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Saturday

Easy Lace Stole Project On A Superba Double Bed Knitting Machine

Greetings!


I just finished blocking and steaming the Easy Lace Stole by Arlene's World of Lace worked in Handmaiden Angel Hair hand dyed mohair. I'm so happy with the way this turned out. 


Simple but elegant and a beautiful Lace Stole as a result. A gift for someone special!

Our Superba knitting machines knit Mohair very well, with very little snagging of the Mohair fibres due to the unique shape and low profile of the Flow Combs. 
 I encourage you to give this pattern a try, as it's a perfect introduction for hand transferred Lace on a home knitting machine.


 I worked this Stole primarily in the evenings, while working on other hand and machine knitting projects. It took me about a month, all told.


The pattern for this stole is available from the Arlene's World of Lace for free. It is a very simple, elegant stitch repeat that lends itself very well to hand dyed yarns, in my case a skein of Handmaiden Angel Hair mohair, hand dyed in Vancouver, British Columbia. 


The Angel Hair yarn was a gift from my friend Rae Brenne, who owns Stix & Stones Yarn Shop in North Bay, Ontario. I had the opportunity to visit Rae and her wonderful family back in May, and it's nice to have this knit up into such a pretty finished!!! object! Thank you Rae.




Now for the particulars about this project.

The Pattern
Easy Lace Stole by Arlene's World of Lace is a hand knitting pattern I adapted for use on my Singer/Superba home knitting machine.This is a free pattern, available for download from the website with instructions in both English and German. Thank you for making this pattern available!

This is the link to the Ravelry Project Page for Easy Lace Stole so you may see other finished versions and variations in other yarns to inspire you. I have enough yarn, just a smidge - to work a Crochet Chain at each end but I need to source some beads to attach, as these will give the ends a nice weight.


This Lace Stole pattern is a great introduction to working Hand Transferred Lace on a home knitting machine. Perfect for machine knitters of Beginner and Intermediate skill levels.


Arlene's Lace Stole uses two simple stitch transfers creating what hand knitters call a Centre Double Decrease. Incidentally, these are the same transfers one uses for working basic decreases. This easy Lace stitch pattern alternates every other row, so it's very simple to memorize and identify where you are.

The simple lace stitch pattern is worked over a background of Stocking Stitch, the most basic stitch our machines produce and is worked on the Back Bed of your machine, so it's easy to see and check on as you work.. More thoughts about this lace stitch and adapting Lace for use on your home knitting machine in a moment.


Download and print off the instruction page and chart before starting to knit, it's just one page.




Knitting Machine
The specific machine/model that I worked this Stole on and shown in the photos is my Singer System 624 Double Bed Knitting Machine. 

Any Double Bed model of S.I.T/Superba, Singer, White or Phildar can be used as this project's stitch pattern is worked by hand transferring the stitches. No electronic needle selection was used.


Superba Double Bed Machine Settings:
Stitch Size: 11. 


Auto Tension: 5


Bed Space Setting: 3 (exclusive to Superba)




Front Bed Position/Flow Combs: Bed Position Indicator reads 4.5.


Flow Combs set to Opposite.



Japanese machines set your ribber to P5, Passap have the racking handle UP.


Stitch Key/Stitch: V - Stocking Stitch.


Needle Return Levers: Down. This makes any needles in UWP3 return to Working Position no.1.

Machine Tools
1 Needle Selector.

 1 Single Prong Transfer Tool.


1 Ravel Cord


Yarns:  
The Pattern calls for 1 Skein of Lace Weight/2 Ply Yarn, minimum 500 yards for a generous finished length from what I could read on Ravelry.

I used Handmaiden Angel Hair, a Lace Weight/2 Ply hand dyed blend of 70% Kid Mohair + 30% Nylon. This was a smaller 50 gram skein with 400 metres of yarn but I figured by the time I blocked the finished Stole out that I would have enough yarn - and I did!

Here is the link to the Ravelry page for Angle Hair.


Do not think for a moment that this yarn is too delicate to work on your home knitting machine. Mohair, spun on either a nylon or silk core is super strong. 



The Handmaiden Angel Hair yarn comes put up in a Skein, which I first wound into a Mini Cone using a Swift and Wool Winder. You must wind a Skein of hand knitting yarn into a ball format, either a Centre Pull Ball or Mini Cone format for use on a home knitting machine.


