Typical structures knitted on flat machines

Cardigan stitches are two-course repeat tuck rib knitwear structures, widely used in the body sections of heavy-weight stitch-shaped sweaters. The tuck stitches cause the rib wales to gape apart so that the body width spreads outwards to a greater extent than the rib border. The tuck loops increase the fabric thickness and make it heavier in weight and bulkier in handle, although the rate of production in rows of loops will be less than for normal 1 x 1 or 2 x 2 rib. The greater the proportion of tuck to cleared loops, the heavier and wider the finished relaxed structure (see Fig. 16.13).

In the production of a knitted stitch, the leading raising and cardigan cams for that bed and direction of traverse must be in action, whilst for a tuck stitch, the raising cams remain in action but the cardigan cam is taken out of action. It is important to arrange the camming for the needle beds so that, at the start of the traverse when tucking, the first needle is tucking and the last needle in action is in the opposite bed and is thus knitting. If the last needle is tucking, the selvedge tuck loop will withdraw from the needle hook as the reverse traverse commences.

Half-cardigan or royal rib (Fig. 18.5) is produced on a 1 x 1 rib base, having tuck loops on one bed only at alternate courses. It is therefore an unbalanced structure with a different appearance on each side and with twice as many cleared loop courses per unit length on the all-knit side as on the tuck loop side. On the all-knit

1rib Knitting Structure
Fig. 18.5 Half-cardigan loop structure.
Cardigan Loop Structure

side, one course of loops has very large and rounded loops. This is because they receive yarn from the tuck loops on the other side. The other course of loops on this side has, in contrast, extremely small and insignificant loops because they are robbed of yarn by the elongated held loops on the other side, which consists only of held loops as the tuck loops lie behind them.

A two-tuck variation of half-cardigan, based on a four course repeat with each repeat sequence repeated at two consecutive courses, is useful as it produces rounded loops on the knit side as a result of yarn passing into it from the second tuck course.

Full-cardigan or polka rib (Fig. 18.6) consists of one course of loops knitted on the front bed and tucks on the back, and the second course with the sequence reversed, thus producing a balanced 1 x 1 tuck rib structure with the same appearance on both sides. If different coloured yarns are knitted at alternate courses, a 'shot rib will be produced which in the relaxed state will show one colour on one side and the second colour on the opposite side.

In open width, a 1 x 1 rib fabric will relax by about 30 per cent, half-cardigan by only 5 per cent, and full-cardigan will show no width shrinkage compared with its original knitting width.

To knit half-cardigan on a single-system hand-flat, one of the four cardigan cams is taken out of action so that in one direction of traverse a tuck stitch will be knitted on one needle bed only.

To knit full-cardigan, diagonally opposite pairs of cardigan cams are taken out of action so that in one direction of traverse the front needle bed will tuck and in the return traverse the back needle bed will tuck.

The 2 x 2 rib version of half-cardigan is termed fisherman's rib and the full-cardigan version is termed the sweater stitch.

18.14.1 Racked rib structures

The V-bed flat machine is capable of knitting a unique range of racked rib structures (Fig. 18.7), based on the facility of racking one needle bed by one or more needle tricks past the other needle bed, either towards the right or the left as and when required. Usually, the needle set-out is 1 x 1 rib, or a modified version with

Sweater Full Cardigan Racked
Fig. 18.7 Racked rib.

selected needles taken out of action, and a knitting sequence of half- or full-cardigan [1].

The basic principles of racked rib structures are as follows:

1 A loop on a needle in one bed must be racked past a loop from the same course on a needle in the other bed. The structure must therefore be rib based.

2 After an all-knit course of 1 x 1 rib, the 45 degree angle of inclination of a single needle rack would be shared by the loops in both beds and the appearance would be insignificant. A two-needle rack is thus required.

3 After a course with tucking on one bed and knitting on the other, a single-needle rack will produce a 45 degree inclination on the knitted loop side, irrespective of which needle bed was racked (Fig. 18.7). The open legs of the tuck loops resist the effect of racking so the tension only inclines the knitted loop side of the course. Half- or full-cardigan sequences (Figures 18.5 and 18.6), which consist of courses of knitted loops on one bed and tuck loops on the other, are thus an ideal base for racked structures.

4 With half-cardigan, racking can occur only after every alternate course of the two-course repeat - it cannot occur after the 1 x 1 rib knitting course. The racked effect will show only on one side of the fabric - the all knitted loop side - at every second row. In-between the racked loop courses, the 1 x 1 rib courses will appear as minute upright loops on the effect side.

