Why learn machine knitting? Whilst handknitting is the entry point for most knitters, and those knitting by hand are often devoted to their craft, making the transition onto the machine can be hugely beneficial, creative and indeed fun. If you are looking to produce garments for your family or use your knitted goods as a source of income, the machine becomes an essential piece in your toolkit. It is complex, technical and sometimes requires patience, however with this brings great pleasure and satisfaction from your work.
Speed is the most obvious advantage here. It is much faster to produce projects on the machine. No more slipped stitches or crooked cables! Machine knitting provides a cleaner and more professional look, and allows you to replicate your designs with ease. Moreover, once you get the knack, it allows you to unleash your creativity with limitless possibilities and without slaving over the needles endlessly for each project. The process becomes therapeutic; a creative meditation.
Choosing the right knitting machine to use can feel intimidating, but it doesn’t need to be. First, consider the item you are going to knit and what size of yarn you prefer to work with. Each machine type varies according to it’s gauges or the distance between the needles on the bed. This ranges from fine gauge machines, standard gauge machines, mid-gauge machines to bulky machines. You will find smaller hooks for lace weight yarn on the finer gauge machines, whilst the bulky machines have large hooks to handle heavier yarns. Using too large a yarn on a fine gauge machine could damage it, so this is why it is important to consider what size yarn you want to use before beginning.
Although the process can seem daunting when starting out, another major benefit of transitioning onto the machine is the ability to reproduce favourite basic handknit patterns easily and efficiently. At one of our beginners classes you can expect to learn how to set up a knitting machine, how to change between different coloured yarns and how to blend and mix different yarns together. We will teach you various techniques, including casting on and off, lace holes, stripes and ladders and you will leave with a better understanding of knitwear yarns, machines and gauges. With the basics under your belt, classes then explore more advanced techniques such as E wrapping, Fringing, Cording, Tucking, Weaving In and Punch-Card Jacquard. Knitting machines are as flexible as you are creative. So why not give it a go and see what you can create?
If this post has inspired you to get onto the machine, book onto one of our many classes today. Here at Knithub 24, you’ll learn new skills and meet other knitting enthusiasts as we teach you on our Brother Knitting Machines. Whatever your interest or ability, we’ve got something that will cater to you. Find out about our courses here.
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Image credits: Knithub 24