I’m into the engineering phase of the knitting design now. This week I’ve been looking at how to attach the various panels to make up the final banner, and also to create a mechanism for suspending it.
As the knitting machine can only knit a maximum 200 stitches, then I am limited to producing strips of about 60 cm wide. These then have to be attached to each other to form a single banner. The options are to hand sew, or machine sew, but I’ve chosen to explore a 3rd option – knitting each banner onto the next. This slows down the process as I have to hook a stitch from the previous banner onto the machine every two rows, but it does create a fairly invisible knitted seam, and means I don’t have to sew anything. I’ve worked out that at a push I can do 100 rows per 15 mins using this method.
I tested the side panel joining using a data-grab from the website contributions, in order to give me a look at the patterns being produced as a whole. I tried a different approach to the 24/7 format, and instead have laid each week out as a series of 168 stitches (168 hours in a week).
I’ve also been learning how to create hems for the top and bottom – these will allow me to thread a tension wire or dowel pole in to create shape and ballast, or a point of suspension. It’s a great technique, involving transferring stitches back onto the machine to create a loop and then knitting it closed – simple but effective.
Finally, Iris has been researching and testing methods of finishing the sides with a hem, which involves a slightly different approach, including dropped stitches and some hand sewing but should give the edges a nice finish, with the option of holding a pole.
Hopefully I can scale and incorporate these methods into the final banner.