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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

I've Reclaimed My Knitting Machines

I am finally able to knit on my knitting machines again. I haven't knit in the 10 years that I been married. We don't have a basement and there just wasn't enough room. It was obvious my husband wasn't ever going to finish the addition made to the house and me a craft room, but what I have now is just as good. He moved the furniture out of the living and dining room, which we weren't using, and I converted it into my paper crafting and knitting space. I currently have three machines up, one with a motor with plans to add two more machines and one more motor. Oh happy day.


I've already knit and constructed my first two garments in 10 years--a jacket and a skirt. Can you believe it? The yarn had been around that long and so has the pattern. I used Simplicity 9361, released in 1995. I made view B. I'd made it previously in a different color of the same yarn. This time I did add a bust dart...because I'm anal that way. Although I added the bust dart, I was still able to use the same schematic from before. I always draw myself a schematic and calculate the stitches and rows, based on my swatch, of each pattern piece much like what you see in knitting patterns. I took about four days to do the knitting and three days to do the blocking and the cutting of the pattern pieces. I could have done the knitting in less time but wasn't in any particular hurry.


It's important to stabilize the shoulder and armhole seams to prevent stretching either out of shape. I use 1/4" ribbon. For the sewing, I don't use any special feet, thread or needles.



I spent two days seaming the skirt seams by hand and sewing the knitting pieces by machine. It's easier to mark the pattern piece with wax and chalk markings. The buttonholes were made on the machine and I even sewed the buttons on by machine.




And the finished looked....drum roll please...excuse the photobombing dog!




 Although I'd been away from the machine for 10 years, I didn't miss a beat. When I tell you I hadn't forgotten a thing, believe it. I am so impressed by the notes I've kept and how organized they are. Nearly every technique I've learned over the years are kept in binders and further organized using dividers. Most technique pages are encased in page protectors! How impressive is that? I've already started on another knitted garment but I must admit, the pieces are over 10 years old. While searching through my knitting treasures I found a plastic bag with all the pieces for a garment--front, back and sleeves. I've already blocked the pieces but need to look through my patterns to find something that will fit the knit pieces. Expect to see more of my knit creations in the near future.

9 comments:

  1. Bummer on the abandoned original addition and craft room plans. But I'm happy you've finally put 2 unused rooms to work for you. Am I correct that you knitted fabric and then cut/sew as if it were purchased knit? Your suit is gorgeous and you look good in that color.

    I've had a knitting machine, bought at a garage sale at least 20 years ago, and have never used it. I always did say it was a retirement project. Now I'm retired, so... Do you have any recommendations on getting started? Over the years, I've read just enough bits and bobs to know I won't sit down and start churning out projects with no problems.

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    1. You are correct but I didn't knit yardage per say. I measure the pattern pieces and knit them the width and length that I need. I have very little waste. I only cut the armholes and neckline, rarely the side seams. I knit the sleeve in the shape of the sleeve and knit the cap straight. I cut the shape of the cap. It took me years to perfect this technique and then had the 10 year hiatus but I'm back.

      As far as using your knitting machine, in the beginning I would work on learn the machine and knitting easy projects like hats and scarves and simple sweater. You'll figure out where you want to go with it after some practice. I dress very conservatively especially on my job as a court reporter. I've always loved St. John knitwear but there is no way I'd spend that kind of money on it so I did the next best thing...I taught myself how to produce "knock offs!" Thanks for visiting and come back soon. I'm already working on another jacket.

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  2. Wow, that 10 years did not affect your skill or creative vision! Good for you. The suit is beautiful and classic. I am anxious to see what happens next!

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    1. Thank you so much. I got so many compliments when I wore it. It feels great on and I can't wait to get started on my next project.

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  3. Don't you look smashing ... FIESTA!!! I would love to see how you make your knit fabric if possible.

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  4. Great color and lovely suit. I just knit my first machine knit cardigan. I didn't do cut and sew though. Just knit the pieces to size and sewed them together. I would be afraid to cut into the knit fabric for fear of the knitting coming un-knit! LOL That isn't a problem?

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  5. Congratulations. While I do know how to knit the pieces, I always cut my necklines. Just don't like the look of shortrows on my knits and never even once have I had a knit ravel after I've cut it.

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  6. Beautiful outfit! You haven't missed a beat! I love the color on you and the sewing and knitting are both impeccable! I've been away from sewing for awhile and have been trying to find my way back over the past couple years. I've finally gotten settled (I moved to anotther state) and finally finished my sewing room. I've been checking out my favorite sewing blogs for inspiration and you've given my sewing mojo a jump start! Thanks for the inspiration!

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