Machine Knitting - A Follow Up...

Marie over at Knitted Gems writes:

"I'm a bit miffed that it would only take you 3 hours to knit when it took me Much longer. However, you did note that the scarf was double knitted, right? I don't want people to think that I'm Molasses in January (smile) over just plain (stocking stitch) knitting."

Quite right, Marie, it would be unfair to tag you with the label of "slooooow knitter!" Double knitting takes...surprisingly enough...DOUBLE the amount of time (GIGGLE) & I haven't a clue how to accomplish that on the knitting machine. My interpretation of your beautiful scarf employed straight stockinette. The resulting fabric is not as dense & perhaps not as warm for your Pennsylvania winters, but I prefer the better drape & less bulk of the lighter fabric, anyway.

I'm glad for your comment, Marie, because it brings up an important point that I neglected to mention in previous posts.... It is not always easy to convert a handknitting pattern to machine knitting. So for the person who's only comfortable working straight from a pattern, using a combination of machine & hand knitting may not be in the cards. I consider myself a "free form" knitter (crochet, too) & am very experimental. If something just isn't working, I'll rip it out & do it again. Fortunately, with the speed of the machine, ripping out & redoing something isn't the onerous job it was with handknitting (who the heck doesn't mind ripping out 20 hours of hand work? I'd rather fall on my knitting needles!)

Next question:

"Something I would like you to address on the machine knitting, the quality of machine knitting. Sometimes the knitting comes out too tight or too perfect. How do you seamlessly switch between the machine and your stitches? Wouldn't there be a line running between the two?"

There can be an unhappy line showing where you stopped the machine knitting & picked up the stitches on conventional needles, BUT with a experience comes the ability to be able to choose the right size needles to closely match the gauge of the machine stitches to your own tension & way of working by hand. Then, too, I find that I'll switch at a point where any difference is either minimal or will be camouflaged by later embellishments. For example, I may use the machine only for knitting that 3" of 1-1 ribbing & then switch to regular needles to make the increases & start a pattern stitch on the body of the sweater. Or, perhaps, knit the ribbed band & stockinette on the body up to that point where I'm going to add an intarsia design or begin a Fairisle yoke. Does that make sense?

Thanks for the comment & question, Marie. And, again, super job on the Big Dipper scarf. I love it!

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