Have been digging in & working furiously on my fall line of felted purses, hats, gloves, & the designer sweaters. That single minded focus has really paid off, too. I've finished:
- a nice green, rolled brim felt hat
- a pair of convertible Fairisle mittens
- a couple of scarves
- a nice felted tote/handbag I call "Danube"
- a cabled woman's sz. medium "T" in wheat color silk/rayon
- a woman's sz. medium intarsia sweater in autumn color leaves & grapes design
- An infant sz. 6 mos. cardi & beret in a yummy plum color silk blend
Still, I am able to invest less time in many of my projects than the average knitter simply because I'm not above turning to my trusty knitting machine(s) to accomplish the very straightforward portions of a project, such as stockinette & 1-1 ribbing. I personally find this sort of knitting tedious. I'm far too eager to get on with the detail work & embellishing that makes my designs distinctly my own to spend hours on such routine knitting. Aside from the Fairisle & intarsia projects, most of my creations will be knitted in part on the machine & I make no apologies for it.
Now, I know that there's some purists out there who might wag their finger & argue that I can't honestly say that my creations are "handknits" when I've used the machine for parts of them. Frankly, I think that's just a lot of hogwash. It's my opinion that using the machine is just a matter of using another tool - no different than using a circular needle instead of double-points or straight needles because it's the easier or faster method. Knitting on the machine is still "handknitting" - it's my unique design & I have my hands all over it from cast-on to finished creation...ergo, it's "handknitted." Perhaps I'd hold a different opinion if I were using one of those whizbang electronic knitters that you simply feed in a pattern, set up the yarn, & turn it on to knit the project all by itself. Then I suppose there'd be a basis for argument there. I don't have anything that sophisticated.
I currently have two knitting machines. The Singer Memomatic 327 works well for fingering to sport weight yarns. The Singer LK-100 (considered a "hobby" knitting machine) works well for worsted, chunky & some novelty yarns. Both machines are older, used, & I bought them on eBay for a song. They are, without doubt, two of the best investments I've ever made. They've saved me hours & hours of precious time & allowed me to spend a greater amount of time on the truly creative aspects of my work. Speeding right though that tedious ribbing or 14" of stockinette on a sweater has also resulted in more finished projects & fewer UFO's (un-finished objects). That's a winning combination for me.
If you're like me & take no pleasure in knitting 3" of 1-1 rib or two thirds of a sweater in stockinette stitch, I suggest you look into the joys of machine knitting. There's a great Yahoo forum, too, that you can turn to for more information & advice on machines. Go here & sign up. You'll thank me later...