Machine Knitting Lessons #2 (and #3)

I remember how I used to barely skim knitting posts on my favorite blogs. And, here I am writing posts on machine knitting. Due to travels on my end and my instructor, Linda’s, it was almost a month between my first and second machine knitting lesson. My first homework assignment was to complete four panels of this baby blanket. I’m only using coned acrylic yarn at this point. No need to break out the good stuff when I’m learning. I’ve also tried to keep my yarns updated on Ravelry.  Which is easy when you have all of four cones… 20150720-USER2288 photo 20150720-USER2288_zpsq6sjbobe.jpg I managed to finish each panel and am now latching them together to form the blanket. After I latch them, we’ll do some kind of trim along the outside, wash and block. This was going to Linus originally. But, I’ve put so much work into it I think I’ll give to my friend Elise who is due for a baby this fall. 20150720-USER2294 photo 20150720-USER2294_zpsvqftsiev.jpg Lesson #2 was a week ago Saturday and we focused on making swatches. After a month long break, I was so excited for my upcoming lesson that Jordan said I was like a kid waiting for Santa on Christmas. 20150720-USER2292 photo 20150720-USER2292_zpsfsq5aslu.jpg Swatching with the machine means marking the gauge swatch with eyelets to know what tension you have the machine set with. You also use these little thread markers  (below) to tell you where you’re measuring in between. Finally, you use these rulers (different colored for standard vs bulky machines) to get your swatch measurements. 20150720-USER2296 photo 20150720-USER2296_zpskmncgitx.jpg Luckily, my third lesson was a week later as I needed (A LOT of) help learning how to pick up dropped stitches. 20150720-USER2297 photo 20150720-USER2297_zps2h83ds8n.jpg And, I started my second project, a toddler cap with ear flaps. We make everything kid-sized as I can learn the techniques on a smaller scale. Here, I’ve made three sets of ear flaps. I actually will likely make a fourth. So, pretty much everyone who has a toddler I know is getting a hat next month. You guys. I made ear flaps!!!!! To make the flaps, I learned how to short row on the machine and hang a hem. My next lesson is in two weeks and I’ll make the i-cord and the main crown for the hat. It’s all very exciting! 20150720-USER2300 photo 20150720-USER2300_zpshjstckby.jpg Also, I put the ribber attachment onto my machine (the main bed does stockinette). I have no idea how it works really. But, I figured it was time to take it off the floor. And, don’t you love my fancy machine cover? It’s an old Calvin Klein double sheet from the 90s that my mom gave me new in package when I bought my house. She was the queen of not using nice things. By the time I got it, 10 years after purchase, the elastic had already failed. My friend Sheryl asked me if I like machine knitting. Right now, I find it really interesting. It’s a whole new skill set. And, it’s weird to not know what I’m doing or understand the language of knitting (or machine knitting). But, I like what I’m doing so far. But, totally understand I have a long way to go.

In other non sewing / knititng new, Jordan was sworn onto the Federal bar last week. He was sworn onto the Maryland bar two years ago. But, this means he can now argue in Federal court. 20150716-USER2275 photo 20150716-USER2275_zps7wbi0zf3.jpg I just like this photo because the judge’s clerk is throwing so much shade at me for taking photos. Whatevs.


  1. HAHAHAHAH I love that he’s throwing shade. You better be a proud wife. Also I added you on ravelry since I am obsessed with your machine knitting adventures 🙂

  2. What remarkable achievements! Jordan, for passing the bar; and you, for learning how to short-row. Gratuconlations.

  3. Machine knitting is so fascinating to me. I can’t wrap my head around how it works (I can only think in terms of hand knitting), but it’s SO COOL. I’m really impressed with how quickly you’re picking this new skill set up, and I can’t wait to see all the Renee-sized sweaters that will eventually come of it 🙂

    And huge congratulations to Jordon!

  4. Congratulations to Jordan on this accomplishment, well done! And well done to you as well for tackling a new skill, I’m amazed at the fact that knitting machines actually, you know, KNIT. It’s like magic or something! 😀 Can’t wait to see your finished products!

    • It is like magic! For real. Especially for me who was such a bad handknitter.

      On Tue, Jul 21, 2015 at 11:33 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  5. Congratulations, again to Jordan, You always encourage me when you learn new skills. Continue to enjoy your knitting machines.

  6. Much congrats to both of you… You for your perseverance and learning new skills, and Jordan for his broadening the scope of his arguing abilities! I’m wishing I had that teacher to help me puzzle out my old (gifted) knitting machine… I’ll just watch and hope some knowledge seeps vicariously into my brain through you.

    • The best thing about a teacher is troubleshooting. I say that as someone who has never taken a ‘regular’ sewing machine in for repair. But, when I get stuck on the machine, it’s nice to have someone who tells you what to do. That said, if the machine is in good shape, I can see teaching myself. I have a lot of workbooks too that I might start to use in between lessons.

      On Tue, Jul 21, 2015 at 4:24 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


    • I’ll have to look at some videos on line. It definitely feels like the machine knitting community is largely self taught. I also like her way of teaching. Her big thing is to get you knitting. And, best of all, she takes my calls at all hours when I have a problem!

      On Tue, Jul 21, 2015 at 5:07 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  7. Huge congratulations to Jordan! I love all the knitted things, but I can’t knit a lick. I tried to learn a few years back, but it was more awkward than exciting, and ridiculously hard for me. So when my husband, who has never, ever, even one time, complained about my sewing crap that constantly explodes all over our (tiny) house, said, “I don’t really ‘get’ yarn” – I thought, “you know what? I don’t really want to learn to knit.” And I bought more fabric 🙂
    Kudos for learning new things!!

  8. I was taught American knitting while young – but it never took. I finally figured out knitting as an exchange student to Finland – the Finnish/euro way. I’d take up machine knitting in a heartbeat but first on my dream list is weaving – think four big looms – holding off for now

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