A Knitting Machine: The Devil, or an Angel in Disguise?

So my boyfriend recently bought a knitting machine, a SK160, and I have no idea what to make of it. It’s ugly, and takes up a lot of space. At first I thought it was a present for me, seeing as how he said he wanted to surprise me, but it turns out he only wanted to surprise me with a knitted garment- not a machine! :whoosh:

SO, the fact that the machine is not intended for my use combined with its hideous bulkiness really turns me off. There are a lot of disadvantages to it, or so it seems, the main one being that it doesn’t seem to have the freedom that hand knitting does. The only con to hand knitting is that it may be slower. So, what’s the consensus: slow and steady wins the race, or is it time to evolve?

Elsebeth Lavold, the Swedish designer who specializes in Viking Knits and Cables, uses a knitting machine to crank out stocking stitch pullovers, etc, believe it or not! She does knit the fun stuff (for instance, the cabled collar, or cuffs) but she uses the knitting machine to race through the boring stuff (st st!).

I’m never in a hurry to crank out anything, but I can see its value to some people. My grandmother had a knitting machine that she used to create skirted suits using laceweight (or fingering) yarn! Ewww. Can you imagine knitting a skirted suit on knitting needles? And Gramma did more than just st st.
I remember her suits having different pattern stitches! She had a closet full of them!

It’s not my cup of tea. Personally, I don’t consider machine knit clothing hand knit although some people do I know. If I want machine knit I’d go to shopping. :shrug: Hand knit is hand knit with your two hands and requires time and love IMO.

While you might not like the look or lack of flex you would get with the machine. Your boyfirend wanted to MAKE YOU something. Hand knitting is an art that most men don’t have time to master. Encourage your boyfriend to finish that scarf (or whatever) and cherish it! Caravann

good idea: let him have the fun and enjoy the products.

How about an afghan? A REALL big one? Maybe done in squares or stripes, when it does not fit at once…

but I stick with my hand knitting. I really like the fact that the product can take virtually any shape that is physically possible. If I want to go about with flat fabric I buy it and sew.

I guess machines can do patterns, of course. But I want my knits to be mine. And other than in sewing machines do not get the craft the same way / better.

I DO concider, however, to get one of the I-cord thingies to crank out immense amount of I-cord with a little turn handle. THAT might be worth it. I found a pullover the Power Cables book that has meters and meters of I-cord woven through little holes… that I-cord I do not want to hand-knit. Really.

If I do not get the turn-handle thing I will at least get one of those puppets that I had as a kid. What are they called in English?

Knitting Nancy?

There is a blog http://spoolknitter.blogspot.com/ that lists tons of different names for this (scroll down on the right-hand side). I count 50 names in their list!

I remember using this as a kid, but got bored because I couldn’t figure out what to do with all that cord when I finished :wink:

yup, Knitting Nacy I have heard, too. But the abundance of names leads me to the conclusion that it is just “that knitting thing” for most :slight_smile:

I made those cords, too. I braided them for a dog leash, I sewed them to flat round pieces for coasters and pot cosies, I made not much more with them.

I have seen great items done with it at our yarn shop lately:

you crochet a mesh ( a tripple stitch, 5 loop stitches… and so on, next row offset to the middle of that grid). You make a pullover, vest, handbag… that way.
Then you make that endless I-cord and weave it in all neat. The result is a fabric with a lot of structure and interesting play on technique.

They ususally use a self striping yarn for the I-cord. But you can also use that for the crochet. Or just use different colors.

I would also think you could make that bag in felting and then weave to get even more of a structure difference.

And then there is that pullover in Power Cables that I really like and that weaves that cord.

I also would use it for pullstrings in garment, like bottom or waistline of a pullover, hood of a jaket and so on. Also for wrap jackets to close them off… all that.

So: I do not use I-cord in long pieces all that often but I might. And then I know how to knit it, I guess.

Of course I’ll let him play with his toy without too much hassel from me. :teehee: But I’d rather he get a move on making my “I Knit So I Don’t Kill People” t-shirt. :thumbsup: