So if you can guess what this is,
you have wrung a confession out of me. And indeed, if you can guess, you must be a machine knitter. The blue yarn you see at the bottom of Shalom is waste yarn. Several rows of waste yarn is how machine knitters keep their projects from unravelling while waiting for the next step.
Shalom is a top-down garment, and once past
Still a machine-knitting neophyte, I sometimes balk at the time it takes to get set up and started on the machine. Complaining about it one day, Patrick Madden said to me
"Keep your hand knitting beside the machine. Any time you think things are taking too long on the machine, knit a row by hand."
He was right of course. That was a good reminder. I machine knit the entire body of Shalom in under an hour once I had the machine and the 'math' ready to go.
Machine knitting, for me, will never replace hand knitting. But it occupies an invaluable spot in my repertoire. Bonnie Marie Burns of Chicknits, both a hand and machine knitter herself, calls the garments produced by this 'combo' knitting 'fusion garments'. The interesting/challenging/intriguing/motivating portion, done by hand. The boring bits, done on the machine.
In the case of Shalom, because the yoke was already done and formed a circle, I couldn't stretch the body stitches straight enough to hook the entire body onto the machine in one piece. I reverted to traditional format - two fronts and a back. That meant some sewing up after the fact, but still days faster than knitting the entire piece by hand.
Now hopefully, despite another gang of skiers arriving tonight, there will be time this weekend to find some buttons. Modelled shots and 'deets' on Monday.