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 Knitting Machine Talk
 Mid-Gauge Machines
 Ribber Setting
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gifts@maine-crafts.com
New Pal

4 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2006 :  10:44:14 AM  Show Profile  Visit gifts@maine-crafts.com's Homepage Send gifts@maine-crafts.com a Private Message
I am a long time hand knitter but new to machine knitting and have purchased a Studio 860 mid-gauge with ribber. I'm attempting to make my first sweater for Christmas and have managed to make a swatch that I think looks good using Country Style DK from Knitting Fever that came in a skein. I run a yarn shop so want to use the skein yarn that I sell in my shop and then use a ball winder to place in on a cone. I have done a swatch and am happy with the look but now want to start the sweater and don't know what setting I should use for the tension dial on the ribber. My swatch stitch dial was set at 5 dot and the tension dial at 4 which I think is the tension that affects the row size. With hand knitting if I was using a #5 needle for the main stitch I would use a #3 for the ribbing. Is it the same for machines? I always thought that machine knitting was the easy way to knit but find it much more complex!

Rosemary

Rosemary

sarah@k_rev
Warming Up

67 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2006 :  5:06:22 PM  Show Profile Send sarah@k_rev a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by gifts@maine-crafts.com

don't know what setting I should use for the tension dial on the ribber. My swatch stitch dial was set at 5 dot and the tension dial at 4 which I think is the tension that affects the row size. With hand knitting if I was using a #5 needle for the main stitch I would use a #3 for the ribbing. Is it the same for machines?


Rosemary,
I have heard it suggested that the 860 tension dial almost exactly equates to the US needle sizes - so the fact that you're using T5. for something you'd knit on No 5s , might make that theory quite plausible. (I use an 860, but because my brain works in metric hand knitting needle sizes, I've never really looked at it from that position. Also, I rarely use ribs as edgings these days)

So, yes, do try on T3. and you should get a reasonable rib. Certainly on Standard Gauge machines, a rule of thumb is to do the rib on 2 full numbers smaller than the body, and you might be able to apply that as a general rule to the other machine gauges too.

However, there are other factors to consider when choosing your rib tension. What sort of rib are you doing? (eg, a 1 x 1 will usually require a firmer tension setting than a 2 x 2 or greater, as the 2 x 2 etc have more needles in succession on the top bed in work and may be harder to knit on a tight tension). What effect do you want ? (tight ribs are not particularly flattering on the body - if I simply have to do a rib, then I'll often work it at the very same tension setting as the main body, so there's none of that pulling in effect). And things like yarn behaviour will affect your choice too.

So, in the end, the very best way to check that your rib is going to work as you want it is to do a sample - just like you have done with the main part of your sweater's stitch pattern. Time taken doing tension samples is never wasted imho :-)

HTH

Sarah
--
http://www.sarahdurrant.com
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sarah@k_rev
Warming Up

67 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2006 :  5:15:52 PM  Show Profile Send sarah@k_rev a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by gifts@maine-crafts.com

My swatch stitch dial was set at 5 dot and the tension dial at 4 which I think is the tension that affects the row size.


Sorry, I should add - I'm referring to the settings for the tension dial on your knitter and ribber carriages. I treat the yarn tension dial on the yarn mast quite differently. I don't know how other knitters work, but I don't use that as a tool to control row count, but set it to hold the yarn at the right level of taughtness. Too loose and you'll end up with slack edges or even loops forming at the sides of your work; too tight and the first few sts of each row will be at a tighter gauge than the rest of the row. Slippery yarns will require a firmer grip than hairy yarns.

You might end up not being able to exactly match a hand knitting tension in the rows, so you may have to make minor adjustments to the pattern to suit this.

Sarah
--
http://www.sarahdurrant.com
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gifts@maine-crafts.com
New Pal

4 Posts

Posted - 11/18/2006 :  3:37:29 PM  Show Profile  Visit gifts@maine-crafts.com's Homepage Send gifts@maine-crafts.com a Private Message
Thanks so much Sarah for all the wonderful information you have given me. I will do a test swatch of ribbing and will first try it at the same setting as the main bed (5 dot) as I don't want a tight rib as my mom's hips are quite large and she is confined to a bed so I want it to be comfortable for her. Is there a good book or dvd for beginner machine knitters that you would recommend? I need all the help I can get!

Rosemary

quote:
Originally posted by sarah@k_rev

quote:
Originally posted by gifts@maine-crafts.com

don't know what setting I should use for the tension dial on the ribber. My swatch stitch dial was set at 5 dot and the tension dial at 4 which I think is the tension that affects the row size. With hand knitting if I was using a #5 needle for the main stitch I would use a #3 for the ribbing. Is it the same for machines?


Rosemary,
I have heard it suggested that the 860 tension dial almost exactly equates to the US needle sizes - so the fact that you're using T5. for something you'd knit on No 5s , might make that theory quite plausible. (I use an 860, but because my brain works in metric hand knitting needle sizes, I've never really looked at it from that position. Also, I rarely use ribs as edgings these days)

So, yes, do try on T3. and you should get a reasonable rib. Certainly on Standard Gauge machines, a rule of thumb is to do the rib on 2 full numbers smaller than the body, and you might be able to apply that as a general rule to the other machine gauges too.

However, there are other factors to consider when choosing your rib tension. What sort of rib are you doing? (eg, a 1 x 1 will usually require a firmer tension setting than a 2 x 2 or greater, as the 2 x 2 etc have more needles in succession on the top bed in work and may be harder to knit on a tight tension). What effect do you want ? (tight ribs are not particularly flattering on the body - if I simply have to do a rib, then I'll often work it at the very same tension setting as the main body, so there's none of that pulling in effect). And things like yarn behaviour will affect your choice too.

So, in the end, the very best way to check that your rib is going to work as you want it is to do a sample - just like you have done with the main part of your sweater's stitch pattern. Time taken doing tension samples is never wasted imho :-)

HTH

Sarah
--
http://www.sarahdurrant.com




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