Machine Knitting/Other garments
|Shoe size||Foot length (cm)|
|European||US male||US female||UK|
Measure the foot length from the middle of the heel to the tip of the toe. Look at figure 1. Measure the width round the leg just over the ankle where it is thinnest. Concerning the number of stitches, it is most practical if it is divisible by 4. It is an advantage if it is furthermore divisible by 3, but this is not absolutely necessary. 60 - 68 stitches will often be suitable for grown up people if you use ordinary stocking yarn and stitch size 8 - 8 1/3. If the machine can go up to 10 on the ribber, that might be the best.
Cast on 40 stitches and knit 60 rows. Pull the sample lengthwise and leave it for a moment before you measure the length in the side. If you know fairly well how many stitches you have to cast on, you can begin knitting at once. If you are not sure, you must leave the sample until the next day and measure the width. If you are going to make circular knitted socks, you use twice as many rows on the foot, because the carriage passes the row counter twice at each turn.
You can knit stockings either flat or circular. If you knit them flat, you have to sew them together afterwards. Even with a ribber available, many people prefer to knit the socks flat, because it goes very fast, but then you must use time for mounting afterwards. However, circular knitting looks nicer because it is more like hand knitting. The difficult point is to turn the two fourth pieces, and transfer them to the back bed, when you have finished the rib border. However, when you have practiced it for some time, you can do that quickly too.
Circular knitted socks
In this example you cast on 60 stitches for rib knitting. The rib border must not be knit too tightly, because that will make it difficult to put the socks on. Use the racking method (described in the edges chapter) which is more elastic, for the casting on. You must have an even number of stitches, otherwise there will be two stitches besides each other in one side of the knitter. But you may afterwards add a plain stitch, so that the leg may be sewed nicely together.
Knit the desired length, say 60 - 80 rows, not less, as it then will be difficult to turn the stitches to the knitter, because of the comb which must stay on the knitting. Knit the last row on a bigger stitch size. Move all the stitches from the knitter to the ribber and knit one row with the same stitch size as you will use for the circular knitting. Knit the first 15 stitches by hand, so the thread stays in the side, when you turn the stitches. Now 1/4 of the stitches (15) in each side shall be transferred to a comb with transfer tools or a knitting needle, then be turned and moved to the knitter.
Turning the stitches
Open all the latches on the knitter and leave the needles in non-working position (A), so you know they are placed in a row. Push down the bracket levers of the ribber and let it down one step. Hang the claw weight hangers into the stitches from number 1 till 15, and hang one of the little weights on each of them. It is important that the claws are well fastened in the stitches, especially in needle number 15. Transfer the outmost 15 stitches at one side to the latch tool comb. Turn the comb, be careful not to catch some of the knitting on a latch tool, and place the stitches on the knitter from needle number 1 - 15. If you drop a stitch and it runs down, do not try to pick it up - it is easier to crochet it up afterwards. Repeat the process in the other side.
Adjust the machine to circular knitting, move the weights in the side of the comb, and place only one of them in the middle. Knit for instance 10 turns of circular knitting (20 rows) before you start the heel.
Release the idle buttons, let down the ribber one step, and change the yarn leader to plain knitting. Adjust the holding cam lever. Now knit at the back needle bed. Push one needle at a time into the resting position at the end of each row until there are 10 needles in the resting position in each side and 10 needles left in the middle. If the number of stitches can't be divided by 3, you will either have a surplus or a deficit of one needle in the middle, but that does not matter. Now you have reached the bottom of the heel. Hang a side weight on the middle stitches, and set the row counter at 0. Now push one needle at a time down in the end of each row until all needles are down again. When you have knitted the last stitch in each side, you can place the thread round the last stitch on the ribber and knit it by hand, when you have pushed up the ribber again. You do that to avoid big holes in the side. When you have finished the heel, before you return to circular knitting, you set the row counter to twice as much as it was, because the rest of the foot is knitted in circular knitting, and the carriage passes the row counter twice in each turn. Change the yarn leader, push up the ribber and adjust to circular knitting, but so that you start the circle with the ribber, to avoid holes in the side.
