Thursday, February 2, 2017

Simpleframe: Part II

Completed project
1x1 ribbing on the Simpleframe

Assembling and knitting

I was trying hard to knit a batch of pussyhats for the Women's March on Washington and needed to speed things up. I had a skein of Lion Brand Landscapes fuchsia yarn that I thought might be good to try on the Simpleframe

But first, I had to assemble the Simpleframe. It was simple but fiddley to put together. Lots of little adjustments to get it ready to knit. This is not a children's toy.

Needle size

Unlike standard knitting machines, the Simpleframe uses depth of needle drop to  make a larger loop--and a larger stitch. Clever

The kit includes a little comb-like tool that compares the distance of needle drop--or return--to standard knitting needle sizes. Using the tool, the knitter moves the base on the Simpleframe up or down to align the size of the stitches. Once tightened into position, the base allows all needles on the bed to drop the same distance. (You can see the base in the first photo here. It's the piece at the bottom of the needles.)

The fiddliest part for me was attaching the knitting to the roller bar that is in the hollow space beneath the "V" of the double bed. This provides tension to keep the knitting on the needles--just as weights do on most standard knitting machines.

Stockinette attachment, front view

Knitting something

The pussyhat was a perfect project. Four plus inches of 2x2 ribbing, then 9 inches of stockinette, then back to four plus inches of ribbing. 

I started on ribbing. with the Simpleframe sitting on my lap. It was smooth knitting moving the needles down one by one on each bed. My first go on ribbing was pretty uneven, but my second try was much better. Nice, even. 

Stockinette attachment, side view
Next came the stockinette section and I had to figure out how to do it. Knitting stockinette on the Simpleframe requires positioning a plastic attachment that looks like a bar with movable fingers that drop down and sit between the needles. The 'fingers' have an indentation on the back that holds the yarn for pickup by the needles. (You can see the slight angle behind the first needle in the photo at right.) It made no sense to me until I set it up and knit.


I deemed my first project knit on the Simpleframe a success. Not perfect, but adequate. I can see that a knitter would quickly get good results with practice.  

For knitters who may have one--or may find one in a thrift store--dust it off and refresh yourself with this YouTube video and start using it again. It's a fun little tool that definitely has potential for knitting projects. You just need to learn how to master it!

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