I got a knitting machine last week. Technically, it’s a sweater machine, which is the same thing as a knitting machine, but janky.
It’s totally from the 80s. It looks like one of those as-seen-on-tv setups, complete with a poorly written manual and a VHS instruction tape. Thanks, 80s!
Luckily, there’s this thing called The Internet, and that’s where I’ve been able to find all the info I need to get this beast to run.
Of course, the online videos are also from the 80s, hence the abundance of mom mullets and Cosby sweater inspiration. But no matter, the information is still valid, and the artist (me), can still absorb what is required in order to create.
And here is what I’ve created so far:
Stripey is the first piece I knitted, and I used a technique that I like to call “forceful shoving” to get the cool mid-row stripe effect. Sadly, this technique resulted in multiple jams, and a long weekend filled with me wondering if I’d broken my machine.
I did not. This machine is fairly sturdy, I just had to learn to be more gentle in order to coax it back into action.
The teal and oatmeal combo was whipped out yesterday. Note the little black flecks in the teal area, and the little teal flecks in the oatmeal zone. Those are on purpose and are known as “floats.” And if you look to the bottom centre part of the teal, you will see the very beginning of a cable. That was also on purpose, but it was difficult, and since I suspected that I might be able to actually use this swatch for a project, I only made two cables (the other one is out of view).
Each of these swatches is roughly the size of an adult-sized bodice front or back.
My initial intent with purchasing this machine was to make my own knit yardage to then adapt into sweaters via sewing machine. The pre-made sweater knits that I was purchasing were cute, but limited. I wanted some fancy prints for my sweaters that couldn’t be found anywhere else.
However, this toy is fun and intriguing, and I think I’d like to learn how to use it a bit more thoroughly. I’m a little leery about starting over with an entirely new machine, especially since I’ve spent so much time and energy on the sewing machine. But fashion comes in many shapes and sizes, and incorporating homemade knits into my line seems like a great idea for a Canadian designer.