Casting off the toe
When 30 rows remain before you reach the end of the foot (i.e. 3 times the number of stitches you have to cast off in each side), you cast off one stitch in each side, both on the ribber and on the knitter (4 stitches in total) for every other turn (4 rows). Use the double transfer tool (with two tools). When you have cast off 5 stitches in each side of both the ribber and the knitter, you cast off the next 5 in every turn, two rows. Now you have reached the foot length, and you have 10 stitches left on each needle bed. Then place two stitches on two needles in each side, corresponding to a total of 8 stitches, and knit one turn. It is a little hard, but it can be done. Now you have two options. You can move the stitches from the ribber to the knitter and cast them all off. In that case the casting-off edge will appear on the right side. The other option is to knit in contrast coloured yarn and afterwards sew the stitches together. Naturally, that will give the nicest result. How you do that, is described in the edges chapter.
Instead of turning the stitches after having finished the rib border, you can take off the knitting, turn it by hand, and place it on the machine again. Then it is important to do it as follows: Move the stitches from the ribber to the knitter. Knit one or two rows in the stitch size you are going to use for the circular knitting. Knit in contrast coloured yarn, not more than 4 - 5 rows, otherwise it will be difficult to place the stitches again; and take off the knitting, but leave the comb on. Iron it very well with steam or a wet cloth on both sides. The contrast coloured yarn must be smooth as well.
Placing the stitches on the machine
If you have knitted pattern in the leg, you have to reverse the sock to turn the rightside outwards. In that case, you cannot use the first method that I described.
Let down the ribber two steps. Place the two ends on the two 1 needles on the knitter, but it is important that they don't go behind the latches, because then they can easily fall off. Continue until you reach needle number 15 in each side. Raise the ribber one step and hang one of the weights on the middle of the comb. Place the rest of the stitches on the ribber, without pulling them behind the latches, but pull the needles in the same height as the stitches on the knitter. It is easiest if you have the crochet hook in the other hand to help placing the stitches on the needles. When you push up the ribber, you keep the needles down with one hand to avoid that the stitches go behind the latches. If the number of stitches does not suit the number of needles, you either have dropped a stitch or caught an extra loop. When all the stitches are placed, you ravel off the contrast coloured yarn. Adjust the idle buttons and the stitch size.
In the same way you can knit new feet on worn out socks. You can save yarn if you cut off the feet, try to follow a row, pick away those rows that have been damaged, and place the leg on the machine as described before. As the stockings have been washed several times, the stitches will not run down.
When you have finished the socks, and you find that you have knitted them too short or too long and have to ravel them up again, you have the problem that you don't have the contrast coloured yarn to keep the stitches from running down or to show which row you are going to pick up. After many troublesome experiments, I found this as the most secure way: At first you iron the socks with wet cloth on the last part of the foot on both sides. Count the rows down to the place where you are going to ravel up and place a pin. Take the nylon thread that belongs to the machine (or another smooth tread in a different colour) and then sew by hand into all the stitches in the row in question, so that it can be seen both on the wrong and the right side. After that, ravel up down to the thread and pick up the stitches in the row beneath it, so you don't cannon against the nylon thread. When you are sure that all the stitches are on the needles, you can pull out the nylon thread, and ravel up one row and knit it again. Remember to set the row counter.
Flat knitted socks
If you have no ribber, you can knit the socks flat. Say we cast on 60 stitches. Start with a hem and knit the leg to the desired length.
Push 30 needles in one side into the idle position and knit on the rest of the needles. Push one needle at the end of each row until there are 10 needles in the idle position on each side and 10 stitches left in the middle of the half row. Now you have reached the bottom of the heel. Put back the row counter to 0 and hang a side weight under the 10 middle stitches. Then push the needles down again, one at a time, and at last also the 30 needles in the other side. Knit until the row counter shows 20 rows before the foot length.
Casting off the foot
Push 30 needles in the resting position in the opposite side of the heel. Knit the toe in the same way as the heel. When all needles are down again, you knit in contrast coloured yarn and take off the knitting. A row of holes will appear at the end of the toe. If you want to avoid this, you can knit one or two rows at the end of the toe. You can do this by pushing down the needles you use for the toe, knit one or two rows over them, and push them up again before you take them down one at a time.