You will also need a small amount of Waste Yarn in a comparable weight for Casting On and establishing stitches. This will be removed and discarded later on in the knitting process.


Instructions & Modifications:
The Easy Lace Stole pattern is a simple lace pattern which is repeated across 6 stitches, and over 4 rows.


On Arlene's pattern, the stitch repeat is listed as a repeat of 6+7 stitches. The "plus 7" are so you have enough stitches to balance out the stitch repeat on the 3rd row of the pattern and to provide 2 stitches along both sides of the Stole for a nice edge. Once completed, you have the option of going over these edge stitches with a Crochet Hook as I did.

I worked my stole slightly narrower, at  55 Stitches
( 6 stitches x 8 repeats = 48 + 7stitches = 55 stitches )


I made one further variation to this pattern, but in hindsight, now that my Stole is completed, it wasn't necessary. I thought that to counteract the curl that one gets with Stocking Stitch, that if I worked the two edge stitches in Garter Stitch, this would possible help counteract the roll. In the end it didn't. All it did was slow me down as I had to transfer two stitches on each end, every row. If this Garter Stitch edge was wider, say 5 or 6 stitches on each side, then it would have been effective. Lesson learned. So just work the pattern as written.  


Cast On:
I set this up on the Back Needle Bed by selecting 28 stitches Left

and  27 stitches Right of centre "0"  for a total of 55 Stitches.



I Cast On beginning with several rows of Waste Yarn to establish stitches on the machine and then I worked one row with a Ravel Cord to make removing the Waste Yarn easier.


I then brought all 55 needles forward to Upper Working Position no.3, and using my main yarn, the Handmaiden Angel Hair, I worked an E-Wrap Cast On directly over the Ravel Cord Stitches from Left to Right. 


Tip: Make sure you work the E-Wrap Cast On loosely because if the Cast On edge is too tight, and this can happen when you E-Wrap, then when you go to block out the Lace Stole, this edge will not stretch out fully and will look odd if done too tight.


I then threaded the Carriage and worked one row of Stocking Stitch to the left and then began the Lace Stitch.

Reset your knitting machine Row Counter to 000.




The Easy Stole Lace Stitch:
This Lace Stitch is easy to work. It' s a simple 6 stitch pattern repeat.

Let's start with Row 1
The first 3 stitches are involved in creating what is known in knitting terms a Centre Double Decrease. You You perform two simple stitch transfers;  one either side of a single "centre" stitch, then skip three stitches, and repeat.


Remembering that the first two stitches on each end are always Stocking Stitch, you will start by counting in 5 stitches from the right edge. 

Using a Single Prong Transfer Tool, pick up this stitch, stitch no.6 and transfer it one stitch to the right, to stitch 7. You will have two stitches on this needle. This needle is the "centre" needle. 



Next, pick up stitch no.8 and transfer it to the left. You will now have 3 stitches on this "centre" stitch. 


The result of these two transfers towards a centre stitch creates what is called a "Centred Double Decrease" or CDD and the result of these transfers are are eyelets on either side. 

These eyelets are the "Yarn Overs" represented by a "O" in the stitch chart.

You continue this pattern repeat every 6 stitches across the width of your knitting, ending with 5 plain knit stitches: 3 pattern stitches + 2 edge stitches. 


Next: to ensure the stitches knit properly, use your Needle Selector and bring all 55 stitches, including any empty needles, forward to Upper Working Position no.3. 

Then move the Carriage across, completing Row 1.


Row 2
You simply work another row of Stocking Stitch. Rows 2 and 4 on the pattern are "purl" rows. Since our machines work Stocking Stitch as their most basic stitch, this just involves passing the Carriage across your needle in work. So work row 2.

Row 3
Now the 6 stitch pattern repeat alternates. Starting at the Right edge of your knitting, you count in 2 stitches for your selvedge edge and begin your transfers for a Centred Double Decrease on the 3rd needle. 


Transfer Stitch 3 to stitch 4. Then transfer stitch 5 onto stitch 4, completing a Centre Double Decrease ( CDD). 


Skip the next 3 stitches and repeat across your work, ending with 2 stitches in Stocking Stitch. 



