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!
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.
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.
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 🙂
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’.
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.
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.
I can’t wait to make my own scarf!