Press the socks solid, ravel off the contrast coloured yarn, bend the sock and sew the under part and the over part of the sock together in the open stitches. Lastly, you sew the sock together in the side (It is described in the edges chapter how to do this).
Socks with pattern
If you want to knit a pair of socks with a pattern which continues on the upper part of the foot, you can knit the overfoot and the underfoot in continuation instead of besides each other. The pattern requires its own knitting sample. And besides that, you must have a plain knitted sample for the underfoot. Knit the foot in the middle, and knit contrast coloured yarn on the outermost quarter of the needles in both sides. Set the row counter at 20, which is the number of rows you use for the heel. Continue knitting the pattern on the 30 middle stitches. Stop the pattern knitting 20 rows before you reach the foot length, and use the plain knitted sample for the rest. Cast off the toe by pushing one needle in the idle position at the end of each row, until you have 10 needles in the idle position in each side, and 10 needles left in the middle. Knit one or two rows on all needles and push them up again to where they were. Set the row counter at 0, and push one needle down again in the end of each row. Knit until 20 rows before you have reached the foot length, and then knit the heel in the same way as the toe. Knit in contrast coloured yarn and take the knitting off. Iron both the foot with contrast coloured yarn and the two little parts in the side. Ravel off he contrast coloured yarn and sew the loops on the leg and the foot together. Sew the foot together in the sides.
At first you make an ordinary sample and measure it. Afterwards you expand the sample in the width approx. 10 % (as explained in the knitting samples chapter), and use that for the legs. Use the ordinary sample for the feet.
Measure around the leg just underneath the knee and just over the ankle. Measure the length from the knee until just under the anklebone. Calculate from the expanded sample how many stitches and rows you have to use. Calculate the stitch number both at the knee and at the ankle. Cast on the stitch number at the knee and begin either with a hem or a rib border starting with the racking method. Divide the length into three. Knit one third of the length straight out, one third for the decreasing, and one third straight out again. The number of stitches to decrease in the middle piece is the difference between the number of stitches on the knee and the number of stitches on the ankle. To calculate how many rows to knit between each decreasing, divide the number of rows in the middle piece by the number of stitches you are going to decrease. However, to avoid that the transition to the decreases becomes too abrupt, you begin a little before the middle piece with one or two decreases with greater distance between them, and you do the same after the end of the middle piece. Then you knit straight out to the ankle. Now use the ordinary sample. Knit the foot as described in method 2, where you knit the over and under foot in continuation. Otherwise the seam with the decreasing will not stay on the back of the leg, when you sew it together.
Circular knitted knee stockings
Use the expanded sample for the leg and the normal sample for the foot. You can either begin with a hem or with a rib border. If you begin with a rib border, you cast on with the racking method (see edges chapter). Knit the desired number of rows and transfer the stitches to the back needle bed. Knit one or two rows plain with the stitch size you are going to use for the circular knitting, and knit in contrast coloured yarn. Take off the knitting and the comb. Iron it solid with steam or a wet cloth on both sides. Fold the knitting on the middle so that it becomes double-layered; the rightside must turn outwards. Push the comb through both layers and place it between the front and the back needle bed. Let down the ribber one step. Pick up the backstitches on the needle hooks on the knitter, not behind the latches. Hang a weight on the middle of the comb. Raise the ribber one step and pick up the front stitches on the ribber. Ravel off the contrast coloured yarn. Now you knit in the same way as the flat knitted stockings, but decrease only in one side on both the ribber and the knitter. Use the tool with two transfer tools.
When you have finished the leg, you must move the comb again. Knit in contrast coloured yarn and iron it solid. Now you get, very conveniently, a fold in the middle of the hind part, which will guide you when you place the fold in the middle of the knitter, so you can knit the heel there. When you place the stitches again, you use the same method as described for socks. Knit a few turns before you knit the heel and the foot in the same way as described for socks. Use the ordinary sample for the foot.
