machine knitting midgauge standard bulky machknit knit machine-knit patterns

Monday, March 15, 2010

Going around in circles with a knitting machine

Another attempt at using up the yarn stash. Another gal (Vonkad on Ravelry) and I got inspired by seeing pictures of circle scarves at the same time. She is in the process of writing up her version. I think she is being a lot more precise than I was. I jumped in without a lot of thought and just went for it. Not sure yet how she joins her circles, but I just attached the previous circle every other row 5 times as I was knitting the next. Looking back, I'm thinking it isn't necessary to join them at all. The join is at the back of the neck and doesn't show anyway. Plus---a person could knit a variety of yarns and colors and mix and match circles to work with an outfit.

The scarves are squished under the lid of my scanner, so the pictures are not so elegant. You can see, though, that the strips just roll inward with the stockinette side turning out to be the public side. Advantages over knitting I cords are that it goes much more quickly and you can make the widths of your circles much wider.

This was seriously fun, mindless knitting! I cast on with waste yarn anywhere from 10 to 20 stitches, depending on the yarn and machine, and knit anywhere from 200 to 400 rows. Knit a few rows of waste yarn to start so it wouldn't unravel. Then changed to main yarn and knit the length I wanted it. Yup, against all the holy principles of machine knitting, I measured whilst on the machine. When I thought it was long enough I took it off on several rows of waste yarn. I kitchener stitched the ends together while it was in my lap and removed the waste yarn. Some of the circles were long enough to wrap twice around my neck. I tried to stagger the lengths. Random is good sometimes.

The red one has seven different yarns: cotton, wool, silk, slubby. Most of the strands were knit on the standard gauge. The colorful novelty yarn would only knit every other needle on the bulky. (Big and fat.) It resisted, but complied in the end. The gray/black/white/tan one has six circles with a variety of fiber contents also. It is fun to try to find a variety of coordinating yarns in the stash and use them up!!! Can't imagine knitting one of these by hand, but it's a perfect project for the machine. And, there aren't a lot of projects where you can mix and match machines, giving each their due.

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