A Place for Knitting Machine Enthusiasts
Below is a an explanation of the equivalent of a hand knitted stitch to a knitting machine stitch. This understanding helped me when making designs. The headers are the names of the knitting machine stitches and below that an explanation and other information. If you understand the stitch, you find creating patterns a lot easier so I have tried to explain how it is knitted on the needles.
Each type of stitch is accomplished by using one of the four positions for each needle in conjunction with the different cam settings on the knit carriage. The four needle positions are non-working, working, upper working, and holding. Most of the stitch functions are fully automatic, meaning the machine places selected needles in either the working or upper working position with each pass of the carriage, according to the design pattern. Then the knitter needs to move the carriage back and forth to knit the fabric. These stitch functions are all exclusive of one another; that is to say, they cannot be combined in any one row (i.e. you can't knit fair isle lace, although you can knit a fair isle body with lace sleeves).
TID BIT: There is a great online tool if you like to knit in stripes. You can pick the colors you want and then the width of the stripes and it will generate various options so that you can see what the colors look like next to each other. It is just cool and fun to play with. It is located at the link: http://www.biscuitsandjam.com/stripe_maker.php
There is a download of this information in the Downloadable Charts section.
Fine Lace or Lace Stitch
The knitting machine produces holes in the material in a design. One stitch is stretched over the adjacent needles. Closest hand equivalent, would be a twisted stitch with 2 knit together without yarn overs. For Silver Reed or any other knitting machine you need a lace carriage unless you tool this by hand.
I believe that the Silver Reed is the only machine that can do this type of stitch and it is like the traditional hand lace stitch. Another term is transfer lace because as you pass the carriage over the needle bed the stitch is transferred over to the adjacent needle (working position needles). With the second pass back over, needles with no yarn on them knit in and the needles with stitches on them knit normal also. With Silver Reed or any other knitting machine you need a lace carriage unless you tool this by hand. In hand knitting this would be knit 2 together with a yarn over.
This looks like it almost is the same as Fair Isle on the machine and it's close. One yarn is thinner than the other and the difference between the two thicknesses produces the stitch variation or pattern. One of the yarns is very, very thin or clear and the other is at least 2 times thicker or more. For instance, the thin yarn would be lace weight at most, and the other at DK weight or thicker.
With Fair Isle one of two or more colors are knitted one at a time per row and depending how many colors you are working with will depend how many times you need to move the carriage across the bed to create the colored pattern for you fabric. With Thread or "Punch" Lace the THINNER YARN knits on EVERY needle and the THICKER YARN knits on the selected needles for the pattern. The fabric you create actually has no holes in it, but looks like it. It is also called "Punch Lace" as stated above. In the fact that only certain needles are selected for the one yarn color in Fair Isle, in that way it is comparable to Fair Isle, but Fair Isle only knits ONE color yarn at a time where as with Thread Lace it is either one or two strands. So it is kind of the same and not.
I cannot think of a hand stitch equivalent unless you try knitting with 2 different weight yarns and pick up the thicker when you need it but take care with tension and floats. This lace stitch actually uses the main carriage and does not need a special lace carriage.
A slip stitch is formed by one or more needles remaining inactive as the row is being knitted. Needles in working position, the one/two stitch(s) is actually not knitted creating a horizontal bar with no stitch pattern on that stitch. The pattern is seen on the reverse side and this is also the basis of two colour fair ilse. In hand knitting, the basic slip stitch is when the stitch is passed from the left needle to the right needle without being knitted, so it is slipped onto the other needle.
Traditionally this stitch type is only two colors but many use more than 2 yarns with their yarn color changers. The main needles are in working position and in upper position is the contrast yarn. There is the equivalent for hand knitting but with a Machine floats can be eliminated with a double bed (ribber) or a "Jacquard" carriage. You need to watch out for long and wide floats when hand knitting.
This stitch is an actual “weave” stitch as you are weaving into the fabric you are producing as you knit. As you knit with the main carriage the background or main color yarn knits and the weaving yarn (which should be thick) lies across the needles in working position and is weaved into the fabric. You can get a Weaving Arm for your main carriage in the Silver Reed line otherwise you have to lay the yarn onto the working needles manually or switch out the weaving yarn from the left to the right side of the knitting carriage and visa versa.
