Wednesday, March 25

Because I need more yarn...

King Cole Twist

Stylecraft Special

Both bought at last week's Hobbycraft at the NEC. Disappointing selection of yarn this year, not many stands at all.

And some recent treats:

Knitpro crochet hooks

Birthday DMs

Never thought I'd take to soft-touch crochet hooks, but they're a dream to use.

In other news, we have a new cat, a bruiser called "Fudge", who has spent most of his time so far finding hidey holes. Fingers crossed he takes to us, because he's nowhere near as friendly as Thomas was.

I miss that ball of fluff :*( Even the 4am wake-up calls...

Monday, March 23

Ribber cast ons - what do they look like?

Standard 1x1 cast on, 3 circular rows

Basic principles of ribbing (tubular cast on)

  1. Set up needles as required
  2. Optional: rack 1.5 positions to maintain alternate needle rule & add ns if necessary
  3. Knit 1 row T0/0 (zigzag row); hang comb and weights
  4. Knit 1 - 5 circular rows at T1/1*
  5. Optional: rack back to original position and decrease any extra stitches made
  6. Set machine to rib tension, RC000, knit the ribbing.

Variation: (3) Hang comb but not weights, knit the circular rows, hang the weights.

3 rows is recommended for 4ply. 1 row is enough for chunky yarns. 5 rows might be better for very fine yarns.

E-wrap method 1

  1. E-wrap required stitches on main bed, knit 1 row on main bed
  2. Transfer stitches to ribber bed, hang comb and weights, RC000, knit the ribbing.

E-wrap method 2

  1. E-wrap required stitches - wrap main bed CCW, ribber bed CW
  2. Knit 1 row (RT), hang comb and weights.
  3. Set machine to rib tension, RC000, knit the ribbing.

Knitted back e-wrap cast on

  1. E-wrap first stitch, loop around next stitch, knit first stitch back. Repeat across the required needles. 
  2. Knit 1 row and transfer to 1x1 rib

Latch tool method

  1. Latch-tool cast on required stitches, knit 1 row on main bed at RT
  2. Transfer stitches to ribber bed, hang comb and weights, RC000

Ravel cord method

  1. Set up needles as required
  2. Knit 1 zigzag row T0/0 with ravel cord from right to left, hang the comb and weights.
  3. Set ribber to HOLD
  4. Put all ribber needles to HOLD position
  5. With MY knit 1 row left to right.
  6. Cancel ribber HOLD, set machine for circular knitting, T1/1 knit 2 rows
  7. Set beds for ribber tension, RC000, knit the ribbing.

Note: to use this on a 2x1 arrangement, add empty needles on main bed after step (1). After knitting the first circular row, drop these extra stitches and return those needles to A position

Broken toe cast on 1

  1. Set up needles as required
  2. Knit 1 zigzag row T0/0. Hang the comb and weights in such a way that the comb will still be supported when the ribber stitches are dropped, ie a prong is inside each V opposite a main bed needle
  3. Pass the ribber carriage only across the bed and back; ribber stitches will drop
  4. Reconnect the carriages and knit across 1 zigzag row.
  5. Knit 3 circular rows T1/1
  6. Set beds for ribber tension, RC000, knit the ribbing.
  7. When work is complete, pull on the yarn tail and the rib edge will tighten up.

Variation: As above, but hang the comb in the V opposite a non-working main bed needle. Use the main carriage alone to drop the stitches in step (3)

Racking cast on

  1. Set up needles for 1x1; rack 2 whole pitches
  2. Knit zigzag row T0/0
  3. Rack back to original position, hang comb and weights
  4. Set beds for ribber tension, RC000, knit the ribbing

Industrial 2x2 cast on (can be used for FNR)

  1. Set up needles for 2x1 so that 2 needles in work straddle the out of work needle; rack 1 whole pitch
  2. Knit zigzag row T0/0, hang comb and weights
  3. Knit 2 circular rows T1/1; rack back to original position.
  4. Set beds for ribber tension, RC000, knit the ribbing
  5. On completion of the ribbing, bring up the empty needles. Knit two circular rows and continue in pattern.

Hints for taming the wavy edge

  • After the zigzag row, hang a piece of ravel cord across the width of the knitting. Weight the ends with pegs if necessary. When piece is removed from the machine, tug both ends of the ravel cord to set the stitches before removing it
  • Insert the ribber comb wire into the edge stitches, and give it a quick blast of steam.


I find myself in the bizarre mindset of not wanting things to change too much, in case Thomas the cat can't find his way home. The fact his ashes are in a drawer at home, awaiting scattering, seems to have no effect on my brain. So I feel somewhat disloyal having received some shiny patent pink DMs for my birthday, and bought a pink jacket and some yarn home. There's such a big hole in the house at the moment! I guess I should see the positive side - the first weekend I've had a lie in for ages - but I would really, really much rather have my boy home again. Place just isn't the same without him - and the Cog was away snowboarding last week in Sweden, so that just emphasised the loss.

Had a lovely MK meeting on Saturday - there were 6 of us all told - and we investigated alternative ribber cast ons (must post some scans here). Forgot to ask them to help me get the room straight again afterwards, so it remained a mess until the Cog returned last night. Sunday was the Hobbycraft show at the NEC. Very disappointing in terms of yarn this year. First time I've seen Robin 4ply on cones - but it's a bit pricey at £11.50 a cone. Now if it was wool, it'd be a different matter!

Bought a large bag of King Cole Stranded and a crochet blanket kit from Black Sheep Wools - I'd link, but the website seems to be playing up today. Made a start on the blanket last night. Designed by a masochist, the colours change on every row. Hmm.

Friday, March 20

FO: pink gloves

These have actually been hanging around for quite a while, I finally added a crochet border to them Wednesday night.


They were the first attempt, so the thumb is a little tight.

Got a lead on a new cat, hoping to arrange to meet him next week.

Tuesday, March 17

FO: black and multi jumper

Made this for charity out of sock yarn oddments, but I like it so much I may well keep it for myself!


Have started looking for a new cat. Place seems empty without one.
Current mood: indescribable

Friday, March 6


Thomas went in for a thyroidectomy, which he survived - but then got a blood clot to his brain and lungs, and went downhill rapidly. We let him go around 5pm yesterday. 

Sleep softly Thomas. You've left a massive hole in our hearts.