Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Collars

I have been asked how I do my collars on machine knits. So here is my attempt to explain.

For a man's collar, I knit it 18cms wide and 8cms deep at the front, 2cms deep at the back. For a woman, 16cms and same depth. This is for a simple round/crew neck.

Lets assume one is using a yarn that knits at a tension of 28sts and 40 rows to 10cm. (2.54cm = 1").

Knit up to where one is going to start the neck shaping. For the front this will be 32 rows from the top. You will put all the sts left of centre plus 12sts on right of '0' into hold position. Your carriage is at right.

Knit one row to left and wrap needle 12 before knitting back to right. Pull further 2 sts into hold on left and knit one row, wrap, and knti one row. Repeat this until 22sts right of '0' are in hold.

Break yarn and place all sts into hold.

Now return all needles on left into work, from 13 outwards. This leaves all sts on right of '0' int hold plus 12sts on left of '0'.

Repeat shaping as you did for right hand side.

Once all shaping is done, knit a few rows in waste yarn over ALL sts and release from machine.(keep a note of the row number-it is easier to have row counter at 0 when starting neck shaping)

Now pick up sts on left hand side from left edge up to, and including ,needle 23. (Remember to put row counter at correct row number)Carriage at left, knit 4 rows. Do a fully fashioned decrease of 1 st. Use 3 prong tool, place on needles 23 ,24 and 25 and move all 3 ts one st to left. Knit 4 rows and repeat. Knit another 4 rows and repeat. Now one is left with only needle 26 to left edge in work. Knit until you have knit the 32 rows of neck.(Remember you already knit some of these rows). Knit some waste rows over shoulder sts and release from machine.

For right side, place sts back on machine from needle 23 to right edge. Repeat as for left side.

BACK NECK

Knit to 8 rows below end of back. Place all sts left on '0' into hold plus up to and including needle 11 on right of '0'. Knit one row to left and wrap needle 11 before returing to right. Place 2sts into hold, knit to left and wrap and knit to right. Continue thus until needle 25 on right is in hold. Place all sts in hold.
Now return all needles from left edge to up to and including needle 12, into work and shape as you did for right hand side.

Knit a few rows of waste over left shoulder(sts from left edge up to and including needle 26), and release. Knit a few rows waste over centre sts(25 - 25) and release. Knit a few rows of waste over remaining sts and release.

With right side facing, pick up sts of left or right hand shoulder of either front or back onto machine. Remove waste. Now place corresponding sts of the other piece's shoulder onto those same needles(make sure neck shaping is on same side!). Knit 1 row at MT +1 and lacth tool off.

Now before one knits the collar, one has to work out how many sts one needs. You will need 50 sts for the back, and 44sts for the centre front. However, you also need to add sts for the straight inside edges of the neck shaping. I do not guess this. I find out by picking up that str8 edge on the machine and seeing how many it takes. Lets say it takes 12sts. So you have to add 2 x 12sts to the above figures. So we have 44 for centre front, 12 each for the two str8 edges and 50 for the back. 118 sts all together.

So you need to knit your collar over 118 sts. Regardless of whehter you knit a single rib collar or a doubled over st sts collar, the method for attaching is the same. Whehter it be a rib collar or a st st one, always finish your rows on the left. Then knit one row to left in st st using MT. (If you knit a rib collar, you have to place all sts on MB before you do this).

Now your carriage is at right. Pick up all sts from front neck and back onto the needles holding you collar. Knit one row to left using MT.

Now you have to knit one more row from left to right but by hand. This row MUST be loose. I put either the green ruler behind, resting at back of machine behind needle buts, and knit the needle back until it hits, or a do the same but using a 3 prong tool, which is slightly narrower, thus giving a larger sttich.

One done, I latch off using latch tool. Then I join the other shouder.

Now all that is left is the sewing of the collar to join it. I always use mattress stitch.
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