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Machine Knitting vs Hand Knitting

I have been hand knitting for over 20 years and machine knitting for around 5 years and enjoy both equally. The one big difference between them is that hand knitting is portable and machine knitting isn’t…

Machine knitting is a lot quicker than hand knitting and you can do all the stitch patterns on the knitting machine that you can by hand…Intarsia and fair isle is much easier on the knitting machine as the machine takes charge of the colour changes etc..Lace is also a lot quicker but if you drop a stitch then it is just as much of a nightmare to pick it up as it is when knitting by hand…

You can get all sorts of gadgets for the knitting machine, ranging from a ribber (knits all variations of rib stitch patterns), garter carriage (for all sorts of wonderful garter stitch patterns), lace carriage (for lace stitch patterns) and colour changers (for knitting upto four colours in one row).

I love my Brother KH970 and of course have all the gadgets, but it is hard work…despite what most people think you do not just hit a button and go away for half an hour to come back to a fully finished garment. You have to manually do all the shaping, if you don’t have a punchcard or electronic knitting machine then you will have to hand manipulate the stitches to get lace, garter stitch etc…You have to cast on manually, manually push the carriage backwards and forwards across the bed and of course manually cast off..and then the sewing up is of course manually done…In saying this in the time it takes you to hand knit a couple of stitches using good old knitting needles you will have completed a couple of rows on the knitting machine.

I suffer from Pancreatitis and very rarely use my knitting machine anymore as I find it uncomfortable to use it for more than half an hour and even then I will be in some pain, so most of my knitting is done by hand..

I love hand knitting, you can sit anywhere and do it…a good example of this is a knitting group…I belong to a machine knitting group and a hand knitting group..I enjoy going to both but find the hand knitting group more fun…with the machine knitting group one person is sat knitting on the knitting machine and the rest of us are sitting there chatting, whereas at a hand knitting group we are all sitting there knitting or crocheting…

Where I am going with all of this is that both hand knitting and machine knitting have their places and both require a lot of hard work and some knowledge of the craft to create a unique garment…I will never get rid of my knitting machine (even though it is gathering dust at the moment and I have a huge bookcase full of cones of yarn to knit up) and I will continue sitting watching tv and hand knitting some gorgeous garments….

I hope that this post shines some light on the art of machine knitting and if you have any questions then please feel free to email me or post a comment…xxxx

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