Thursday, March 15, 2007

Man vs Machine

For many years I owned 2 manual knitting machines which saw very limited usage. In 2003 I bought my first electronic machine, a KH970. I played around with it the first year and Xmas '04 I made hats and scarves for all the kids, started learning how to use the numerous features available and started my first machine knit sweater. Somewhere along the line I got sidetrack. Mainly due to space or lack thereof and when the neck problems started everything got nicely packed up and stored away.

Over the past several weeks, I've been gradually getting familiar with the operation of the machine once again. I'd forgotten a lot of things but they've all begun to come back. Earlier this week I knitted this swatch and several others in preparation for a sweater project.

Yesterday after numerous calculations and recalculations I cast on a sweater. Even though I'm very secure about my handknitting skills, I'm still working on having the same confidence on the machine. I miss the ability to immediately check the length and width without having to go through some major effort.

Tomorrow if things go according to plan, I'll be able to finish most of the front and do the back on Saturday. The front is done using the garter carriage which runs independently so I'm happily knitting while it's running. I don't consider the machines a replacement, just a nice enhancement.

It's definitely not as easy as it seems. Yes, you move the carriage but all the setup and shaping requires human intervention and a lot of math! Here's to better knitting all around.


Acornbud said...

Your post reminds me I have a lonely Incredible sweater machine. Even that simple machine is a bit of trouble to set up. Can't wait to see how your sweater turns out.

steel breeze said...

Lovely! I haven't really got to grips with my garter carriage yet. Keep at it! There's a rumour on the yahoo group knittingmachines, that once you catch your finger on a needle, and draw blood, you get a microscopic dose of machine oil, and that's it, you are well and truly hooked (in both senses of the word!)

Kathy said...

Oh I love the color of the sweater. I guess if it is math intensive, I'll not become a machine knitter. I admire you for it.

I think I'll go the other route and learn to spin someday!