"Standing Up for Cranking!"
Above is a Wing Span collar laid flat on a table so you can see the off-set triangles. This collar was made with one ball of 100gm, 4 Seasons Hot Socks, self striping sock yarn. It was made on a Green Harmony Auto Knitter with a 96 needle cylinder, using only 90 Big-Hook needles. A good steamer will get the triangles nicely blocked and laying flat.
You might call this a shoulder-shawl, scarf or a medieval collar but the concept is built on 8 triangles. Each triangle is 90 stitches and shaped by short rowing 3 stitches every two rows until all 90 stitches are up and out of work. Then the next triangle is started 16 stitches past the beginning of the first, but also extending ahead 16 stitches; making each triangle set 16 stitches ahead of the one before it. When made on a CSM the short row was done going left to right in a 2up+1 method. I left no edge with open stitches; all edges are cast on or bound off.
The inspiration to try making this type of knitting on a circular sock machine came after our fall journey of 1200 miles towing our old vintage Airstream.
As we made our fall pilgrimage this year to our ancestral home , I used the hours of driving to hand knit my first "WingSpan". By the start of our return journey there were less than 1/2 the number of wings needed so somewhere in the middle of the Flint Hills of Kansas, I began fantasizing about a way to make these connected short-rowed wings faster. The results were so exciting that my daughter Dee,[seen below wearing my first CSM made WingSpan in glorious fall colors] thinks I really have to share this with you.
I do think this pattern holds great promise when it is made on a CSM because it is so much faster. When you consider all the possible color combinations, not to mention different types of lace or tuck stitches that could be added, this method of using connected, short-rowed triangles holds great possibilities for the cranker looking for new challenges.
If you think you would like to try cranking out your own WingSpan scarf I encourage you to get the original Revelry pattern and read through the directions for hand-knitting the scarf. The CSM method I settled on is essentially the same pattern.
Look for the "WingSpan" hand knit pattern at " Maylin " on Ravelry where you can purchase the pattern for a very reasonable $6.
The pattern includes some very well designed diagrams for visualizing how the scarf is built by knitting a series of connected, off set, triangles. Once you are able to visualize how the scarf is hand made it is much easier to understand how the same basic pattern can be done using your sock machine.
The only real difference between mine and the hand knit version is the stocking-knit stitch. This stitch is not possible on a CSM so by necessity the CSM made version is a simple knit fabric.
My first effort was an abbreviated version shown in the photo with little Oreo. To test this pattern I used KnitPicks Chroma fingering in "Prism". Though this bright progressive rainbow of color produced a truly eye catching swatch I would not recommend using Chroma to develop your Wing Span method because this yarn has a soft single spun twist. As such it does not do well with the rough handling that often occurs when developing hand knit patterns for a sock machine.
This first WingSpan prototype took me about five hours just to figure out the logistics of how best to use a CSM to make these connected triangles. After many missteps I worked out an initial method that I could repeat but it took another several hours to see fewer errors and develop a sustainable rhythm. It is cranking in rhythm that makes this craft so special.
Soon my thoughts drifted away to the beauty of the fall foliage outside my window. It was the colors of fall tress that most inspired me to select the green, teal, rust and brown hues of my first full size WingSpan scarf.
A few more specifics for the curious !
To achieve the largest stitch possible, the stitch size adjustment was turned down as far as it would go then turned back-up, 1/4 to 1/2 turn to be sure the cranking would go smoothly. This produced a stitch that was very close to what a 3.5 to 4 mm hand knitting needle would make.
It is this larger than normal stitch size that lead me to use the Harmony for this project.
Cranking out Flat knit fabric for garments is not why most of us bought our Sock Machines.......