Design: Bonne Marie Burns for ChicKnits
Yarn: Phildar "Marjory" 50% Cotton/ 50% Acrylic
Color: Cream & Black
Gauge: 20sts/28 rows over 4"
Needles: #3 & #6
Type: Hand & Machine Knit with Duplicate Stitch Detailing
This little pulli is my maiden voyage on the LK-150 knitting machine I got on eBay. I also have a Bond Ultimate Sweater Machine that I leave out attached to a fabulous heavy maple IKEA table I scooped up at a sidewalk sale this summer. The LK-150 is a Mid-Gauge Machine; the Bond is a Bulky Machine.
These knitting machines are great for doing big pieces of *plain* Stockinette Stitch knitting that can be finished later by hand. I made a few garments when I got the Bond two years ago, drifted away from it, and now, with the arrival of the LK-150 am back on the machine track...
Why Machine Knit? It allows me to make the simply wonderful fitting Utility Sweaters I love to wear to work. Using a machine and high quality ingredients, I can make hard wearing, long lasting, dependable, SIMPLE garments I can't buy off the rack.
Oh He** - I'll tell the TRUTH! I have very loooong arms, a short waist topping a long body. I am CUSTOM all the way! I CAN'T buy off the rack unless I get a garment a couple of sizes bigger than what my body needs to meet my length requirements...
It is indeed a time saver. You can make all the sweater body pieces, minus the borders, in a weekend. Then you can hand knit the edge finishings and sew it together at your leisure.
There is a learning curve - but not too bad. If you just make all of the little projects in their included book, you will learn all the techniques you need. Mine also came with a very good video that demonstrated the techniques.
DOWNSIDE: not as user friendly as hand-knitting. AND, this is the real reason that 99.9% of the sweaters you see in the ChicKnits Galleries are completely hand knit - I love the feel and process of hand knitting. The Lap Dance, so to speak...
Machine Knitting is not MOBILE. You really have to dedicate a block of time to the project - I never leave a piece hanging from the USM but finish in one session whatever piece I'm working on to avoid gauge changes in the fabric.
You also really have to understand gauge and count rows instead of measuring to get reproducible results so your pieces match EXACTLY. GAUGE is good. GAUGE IS PARAMOUNT!
But THAT, but of course, is true whether it's hand OR machine...
some Starter MK Links
What Machine Should I Get?
the Incredible Sweater Machine Group on Yahoo
Bond Knitter's Internet Links
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