So, it's been almost a year since my last post. I really suck at this regularity stuff. I have a million excuses. None of which matters. I've thought now and then about posting. Then I just decided sleeping would be better.
I'm awake now. So, I thought I'd put up a post about my latest obsession. Like most things, I don't remember how I got started on it. But, I took an interest in knitting machines sometime around the beginning of the year. Oh wait! I do remember now how I got started on it. I wanted to make large diameter icord to use as "yarn" for a blanket for my daughter. And I DID NOT want to make the icord by hand.
As usual, I researched several methods of how I could accomplish this. I decided the best way to go about it would be to use a knitting machine. I saw the small circular ones and thought that would be a good place to start. I didn't want to invest in an Addi just to make icord, so I opted for a cheap-o off-brand-mostly-toy machine. I tried and tried and tried to make icord with the silly thing and just ended up making myself crazy.
After more research, I found out that flatbed knitting machines are capable of making icord. Again, I didn't want to invest a lot of money so I opted for a used machine from the 80's called the Incredible Sweater Machine. Unlike the toy Addi, I couldn't even get this machine to knit a flat piece of stockinette, let alone icord. I sold it on Ebay for what I bought it for with a little bit extra.
Not to be deterred, I researched more. I found another machine. This one is, as far as I can tell, from the late 50's to early 60's. It's a Brother Profile KH-550. Once I got it, I realized I had made a mistake. This machine is what is called a standard gauge machine. That means it mainly will knit nothing thicker than lace weight yarn. And, man,was there a learning curve! I really was frustrated at first and almost gave up. But, I squeezed in a few hours here and there, and I finally managed to knit some stuff on it. And... the result was I caught the bug.
I purchased another machine, a Studio SK-100. This one is what is called a bulky gauge. It will knit the worsted weight yarn that I want to use for my icord yarn. It wasn't as simple as it could have been on the Brother machine because I have to manually hold down a button to get it to knit the icord. But it does work. Yea!!!!!
And.... that wasn't all. I was perusing a site called shopgoodwill.com and found a standard gauge punch card machine. A Studio SK-328. That means.... lace! I can make lace with it....... using punch cards. If you're old enough to remember what computer punch cards were, then you have an idea of what these punch cards look like. I got the machine for less than I paid for the other two put together. Including shipping! I couldn't pass it up.
After that I found a lace carriage on Ebay. (It never ends.) It isn't supposed to work with my punch card machine because of the needles my machine uses. I found out that I can replace the needles on my punch card machine with ones that will work with the lace carriage and then it will work. So.... yeah, I bought the lace carriage, new needles and some punch cards. I have been too exhausted lately to put in the new needles so that I can try it. But I plan to soon.
I would like to get a mid-gauge machine at some point. But that's on hold for now. I have enough machines to keep me busy for a while.
I remember before I got my machines thinking how silly they must be. They seemed to be so impractical and sort of..... cheating. I'm ashamed to admit to having those thoughts now because the truth of kitting machines couldn't be more different than my silly assumptions. They are very useful and so very different from knitting by hand. They do make some things easier, but they are by no means automatic. You definitely have to understand how they work and know what you want to accomplish with them. And... they are fun. Really fun.
Anyway, that's what's been taking up most of my year to date. Hope yours has been going well.
I often feel as if I belong on the Island of Misfit Toys because I'm not a creative with just one area of expertise. I enjoy making digital creations in Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. I love knit and crochet. I love glass art. The creative process is very therapeutic for me and, mostly, keeps me somewhat sane in an insane world.