Thoughts on Machine Knitting

machine knitting

My favourite classes in school are the ones that deal with textiles. We have 6 hours in a row, every Thursday, and it’s either printing, embroidery, surface manipulation, weaving or knitting. Today I want to talk about knitting a bit.

I always was a sewist, never a knitter. I learned the basic techniques in primary school and made a pair of socks in high school (with a lot of help from my mother), but knitting was never really my thing – I’m not very fast and I don’t have enough patience (I know, practice is everything). I’d love to make a thick sweater out of unbleached wool, with all kinds of difficult cable stitches and honeycomb patterns, but it is very unlikely that this will happen in the near future.

Anyway, machine knitting. In school, we have four double-bedded machines, two coarse ones, a fine one and one that is super fine. Manual operation only! At first, we learned all different kinds of stitches, with one or two colours, double knits, ribbing… Then, we could knit a piece for ourselves. There was the option to knit ‘fabric’ and cut pattern pieces out of it, to make something out of the rectangular pieces or to just leave it as it is – that’s what I did.

At first, I had plans for something else, but eventually, I decided to just knit this huge shawl – it’s 75cm x 200cm, which equals 150 needles and approx. 1400 rows (on the fine machine). I used the stitches ‘Noppe’ at the border and ‘Perlfang’ for the rest of the scarf. My yarns were two cottons in differnt shades of blue and a wool in green. That wool! Something was wrong with the spool, the thread was interrupted in several places, which resulted in this blue stripe you can see below. I didn’t realize it at first (I was more cautious afterward) and wasn’t sure what to do. Start again? In the end, I decided it should be a design feature and repeated it on the other side – I just cut the green yarn and knitted the 20 rows with just the two blues. I quite like it that way!

The course is already over, so final thoughts? I really enjoyed it. Picking the colours and testing how they would look together was a lot of fun – I love the mottled effect. Also, knitting on the machine is (obviously) so fast! Perfect for someone with little patience…

machine knitting

machine knitting

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