Knittin’ Like a Machine!

I gave Dad his socks this morning. They don’t fit! They’re so big on him they looked ridiculous. Turns out his feet have shrunk a fair bit these last few years. The cause is age, which is disturbing to think about.

They fit the beau, and he’s happy to have them (good thing I changed to a plain blue!). I took measurements of Dad’s foot and I’m going to make him another pair. (Though he still wanted to take the oversized ones home anyway – he loves handknit socks.)

That should leave me with one project to finish – the Must Be Reversible Scarf. The pattern is Palindrome and it’s a fun, easy knit. I’m about 3/4 through:

But I’ve been naughty. I now have two knitting projects on the go. You see, I wanted to make something more complicated (or, at least, bigger) than dishcloths on the knitting machine. (Oh – I mustn’t forget to mention it this time: I got the machine through American Yarns.)

I’ve seen a few versions of a shrug/vest design about the internet. The Circular Shrug is one version (look in the sidebar), and the Shawl Collar Vest is another. It seemed like the perfect garment to start on the machine and finish on the needles. The back is a square, which you fold over and join at the sides, leaving room for the arms. Stitches are picked up and knit into a collar that goes right around the garment.

So I swatched, and discovered that things are a lot wider on the machine than what they end up like off the needles.

Last night I did the math and started machine knitting, and within an hour I had the back of the garment done. I won’t say there weren’t a few moments of dropped stitches and curse words said between teeth, but all in all it went smoothly.

Then I transferred the stitches, top and bottom, to one circular needle and joined them up, doubling the number of stitches by doing a m1 between each stitch.

This is more seat-of-the-pants garment construction than I usually do. Both patterns have a ribbed back, so I’m only guessing that my adjustments for plain stocking stitch will work. Once the collar is a bit wider I’ll slip it all onto a bit of scrap yarn and try it on.

If all goes well, I reckon I have enough yarn to machine knit some sleeves. Just plain rectangles again, with some bell sleeve ribbing at the cuff to match the collar.

I’d be happy to take either of these projects away with me, if it weren’t for the issue of suitcase size. I’m taking a medium rather than a large case, for reasons too complicated to cover here. I’m also going to warm places, so once the projects are done they’ll just sit in my case, taking up room (that could be used for yarn). I’m going to see if I can at least get one of them done. The other will have to wait until I get home.

3 thoughts on “Knittin’ Like a Machine!

  1. Is your machine automatic or hand driven?

    The knitting machine they show on the American Yarns website is exactly like one I saw in Hobby Lobby two days ago. They had it marked down to $152 US because the box had been opened.

  2. Machine knitting can be very frustrating. How are you dealing with the curl? Did you get weights for the edges?

  3. jomamma – it's hand driven. I get the impression it's easy to get cheap second hand ones in the US, but they're rare here is Australia.

    Sara – the machine comes with a long weight that attaches to the bottom of the fabric. I've been reading about options for when the fabric hits the floor – I'm sure I can rig up some weights of my own if I need to. I can see it might be frustrating at times, but it's also gratifyingly fast!

Comments are closed.