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Topic: Knitting Machines - good or evil?  (Read 1135 times)
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« on: June 17, 2008 11:54:44 PM »

Firstly, I'm talking about REAL knitting machines - the type from the '70s/'80s that have to be bolted to the desk, and can give you a hernia by lifting it.

So my question is: Is this still considered "real" knitting? Am I going to incur the wrath of knitting snobbery if I post garments/items made on the machine? I know that Craftsters are a friendly mob, but I don't want to stick something up and get a snide little "yeah, but there's no real skill involved, is there?" kind of comment.

Let me know your opinion!

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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2008 12:33:17 AM »

I have no experience with knitting machines, aside what I read from others. What I've read is that you need to do lots of maths and adjustements to get them to work right, and that they're far from feed-yarn-go-out-come-back-home-to-sweater-magically-completed. I've read that it's more difficult to make good socks on machines than hand knitting. So I don't think it necessarily lacks skills. And I've seen loom knitting projects on Craftster too. I don't see what the difference is, in that both kinds are not hand knitted, right? Although to be honest, I don't think Craftster "judges" by skill level at all. Highly advanced projects don't automatically give better reception. A lot of the most commented, most viewed projects are easy and simple, like toys and small purses. I think people mostly comment on what they'd want to knit or wear. And sometimes, even the most simple and easy things are a beauty (http://brooklyntweed.blogspot.com/2008/06/knitted-garter-stith-blanket-aka-big.html).

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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2008 02:23:00 AM »

I bought a knitting machine once at a boot sale.  I had grand dreams of churning out sweaters and blankets and all sorts.  In the end I produced exactly:  nothing.  I never could figure it out or get it to work.  It's possible there was something wrong with the machine, it's equally possible I'm just useless at that sort of thing.  I sold it for 5 pounds, and sincerely hope that the person who bought it had better luck then me with it!
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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2008 02:25:34 AM »

Pfft there is just as much skill in machine knitting as full hand knitting! You need a lot of patience, what with all the stitches falling off or yarn breaking, etc. Just because it's heaps faster and you're not manipulating each stitch, doesn't mean it's any less commendable. There's a lot of amazing stuff that can be made with knitting machines! Anyone who thinks otherwise has obviously not had much experience with one.


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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2008 02:43:50 AM »

I agree with everyone else.  I'm not a great knitter to start with, but my mom is, and  we've watched people knit with the machines, and even she thinks that they require talent and skill.  I am honestly very intimidated by them, so I would be in awe of a project made on one.  Just as in awe as a project someone made using knitting needles. 

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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2008 04:53:53 AM »

Being a machine knitter myself there is a learning curve - my best advice is to stick with it - and start out with the first project in your manual - or just do some basic back and forths to get the feel of it - start off small and work your way up to the more advanced stuff - if you have someone in town that will help you along the way - go for it - check yahoogroups for someone near you that has a machine that will help you get going... having someone there to help you is sooo much better than to do it from a manual...

If your machine needs a sponge bar get a new one - I do  believe you have one that needs a sponge bag contact www.cara4webshopping.com she is a Craftster here as well and she is fantastic.  Her inventory is extensive and I am sure she will do what she can.

As for the is it really knitting question - machine knitting is like apples and oranges.  You will have to manipulate those stitches. Some people don't take to it and can't be bothered.  It reminds me a lot of using a loom or weaving sort of - you are making material and manipulating it to do what you want it to.
Oh and you can make some really amazing and fun things with a knitting machine - I have been working on slippers lately - okay. I have made one slipper.  I will post up pics in the gallery one of these days - I have been lazy to post up any of my finished things lately...

Anyhoooooo.... there are hand knitters that will scowl at you saying that you are cheating by using a knitting machine - they are the ones who have no idea what knitting machines are and are not capable of. Those are the ones that think you press a magic button and out will spit your finished sweater, sock, blanket, scarf, tablecloth whatever.... so not true.  There is a definite knack to it and if you practice and stick with it you will create some amazing things.

okay. stepping down.  I love my knitting machines. No I don't hand knit but I still love my knitting machines.

oh and once you fall in love with one - you will look for more....... different machines can do different yarns........

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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2008 06:04:59 AM »

If you are brave enough to turn that scary thing on and actually manage to get something out of it then I think you have plenty of skill Wink
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2008 07:58:12 AM »

I'm a hand-knitter... and I declare "KNITTING MACHINES GOOD".

For purists,
hand knitted on traditional needles = "hand knit"
hand make on machine needles = "hand loomed"

There seems to be an anolgy between hand sewing /sergers and hand knitting/knitting machines. IMHO.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2008 09:33:16 AM by ScotSkipper402 » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2008 08:24:22 AM »

Knitting machines = GOOD  Grin
However they don't actually = EASY  Wink

I think the snobbery arises from the fact people think you just throw a stitch and it makes you a new sweater *lol* there is actually a fair bit of hand tooling involved in making a garment and math to make sure it fits  Cheesy

Have fun learning  Grin
« Last Edit: June 18, 2008 08:25:24 AM by Kookaloo_Starr » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2008 04:20:42 PM »

Thanks for all your encouragement and opinions!

This model was my mum's - back in the day when she had time for such fripperies as making clothes [insert sarcasm here], she used this a lot (and bought a heap of books and pattern punch cards as well - yay!), but then it sat in the attic for the better part of 20 years. I've done a fair bit on it in the past few years, and I've got a mega project simmering away in my head (will require me to "finish" sewing so I can bolt it on my desk).

I guess I was just getting a feel for people's opinions. And yes, there is absolutely **NO** magic button -- just some fabulously well-developed arm muscles!

Oh, and Darkladymajesta - the cool thing is, there is no power required, so there's no "turning on". Also means you can hammer away well into the night without disturbing anyone!

And I hand-knit, and crochet, and sew, and graphic design (clever me - that's now a verb...)

ScotSkipper402: "There seems to be an analogy between hand sewing /sergers and hand knitting/knitting machines. IMHO." - Good point!

I suffer from SABLE -- Stash Accumulated Beyond Life Expectancy.

Crochet uses a hook. Pirates have hooks, and they are cool. So crochet is cool because of the hook.

"I'm the Fibre King, Michael. I'm the Fibre King." - Horatio Caine, CSI
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