cable lace

New Lace Design!

The knitting machine and I had been getting along better after my last project, there had been significantly less screaming and cursing.  Of course I immediately began to miss the drama and couldn’t take all my newfound tranquility. So I did what I always do in these situations, design something much more difficult.

One night while I was falling asleep, my next challenge came to me. Why couldn’t I make a lace punchcard that was designed to have hand-manipulated cables incorporated into it? My mom and grandmother know me as a cable queen because when I was still able to hand knit I would incorporate them into EVERYTHING! I love to play with texture in my designs because I think it just adds another dimension of interest and can take your concept to the next level.

But since I started machine knitting I have been staying away from cables because without a ribber attachment for the machine they are sort of a pain in the butt. Since the machine can’t purl you have to drop the stitches and reform them by hand to get a purl stitch. As I’m sure you know, most cables look better when surrounded by purl stitches because they pop out more. But then I thought, “If I surround the cable with eyelets it will have a similar effect!”. The best part about this plan was that I could design a punchcard so that the machine would do the eyelets for me automatically.

Designing the punchcard was a bit tricky because I had a lot of elements to keep in mind. Making the test swatch was even more difficult for me because I’m not used to only seeing the back of the fabric while I’m working. I had to try to visualize or feel for the cable with my fingers to figure out where it was supposed to be travelling. It took quite a few hours of ripping out and trying again to get the hang of it.

Note: If you want to try this remember that if you aren’t using a stretchy yarn you’ll need to change to a larger gauge. The cables will create extra tension and make it difficult for the carriage to transfer stitches if you don’t. You’ll end up having a bunch of dropped stitches (I know this from it happening to me multiple times, lol).

Now that I’ve nailed my awesome new stitch pattern, it’s time to incorporate it into a project. Here’s the design that I came up with!

teddy 2