You can choose to knit the legs on the ribber. Then you must sew them together afterwards. Instead of decreasing on the middle part of the legs, you can begin with a big stitch size and gradually diminish it.
Mittens and gloves
You can make mittens either circular knitted or flat. However, if you want a pattern on the mittens, you have to knit them flat. You can make a gore for the thumb or just knit straight out.
- Round the hand just over the thumb. If the mittens are going to have a pattern, then you must calculate a little extra, because the threads on the wrongside take up space.
- The length from the wrist to the finger tips.
- From the wrist to the beginning of the thumb.
- The length of the thumb. It starts at the bone just under the thumb.
- If you knit gloves, you must measure where the fingers begin and how long they are.
Don't measure too tightly, neither in the width nor the length, because then the mittens will not be so warm.
You can begin with a rib border for the wrist, and do not make it too short. If you have no ribber, you can make a hem.
If you don't want a gore for the thumb, you knit straight up to the thumb. Then knit contrast coloured yarn by hand on a little more than 1/3 of the palm of the hand (look at the picture). When you have finished the mitten and ironed it solid, you can pull out the thread and pick up the stitches, which appear both over and under the thread, plus two or three loops in the innermost part of the thumb.
If you want a gore for the thumb, then increase one stitch in the beginning of each row in both sides. If you have a normal ratio between stitches and rows, then you will get an angle of 35° relative to vertical; and the combined number of stitches from both gores fit roughly with the width of the thumb. However, if you are knitting a pattern, you may have another proportion between stitches and rows, and that means that you are going to increase more times (find out by using the angle table). Knit contrast coloured yarn on the extra stitches and go on with the mitten.
When you have finished a mitten, you must fold it together so the end of the two gores lie next to each other, so you can knit the thumb. You can cast off both the mittens and the thumbs in the same way as described on flat knitted socks.
It is most practical to knit gloves with circular knitting. Otherwise you will have too many seams to sew afterwards.
Begin with a rib border. Cast on a number of stitches that can be divided by 8. The rib border must be fairly long in order that it can be reversed. When you have finished the rib border, you move the stitches to the knitter, and knit one row at the stitch size you are going to use for the circular knitting. Knit a few rows of contrast coloured yarn, and take off the knitting. Iron it solid on both sides and take off the comb. Bend it on the middle and push the comb through both layers. You only need one weight on the middle of the comb. Let down the knitter and place the back layer on the knitter by pulling the needles through the stitches behind the contrast coloured yarn, and be careful not to pull them behind the latches. Push up the ribber one step and place the front stitches at the ribber. Pull the needles to the same height as the needles on the knitter, but not behind the latches. When you are sure that all the stitches are placed on the needles, you push up the ribber while you keep the needles down by hand, so they don't slip behind the latches.
Now you use the measurements from figure 1, and calculate them to stitches and rows from your sample. If you don't want a gore, you knit straight up to the thumb. Knit one thread of contrast coloured yarn by hand on the stitches you need for the thumb, and then go on knitting up to the fingers. If you want a gore, you begin to increase in one side on both the ribber and the knitter for every turn. But the increases must be made at least two stitches away from the edge, picking up a loop on a free needle, otherwise you will get holes. You can knit the thumb now, or you can leave it with contrast coloured yarn and knit it after you have finished the glove.
If you knit it now, you only use the stitches from the gore plus 2 stitches from the hand. Push the rest of the needles both on the ribber and the knitter in the idle position and be sure that both machines are set right. You knit the thumb in the length you have calculated from your sample minus the number of rows you are going to use for casting off. That depends on the number of stitches. You cast off the 4 outermost stitches for each row, and pull a thread through the last stitches.
When you have finished the thumb, you pick up two extra loops from the thumb to the hand, so you still have the same amount of stitches. If you leave the thumb with contrast coloured yarn until you have finished the rest of the glove, you must pick up two extra stitches from the glove.
