When I found a used Knitsmart Sweatermaker on the net, it came
with a nifty little dual-latch hook tool. It consists of two regular latch hook
tools that are connected by a little spacer so you can convert 2 stitch columns
(such as the 1st and the 3d) at the same time from purl to knit stitches, like
you do for ribbing.
This was pretty neat, ribbing in half the time! I also had
several Bond latch hook tools and got to thinking, hmm, if two are fast, more
would be even faster! So as I looked around for something that would make a
suitable spacer to go between three of them, I stumbled on the Lego blocks.
I put a few of them between each tool, taped them together with freezer tape,
and, voila, it worked and I was able to convert three (EO) stitches at a time.
If you have no Legos, anything else that will give you the same spacing will
work just as well, so make yourself a double or triple latch hook tool, and
see whether you like how it works! If you think you'd like to convert even more
stitches at a time and you happen to have some flat Legos on hand, read on below!
I had also discovered that our latch hook tools are made from
regular Bond machine knitting needles and that the spacing across two little
Lego nubs is exactly the same as our needle channels (8mm) and that the nubs
make great channels for the needles. Off I went, experimenting again and glad
for a change that we have so many of them scattered around the house, don't
know how many more I've vacuumed up over the years! :)
This is the first tool I made with 8 regular Bond knitting machine
needles. This is how it works:
Put the latch hooks below the purl bumps of every other stitch
as many rows down as you want to convert. Release those stitches off the needles
by pushing the needles all the way forward, then pulling them all the way back
Pull down on the tool so the stitches will unravel into floats.
Tilt the tool, bringing the open latch hooks that are behind the knitting forward,
so that each hook catches the float right above it from behind. Pull down on
the tool, making sure that the stitches that are on each hook have slid behind
the latch, pull the floats downwards through those stitches, then pull them
up slightly to enlarge them. Let newly formed stitches slide behind latches,
then go under and behind the next row of floats with the open latch hooks and
again pull them through the stitches on the needles as before. Repeat until
you reach the top.
Put the converted stitches back on the needles. The easiest way
I found to replace the stitches was to bring the empty needles forward with
one hand, pushing them alongside and through the stitches that are on the tool
hooks (make sure latches of empty needles are open!). Once you see that the
stitches are lined up with the needle hooks, push up on the tool, letting the
stitches slide behind the latches. As you pull the tool through and out of the
stitches, the stitches should settle into the needles hooks on the bed.
7 seems to be the greatest number of stitches I can convert for
more than one row at a time. Because it was a bit awkward to transfer them back
to the needles, I made another tool that also included a 7-EO transfer tool
as shown below. This worked well, but the drawback was that now I could only
convert stitches ONE row at a time with it, otherwise the prongs of the transfer
tool got in the way. This tool is made the same way as the first one, except
that the transfer tool is included and sandwiched between the layers of blocks.
The prongs of the 7-EON transfer tool prongs extend just a
bit past the latch hooks. Since it worked really well for converting ONE row
of 7-EO stitches and transferring them back to the needles, I made up another
one with 14 latch hooks and two sets of 7-EON transfer tools. This also works
very well for converting 14 stitches ONE row at a time and I have used this
tool for things like converting an entire row of stitches to garter stitch by
first converting 14-EO stitches, then converting the stitches in between. It
works very nicely for solid rows of seed stitch too. I can also use the transfer
tool prongs separately to transfer 14 stitches to their "next door neighbors"
at a time for allover eyelet patterns.
NOTE: To use the tool with the transfer tool prongs, you put
the latch hooks under the purl bumps of the row below just as with the other
one. It doesn't matter if the prongs end up in the row below. Since they have
no hooks, they can't get stuck. Then when you have released the stitches, caught
the floats from behind and have pulled them back through the stitches, you lift
up on the tool to enlarge the newly formed stitches and slip the prongs of the
transfer tool through them. Let stitches slide behind the latches, then hook
onto the needles on the bed (latches need to be open). Tilt tool so stitches
will slide over the closed latches and into the empty needle hooks on the bed.
Release prongs from needles by lifting up on them.
To summarize, the 7-EO needle latch hook tool without the transfer
tool inserted can be used to convert 7 purl stitches to knit stitches MULTIPLE
rows at a time.
The 7-EO or 14-EO needle latch hook tool combined with the
7-EO or 14-EO needle transfer tool makes it easy to convert and put back in
place 7 or 14 stitches for ONE row.
I ordered my set of multiple transfer tools from Cara
Bernhauser last year, Lea-Ann
may carry them also? They are very practical to use and consist of two sets
of 7-EO needle transfer tools and two sets of 14-Every needle transfer tools.
If you're still awake at this point :), the last tool I made
is a 28-needle adjustable latch hook tool. I have used it to knit things like
a seed stitch alphabet because the spacing with some patterns is not always
k1, p1. There is a seed stitch alphabet
if you would like to try it out.
With this tool, each needle can be adjusted to be in use or
not by either sliding it forward or pulling it back. The needles are held in
place by the wedge shown above the tool which is very quickly replaced. This
also works to convert ONE rows of stitches. It does not include the transfer
tools as I haven't yet figured out a way to adjust them to be in use or not,