Wednesday, February 11, 2015

3 x 2 industrial rib: How I do it and Why I bother

3 x 2 half-pitch ribbing- using racked cast-on
I have always been a fan of what the old ribber manuals refer to as ‘industrial rib’- which is a 2x2 rib set up half-pitch, such that you use 2 out of every 3 needles on both beds, and the beds are offset so that you get a very deep, 2x2 rib.  The rib uses 33% more needles and yarn than a conventional 2x2 rib (Full pitch, 2 needles in, 2 needles out of work across both beds).
One reason I am such a fan is that this rib makes a sock that has a very neat appearance when worn- the rib is not stretched out, and the cast-on edge stretches nicely to accommodate the less-than-slender leg.   


Note: These pics and directions are for the White/Superba double bed. If you are working on Japanese machines, check your ribber manual for the industrial rib directions. You will be able to adapt them to do the 3 x 2 rib.

The 2x2 industrial rib is an easy set up:
  1. set your beds for full needle rib- half pitch.
  2. put up into work 2 out of every 3 needles on both beds, such that the 2 needles in work on the front bed are between the sets of 2 needles on the back bed.
  3. rack 1 (left or right) to get your zigzag.  (pull up an extra end needle if you need it)
  4. zigzag row : tension 1 Hang comb and weight.
  5. 2 rows circular tension 3
  6. rack back to rib setup.  tension 4.5.  carriages both set to knit.  transfer the orphan stitch if you had to add one at the end of the row to make your zigzag come out.
  7. Knit your ribbing.

Lately, I have been using a 3x2 rib, based on the industrial rib set-up, for a lot of socks.  It’s a bit of a yarn saver for me, as this rib only incorporates 25% more needles and yarn than the stockinet rows.  I does involve one more step than the 2x2 industrial setup.

3x2 industrial rib setup:
  1. set the beds for full needle rib- half pitch.
  2. put up into work position 3 our of every 4 needles on both beds.  
                      Back Bed:      0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1
                     Front Bed:         0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1
3.       zigzag row - tension 1, and hang comb and weight.

Here's my zigzag row.

4.  2 rows circular - tension 3
5.     Rack front bed 1 space to the right
                      Back Bed       0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1
                      Front Bed            0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1
6.  In each set of 3 on the Front bed, transfer the left-most stitch to Back bed , doubling  the right-most stitch on the back sets of 3.

Here's what it will look like when you have transferred the stitches.

7. Tension 4.5.  carriages both set to knit.  Knit your ribbing.

For bigger combinations (3x3, 3x4) the racked cast-on doesn’t work in most applications.  You have to rack 2 spaces, and that tightens the edge too much for many applications.  You can cast on 1x1 or FNR, but then you have to transfer a lot of stitches to set up your rib.  You can always ewrap, but I have not been happy with ewrap on the top edge of a sock.  

This is my cheat-sheet for the 3 x 2 rib cast-on

Now go make some superb (ah!) socks.

1 comment:

sharonwue said...

Have made a few pairs with 4/3 half pitch ribbing. I put up 4 out of each 6 needles, and after the circular rows, i racked back 1, knit 1 row, racked back 1 more, and did the transfers. I was happy with the edge. DH was happy with the wide rib.