Ribbing

The LK 150 does not have a ribbing attachment available, so all ribs must be made manually, either by handknitting them on 2 needles, or by dropping and relatching plain knitting stitches, thereby changing them into rib stitches. In this tutorial we will focus on relatched stitches only.

Ribbing Worked Last

Use this method when ribbing is worked at the end of a garment piece, such as sleeves that have been knit from the top down. The same method may be used to work bottom bands; in this case, begin the garment section above the ribbing, casting on with waste yarn and ravel cord. After completing the piece, rehang upside down, picking up the main color loops from the ravel cord onto the required number of needles. For tighter ribbing, it is easy to decrease a few stitches, hanging two main color loops onto one needle for each desired decrease. If you have doubled any stitches, knit 1 row at main tension.

rib 1

Step 1
For a practice piece, proceed as follows. Turn tension (Stitch Dial) at least two numbers tighter than tension used on main fabric. When using very thin yarn, which normally knits at tension 2-3,  it may be necessary to go all the way down to “R” in order to get a firm ribbing. Knit 5 rows. Increase tension 5 numbers. Knit 1 row at loose tension. Drop third stitch from the right edge, and ravel it down 6 rows. Many people find it easier to count down 7 rows, and insert the latch tool through this stitch, then ravel down to the latch tool; by doing it this way, it is possible to pull down with the latch tool, helping the column of stitch run down. Be very careful that the tool is actually inserted in the same column as the dropped stitch!  Bind off using the stitch through stitch method, below.

rib 2

Step 2
Catch the first bar of yarn (the first “rung” in the ladder) with the latch tool. Pull it back towards you, through the stitch which is already on the latch tool, forming a new stitch. Hint: be sure the latch closes around the strand of yarn before pulling it backwards; if the latch is open, it can get caught in the yarn.

rib 3

Step 3
Repeat step 2 until all bars have been relatched, then rehang the stitch onto the empty needle. A vertical column of knit stitches on the purl background has just been formed. Repeat this process on every other stitch across for K1, P1 ribbing.

Bind off using the Stitch Through Stitch method, below.

 

Closing The Stitches Of Ribbing Knitted Last

A neat, elastic edge is very important. In addition, if this is a neckband, the bound off edge must stretch enough to pull on over the head, and still be attractive in the relaxed state. There are a few ways this can be accomplished.

Method 1
Stitch-through-stitch bind off technique. Knit the last row much looser. It usually requires turning the stitch dial up at least 5 whole numbers; sometimes even this amount is not enough. When ribbing with knitting worsted weight or larger yarn, it usually is not possible to turn the stitch dial enough to get the ease necessary. Instead of turning up the stitch dial, remove the yarn from the carriage. Manually knit each stitch, one at a time, pushing the needle butt back until it is about halfway between position A and position B. This makes a longer stitch than even the highest number on the carriage. Now drop and relatch the ribbing, then work the stitch through stitch bind off.

Method 2
If you hand knit, remove the ribbing onto hand knitting needles and bind off.
Use a large needle and bind off loosely. Alternately, make a sewn bind off after transferring the stitches onto a hand knitting needle. Many instructions are found online for this technique. Go to YouTube and search for tubular bind off. Two good ones are from Cheryl Brunette  and New Stitch A Day. Remember these are for hand knitting, and if you want to use them, you should transfer the stitches to a hand knitting needle first.

Method 3
This is the method shown in the LK 150 manual, and is a sewn bind off that looks like the one in Method 2, above, but does not require using hand knitting needles. The stitches are removed on waste yarn instead, and the bind off is sewn with a tapestry needle after the work is removed from the machine.