Again, once you've completed all the transfers, bring all your stitches forward to Upper Working Position no.3, then move the Carriage across, completing Row 3.

Row 4: Pass the Carriage across the stitches again.


And that's one repeat of the Easy Lace Stole stitch repeat completed.


Tip: Reset your knitting machine Row Counter to 000 at the end of every 4 rows, and that way you will know where you are in the stitch repeat if you walk away from your knitting. You'll learn to read your stitches and knitting, as this is a very basic stitch pattern, but for now, just reset the counter every 4th row back to 000.


Continue knitting, working your transfers, moving your weights and Cast On Comb up as necessary.



Ending the Stole Pattern & Binding Off:
When you've reached the desired length, work row 1 or the pattern, knit one row to the Right, ending Carriage on the right, and then Bind Off using the Back Stitch Bind Off technique, which is the paired Bind Off for the E-Wrap Cast On.



Once all the stitches are bound off, leave a 6" length of yarn to darn in later, then cut the yarn, draw through and darn in the yarn ends.


Optional Crochet Edging:
You can then work 2 rounds of Single Crochet around all edges, and then turn over and work 1 more round of Single Crochet in the opposite direction. 


Washing & Blocking:
Sew in the yarn ends and then give the finished Stole a bath in lukewarm water and Eucalan Wool Wash

Fold the Stole up and place in a mesh hand washing bag, and immerse this in the water and wool wash. Let this soak for 5 - 10 minutes. 


*Tip: With hand dyed yarns, especially those in darker colours, don't be alarmed by residual dye left behind in the water. In this next photo I am holding a roll of White paper towels next to the water so you can see how much green dye is left behind. This did not effect the colour of the finished stole.




Leave the mesh bag in the sink and drain. Then gently squeeze out as much water using your hands, but don't twist or wring the fabric and squeeze the knit fabric again. 


To speed up the drying process, I then take the mesh bag with the Stole in it to my top loading washing machine, and place the mesh bag in the washer. 


I set the machine to SPIN CYCLE and turn it on. It will wring out any excess water, and leave the Stole lightly damp and ready for Blocking.


Insert Blocking Wires:
Next, to ensure all edges are straight and smooth, I insert Blocking Wires along the side edges. For this length of Stole I used 4 Long Wires, 2 on each long edge, and 2 medium wires along the shorter ends.


I then pinned this out on a fold up cutting board I use for blocking. I blocked this Stole hard, meaning I pinned in one corner and across a short end, pulling hard on the fabric to get those Lace Eyelets to open up fully. Using the blocking wires makes this easy. I did have to back off a bit on how hard I was stretching the knit fabric as I was over doing it, but was happy with the size in the end. 



It's your choice as to how "hard" you want to block Lace. Some people prefer a light steaming au naturelle and that' it. To each their own. This is my preference.



Steam Setting The Lace Stole:
Once the Stole is blocked out, you can set the Lace by covering the fabric with a few damp Tea Towels, or misting the fabric lightly with water and let it dry. I prefer to set the Lace using Steam. I used my home Steam Iron. I know this Iron and it works like a charm. You can use this method using a damp pressing cloth. For the Angel Hair mohair yarn, it wasn't necessary. I set the Iron to medium heat and full steam. I held the Iron close to the knit fabric, and kept the Iron moving, saturating the fabric with steam, making sure all areas, including the edges, received a good blast of steam. Then I let this dry, which took maybe 5 minutes. I removed the pins and Voila! 


The beauty of Lace and all those hand transfers revealed. 



I encourage you to try this on your Superba, Singer, White or Phildar Double Bed Knitting Machine. And do share your projects with the Superba Knitting Group on Ravelry and the Superba/White Group on Yahoo.


PS: About the Lace Ribbon Scarf Pattern. For those of you waiting for this pattern, which I charted for a home knitting machine, email me and I will send you the pdf instructions. I wanted to wait and post this Lace Stole pattern first, as it's a good introduction to hand transferred Lace and machine knitters at the beginner and intermediate skill level will find Veronik Avery's Lace Ribbon Scarf pattern easier if they start by working this Lace Stole pattern first.
I will post the Lace Ribbon Scarf Instructions next month.


Thanks for understanding and thank you for visiting. Happy knitting!




Patrick Madden.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
superbaknitting@gmail.com










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