Friday, February 13, 2009

A Confession

Sel & Poivre commented yesterday about how I managed to finish Shalom so quickly. She asked if I ever sleep? I did tell her that I am blessed with a boring husband which allows me lots of knitting time. Even though that is annoyingly very true, there is still a limit to what my fingers can accomplish.

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 the interesting portion the yoke, I thought to myself - 'The fun is all behind me and all that's in front of me is boring knitting.' This is in fact the reason EZ disliked top-down knitting. Off to my languishing machine (an LK 150) I went and in no time, all parts of Shalom were complete.

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.


Anonymous said...

Now we have to get you interested in a sock machine ---lots of fun

Sel and Poivre said...

Not a confession - enlightenment! I never knew one garment could swing both ways!

Anonymous said...

I love that expression - 'fusion' knitting. The best way to go!