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Hi all,
Can someone tell how they attach elastic to a machine knit sweater to make a shirring affect. The patterns calls for thin elastic spaced 1 inch apart. What I am also concerned about is the thread stitches showing. Also the same for applying Rick Rack. Your help is appreciated
 

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The shirring is achieved by using "knit-in" elastic -the sort used to firm ribbed edges- either in matching colour or transparent, which is unnoticeable when completed. Much more difficult to get evenly gathered is to backstitch through stitches on the wrong side using shirring elastic. To attach ric-rac it's easiest to attach it by hand on to the completed, washed and blocked knitting - remembering to pre-shrink the braid. It is possible to attach the braid as you work by hooking the needles through the top and bottom points along the braid but unless you are very fortunate in matching tensions with very tight firm knitting it is near impossible to get a happy result.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Elis said:
The shirring is achieved by using "knit-in" elastic -the sort used to firm ribbed edges- either in matching colour or transparent, which is unnoticeable when completed. Much more difficult to get evenly gathered is to backstitch through stitches on the wrong side using shirring elastic. To attach ric-rac it's easiest to attach it by hand on to the completed, washed and blocked knitting - remembering to pre-shrink the braid. It is possible to attach the braid as you work by hooking the needles through the top and bottom points along the braid but unless you are very fortunate in matching tensions with very tight firm knitting it is near impossible to get a happy result.
Gosh Elis, The pattern called for the type of elastic that you sew in according to the instructions. I wish I had know about the knit-in type.

I didn't know about shrinking the rick rack prior to use. Thank you for that tid bit. Thank you
 

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I have tried the knit elastic. I have not had good results. It didn't slide off the needles, so it tucked in an irregular way. It some times tucked for 2 or 3 rows per needle. It made the finished material look uneven. I could never get a product that I was satisfied with.
 

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dawn b said:
I have tried the knit elastic. I have not had good results. It didn't slide off the needles, so it tucked in an irregular way. It some times tucked for 2 or 3 rows per needle. It made the finished material look uneven. I could never get a product that I was satisfied with.
I have had the same problem as you regarding the knit in elastic. I have found that the best way is to sew it in after the garment as been knit.
 

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It doesn't take that long to weave it in and out of the stitches. A friend told me that instead of putting it through the tension mast to put the cone on the floor and then lay it across the needles before you knit the row. Worth a try I suppose.
 

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I am surprised to read you have problems with knit-in elastic, although the mention of putting the cone on the floor gives me to wonder if we are talking about the same product - the type I use more resembles an old-fashioned reel of cotton and is finer than most sewing cotton. I thread a string through the reel and tie it loosely to the yarn mast, pass the elastic through the same route (tensioner, feeds etc) along with the yarn in use and work them together. The elastic winds itself very lightly with the yarn. I have for a long time used it somewhere in almost every garment I knit, through the full range of stitches and yarns and have never had any trouble. The only difficulty is if it's necessary to undo some work, when the elastic doesn't easily part company with the yarn, especially through the cast on and binding rows. Thinking back, I once had a cone of industrial elastic yarn (lycra I think). It had a rather crepey appearance and did react as you describe. Could that be the answer?
 

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Elis said:
I am surprised to read you have problems with knit-in elastic, although the mention of putting the cone on the floor gives me to wonder if we are talking about the same product - the type I use more resembles an old-fashioned reel of cotton and is finer than most sewing cotton. I thread a string through the reel and tie it loosely to the yarn mast, pass the elastic through the same route (tensioner, feeds etc) along with the yarn in use and work them together. The elastic winds itself very lightly with the yarn. I have for a long time used it somewhere in almost every garment I knit, through the full range of stitches and yarns and have never had any trouble. The only difficulty is if it's necessary to undo some work, when the elastic doesn't easily part company with the yarn, especially through the cast on and binding rows. Thinking back, I once had a cone of industrial elastic yarn (lycra I think). It had a rather crepey appearance and did react as you describe. Could that be the answer?
The cotton reel type I have used when hand knitting and I still have some of these reels now. The elastic that is on a cone is the exact same, I bought it from Uppingham Yarns. I have let friends borrow the cones to use some, and they seemingly have had the same problems as me. I don't know what we are doing wrong. I have threaded it through with the yarn, threaded it through the other side of the tension mast, separate from the yarn, and even wound it with the yarn. It either gets fast, loops, pulls tight,works loose or snaps. The only thing that I can think of is, that I tend to knit things on a tight tension and small stitch size. Could this be the problem?
 

