Small Adventures in Machine Knitting

Jordan and I spent Thanksgiving with my family for the first time in our relationship. Let’s just say I had no idea family holidays were tied up in who you spend them with. Growing up a military family, we’ve never lived closer than four hours to extended family so we always did our own thing. We hosted a lot (people from church, soldiers who weren’t near family) and as an adult I’ve spent holidays with friends, family, alone, on vacation… kind of doing whatever I wanted to do. As a kid, we didn’t make a big deal about mother’s day and father’s day and birthdays were pretty low key. It’s not the same in Jordan’s family at all! Throw in Jewish holidays on top of traditional American holidays and Christian holidays on top of inlaws that live three hours away and I’ve learned you practically need a police hostage negotiator to get through the calendar.

Since we stayed with two of my aunts in Brooklyn, I decided to knit them scarves as a hostess / thank you gift. I’ve made these before. They are the hand knit designed  l’escargot bleu scarf from Escape Tricot out of Montreal. It takes just three colors and is one long triangle.

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Mine aren’t as wide as designed as I’m limited to my 200 machine needles. But, still lovely I think. I am always SO BAD at choosing colors in a vacuum. So, this time I plugged in the yarn colors I have from Loops & Threads in Ravelry and chose trios that I liked other people making.

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Denim Blue, Charcoal, Ivory

I’ve also used my machine this fall to knit socks. Yep! You can knit socks on a knitting machine! Learning to sock knit also took a fair bit of practice on my end to wrap my mind around circular knitting and short rowing. I used the instructions from a Singer knitting machine book on knitting socks in 3,4 or 5 ply (it’s a free download online). You can make them on a flat bed machine or one with a ribber. I knit mine using the ribber.

The first pair went to Jordan as I didn’t understand they needed a bit of negative ease. They fit him perfectly and he wears them weekly. But, I had to tell him NOT to wear them around the house. I mean, they are hand knit and precious! Treat them with love, lol.  Put on hiking socks from a big box store when your feet are cold, please.

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This green pair is ALL MINE.  I don’t know that I’m going to become a handmade sock nut. But, they are fun to make and a great way to get familiar with your machine’s ribber, circular (in the round) knitting, and short rows. I’m still working on the grafting and closing that short row hole at the heel.

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And, I think winding yarn manually with my winder is what really did in my wrist tendonitis last month with these projects. In addition to the skein winding, there’s a LOT of hand manipulation with these and pretty repetitive motion. I bring this up because I have found machine knitting to be better for my wrist than hand knitting. But, it’s not totally without some issues.  But, I tell you what. When a sock comes off your machine and you spent three years knitting a basic scarf by hand before, it feels pretty incredible!


    • I hope so! It was a bit of an unusual shape so I had to explain and show a few way to wear it.

      On Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 5:36 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


    • Me either! When I took my first lesson, she told me I could make socks. And, I thought, “Why would I do that?” Now I have a stash of sock yarn 😁

      On Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 6:20 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  1. I am a slow knitter, so I understand completely the joy in machine knitting! I wish I had a local person who could help me get started on learning it. Your socks look great! Now that you know you can knit them, you can’t treat them like something precious! You must enjoy them!

    • Hahaha! I’ll let him know you are ‘Team Jordan’ when it comes to socks! The one lesson really helped me. But, I think it’s because everything I read on line was about how hard it was. I should have just watched some videos and gotten started. I was so fearless with sewing but really timid with machine knitting.

      On Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 8:37 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  2. I still need to experience this machine for myself! Now will Linus be getting any machine knits this winter? My girls are not happy with today’s wind and subzero temps.

    • It is SO terrible. Are you walking them? I have a fleece onsie I made for Linus and he wears that when it’s this cold. Linus machine knits are soon! I just have to get through Christmas and birthday knitting for Jordan. I aspire to make what you have for your pups.

      On Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 9:22 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


      • We walk them and this morning Jellybean’s tiny behind was trying to go on a long walk while it’s 17 degrees and didn’t get her business done! Sigh…

  3. Your machine knitting is all so very inspiring! Those shawls are really smart-looking and your socks so fun – love that pic with Jordan, haha! Part of me really wants to try out machine knitting but another part of me is like, “I just can’t wrap my head around this.” Thank you so much for sharing all your wonderful makes with us mortals!

    • Thank you! When I made the socks it was all from written directions. It wasn’t until I saw a video of sock knitting that I understood what I was supposed to do. It’s impossible to understand machine knitting (I think) without it in front of you. I can’t even explain it when people ask what a knitting machine is!

      On Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 10:41 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  4. Ding dang dong it that is some wonderful knitting! I knit at a *glacial pace* but do dearly love the wonder and warmth of beautiful yarn all worked up into such nice gifts. Had never really thought about a knitting machine before…hmm… I will stay tuned for further adventures 🙂

    • It brings it to the ‘speed’ of sewing. It’s not the only reason to machine knit of course. But, it does make it more appealing to me to think of knitting clothing. Versus before it took so long that I would lose interest. I hope to have many more adventures. And, hopefully actually advance my skills!

      On Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 12:16 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  5. Like others I had no idea that you could knit socks on a knitting machine! I’d love to see a step by step explanation some time… like if you make another pair?
    There are so many things I’d like to knit that a machine would make so much sense for… lots of stockinette panels in sweaters for example. I kind of like the process of hand knitting socks… but a mix of abilities and options is always good (like being able to machine and hand sew well).
    Also, that is a full on GREAT photo of your socks and Jordan.

    • He was so ready to leave for dinner and I was just laying on the ground taking photos of my socks, lol! Now that I’ve found my tripod, I think I can take photos and some video next time. It was impossible before without a second set of hands. It’s quite cool!

      On Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 1:44 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  6. You did a fabulous job knitting everything! I think the recipients of the scarves are going to be so happy…I know I would!!

    • Thanks, Myra! I totally owe my dad a pair of socks at a little beanie hat. I should really get on that.

      On Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 3:50 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  7. LOVE the scarves! I didn’t think Loops & Threads could look so good! Thanks for sharing, I’m always inspired by your stories!

    Connie – Boise, ID

    • It’s hard to believe it’s acrylic! I even complained when I started that it didn’t show stitch definition. But, it’s really not bad. It even held the ribbing pretty well. It’s great for a quick gift.

      On Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 7:33 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  8. I am in love with your knitted scarves and the socks are truly divine!! Wow!! Not that I even have room for a knitting machine in my place, but still you are enticing me to want one.. So, I’ll settle for my slow as a snail’s pace on continuing my hand knitting of a summer cowl. It will probably be finished in time for next Summer!!

  9. Wow, I am impressed so far. I once bought a book about fine knitting and there was this amazing wrap dress, knitted very finely. A review online I read said that she had made that dress, but the majority on a knitting machine (otherwise it would have taken her ages, she said). For weeks after that, I googled knitting machine. I wanted that dress, too! I have since halted the project. Knitting machines seem so intimidating, or?
    Will be fun to see your progress. Are you planning more garments?

  10. That picture of Jordan and your feet is hilarious!
    The socks are indeed very impressive :-).

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