Sunday, December 16, 2007

look ma, i'm knitting!!

the mess goes on and on
am i supposed to get these loops
or does it have to knit smoothly?

Grabbed a cone of awful wool to start practicing with the knitting machine. On my left hand i had the instruction book, like the good girl i am. Soon i learned i needed at least 4 more hands.
One right hand to hold the yarn, a left hand to hold down the cast on comb-forever until i finished knitting? Another right hand to grab the handle of the carriage and move it from left to right.Yet one more left hand to hold the left side of the knitting and one more hand, unspecified whether left or right for trouble shooting. Oh and i forgot the one needed for holding the book, that is unless you lay it down near the machine and you twist and shout with every pass.

i 'd like to be, under the sea, in an octopus's garden in the shade............

As i discovered instruction books are for people with previous knowledge because they are written full of assumptions. When it said hang the cast on comb there were at least 4 ways you could do it. But goes without saying only one of those was the right way. Trial and error until you get it.
Or try the Internet. Problem is that you type knitting machine and on the very first page, mind you, you click on a page link and all of a sudden you find yourself in a porno site and you're trapped there. No way out unless you download god-knows-what-that most likely will corrupt something literally and figuratively in your computer. The fact is that i've been getting spam with all sorts of promises ever since.

wool fetuccine

In the meantime i was producing cuttlefish fettuccine in heaps. The only thing clear was that the knitting was not growing and the comb was not hanging at the end as in the pictures. Back to trial and error.

The messy threads. That i could sort out was a tension problem. Fumbled until i got it right, no big deal being a weaver. But wait there was the closed needle issue, something that you were supposed to know. Closed needles???Oh that little thingie that sticks up! DUHH!
If you didn't only observation and more trial and error would indicate what was wrong-skipped stitches.

Then the loops. Sometimes the yarn would go smoothly on the needles and it just looked so right... Sometimes it would catch on the teeth forming loops. Loops are baad, baaad -almost always.
And all of a sudden SATORI
Those loops are needed to hang the cast on comb. My oh my, so that's where you hang it so that the knit grows!
Once that was out of the way it was swinging and swaying to the rhythm of the carriage, it's all about rhythm. This cha cha girl is now full of rhythm.

it keeps growing!!!

Now ambition is taking me along the path of wire knitting. Casting on for a coat of mail.
Come along and join me!

A few good tutes on the Internet to save you getting trapped in porno sites:
the ultimate sweater machine

neki desu


  1. WooHoo, you're on your way!
    Still think 'e-wrap' or 'latch tool' method of casting on is easier - but if you insist on using cast on comb a couple of tips:
    1. Hang your comb weights, one at each end, on inside of knitting width, on the comb as soon as you start and pull the comb down with your left hand to hold it out of the way of the underside of the carriage.
    2. Bring all your needles out to D positon (Hold position - out as far as they will go) each time for the first few rows before you pass the carriage across. Helps stop the comb bouncing about all over the place.
    3. Thread your carriage up with yarn and tie the end to a table leg or somewhere so that you don't have to worry about holding that in your right hand.
    Just don't give up - you're not doing too bad considering you are teaching yourself.
    Some people expect to sit down and knit a sweater in the first hour but lets face it you wouldn't sit at a piano for the first time and play a concerto in the first hour would you?
    Any probs just email me - you just don't realise how good it makes me feel passing on my knowledge **LOL**

  2. As for wire knitting - use a thin wire along with another thread - a machine embroidery thread will do - the first time you try knitting with this.
    Wire is very temperamental and loves to snap just as you get near the end of your piece or just when you take your eyes off it for 2 seconds. :)
    Make sure you weight it down well and give it a good tug every few rows.

  3. I always thought I would like one, now I am not so sure!! Have fun and Merry Christmas.

  4. Bernadette Houghton6:25 PM

    I usually read your blog for TAST postings, but I am a knitter by chosen craft. I am laughing my head off at your knitting machine post. I've often thought of getting a knitting machine to do the mindless stockinette stitch when I just want to concentrate on the beauty of the fiber. But now I'm wondering if I could knit by hand faster than I could figure out the directions to get the machine to work. Thanks for the fabulous description of your travails, good luck with getting the machine to function properly, and let us know how it all comes out, especially the deconstruction of the cuttlefish.

  5. I bought an old knitting machine but haven't even set it up yet- just so many other things to do!

    Have a great Xmas and New Year, Neki.


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