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susieknitter said:
Elis said:
I am surprised to read you have problems with knit-in elastic, although the mention of putting the cone on the floor gives me to wonder if we are talking about the same product - the type I use more resembles an old-fashioned reel of cotton and is finer than most sewing cotton. I thread a string through the reel and tie it loosely to the yarn mast, pass the elastic through the same route (tensioner, feeds etc) along with the yarn in use and work them together. The elastic winds itself very lightly with the yarn. I have for a long time used it somewhere in almost every garment I knit, through the full range of stitches and yarns and have never had any trouble. The only difficulty is if it's necessary to undo some work, when the elastic doesn't easily part company with the yarn, especially through the cast on and binding rows. Thinking back, I once had a cone of industrial elastic yarn (lycra I think). It had a rather crepey appearance and did react as you describe. Could that be the answer?
The cotton reel type I have used when hand knitting and I still have some of these reels now. The elastic that is on a cone is the exact same, I bought it from Uppingham Yarns. I have let friends borrow the cones to use some, and they seemingly have had the same problems as me. I don't know what we are doing wrong. I have threaded it through with the yarn, threaded it through the other side of the tension mast, separate from the yarn, and even wound it with the yarn. It either gets fast, loops, pulls tight,works loose or snaps. The only thing that I can think of is, that I tend to knit things on a tight tension and small stitch size. Could this be the problem?
It could be that your tension is too tight because the elastic does slightly tighten the tension of the rows in which it is knitted. I wonder if you increased the tension by perhaps 2 points on the elasticated rows, it would help. It's a shame if you can't use it, it really is so useful.
 

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All I know is, my elastic is not slippery and will not slide off the needles. I may have something different than what the others are using that works. Mine is very fine, hard to see. If you know a website that sells the kind that works for you, then I should be able to figure out if it's the same.
 

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Elis, I will try what you have suggested. Thanks for the advice. I have thought of something else that could be causing the problem also. I have my machine on a knitting cabinet and the cones have to go inside the back of it. I cant put them on the floor and thread up through the holes because I have other machines stored underneath. Perhaps the fact that the elastic is on large cones it isn't far enough down and therefore not unwinding correctly. I will take your advice first and if I still have probs move the machines out of the way to thread up from the floor.
 

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Sue - thinking about your set-up makes me wonder if the elastic, having such a long run, is stretched before it meets the knitting yarn which of course would make it knit too tight. Could you arrange your elastic cone nearer to the yarn mast or, as we used to do with cones before we had yarn twisters , arrange to thread the elastic up through the yarn cone so that the two meet up much earlier?
 

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Elis said:
Sue - thinking about your set-up makes me wonder if the elastic, having such a long run, is stretched before it meets the knitting yarn which of course would make it knit too tight. Could you arrange your elastic cone nearer to the yarn mast or, as we used to do with cones before we had yarn twisters , arrange to thread the elastic up through the yarn cone so that the two meet up much earlier?
I could stand the cone on the shelf at the back of the cabinet instead of inside the cabinet. Maybe the angle that it has to run is the problem and you are right it's being stretched. I think first I will use up the small cotton reel types that I have, using your way of doing it. Then I will try it on the back shelf and if this fails I might see if I can wind some (by hand) onto the cotton reels. Though I think that the winding may not work.
I am beginning to wish that I hadn't bought these large cones. They will still be here when I'm gone.
:cry: :lol:
Thanks for your help, I will let you know how I get on.
 

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What about trying to do "Machine Knit Smocking". It is really easy but if you have just the knitter, then you will have to reform certain stitches to create that, still easy enough to do. Just google the above, without the quotes of course, and you will find some pages on it. Also if you do have a ribber, you can do that section in rib as well and it will work as if you did have elastic in there. Depending on the elastic you have will depend on how you knit or sew it in. Somethings are harder on the machine than doing by hand, so one needs to do samples to find his/her way of what is best for them.
 
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