Sunday, January 25, 2015

Colourwork in a flash

I've spent some time this passed week getting to know my knitting machine, and having a bit of a play around with punch cards.

Colourwork is incredibly quick on a machine.  Well, when I say quick, I should clarify.  

Once I get passed the 2 days of frustration and bewilderment as to exactly why it's not working; the numerous cast-ons only to realise I've forgotten to flick a switch to position B, or I've threaded it wrong, or the tension is too tight/loose, or as I pass the carriage over for the seemingly simple row, half a dozen $*&#% stitches jump off the hooks and run aalllllll the way down - then, after all this, it's incredibly quick.

I was determined to pass on at least some small thing to the very friend that I got this sweet machine off, before she sets off on her adventure to live in Scotland.  It seemed only fitting that small thing be a piece of machine knitted colourwork.  It tied in a good deal of things I've been lucky to learn from her since meeting up in 2013, and I felt very proud to hand these over to her last week at lunch.  I did not, however, manage to get a photo of them completed!

Once I found my stride, I went in search of more yarn and came across two balls of Jo Sharp Alpaca Silk Georgette.  I think this yarn has now been discontinued?  It's a lovely alpaca blend in sportweight and I'd picked up these two contrasting colours in a sale. Two balls of sportweight isn't quite enough with which to do much, though.  I settled on a small cowl, buttoned for ease of getting on/off.

The yarn went through the machine beautifully, and the high contrast swan white and charcoal have worked together in such a perfect way.  I handknit the ribbed bands because although I know you can simulate rib, and create buttonholes on a knitting machine, my skill are not there yet.  I personally also like the blend of machine and hand.

Buttons gleaned from my recently felted (sob) cardigan were a perfect match, and the cowl was quickly snaffled up by Lily with her now-patented trick of "Oh! Did you make that for me?!".  I might secretly decide that we'll share it though.

There was even more colourwork experimentation, but I might save that for the next post.  It involves a Very Special Skein, and I think this one deserves it's own day in the sun.

I did a quick progress shot of my Summer of the Single Skein progress yesterday and I'm happy so far.  Depending on your interpretation of when Summer "ends", I feel like we are at the halfway mark?  March seems like as good a time as any to wind things up and start thinking about Autumn, don't you think?

How are all your special skein plans working out?  Are you planning or winging it?  I'm doing a little of column A, a little of column B.  Don't forget to tag your projects with #summerofthesingleskein on Instagram, or do a bit of show-and-tell over on the Ravelry group - we've got over 100 members to date, and lots of inspirational posts, chat and encouragement.


Caffeine Girl said...

Looks like you're making great progress in learning to use the knitting machine. I'm sure I would never be able to figure it out!

rebecca said...

Fabulous stuff. Your machine knitting is wonderful. I hadn't realized how much pattern you could include. March sounds good for the conclusion of summer, am enjoying the knitting. Some new things to share soon.