Rayures Scarf and Craftsy Machine Knitting Class

Remember the thrill of your first sewn project? It’s been a good 25 years since I’ve felt that. But, with the completion of four scarves on my knitting machine, I’m feeling that same level of excitement.

I spent Thanksgiving this year with my inlaws on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Hanukkah is next week so they decided we’d all exchange gifts early while everyone was together. All this is at the expense of Jordan. Because, he’s not getting squat until Christmas. I need those extra three weeks!

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This year I decided to knit all the women in his family Amy Miller’s Rayures Scarf. It’s a hand knit scarf pattern of simple stripes, made up in the round in stockinette. Since stockinette is almost all I can manage on my machine, I thought it would be the perfect project. While a great project, the scarves themselves are rife with mistakes (too may rows mostly and horrible grafting). But, I AM SO PROUD OF MYSELF.

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I ended up making four for Jordan’s two aunts, grandmother and mom. All were basically neutral with some pops of color depending on the relative. I’ve posted my Ravelry notes for the project. And, in even writing up my notes realized I don’t even know the language of knitting. Because I’m a beginner and super prone to mistakes (and ‘good’ yarn is expensive), I stuck with an acrylic / nylon yarn from Michaels called ‘Woolike’ by Loops and Threads. It was GREAT for my standard gauge machine and very affordable — especially when on sale and ordered online.

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Knitting these SUPER simple scarves felt like the most massive accomplishment! I was able to change colors, I learned how to graft the edges closed, I learned how to close a seam (this hand knitting pattern knits in the round. But, I haven’t learned how to do that yet on my machine so I knit it flat).  I learned by trial and error how to get my knitting back on the machine if it fell off. I admit though, I still don’t know how to fix a dropped stitch. But, I’ll work on it 🙂

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We are with my family next year, and I have four aunts on my mom’s side. So, I’ll be knitting something for them. Maybe by then I’ll be able to make up matching hats too!

Knitting itself was probably about 45 minutes for each scarf. But, finishing by hand was easily another two hours for me. I am super super slow with hand techniques. And, I spent a lot of time googling ‘kitchener’ ‘grafting’ and ‘seaming’.

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Any who. I haven’t taken an in-person machine knitting class in several months due to my work and life schedule. But, I have been watching bits and pieces of Susan Guaglimi’s machine knitting class on Craftsy. And, it absolutely gave me the confidence to tackle this.

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The class walks you through the basics of your machine, getting started knitting, understanding how the machine works, changing colors, short rowing, increases and decreases, making patterns / design manually and knitting your first project: a baby sweater. While I haven’t finished the course yet, I have nothing but extremely positive things to say.

If you have a machine, I highly recommend you take the course. If you don’t have a machine but are curious about how they work, this really shows you. And, don’t worry about the kind of machine you have. She uses a plastic bed mid-gauge and 80 percent translates easily to my metal bed machine.

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I can’t wait to make my own scarf!


  1. Beautiful scarves! I bet Jordan’s mother and aunts really appreciate handmade gifts. So thoughtful.

  2. There is something absolutely mesmerizing about your color combinations…neutral yet strong…I love them! Lucky relatives to receive them…keep up the good work, Renee!

    • Thank you! I had help picking out colors. They just told me to ‘stick with black and white’. A mosaic artist friend helped me with the rest.

      On Sat, Nov 28, 2015 at 7:14 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


    • Thank you! I did pick up some Patons sock yarn from Michaels too while I was there. I think I’ll use it to make a scarf in the Craftsy knitting machine course. I am so lost when it comes to knitting. It’s like a new language to learn. i.e. I thought my Woollike was fingering. Turns out it’s ‘light fingering’ and definitely not 4 ply! I’m in a world of trial and error for sure.

      On Sat, Nov 28, 2015 at 7:42 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  3. Great work on the family scarfs. Those colors will work for a lot of coats and outfits.

    • Thank you! Since I’m all about bright colors, sticking with neutrals was a little tough. I can’t wait to make mine up.

      On Sat, Nov 28, 2015 at 9:06 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  4. Beautiful scarfs! I am also a machine knitter. 20+ years. I have not worked on any project for a long time now. But looking at your scarfs I am wanting to start a new project again. I have knitted so many things in the past. I have three machines standard and bulky. Also a multi from long ago Sears. Thank you for sharing I now have a new awakening! Enjoy your knitting. I can’t wait to see what else you will be knitting!

    • There’s been such a learning curve for me as I wasn’t really a hand knitter either. But, I’m really enjoying it! And, since my machine is in my dining room, I can actually spend time with my husband when I’m knitting. I also have a bulky machine, but I don’t have enough room to put them both out. So, I just stored it in my attic with explicit instructions and reminders in my ‘important papers’ to not forget about them (I’ve seen a few for sale by people who found them in attics!). I’ve never heard of a multi! I’ll have to look it up.

      On Sat, Nov 28, 2015 at 10:38 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  5. I had planned to revive my machine knitting (after a 20+ year gap) and got as far as completely overhauling my machine but then life got in the way. I had enrolled in a distance learning course which I didn’t manage to do. I have just bought that Craftsy class and do intend to pick up again after my daughter’s wedding, for which I’m sewing++ – that’s the life part! Well done on completing your scarf projects. Picking up a stitch on a machine is not difficult, just like hand knitting. I’d have thought the class would cover that and recommendations on how to avoid in the first place.

