What's your knitting goal?

We get many questions about the "best" machine to buy. Knitters are always looking for the "perfect" yarn.

 

The response is simple ... What is your knitting goal?

 Do you want to knit high-fashion sweaters for yourself?

  • Are you looking for long-wearing garments for kids or grandkids?
  • Do you want to duplicate hand knitting patterns you've seen?
  • Love that ready made sweater and want to knit one in your favorite color?
  • Are you looking to knit dishcloths, pillows, throws and home dec items?

If your goal is one or all of these, you need to get focused to achieve your goal.

When you have daily or weekly knitting time, put it to good use by having a plan.

10 Steps building your machine knitting muscle (and having success):

1. Choose your project.

If it's been a while since you've touched your machine, select something simple. A hat or blanket for charity will get you started. don't just play with techniques, knit a simple sweater that will keep someone warm and envelope them with love.

2. Choose your yarn.

Do you love natural fibers? Are you looking for easy-care? Study all the beautiful yarns that are available or choose your favorite yarn from your stash. Don't grab the cheapest, ugly color ... who can jump-start their creativity by knitting with ugly yarn?

3. Swatch

Swatching is NOT optional. Have you every knit something that came out the wrong size? The feeling of failure could have been avoided by knitting a gauge swatch and measuring correctly.

4. Choose a pattern

Don't get carried away and spend a day looking through your bookshelf or the web for the perfect pattern. Identify what it is you want to knit. Don't add to your wish list ... KNIT! For sweaters, use the Knit it Now Basics. Identify the shape of your sweater, choose a size, enter your gauge and knit your one-of-a-kind sweater. 

5. Check the math

Double and triple check your gauge and the sweater dimensions BEFORE knitting. If the pattern says the finished bust is 44", how does that compare to a sweater you have in your closet? What about the sleeve length?

6. Enjoy the knitting process

Don't try to knit an entire sweater in one day! Sure machine knitters can do this, but you will be more prone to mistakes and get aggrivated. 9 times out of 10 you will make a mistake on the second piece and be pulling your hair out by the 3 or 4th piece. Knit one piece today. Take notes, let the piece rest overnight and measure. If you want to make changes, it's better to rip out one piece than an entire garment. Enjoy the knitting process, you are still finising in a fraction of the time it would take to hand knit our project.

7. Take notes
Write right on your pattern anything that you might need to remember for the next piece or the next time you knit this garment.

8. Block your pieces before assembly.

Like swatching, blocking is not optional! Even blankets are greatly improved with steam or wet blocking. Why spend your time on something that is going to look like a used dishrag without blocking?

9 Take time with finishing

Hurrying this process can ruin a project. If you are struggling with a technique, use your swatch to practice before working on your finished garment.

10. Wear/use your finished item with pride!

Is it perfect? Probably not ... but don't point out the flaws to anyone. For some reason in an attempt to be humble, many knitters point out their mistakes. Keep them to yourself and accept the compliments as they come!

Posted by Sue Jalowiec on 02/19/2014 at 11:12 AM | Categories:

2 Comments

Peg Abendroth

Peg Abendroth wrote on 02/23/14 1:25 PM

I have been machine knitting since 1995. I was lucky to connect with a group that met twice a week. Thanks to Evelyn Knauss at Knit Away in Catasaqua, PA. In the late '90s there were a lot of resources and support for machine knitting. However we learned to knit *that* garment from *that* pattern. Since a lot of our sources have dried up, we have had to adopt the Elizabeth Zimmerman approach to knitting (but by machine). Your 10 steps? SPOT ON! The "not optionals" are not fun, but avoid a lot of problems along the way. Thanks for putting the steps in a clear concise way, Sue.
Pat Vermillion

Pat Vermillion wrote on 03/04/14 11:14 AM

Have been knitting for years but like so many with working and family my machine knitting got put to the side. Have kept up my hand knitting as I could always take that with me. Am having a very hard time trying to remember all the things I used to do. So I know to just start at the beginning like the 10 steps say is my best bet.I have completed several things baby blankets, but nothing to exciting. We have nobody close to check things with so am sure this will be a big help to me. I have met one friend though email that has been great, and I have enjoyed her emails so very much.

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