Thursday, February 19, 2009

Jan. 09 Program: Fan Lace by Mar Heck

There are a variety of beautiful lace patterns you can create using your knitting machine, one of which is the appropriately coined Fan Lace. Don't worry about the machine you use - Fan Lace is easy to knit on standard, mid-gauge, and bulky machines! Also, be open to yarn choices - variegated, chenille, and other fancy yarns will create beautiful finished work.

This particular scarf was knit on a mid-gauge machine using Schuss Plus at tension 5.

A lot of blocking went into the finished piece so that it would maintain its shape. Try out higher tensions which may create less pulling between the stitches to eliminate some of the bunching. As always, work up some different tension swatches until you are happy before embarking on your finished piece.

This 11" wide scarf was worked in 6 repeats (+3N). The finished length is approximately 50" - perfect for wrapping around your neck a couple of times! To create a shawl, simply increase the number or stitches as well as the number of rows.

So, let's knit some Fan Lace!!

Cast on a multiple of 9 (+3) stitches so that you have 3 plain stitches on each end. The needle set up is 3sts in work, 6sts out of work across the desired number of sts, ending with 3 sts in work.


O: Needle out of work
I: Needle in working position

To create a nice edge, by hand, single crochet 3 rows of the appropriate number of stitches to correspond to the width of your work. Hang the hand crocheted work at each of the 3 working needle positions, skipping 6 sts, per your needle set up.

Hang claw weights under the working needles.

The pattern is worked in a two-trip-across-the-bed sequence.


Working R to L, set machine to Hold. 1st corner (knit just once at the beginning and once at the end of the scarf) Put all N in hold, except first 3 sts on R side. Knit Left, wrap 1st needle of those in hold, Knit Right. Repeat, 6 rows total across the 3 sts. Put next group of 3 sts in work. Knit Left, wrap 1st needle of those in hold, put 1st 3 N on right in hold. Knit Right and wrap end needle in hold. KWKW a total of 6 rows. Continue across the bed. When you reach the left corner, only wrap the N on the right. KWK a total of 12 rows (12 rows as 6 rows represent row 1, working right to left, and 6 rows represent row 2, working left to right).


Knit left to right, repeating the KWKW sequence, moving needles in and out of work in the same manner as Trip 1, but form left to right.

Throughout the scarf, take care to knit 12 rows at both edges (3 sts).

When you reach the end of your scarf, remember to knit across the last 3 sts only 6 times (NOT 12) and cast off using waste yarn and hand single crochet 3 rows (picking up the 3 stitch sections) to re-create the look of the cast-on edge.

Instead of using the row counter, you will likely find it easier to count in your head, or out loud.

Here's a a great interpretation of the Fan Lace pattern using a standard gauge machine with Brown Sheep Nature Spun 100% wool. Instead of a scarf, create a button closure cowl neck. For some extra pizazz, try your hand at hand-painting as Mar has done!

Certainly the extra effort will increase the time you spend on your garment, but be sure to plan everything out before you dive into the actual project. Be sure to make machine knitted swatches in your actual yarn to determine stitch gauge and to decide which patterns work well together. Label your swatches, as you will likely want to return to them for a later project.

Use your sense of adventure and try several techniques within the same garment! The extra time you spend will make you garment very special and unique!!

An extra THANK YOU to Cheryl at Loops in String! This Fan Lace technique was created as an interpretation of her great Dec.08 video tutorial.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Machine Knitting Guild at the Annual MOA Knit-Out and Crochet!

The Craft Yarn Council of America will be hosting the annual Knit-Out and Crochet at the Mall of America this weekend and the Machine Knitting Guild of Minnesota is so honored to have been invited back for this year's event! We will be knitting live and in person for all to experience!

Guild members will be on-hand both days demoing assorted knitting machines (standard gauge, mid-gauge, and bulky) as well as answering any and all questions machine knitting related. Be sure to check out our fabulous machine knit garments and accessories - you'll be amazed!

Join us at Mall of America for a fun and exciting knit and crochet extravaganza. MKGM will be in Booth 17 – on the south side near Macy’s – please come and say Hello - we'd love to meet you!!

SATURDAY, 2/14/09, 10 A.M. - 5 P.M.
SUNDAY, 2/15/09, 11 A.M. - 5 P.M.

Mall of America
60 East Broadway
Bloomington, MN 55425
Need a map and directions to the Mall?

View the newest yarns and techniques. Visit with your favorite authors, designers and knit and crochet experts. See fabulous knit and crochet fashions up close. And share your passion for knitting and crochet with other enthusiasts. All this and it's FREE, plus you will be in the middle of the greatest shopping destination in the U.S.: Mall of America.

Complete schedule and other details are available on the MOA website.

Enjoy the Work of the MKGM in Person!

Please visit the Textile Center of Minnesota and have a tour of A Common Thread 2009 - the annual Textile Center Members Exhibition. Conceptual, abstract, practical, the show promises to amaze and delight all fiber artists. In addition to the fantastic, innovative, traditional, and unexpected work of more than 100 artists using hundreds of techniques and materials in more ways than you can imagine, you will also have the opportunity to experience the work of three of our Guild members.

I Knit I Am by Jane Niemi

Original Cable Sweater by Maria Ann Youngs

Bidet by Rebecca Yaker

A Common Thread show runs through February 21, 2009.