In order to follow these instructions, you should have an even number of stitches, and the two stitches on the right edge should be purl. Relatch the 3rd stitch from the right edge, and every alternate needle, going toward the left.

bind off 1

Step 1
In order for this technique to work properly, it is necessary to first separate the knit stitches from the purl stitches. Bring all the needles with knit stitches (the ones you dropped and relatched) forward to position D. Keep purl stitches in position B.

bind off 2

Step 2
On the carriage bring the Side Levers forward to ●; Russel Levers should also be forward to ll.

bind off 3

Step 3
Thread carriage with waste yarn and knit 1 row. Only the needles that were in position D (the relatched Knit stitches) will knit. The carriage passes over the needles in position B without knitting them.

bind off 4

Step 4
Push the Side Levers back to ▲; knit 8 rows. Clip yarn, leaving a tail approximately 3 times the width of the  fabric. Take the carriage across empty to drop the work from the machine.

sew 1

Step 5
Thread the yarn tail into a tapestry needle. Fold the waste yarn back and down, away from you. Pass the tapestry needle through the first stitch, from front to back. Return the needle to the front and pass it through the second stitch from front to back also.

sew 2

Step 6
Pass the tapestry needle from back to front through the first stitch, then from back to front through the third stitch.

sew 3

Step 7
Pass the tapestry needle from back to front through the second stitch, then from front to back through the fourth stitch. Pass the needle front to back through the third stitch, then back to front through the fifth stitch.

sew 4

Step 8
Repeat the process across. Every stitch must be worked through twice, as established. Remove the waste yarn from the completed ribbing.

rib cast on 1

Ribbing Worked First

Step 1
Bring forward required number of stitches for garment section. For this tutorial, we will presume that this piece has an even number of stitches. Beginning with 3rd needle from right edge, return every other needle back to pos. A (out of work). Cast on over remaining needles with waste yarn. Hang cast on comb. Set tension (Stitch Dial) to “R” . Knit approximately 1″, ending with carriage on left. Knit 1 row ravel cord. Carriage is now on right.

rib cast on 2

Step 2
Change to main color yarn. Knit 3 rows. On right edge of knitting, pick up the loop between the first two stitches, just above the ravel cord. Hang this on the end working needle, forming a long loop. Hang edge weights.

rib cast on 3

Step 3
Bring the alternate needles (the ones that were pushed back to pos A in step 1) out to pos B. They will now knit. Set row counter to 000. Knit 8 rows. Depending on the yarn, it may be necessary to increase the tension (Stitch Dial) one or two numbers.

rib cast on 4

Step 4
Remove cast on comb and edge weights. Drop stitch off 3rd needle from right edge (bring needle all the way forward, then push all the way back, and stitch will slip off.) Run it all the way down to the ravel cord. Insert the latch tool under the first bar of main color in the run. Skip over the top of the next 2 bars. Catch the 4th bar in the latch hook.

rib cast on 5

Step 5: Pull the latch tool back towards you, allowing the first bar to slip off the hook. This forms a new stitch.

rib cast on 6

Step 6: Catch the next bar of yarn (the next “rung” in the ladder) with the latch tool. Pull it back towards you, through the stitch which is already on the latch tool, forming a new stitch. Repeat until all bars have been relatched.

Repeat this proceedure for every other stitch across. Ribbing is now completed. Set tension as required for main garment, and continue with pattern.

alternate rib cast on 1

For a slightly different effect at the cast on edge (the visual difference is subtle),first work steps 1-3 above.
Step 4
Remove cast on comb and edge weights. Drop stitch off 3rd needle from right edge (bring needle all the way forward, then push all the way back, and stitch will slip off.) Run it all the way down to the ravel cord. Insert the latch tool under the first 2 bars of main color in the run. Catch the 3rd bar in the latch hook. Pull latch tool down and under the 2 main color bars, then slide loop down behind the latch.

alternate rib cast on 2

Step 5
Catch the next bar of yarn (the next “rung” in the ladder) with the latch tool. Pull it back towards you, through the stitch which is already on the latch tool, forming a new stitch. Repeat until all bars have been relatched. Repeat this proceedure for every other stitch across. Ribbing is now completed. Set tension as required for main garment, and continue with pattern.

When garment piece is completed, pull out the ravel cord to separate the waste knitting. It often helps to run a small knitting needle or piece of wire through the cast on edge and give a couple of firm tugs to pull the ribbing stitches into shape.


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This tutorial was copyrighted and uploaded to the original Clearwater Knits website in 1997. It was updated July 15, 2015.