When you reach the fingers, you use a quarter of the stitches on both the ribber and the knitter for each finger. Begin with the little finger. It will get two stitches less than the other fingers. Push the rest of the needles into the resting position, and be sure that both carriages are set right. Some rib carriages have to be adjusted in both sides. Knit a few turns on the little finger before you hang a weight on; then you have a space to place the claws. You must have both a claw in the front and in the back of the finger, and hang a weight on both of them. When you have finished the finger, you cast off the outermost stitches in each side until you have 4 - 6 stitches left. Cut off the yarn and pull the end through every stitch. When you start the next finger, you must push the needles down by hand, and use the latch tool to place the stitches in front of the latches, otherwise the machine will knit the first row in rib, because the idling buttons are in working position. Pick up two loops from the little finger. This makes the other fingers have two more stitches than the little finger. Move the weights to the finger you are knitting now. Knit the other fingers in the same way, and pick up two loops from the last knitted finger. For the last finger, you can remove all the weights and just hold the glove a little down by the hand.
If you have knitted a gore for the thumb and have already knitted it, you have now finished the glove. If you have not knitted a gore, but just placed a thread of contrast coloured yarn, you iron the glove solid and pull out the excess thread. Let down the ribber one step, fold the glove and place it between the two beds. Place the upper stitches on the knitter and the stitches below on the ribber. Pick up two loops in each side. Hold the glove down with one hand while knitting with the other hand. You can cast off in the same way as you did on the other fingers.
Measure the circumference of the head behind the ears, but calculate a little less than this measurement, because a cap has to be a little tight so that it does not fall off.
Measure the head height from the earlap in one side, over the head and to the earlap in the other side. Use half of this measurement.
You can furthermore calculate an extra piece to bend up. Make a sample with the pattern you want to use.
Quickly knitted cap
Cast on the circumference of the head minus 15 - 20 % and begin with a rib band or a seam. If you have no ribber, you can make a fake rib, as described in the edges chapter. If you use fake rib, you shall not make it less than the head circumference. If you have a ribber, you also have the possibility to use English rib. Anyway, you knit straight up until you reach 10 rows before the head height. Then you knit the last 10 rows on every other needle and with half stitch size. If you have knitted English rib or ordinary rib, you transfer the stitches to the knitter to the needles that already have stitches, so you knit two stitches together. When you have finished, you cut the thread and leave a piece which is long enough to pull it through all the stitches, and pull them tight together. Fasten it well.
Sideways knitted cap with shortened rows
When you knit a cap sideways, you shall not knit it less than the circumference of the head, because it will not expand so much in the length.
Cast on the height of the head with a closed edge, so the cap can be sewed together in the end. Then knit shortened rows as follows: Push a little less than half of the stitches, opposite the carriage, into the idle position and knit one time forwards and backwards. Then push further approx. 1/10 of all the stitches into the idle position. Next time you push two stitches at a time, a few times, and then push the rest of the stitches up one at a time. When all the stitches are in the idle position, you start over again.
If the result deviates strongly from the number of rows that has been calculated for the head width, you may change the layout of shortened rows somewhat. But for the last many rows, only one needle must be pushed into the idle position at a time, because the cap has to be fairly flat on top.
The edge at the bottom will of course roll, so a rib band is necessary. If you have no ribber, you have to knit it by hand, because the cap can hardly be stretched so much that you can pick up stitches along the edge. If you knit it by machine, you must knit it separately. Make a little rib knitted sample to find how many stitches to use for the head width, as described in the edges chapter for selvedges. When you have knitted the edge, you leave it on the machine and take off the weights and the comb. As you cannot stretch the cap's edge very far out, you have to tuck up half of it at a time, i.e. you tuck up the center of the cap's edge at the two 1 needles and one half of the edge on half of the rib stitches. Hang a side weight on the side and close both layers at a time. When you approach the middle, you can tuck up the rest of the cap's edge and cast off all stitches. Only when you have knitted the rib border, can you sew the cap together. You use the open loops in one side and the closed edge in the other side. It is described in the mounting chapter how to sew open loops together.
