You all know I have turned traitor and bought a knitting machine….well, here is my first machine hat!
When I say ‘turned traitor’ I know there are some friends who read the blog who may not know what that means. Basically, there is a bit of a ‘thing’ between hand-knitters and machine-knitters, where using a machine is supposedly cheating. I got into quite the discussion about this at my knit and natter group the other week, which was not that enjoyable.
Let me get it straight. I love hand-knitting. I adore it. It’s my passion. But, I’ve always wanted a knitting machine, and it is a totally different craft. It produces a knitted fabric, but has its own set of rules and quirks and patterns, so to my mind, it is not cheating. I love it.
So, the pattern for the machine hat is Rainbow Hat with Cuff by Ginny Schweiss, which is a free pattern on Ravelry. I downloaded it and sat down thinking “this is going to be great, I’m going to make a hat in no time at all”. I had two half-balls of Regia 4-ply in Marrakech and Ombre stripe, so I used them up rather than following the rainbow theme in the pattern.
That was before I realised the different rules and abbreviations that I had to use to actually decipher the pattern in the first place. Before I knew that to knit on a knitting machine you have to hang weights off your knitting. (I used cups filled with about a pound of pennies each. Six of them.) Before I knew that using my vintage machine involves a LOT of physical exertion (think ironing with a really heavy iron).
Relative to using my needles, the hat was made up about an hour more quickly than it would have been otherwise. I spent a long time kneeling on the floor picking up dropped stitches with my arm twisted around the back of the knitting, which ended up in sore knees the following day.
My verdict is that machine knitting is a LOT harder than it looks, it will take some practice to stop dropping stitches, and I absolutely love the new toy and can’t stop thinking about when I’ll next be able to pick it up!
So…who has tried machine knitting here?
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