Keep in mind that anything can be used for weaving, ANY yarn and to make sure you can see the pattern well, you usually use an ornate, brightly colored or much thicker yarn. Be creative as you like and if you are into felting, this is another way to add depth into the fabric. Generally this is an easy stitch that looks complicated. The main yarn catches the weaving yarn as all you do is lay the weaving ACROSS all needles or with the carriage. I cannot think of a hand knit stitch because you are creating floats on purpose on the main side of the fabric into a pattern in this instance.
This is the hand knit Slip Stitch. Needles in working position knit while those in upper working position do not hence creating an extra loop, but you have no floats. The stitch just becomes longer in that specific stitch. You can create a Mosaic Pattern by changing out the yarn colors (usually 2).
A mosaic effect can also be created with this stitch. Tuck stitch doesn't really have a hand knitted equivalent that I'm aware of. In tuck stitch, the needles in working position knit normally. The needles in upper working position don't knit, but an extra loop of yarn is laid over them with each pass of the carriage. When these needles are returned to working position, all the loops on the needle knit in a single stitch, resulting in a textured fabric. This stitch can be made on either side of the fabric. Tuck stitch uses only one strand of yarn per row, although it can be changed on any row for some interesting color effects and it is a lot like the Skip Stitch.
Plating is where 2 different yarns are used to create one fabric with one yarn on the main side and the other yarn on the opposite side. This is helpful if you knit something fuzzy/wooly and want a cotton lining to reduce allergic reactions or want a smoother feel against the skin. You need to experiment with different yarns to decide if you like this stitch for your garments as sometimes the yarn does “peak” through each other.
Intarsia is the most labor-intensive of the manual techniques. The knitter places each color yarn on the appropriate needles before passing a special intarsia carriage over them. The yarns are threaded through special weights that hang down from the needle bed to help maintain good tension. On some machines, the knit carriage has a special setting so a separate intarsia carriage is not needed.
I love hand manipulated stitches. They are time consuming so you need patience but if you like a lot of texture like I do, there is nothing better than stitches created by hand. Also, there is no machine equlivalent so they are unique and not everyone has the patience to create a garment using this technique as it takes a lot of time.
Hand manipulated stitches include twisting, wrapping, weaving, lifting, rehanging and transferring stitches to create textured fabrics. There are actually too many hand manipulated stitches to list here as only your imagination will hold you back. Cables, Intarsia, fish scales and so much more fall into this category. I would encourage you to experiment with all the stitches and buy the video and Book from Susan Guagliumi, as she to me is the expert in hand manipulated stitches. Her books can be bought on Amazon.com and on her site. In 2010 she released yet a second volume and you can purchase an accompanying video tutorial for use with her first book, there is only one video that I know of and another book published in 2014. You can order specialty tools on her site for the 6.5mm machine and others to help you with the stitches. I actually sold off all my DAK stuff and other machines and kept my Silver Reed/Studio SK160, 6.5mm Knitting Machine and SR860 Ribber. Most of my work is hand tooled as I love adding texture through cabling, fish scales and her many varied stitch techniques. She truly is an innovator and brilliantly artist.
Another fiber artist that you can learn hand tooling techniques from is Diana Sullivan who has fabulous tutorial DVD's on using the garter bar, entrelac and more and whom will teach you for free on you tube stitches such as a fern lace technique.
TIDBIT: In 2012, someone manufactured a Ribber arm and sold it on the market for around $350 that allowed you to use the SR860 Ribber with the SK160 "Manual1' Knitting Machine, without having to upgrade the carriage at a cost of about $900. Before you HAD TO upgrade to the SK860 main bed carriage before you could use the mid gauge ribber and be able to knit all the decorative rib stitches. They are no longer made, and I suspect it is because of an injunction. I was lucky to actually buy one at the time and I am so happy that I did, as I later upgraded when I could afford to the SK860 main bed knitting carriage.
Knitting Machine Stitch Types & Creation