    • Hi A.! She does cover picking up stitches. I’m just having brain freezes with it. And, my instructor showed me a zillion times. But, it just hasn’t stuck. I have several books too, but I’m doing better by video as I can replay parts. Now that I’ve actually knit something on my own, I think picking up stitches makes more sense. Where I’ve had to put the whole project back on the machine is when I’ve had five or size dropped stitches in a row. More than I can manage 🙂 Congrats on your daughter’s wedding. And, welcome back to machine knitting! I’m looking forward to when I can manage a sweater for myself.

      On Sun, Nov 29, 2015 at 5:10 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


    • You should have seen me watching video after video trying to grasp grafting. When I finally got it (well, 85 percent got it) I thought, ‘I am totally making socks’.

      On Sun, Nov 29, 2015 at 8:23 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  6. I love your scarves. You’ve inspired me to give these a try. Michaels here I come. Thanks for the review of the Craftsy class.

    • The class is really great! Kay (The Sewing Lawyer) tipped me off to the yarn. I was nervous about it being synthetic. But, it’s really soft and knits wonderfully in my machine.

      On Sun, Nov 29, 2015 at 9:35 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  7. I do not need a knitting machine. I do not need a knitting machine. Great scarves. I want a knitting machine.

    • You might want a knitting machine. And, there are a lot more resources in Michigan than Maryland! Someday I would love to make sweaters and clothes. But, I am honestly happy that I can make scarves! I love scarves so hard and can see making loads of them. I’m about to knit Jordan a Michigan scarf (just the colors, not the M). Plus, as a math person, machine knitting will intrigue you!

      On Sun, Nov 29, 2015 at 9:38 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


      • Hi, I’ve not read your blog in a while, but there are a few of us machine knitters in the Baltimore area. I have a standard and a bulky—both Brothers. Leslye Solomon is a great resource. I think her “Uh Oh!” video (or CD now) should be sold with every machine. I knit sweaters—lace mostly—and have never knit stripes like you have on your scarves. Here’s a link to one of my designs; http://thethreadmill.blogspot.fr/search?updated-max=2008-06-09T20:24:00-04:00&max-results=7
        The rest of the blog is hideously out of date. I need to start blogging again. Facebook groups are wonderful resources for inspiration and help.

        • Thanks, Jeannie! I did visit her shop when I started to get interested in machine knitting. It definitely helped me decide on a Brother. I’d love to get a group together that meets a few times a year. Are you aware of one? I’m going to check out your blog!

          On Mon, Dec 28, 2015 at 7:01 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  8. I agree, these are really nice scarfs, I want one!! I know absolutely nothing about machine knitting…nothing at all! It looks like a lot of fun though. Looking forward to seeing your scarf!

  9. I’m not a seamstress, but have enjoyed following your blog (forgetting how I even discovered you), about two yrs ago. This blog about this way of knitting really inspired me this morning! I can’t wait to learn more about it all, and possibly purchase/create. Your scarves turned out so beautiful! Thanks for all of the help and indpiration.

    • Yay! Welcome to the dark side 🙂 It’s definitely a shrinking area. But, machine knitters are so passionate! It’s very inspiring.

      On Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 10:16 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


      • I replied via email but don’t see it here! Anywhoo, thanks for the welcome! :-)…The knitting machine really lit a spark that I needed!! Yay!!!:-)

  10. Do you know anything about “linkers” ? They are used to make seams and are supposed to be a real time saver. Have not used one, only heard about them.

    Your scarves are beautiful – lucky ladies who received them as gifts! You are inspiring me to try once again to use my knitting machine and ribber – an old Studio machine given to me by a friend who just wanted to get rid of them – they require maintenance and I will just have to get up my nerve to plunge in.

    • Oh, Mary! I looked up linkers and Intarsia cartridges over the weekend. I’d like to try the linker as I kind of despise binding off (I’m all thumbs I tell you). But, wonder if I shouldn’t be more… competent with manual things first. I don’t know why I haven’t tried my ribber yet. I think I just don’t feel like cleaning it! I almost got Studio machines when I started looking. But, was talked into a set of Brothers in town (vs driving an hour our of state). Despite being a bit of a slow learner, I’m really having fun with them!

      On Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 1:06 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  11. I am sure that no one saw one mistake in those beautiful scarves. The colors are amazing and I’m in awe that each one only took 45 minutes to knit on your machine. This is really cool!

  12. Wow that fantastic,
    I have 3 sweaters that had been made for my family by my grandma. Now I have the machine and it’s in the attic.

    I’ve been eyeballing the Craftsy class. It’s in my wish list. Got a 50% coupon for Christmas I may need to act on tomorrow, thx to you.

    • It’s an awesome class! I’m about to move to the lesson on Short Rowing and work on the short row scarf. It’s great to move at your own pace and be able to rewind as you go.

      On Sat, Dec 26, 2015 at 5:35 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  13. Miss Celie, I’ll definitely let you know when a few of us get together to talk machine knitting. Show and Tell is always fun; and we learn from each other. I did another blog (http://365creativedresses.blogspot.fr/) every day for a year; then real life got in the way. 2016 is the year I rejoin the knitting/sewing/sharing community!

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