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Topic: what can a sweater-making machine do?  (Read 2567 times)
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brooklyn.construction
« on: September 21, 2005 10:54:39 AM »

does anyone know the limitations of what sweater-making machines can do?  i'm interested in buying one, but i'm afraid i wont be able to make things from the handknit patterns i own. am i limited to making squares, or can i increase, decrease, etc.?  i'd really appreciate anyone's input.
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GloryB
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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2005 12:37:00 PM »

Since your calling it a "sweater making machine" instead of a knitting machine, you must be asking about the Bond Ultimate Sweater Machine.  That machine just does stockinette,  to achieve other textures, you need to hand manipulate the stitches.  The manual will explain and illustrate how.  You can do increases and decreases, by transferring stitches to the adjacent needles.  That particular machine is made for use with hand knitting yarns.  If you can match the gauge, you can use your hand knitting patterns
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brooklyn.construction
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2005 08:15:28 AM »

thanks for the info...gonna go buy one soon
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shana
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2005 09:14:52 AM »

I just finished a sweater this weekend on my ultimate sweater machine. You can see it at http://www.silvertuesday.com/ (entry dated for today) to get an idea of a basic sweater that the machine can do. Like GloryB said, the machine does stockinette. The ribbing at the bottom of the sweater was done on the machine, but I had to hand manipulate the stitches. (The ribbing at the collar was done by hand off the machine after seaming the sweater pieces together.) The handbook that comes with it will tell you how to do this, and also how to make cables, how to increase and decrease and bind off. I like the USM for simple sweaters like the one I made though, something quick and easy to add into my wardrobe.  Smiley

I used The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns to create this sweater. You can use handknitting patterns, but you'll have to convert them to using row calculations for the length. Instead of following instructions that say "knit until piece measures 4 inches..." you'll have to know how many rows on the machine with the yarn you're using equals 4 inches and then knit that many rows.
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dancingbarefoot
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2005 10:10:13 AM »

Heidi's Knitting Room shows a lot of things you can do with one of those basic knitting machines: http://www.heidisknittingroom.ourfamily.com/.

Really, you're only limited by how much hand manipulation of stitches you want to do. I have an old metal knitting machine - not a Bond USM, but similar in that it has no pattern device (punchcard, computer, etc.). I made a sweater two weekends ago with no problems. A bit of hand manipulation, but still fun and still faster than I would've been able to do it by hand.
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1. All fungi are edible.
2. Some fungi are not edible more than once.
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my blog | index of free machine knitting patterns
brooklyn.construction
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2005 02:54:10 PM »

thanks a lot...i need it mainly to make hats and scarves. also, do any of you know about machines that can follow handknit patterns with the necessary hand manipulation?
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dancingbarefoot
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2005 03:55:14 PM »

thanks a lot...i need it mainly to make hats and scarves. also, do any of you know about machines that can follow handknit patterns with the necessary hand manipulation?

Any of the knitting machines available can do hats & scarves. You can't purl, but you can either reform the stitches a few at a time or get what's called a garter bar to do a row at a time. The inexpensive Bond machines (ISM and USM) may be good choices for beginners, or a used Brother or Silver Reed machine. It's not difficult to convert hand patterns to machine, either. Some basic conversion tips here

If you're not sure you're going to like it - 'cause the learning curve is a bit steep - I'd suggest looking for a gently used one to start with.
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1. All fungi are edible.
2. Some fungi are not edible more than once.
~~Terry Pratchett~~


my blog | index of free machine knitting patterns
brooklyn.construction
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2005 09:01:11 PM »

wow, thanks for the great info, dancing...reading that post made me feel more secure in purchasing a USM.  i might get one tomorrow  Grin
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GloryB
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« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2005 06:20:15 AM »

Be sure to let us know when you get your machine.  And feel free to ask questions, I have been a machine knitter for nearly 20 years.  I do have a book suggestion for you.  Susan Guagliumi book "Hand Manipulate Stitches for Machine Knitters".  It will show you different method of casting on, and casting off, how to turn stitches, lots of valuable information.

The garter bar mentioned above is not available for a Bond machine, but there is one available for the Silver Reed/Studio mid gauge.

The machine I started out with is a mid-gauge Brother KX350, which is no longer being manufactured.   Everything that I made on that machine, was from a hand knitting pattern.  An amazing thing, When I used Red Heart yarn and a Red Heart pattern, I could set my tension dial to the same number as the size needle the pattern called for, and it always came out perfect.
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NoelleNoodle
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2005 10:12:26 AM »

I don't know anything about knitting machines but I just ran across a really good article at Knitter's Review about them: http://knittersreview.com/article_tool.asp?article=/review/product/050929_a.asp 

And I remember Marnie MacLean posting some beautiful projects in July and August when she took a machine knitting class.  Start looking her late July archives: http://marniemaclean.com/words/old/2005_07_01_words.html

Hope that helps!
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