I am so excited about this new Craftsy class, I just want to bust!
First some background:
I am not only a hand knitter, I am also a machine knitter. Years ago when I first started designing for knitting publications, the deadlines came so fast and furious that I had to find something to help speed up my knitting so that I could meet them.
I bought myself a very simple knitting machine and after I’d gotten over the learning curve, it made all the difference in the world. I could do yards of stockinette in literally minutes. Stockinette sleeves for a sweater? 20 minutes. Ditto a sweater back with side shaping and interior darts; done in 20 minutes.
But there is that learning curve and at the time I needed help in the form of lessons. So I bought Susan Guagliumi’s book “Hand Manipulated Stitches for Machine Knitting” and her videotape by the same name. The videotape was especially helpful, as seeing the techniques in motion is key for learning.
In these lessons I learned everything I needed to know to use my machine which is a simple and basic plastic bed LK 150, and coincidentally is the same machine Susan used in her video to demonstrate.
“Machine Knitting: Essential Techniques” i
s the perfect class to take if you already own or are thinking about investing in a simple machine like the one I use. So many knitting machines are purchased and then just stored away under a bed and forgotten, but these lessons will help get you over that learning curve and make your machine an essential part of your knitting repetoire.
Susan takes students through the basics of setting up the machine, showing what the parts do and then takes us right into the knitting. We learn to cast on, increase and decrease, do eyelets for lace, short rows and bind off.
We then take off into some other skills including ribbing, cables, and some alternative cast ons.
Then comes a very important lesson on troubleshooting which will make all the difference in your machine either becoming part of your knitting bag-o’-tricks, or living forlornly under a bed. Learn to fix mistakes, recognize when something is going wrong, take care of cast-on problems and essentially jump over the roadblocks that take the joy out of machine knitting. This is the part of the class that you will refer to over and over and is absolutely worth it’s weight in gold.
Let me just re-iterate, the lessons Susan teaches are for a simple, non-electric, non-computerized model knitting machine. Personally, I enjoy hand knitting too much to get into anything fancier. The machine is there for me to speed up the easy parts of the knitting, and then I hang my project back onto hand knitting needles for the fun/more difficult details.
Happy machine knitting!!