A. the cat’s revenge on a lace sampler scarf
B. proof that the knitting gods are toying with me
D. all of the above
now, all you machine knitters sit on your hands, I can hear you going "pick me, pick me!"I know you are dying to answer!
The answer is in fact D, and a whole lot more…I bought my current machine from a dear old lady, the whole kit and caboodle for $200, a bargain for an electronic, even if it is an old one. Included in the “caboodle” were a stack of hand marked Mylar pattern sheets, I have used some, but decided yesterday to do some lace sampling ( I keep feeling like I am going over and over old ground, I hate moving and giving stuff away…I keep losing stuff I need! Next time we move, my whole workroom moves with us) and dug the sheets out, I then numbered and listed the patterns prior to knitting them to keep an accurate record, and then set to and knitted a long scarf of different lace patterns, unfortunately a number of them were “no go’s” so I ended up with patches of ladders, (some needle crunching…)and a few had obvious mistakes, which I may be able to fix, but a few were lovely, which made the whole exercise worthwhile.
I printed the number of the pattern (which is also written on the Mylar sheet) the number of rows in the sample, tension, weight required and just a general note about ease of knitting etc. on a slip of paper and stapled this to the sample, at present the scarves are just folded in a box in my workroom, but when I have finished sampling I will over lock each successful sample to minimize storage ( see my whinge from before re: travelling…I have a box load of samples in the storage room of our Waihi house!) I may take photos of these samples and load them into my laptop, simplify things even further.
Standard machine knit lace ( for those of us who don’t own garter carriages) is quite different to handknit lace, for a start there is a stocking stitch side and a reverse stocking stitch side, you cannot have plain and purl stitches on the same side, unless you handtool them, use a garter bar, or the aforementioned garter carriage. There are some very pretty lace patterns that are easy to knit by machine, but would torment a handknitter, I am not going to go into the details of how machines knit lace, there are experts who can do that
Here for starters. And a more complex, how to turn a handknit lace design into a machine knit pattern
The main advantage for me is the speed, which allows me to experiment with lace, in ways that I couldn’t do and still have a job and family. I can knit an “emergency gift” scarf in 20 minutes (and weave in the ends in the car on the way!)
I keep reading about the “Birch Blackhole effect” Birch would take me an hour to knit on the machine…but I won’t, it would be cruel!
I love the relaxing effects of handknitting, and will continue to hand knit lace patterns like Old shale, which relies on garter st for patterning, I see machine knitting as a separate and complimentary craft, for the sake of sanity some things are better suited to the machine, and others to hand knitting.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Posted by Justine Turner at 11:54 AM