Wednesday, May 4, 2016


My nine-year-old granddaughter Rhiana was here on the weekend and we planned out her panda sweater. Turns out she's still enamoured with turquoise - she would like it to be turquoise and white even though I tried to explain that I was just experimenting and didn't mean to make them purple. We played with the overall bear design to make them more panda-like and we're happy with the results. When I gave her the choice of a zip-front hoodie or a pullover (I had to explain what a pullover was) she wants a pullover/tunic (yes!), we both thought the sleeves should be the overall print and she wants just one big panda face on the front. So the plan is there!
I got out my yarn changer (after searching high and low for the auto-tension - it was in plain sight, hanging on the wall, where it's been since the last time I used it - not sure how long ago that was!) because I had already decided, on my own, that I was going to knit the pandas as 'semi-jacquard' to control the float issue - Rhiana didn't like the little 'dots' in my original swatch anyway and we got rid of them! I was sorely tempted to jump right into a sleeve and call it my tension swatch, guessing at the gauge ahead of time but decided there were too many things going on to waste the time, like what kind of band? how to cast-on? how many needles out of work between the ribbed lines on the back side? I opted for a proper swatch! I did have to get the yarn changer manual to be sure of the proper threading and I checked every thing I ever wrote on using the yarn changer and semi-jacquard...
the following excerpt from KW#44, Making a Theme Sweater by MAO:
SEMI JACQUARD: Knit carriage set to slip/jacquard. Ribber carriage set to slip one way & knit the other way:
Silver Reed:  left set lever to 0, Right set lever to 1
Brother:  rib carriage left cam lever to pr, Right cam lever to n
Semi jacquard can be introduced anywhere in the garment without too much trouble. Bring up the rib bed and use only every 5th or 6th needle on the rib bed, set to knit on every other row only, providing a good method of tying up the floats. The knit carriage is set to slip/jacquard and the rib bed is set to knit only every other row, therefore a vertical line is not made on the front of the fabric which an every row rib stitch would make.
Tension: experiment a bit - I found that having the rib tension set quite tight and the main bed set about what you would use to fairisle same yarn usually works good - I have 4ply acrylic (Yeoman cashmillon/Tamm Trenzi) at T8/3, got 29 sts and 68 rows to 10 cm/4 in - same stitch gauge as fairisle would be but the row gauge is about double because you are actually knitting 4 rows of slip to get the 2 rows of fairisle... 

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