About The Country Wife Blog

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cotton Coverlet Knit on the Bond Incredible Sweater Machine

Company is coming.  The quilt on the guest bedroom bed has been through sheet-rocking to ill effect.  A new bed-covering seems to be the thing.  What to do, what to do....

Lovely people gave me two buckets of cotton yarn, much of it variegated.  What ho!  A cotton coverlet knit on my Bond Incredible Sweater Machine which has an extension and parts from the Bond Ultimate Sweater machine!  Now that is a great idea!

SO...I sat down and started.  Because of the size of the bed, the coverlet is being knit in five strips.  Weeks ago I started, casting on 75 stitches for the width of the strips.  After knitting two of them, I thought I would like to make the middle one a bit wider so I cast on 110 stitches for that one.

Central coverlet strips laid out on bed so you cannot see the error at the top!

The rub came when the number of ROWS came into play.  The first one came out just the right length...but alas, I had not written down anyway I could find how many rows it was, so I counted the rows in 10 inches and multiplies by 108, the proposed number of inches LONG I wanted the coverlet and came up with a number...I think 560 rows, so away I went knitting the second strip.

When I held the two strips together the second strip was WAY TOO LONG!  How had my math failed me so badly?!  Well, however it happened, it really did, so I was back to the drawing board with figuring.  Rather than tear out the long strip rows, I cast on the 110 stitches for the middle strip and went to town knitting up the strip as quickly, but consciously as possible as I HATE IT when the carriage comes off the stitch bed or when the stitches come off the stitch bed and have to be replaced...so time-consuming.

The left strip is WAY too long and the center strip too short

Now I have three strips of three DIFFERENT lengths...a pretty kettle of fish.  What to do, what to do (again!)...

What I did:  First I basted one side section together with the middle section with ravel cord.  That was not that enjoyable so I decided to mattress stitch the second side section to the middle.  It took a long time but by the time I finished I had come up with a plan, so I mattress-stitched the first side section to the middle, pulling out the ravel cord as I went.

With the three strips together I could address the different lengths issue.  What I decided to do was to pick up the stitches on the shortest (middle) strip  with a circular needle, in this case a US size 8 needle about 29 inches long, and begin knitting it up to meet the correct length strip using the yarn that I unraveled-as-I-went from the too long section.

Knitting up the center strip to match the correct length right strip

It is working but taking a while.  The rest of the plan is that when I finish that...getting all three strips the same length, I will then return the sewn-together strips to the Bond machine and "seam-as-I-go", which will be somewhat of a bear project as the coverlet is so big, heavy, and awkward, but then when I get to the right number of rows, I will stop knitting.

What was going to be strip four before new plan

So far I have not come up with a plan for the finishing AROUND the coverlet, but I still have the hours of hand-knitting the central section, and the hours knitting the other two strips to figure it out.  I will post that plan when it comes!

Just as I am writing this I remember the Barbara Walker Learn To Knit Afghan project I started a couple of years ago.  Maybe I should have finished that one instead!  Well, if I get this project completed in the next few days, perhaps I can get rolling on Barbara Walker again...

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