Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Patchwork Knitting

Swatch--grey and olive multi cotton

I'm still fiddling with the Bond Antepenultimate Knitting Machine and my basket of worsted-weight cotton yarns. I've learned that inelastic yarns like these don't work well for intarsia or cables on the knitting machine. My hand knitting led me to expect trouble with intarsia--springy fibers like wool work much better for picture knitting, but I've always liked the way hand-knitted cables look in cotton yarn--highly defined, sort of sculptural. On the knitting machine, the cable crosses pull so hard on the machine's needles I'm afraid they will bend.

knitted swatch--spring green cotton

Right now, I'm knitting long skinny strips in different shades of green, with the intention of sewing them together to make flat fabric. Then, I can cut out pattern pieces and sew them together. I've had good luck with this in other projects. I cut new necklines in a couple of wool ready-to-wear sweaters, and knitted on new neckbands successfully. I didn't need to finish the cut edges--the wool was already lightly felted, and didn't ravel at all. When I cut apart and reshaped an oversized cotton sweater, I drew on seam lines, zig-zagged the lines on my sewing machine, cut away the excess material, and machine-stitched the pieces like any stretchy knit fabric. That's what I'm considering for this project, but I'll have many opportunities to change course.

swatch--multicolored plied cotton

Here are some links on ways to make knitted fabrics a little bit at a time.

Strip Knitting

Modular or Patchwork Knitting

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