every time you need to decrease, you’ll have enough stitches to allow an edge stitch, a plain (or reformed) stitch along each side of a 3×3 cable and the decrease. It’s a lot faster to move five stitches twice than it is working with a 3-prong tool! With a pair of these tools and a bit of bridging, you can cross 4 or 5 stitch cables.

The individual, 4-prong and 5-prong tools are still available (and cost $18 each), but if you don’t have those (or only have one of each), this combination tool is considerably more affordable at $26. Click here to order yours!

Last, but never least, I have just finished a pattern for sewing a fabulous padded carrying case for the LK-150 or similar machines. With shoulder straps and pockets for everything, this case is much lighter weight and easier to carry that the gun cases I see people using. Besides, I know I would be arrested carrying a gun case into Grand Central Station in NYC and I plan to show my FIT students an LK-150 this fall.

The final pattern is the result of 5 prototypes, which were expensive to produce in terms of both time and materials. I really hope you enjoy this copyrighted pattern so much and find it so worth the $6 price that you encourage your friends to purchase their own.  Don’t forget, there are already lots of freebies at www.guagliumi.com when you sign up for the newsletter.

 

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3D Eyelets and Nops

I’m really excited to share this sweater pattern with you! It is one of the garments I have been working on as I sample and knit my way through the content for my fourth machine knitting book: Hand-Manipulated Stitches: Eyelets, Ladders and Slits (Exploring Open Spaces). I’m aiming for a release this spring, but life always gets in the way so I won’t make any guarantees quite yet. You’ll be among the first to know once I set a date! I hope the scale of this pattern gives you an idea what I am up to with this new book – the open spaces I am working with are contemporary and bold – not prissy grandma lace! (No offense intended to grandma or anyone who has a grandma. Heck – I AM a grandma!)

The full, detailed pattern for this green merino wool sweater is on my web site with all the other free downloads so I won’t include the chart or other particulars here on the blog. However, because the transfers I used for this stitch pattern are a little unusual, I thought the video would be helpful.

In the video I use a handy needle Magic Needle Selector Wand for the SK 860 (mid gauge – 6.5mm) from Knitting Any Way. They are available for machines with 6.5, 7 and 8 mm needle spacing and only cost $34. There used to be a great adjustable needle selector available for Passap with 5 mm spacing but I’m afraid I don’t know of one for Japanese standard (4.5mm) or bulky (9mm) spacing. If anyone out there does, please let me know! I’ve seen people make needle pushers out of heavy cardboard for special projects and I’m tempted to think this is something that could easily be 3-D printed…….

My pattern is written for a luscious merino wool from Silk City that I started out using right off the cone on the standard gauge machine and, although the swatch was gorgeous, I realized it would take forever to finish a whole sweater. So – I used the yarn doubled on the SK-860.It would be great for the LK-150 as well. You can adapt this stitch design to any yarn on any machine as long as you do a gauge swatch first. There is just no escaping those gauge swatches!

The transfers I used for this design are triple transfers where 3 stitches are transferred from the left and 3 from the right onto the same three center needles – each of those needles end up holding 3 stitches. The tension on the transferred stitches is what forces the “nops” to pop out on the knit side of the fabric. The eyelets are 3-stitch eyelets so the whole scale of this lace is way beyond more common lace stitches!

Because the stitch chart shows the repeats centered from zero on the bed, you can just repeat the transfers all the way to the edges of the fabric, which makes it pretty straightforward to keep track of the placement and easy to use this pattern on any number of stitches. Just remember that you need to make either a whole or an exact half transfer and may have a number of plain stitches at the edges for lack of a enough stitches for a repeat. You’ll see what I mean once you start to swatch and try the technique.

In order to keep track of this pattern so that the eyelets formed their neat little zig-zag in the background, I made a chart that listed row numbers and indicated which transfers to make when. I checked the chart every time I picked up my 3-prong transfer tool because it took a whole lot less time to do that than it would to rip out an entire row of incorrect transfers!

I hope you like this pattern and that I have whetted your appetite for the new book!