Sunday, August 24, 2008

Wrangling with the Sweater Machine

This yarn, Rowan Scottish Tweed 4 ply is interesting. I love the fabric that is made from this thin, rough, nubby wool... but it doesn't flow over my hand needles. It catches on itself and all pleasure of knitting is lost. I threw away my first swatch with this yarn because I hated knitting with it so much. But I loved the color, and I had bought 8 balls, so I tried it out on the Bond Ultimate Sweater Machine. Thank goodness the Bond could handle it! And on keyplate 3 (equivalent to about a size 8 needle) The Bond gives me a remarkable fabric that is thin but stiff, rough but delicate. I can't wait to get the second piece off my needle so that I can stitches up the sides, pick up and knit the ribbing around the bottom, pick up and knit two short sleeves... and have the perfect Autumn vest!

I think of my sweater machine as more similar to a sewing machine than to hand-knitting. Yes, I get to use my knitting yarn to make things on it, but it really is a garment-making device. You craft sheets of fabric is specific shapes to join together into bigger creations. I can work at the sweater machine all day and still have a desire to sit and hand knit for an hour or so, to have that tactile interaction. I find that I am more adventurous with designing my own pieces with the Bond because it takes only a few hours to knit up a test piece... the whole front or a whole sleeve. But the pieces have to be fairly simple in their design because fiddling with the needles to make anything other than stockinette is annoying. But the pattern on the piece shown here is pretty simple, every 8th row every other stitch is moved to the right. Every 10th row every other stitch is moved to the left. There is a counter attached to the needle bed to help me count the rows.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That looks great! I have a Silver Reed LK-150 but it looks like the Bond may do more patterns than mine. If you're ever looking for a knitting group, I meet with the Burlingame Knitters on Tuesday nights (Burlingame Knitters Ravelry Group) and I'd love to talk machines with you!