A few weeks ago, I posted this on facebook:
"I need your opinion, comments and experiences!! What is the most misleading statement about machine knitting have you ever heard or experienced? "
The responses were many and varied.
Mary Ann: You have to be mechanical and very attentive...to machine knit and its a quick fix... Hand knitting is bucolic , selfish , and a topic of conversation in the doctors waiting room...or a great weapon on the subway... I do both.. It's knitting either way you look at it...
Angelika: That is true! Each method uses a different part of the brain. I can machine knit, but am better when my mind is fresh. In the evening I handknit to unwind.
Pam: I get so you are going for that quick knit that looks manufactured rather than hand knit
Angelika: Most of my work looks hand knit because of all the detail. I've seen things that were so evenly hand knit, I could have bet it was machine knit.
Lorna: It's ok to use a machine to sew but using one to knit is practically criminal! Lol
Angelika: This takes me back to asking the men if they mow the lawn with their teeth! All of those men just loved that answer. And they agreed that maybe it wasn't any more cheeting than any of the other tools we use. We could look at it this way too. Sewing machines sew fabric. We shape fabric pieces from strands of yarn.
Lorna: When someone says it is hand knit,and it is not!!
Angelika: Hand knitting and machine knitting both have their separate corners. And both need to be appreciated for the designs they can do. I find I can be much more creative on my machines. I love to draw out designs, test techniques and then use the machine to produce my end product. It uses a lot of brain cells. There is a lot going on at the same time in the process of machine knitting. It's a challenge, it's a love, it keeps your mind young, it's my passion!
Petra: More than once, I've taken nice compliments on a piece I have worked hard on. When I mention that I've machine knitted it, the smiles freeze and the shutters behind the eyes slam shut.
Angelika: Yea, I've seen that too, Petra. Those individuals do not have an understanding of the techniques and time involved in the design process from pencil to wearable garment.
Petra: "Machine knitting is not REALLY knitting." I get so tired of this I could scream. That is like saying using a sewing machine is not really sewing! People think you stand back, throw yarn at the machine, and it spits out a sweater. Frustrating!
Angelika: LOL Petra! How many times have I explained to people that you don't through yarn at it, and walk away with a completed sweater, blocked and seamed when you return. It's a hobby, and that definition is "an activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure".
Carol: I have been a machine and hannd knitter for about 30 years now. Hand knitting is for relaxation and machine is for production. When I need something in a hurry, the machine does a good job .
Angelika: Way to go Carol!! I'm nearly at 30 years too!
Sandra: not nearly as "easy" as they say..I'd rather handknit anyday..takes longer but but saves my sanity..
Angelika: Sandra you are right! It is a machine, and is a bit more complex and challenging. But I so love the challenge! But, hand knitting saves my sanity too. The simpler the project in hand knitting, the better for me!!
Alex: Rather knit by hand.
Angelika: Understand that, Alex!! In the evenings, that is all I'm good for.
Juan: Yes any one can machine knit as well as anyone can hand knit. The only difference is with hand knitting you can carry it easily. as for machine knitting l think it will be too heavy trying to carry out a machine in a Lantern moon knitting bag.. l preferred call it hand loom knitting since you are still manipulating the stitches by hand... and let me tell you it's not cheap by all means... l know because l am a hand knitter as well as a handloom knitters...
Angelika: Absolutely Juan! These are home hobby machines! And you are very much involved in operating the carriage, using the tools to cast on, bind off, create lace, do cables, shortrow and all other sorts of hand manipulated machine stitches.
Pamela: i have never machine knitted, so no opinion.
Angelika: Pamela, come see me!
Carla: I heard people saying that machine crocheting/knitting is not hand make there for, its cheep 'n anyone can do it....NOT!
Angelika: That is so true, Carla.. For one thing, it is not cheap. The machines are high quality and are an investment. But they have a much lower price tag than sewing machines available today. And it is not the machine that make the end result cheap. It is the quality of the yarn you use. So whether you are hand knitting, crocheting or machine knitting, and you don't want that "cheap" appearance, consider a better quality yarn. It's like baking. It's all in the ingrediants! And not everyone can do it, because not everyone enjoys that process.
Photo: The top in the photograph is a Knit One, Crochet Too pattern, Athena #1740. It is a hand knit pattern. And was in the summer issue, 2 years ago, of Knit 'n Style. Mary Anne Oger wrote notes on how to do the pattern on the knitting machine. I just followed the chart. It is a perfect example of how to recreate something on the machine that has the hand knit look about it. The garment is on display by my machines.
Here is the hand knit pattern:Knit One Crochet Too Athena Top