Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Swatch fails - learning experience

It has been some time since trying to knit on a KH930 (like more than 5 years) and although I was proficient at one time I quickly learned last night that I have forgotten quite a few tricks of the trade.  For example, I noticed my fairisle swatch was not going well. I noticed that when ready to knit the setup row, my carriage was on the right instead of on the left as per the instruction book, before knitting the set-up row.   I after knitting the swatch, I noticed the long floats and knew something was wrong but I was not quite sure what exactly the problem was.   My first guess was that the pattern was inappropriate for a 2-color fairisle.
After binding off, and looking at the front (right) side of the swatch, I can see the problem immediately.  I did not notice that the KRC button was selected.  This means that the machine was knitting as if I had the ribber attached and was trying to knit a double-bed jacquard.  I can tell by the characteristic birds-eye patterns showing up in unexpected place, and because my sweet little fish (this is Stitch World 50)  at the top of the pattern were only half-knitted. The overall pattern was elongated.

So, first things first.  This time I changed the stitch pattern and decided to cast on with carriage on left in order to wind up with the carriage on the right side to change to fairisle when expected.  This was interesting as I found that crochet cast-on was almost as easy right-to-left as it was left-to-right.   By the time I was halfway through the swatch, I finally realized I had dropped some stitches on the first row.  I went ahead and finished, but by the time I marked the stitch size I was tired and frustrated and forgot to put my stitches back in work.  Rather than bind off, I just took it off on waste yarn.  I decided to block it anyway and keep it as a learning experience. 

Then I flipped the swatch over and I was in for a big surprise! I had pushed in both MC buttons instead of just the top one.  It has really been a long time since I knitted any fairisle, I guess.  NO patterning on the right side. 
Oh well, they say Thomas Edison failed a thousand times before he invented the light bulb.  It is only a failure if you do not learn from it, right?  So, speaking of light bulbs, one came on in my head at this point. I suddenly realized that if I stopped knitting the contrast color one row before knitting the set-up row for fairisle, my carriage would be on the correct (left) side to set up the needles!  Gee what a thought.  Proceeded ahead, and changing to fairisle, I still had problems, even though the carriage was on the correct side.  I guessed that it was because I had not taken the carriage all the way outside the turn mark when beginning.  I un-knit several rows, reset the row counter, and tried again.  Continued to have the problem.  I changed the pattern.  Still had the problem.  Finally I realized I had not hit the "step" button until ready light was lit, to begin knitting in pattern! In the meantime I had broken the yarn, leaving me two extra ends to weave in (lower left corner). 

By the time I finally got it going right, I realized that I had knit two rows of main color before the pattern started and I had not the heart to un-knit and start over.  One more learning experience. 

Now, at this point, if I was just trying to measure gauge for a finished sweater, I might have stopped.  After all I can measure stitches and rows per inch in pattern fairly easily here.  But since I am submitting this I guess I will try one more time to do this right. 

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