A beret can be knitted sideways too. You can cast on the head height or a little more if you want. You can partition it like this: 2/3 will become the radius of a circle on top of the head and 1/3 will become an edge, which is bent a little inwards. Finally, you make a rib band separately. But the circle and the last 1/3 is knitted as one piece. You can for instance make the partitioning at the 1 needles. If the head height is 20 cm, you can partition it so that 14 cm are to the left side and 6 cm to the right side (this partitioning is made with regard to the row counter). The 14 cm will be the radius in a circle and the 6 cm will be the edge that is bent inwards. Multiply these two figures by the number of stitches per cm known from your sample. The circumference of the circle is 2 × 14 cm × 22/7 = 88 cm. Then 88 cm must be multiplied by the number of rows per cm to tell you how many rows you have to knit.
Cast on with a closed edge. Do not hang a comb with weights on, because then the innermost stitches will be pulled long and loose. At the circle piece in the left side you push one needle at a time into the idle position, and one more on the way backwards. When all needles until needle number 1 in the left side are in the idle position, you knit one row across them all and start over again. But in the right side you only make shortened rows for every time you start a new track. You must calculate how many shortened rows you have to knit at a time to reach the correct head width at the bottom. If for instance the head circumference is 60 cm, this is 28 cm less than in the circle which is 88 cm. How many tracks you are going to knit, depends on how many stitches make out a radius. It will most likely fit with 10 tracks, but you cannot be certain that this fits with the number of rows that you have calculated for the circumference, but that does not matter, because these figures are only approximate. But you can se when the knitting has become completely round, and even when it is not, you may think it is OK that it arches a little.
When you have finished, you knit in contrast coloured yarn and drive off the stitches.
Before you sew the cap together, you must knit the rib band, in the same way as described above for a sideways knitted cap.
A little hole will appear in the middle of the cap. Pick up 5 - 6 stitches in the edge of the hole, and knit a little end, one stitch size less than in the cap. Knit 6 - 8 rows and cast off very tight. The end will roll by itself, but you may sew it together with the end of the thread if you want.
At last you iron the edges, ravel off the contrast coloured yarn, and sew the open loops and the closed edge together, as shown in the mounting chapter.
Cast on half a head width. Begin with a rib band or a seam, and knit 10 - 12 cm, or as long as you want the neck to be. Read the row counter, and then begin to round the edge with shortened rows for the face to make it curve downwards in the middle. Draw a curve on a piece of paper, on which you note how many needles to push into the idle position at a time, so that you can do it in the same way on the other side. Start with half of the needles in the idle position. At first you push many needles up in the middle, and gradually you diminish the number of needles for every row, as you approach the side. Right out at the side there must remain a short piece that is not rounded. When you have finished one side, push all the needles down and knit one row. Put the row counter back to where you started the curve. Now make the curve on the other side in the same way as you noted on the paper. You can cast off the curve; it will not roll because it is round. Or you can knit in contrast coloured yarn, and later knit a rib band.
Cast on new stitches on the empty needles, either with a closed edge, or loose stitches with a thread through them. You may knit a few rows with a seam before you pick up the side stitches, or you may later pick them up to make a rib border. Put the row counter back to 0, and knit the head height minus 2 - 3 cm. Out of this, 2/3 are knit straight upwards, and 1/3 rounded with shortened rows like this: Push one needle at a time into the idle position in the end of each row. In the last two rows, you push at first 2 needles and then 5 needles into the idle position. The needles that still remain when you have reached the head height, are left. They will make out 8 - 10 cm (for children it should be slightly less).
Note the number on the row counter and put it back to 0. Now you knit the backside of the cap. At first you push down the needles in the opposite sequence, and then knit straight down to the same row number as on the front side. First the head height, then the curve height and then the neck height, and finally the rib band or seam. If you want, you can pick up stitches in the hole for the face and make a little rib band there. In the upper edge it is actually necessary, but you can omit it along the curve.
You can knit the cap without making a curve for the face, but instead knit a thread by hand on the middle piece. When the cap is finished, you iron it, pull the thread out, and pick up the open loops and knit an edge on it. But it is not as comfortable as if you make a curve.
When my sons where young, it was the fashion to have a shade on balaclavas. I cut a shade out of a plastic lid. Above the eyes, I picked up the edge stitches and used them for knitting a shade covering. I rounded it with shortened rows, put the shade inside and seamed the stitches on the wrongside.