5 In the full-cardigan sequence, every course has tucks on one bed and knitted loops on the other, so that racking can occur after every course. The racked loops will appear on one side of the fabric at the first rack and on the other side at the next, always on the side remote from the tuck loops of that course.

Racked loops can be produced at every row of knitted loops on each side of the fabric because the tuck loops are hidden inside the structure.

6 In a full-cardigan sequence, if racking occurs to the left at the first course and to the right at the second course, all loops will be racked in the same direction on both sides of the fabric. This is because racking knitted loops to the right produces the same direction of inclined loops as racking the tuck stitches to the left. If the colour of the yarn is changed at fixed intervals of courses and the fabric is cut in rectangular pieces at right angles to the inclined selvedges, diagonal rather than horizontal stripes will be produced relative to the selvedge.

7 If in a full-cardigan sequence racking occurs in the same direction at two successive courses and is followed by two racks in the opposite direction at successive courses, alternate courses on each side of the fabric will show loops inclined in opposite directions.

8 A Vandyke or zigzag selvedge edge will be produced if the principles explained in 6 and 7 are combined. Example: 16 courses might be knitted with a rack to the right after every odd course and a rack to the left after every even course. This is then followed by a course without a rack so that the racking sequence recommences out of phase producing inclined loops in the opposite direction for a further 16 courses before the next no-rack course completes the repeat of the design. On each side of the fabric, courses will incline in one direction for 8 face rows before the inclination is reversed. Every 16 face rows there will be one row of small insignificant upright loops that alternates on one side and then on the other.

9 Racked loops are produced only if a needle in one bed racks past a needle in the other bed. If a needle racks past an empty trick (because the needle in the other bed has been removed or is out of action) there will be no inclined loop in that wale.

10 A pattern repeat of racked and straight wales can be produced across one side of a full-cardigan fabric. It is knitted with a needle-out sequence with racking to the right after every second course and to the left after the next two-course sequence. With this arrangement, a needle racked to the right and later to the left past a tuck loop on a needle in the other bed, will produce a wale of inclined loops whereas a needle racked to the right and left past an empty needle trick will produce a wale of upright loops. The sequence can be interrupted by making two successive racks in the same direction before continuing the previous sequence. The needle that was racked past the tuck will now be racking past an empty trick, so its wale changes from inclined to upright loops, whereas the needle previously racked past an empty needle is now racking past a tuck loop, so the loops in its wale are no longer upright but inclined. The changeover in either direction can be achieved whenever required.

11 The racked effect is more prominent if the wales are spaced further apart by half-gauging, i.e. removing every alternate needle from each bed before arranging the needle set-out.

18.14.2 Knop structures

Knop fabrics are relief structures in rib where successive tuck stitches on all the needles or certain needles of one bed produce a three-dimensional effect. Some times the all-knit courses are produced in a different colour and sometimes racking occurs after the knop sequence so that the next knop is off-set.

18.14.3 The cable stitch

Cable stitch is a traditional hand-knitted stitch pattern incorporated into fishermen's sweaters in the islands of Jersey, Guernsey and particularly Aran, where it is one of a range of stitch patterns (Fig. 18.8) that includes ladder, blackberry stitch and honeycomb [2].Traditionally,the yarn is partly-scoured wool in its ecru (undyed and unbleached) colour. The cable stitch is a three-dimensional design of cords of face loop wales, centred in a panel of reverse loop stitches bordered on either side by rib wales of face stitches. Each cord is usually three wales wide; these move as a unit when they are crossed (twisted) over another cord. The direction of twist of the cords is always the same relative to the surface of the design.

Cables are normally either two-cord or three-cord. In machine knitting, the cords are knitted on one needle bed and the background panel on the other. The cable loops are longer to reduce the tension where cords twist. At this point, the loops of

Tuck Stitch Honeycomb

Fig. 18.8 Aran crew-neck pullover knitted by T W Kempton on a 5-gauge JDR flat machine from 2/6's worsted count woollen spun yarn [British Wool Marketing Board/Marks and


Fig. 18.8 Aran crew-neck pullover knitted by T W Kempton on a 5-gauge JDR flat machine from 2/6's worsted count woollen spun yarn [British Wool Marketing Board/Marks and


one cord are transferred over to the other bed so that the two cords can be racked past each other before they are transferred back to recommence knitting. Cable stitches are knitted on some automatic flat rib and purl machines, as well as on a few double-cylinder machines with the facility for shogging the top cylinder. Generally, double-cylinder machines knit only mock cable effects using purl stitch designs.

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  • lea
    How to make half cardigan structure?
    6 years ago
  • murron thomson
    How produce full cardigan?
    8 months ago
  • spencer
    How to knit a half open sweater?
    29 days ago

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