Measure the hip circumference where it is largest, but close to the body. Measure from the waist to the groin.
Measure the seat height, while you are sitting, from the sides of the waist and down to where the buttocks touch the chair.
Measure how wide you want the piece between the legs to be.
First make an ordinary knitting sample, and measure it as described in the knitting samples chapter. Note the measurements. Next, stretch the sample to enlarge it by approx. 25 % and pin it up along all sides. Note the measurements.
Begin with a seam, or allow for an extra piece for seam and sew it afterwards. Knit according to the enlarged knitting sample until you reach the groin (i.e. where you start decreasing for the legs). Set the row counter at 0. From this point, you knit according to the ordinary knitting sample. Decrease until the needle number that you have calculated from the ordinary knitting sample. If you start in front, you cast off e.g. 6 stitches a few times, and then 3, 2 and finally 1 stitch at a time. Of course it depends on how large a stitch size you have, but usually, briefs are not thick. Instead of casting off, you may also put needles into idle position and cast them off all at once, until you have come to where you cast off only 1 at a time. When you have come so far that you have reached the calculated distance between the legs, you knit straight ahead, until you have made the number of rows that was calculated from the groin to the seat height. Set the row counter at 0, and now you knit the same number of rows on the backside. First a short straight piece. Next a piece where you increase 3 or 4 at a time. Now begin to make shortened rows, only 2 at a time, with 2 or 4 rows in between. Put only the outermost 3 - 4 stitches in idle position, also when you have increased. At the same time, you still increase 3 - 4 stitches at the beginning of each row; and when you have come halfway to the groin, you increase only one at a time. In order to have a less abrupt transition, you may increase by 2 a couple of times before that. How many times you shall make shortened rows, depends on how finely or coarsely you knit. Calculate with at least 4 cm, depending on the size. Go on with increasing one stitch at a time, until you have reached the same row number and stitch number as in the front. You may, at a pinch, increase the last stitches in one turn, if you are unable to reach the required needle number in the course of that number of rows that you use. Remember not to count in the shortened rows.
Now, set the row counter at 0, and go on guided by the enlarged knitting sample, the same length as in front, and again allow rows for a seam, or hang in the comb before you start on the seam, and finally hang it up on the needles and cast off loosely.
Before you sew the trousers together, the trousers' legs must have some kind of edge. If you have knitted with fine yarn, you may make a rib border on every needle, and sew it on with a machine with zigzag. If you do not have a ribber, you may pick up stitches and make a seam, which you seam on the other side of the edge, or maybe you choose to crochet a border, or just sew on a bias strip. You may also knit a ribbon and sew it on like a bias strip, i.e. bend it around the edge, and sew it on with zigzag. If you make a rib border on every needle, you have to make a small knitting sample. It needs be no larger than you can just use a side claw with a little weight in it. It is not to be cast off, but just knit e.g. 16 rows, knit in contrast coloured yarn and drive off the stitches. Fasten it with pins on an ironing board, and pull it out to the length of the selvedge. You can use it at once.
I have presupposed that you are using fine yarn when you knit briefs. But if you use thicker yarn, you can of course pick up stitches and knit the rib border on every other needle.
- Hip circumference at the broadest place, but a possible belly is not included.
- Seat height in sitting position, from the sides of the waist and down to where the buttocks touch the chair, i.e. to a point a little bit inwards from the sides of the buttocks.
- Trouser leg length, from the crotch and as far down as you want the trouser legs.
- The thigh circumference at the upper end of the trouser leg.
Use an expanded knitting sample all the way.
Knit two pieces that correspond to each other as mirror images. The width above is to be half of the hip circumference. But it gives the nicest result to begin at the lower end with a rib border or a seam.
Cast on the hip circumference. Increase regularly in each side until you reach 1/2 hip circumference + 3 - 4 cm for the gore. How frequently you increase, is calculated by dividing the row number from the bottom up to the crotch by the number of stitches that should be increased in each side. Or, if you have drawn a pattern, use the angle table.
Set the row counter at 0 again. Now you are going to knit the length of the seat height up to the waist. At the same time, you decrease for the gore (3 - 4 cm) until the knitting is as wide as half the hip circumference. Start out with casting off a few stitches in each side. Then cast off one stitch at the beginning of each row a few times. At the same time, you begin to make 2 shortened rows at a time in one of the sides (on the back). These have to slope towards the middle of the machine, with 4 to 6 rows in between, and for every time that you have made shortened rows, you set the row counter two numbers back. The first time, most of the stitches have to be set in idle position, and the next times, fewer and fewer, until you end near the middle. Those turns where you make shortened rows, you don't decrease on the back. Thereby, the gore on the back becomes a little more elongated. This gives you more width.
When you have decreased for the whole of the gore, and you have finished with the shortened rows, you go on straight ahead, till you reach the waist. Here, you can either knit a few extra rows and sew a seam, or you can hang in the comb, knit a piece twice as broad as the seam, and hang the stitches from the comb up on the needles, and cast off loosely, e.g. by knitting the stitch an extra time for every time you cast off.
If you want to hang in the comb to knit a seam, it can be done in the following way: Fasten the comb in the gate and push up every other stitch. Push the idling button and set the stitch size at zero. Knit one row while you hold the comb in a position slightly slanted towards the machine, so that the carriage will not run against it. Detach the comb from the gate and pull it down. Push the idling button and set the stitch size. Knit twice as much as the width of the seam. Now, the comb is to be hung up on the needles. Push again every other stitch up, preferably only into idling position. For safety's sake you may lay the elongation bars in between, before hanging the stitches from the comb up on the stitches that are in idling position.
If you have knitted the overall trousers with fine yarn, and then begin to make rib on every other needle, it will probably become too loose. But when you use an expanded knitting sample, it will become expanded anyway, so this is acceptable, especially if you have the possibility to set the machine for tight rib. Otherwise you must knit the rib on every needle, knit in contrast coloured yarn, and drive off the stitches. But in this method, you cannot be sure that the border may be stretched as far out as the double needle number, when you go on knitting plain knitting. At any rate, you must knit with a larger stitch size than in the plain knitting. Instead of this, you may use loose casting on, and perhaps crochet it on. Further, there is the possibility to begin with circular knitting and make a seam in that way, and afterwards transfer the stitches of the ribber to the knitter. If you are so lucky that you have a garter carriage, you can knit the border with that. But if you do not have a ribber, you must start with a seam instead.
Overall trousers with a gore sewn in
Make a knitting sample in rib on every needle. Fasten it on an ironing board. Stretch it so much that the selvedge is smoothed, but not tightened. Fix with pins all the way around. The sides will be longer than the midline, so you cannot measure the length here. The midline will be too short; but halfway between the midline and the side, where it starts to curve downwards, will perhaps make the best fit, for it had better be a little too long than a little too short. The sample may be used at once.
Knit two straight pieces 1/2 hip circumference wide. The length shall be trouser leg's length plus seat height. Start from below. When you have reached the trouser leg length, a strand is put as a mark in each side. It is from here and upwards that the gore is sewn in. Knit on until you have reached the whole length. Knit in contrast coloured yarn, and drive off the stitches.
Next, you knit the gore with plain knitting: Cast on 4 stitches, and knit 2 rows. Increase 1 stitch at the beginning of each row until the gore is 6 - 8 cm wide. Knit 4 - 6 rows, and now decrease in the beginning and end of every 4'th or 6'th row until 4 stitches remain. Cast off.
Sew together the trouser legs up to the mark. Then sew on the gore. Start at the broadest part of the gore, and sew it so that the two short sides will be on either leg. The middle of the gore is to be at the mark, and the tips must be up. Turn the trousers around, and sew the two long sides of the gore on either leg. Sew the trousers together in the middle of the front and in the middle behind.
Put on the trousers, and fasten pins along the waist all the way around. Sew a zigzag border or multi-stitch zigzag approx. 2 - 3 cm above the pins. Cut off with caution, so that you do not cut into the stitches. Sew an extra time, before you bend down the seam and sew it on. Make a little opening for the rubber band.