I hate knitting machines

Posted: October 11, 2010 in Ramblings

After a bit of effort I was able to get my old Studio SK-105 working, but not happily, so I bought a used Passap from a local lady and sold the Studio.  (The new owner is beginning to work with it this week.)  And the Passap is giving me just as much trouble as the Studio did!  I spent some time swatching last week and had frequent carriage jams – Ravelry Passapers told me this yarn (a LACEWEIGHT SILK, very firm and fine) was too thick for the machine to handle.  So I whomped in a remainder ball of Filatura di Crosa Superior – best yarn ever – and tried to do a scarf.  The first part – brown, knit with the remainder ball – went quite nicely.  When I ran out, I bought more, in cream, olive and tan.  The cream yarn jammed the machine, so I removed the knitting from the machine and stomped away in frustration.

Today I got back on the horse and tried again.  I started with the olive Superior, the intention being to randomly stripe it up and then graft it together with the brown/cream piece from the other day.  The olive knit up nicely.  I switched to the remainder ball of the cream, and other than needing to fiddle with the tension, it knit up nicely.  The tan knit up nicely.  My awful grafting skills left a little to be desired but I successfully made a scarf today, which is a bit “homemade-looking” with the junky grafted seam and so on.  But by the time I’d finished the knitting, I had high hopes of the Passap.

Passap-Knit Superior Scarf

Not Suitable for Competition!

So I started another one.  This was going to be a scarf knit with remnants of laceweight cashmeres and silks that I’ve used in other projects.  I cast on with purple and knit until it ran out.  Looked fine.  Tried to join in some turquoise silk, and it jammed!  As with the Superior, I removed this part of the scarf from the machine and started another piece.  What the heck, my grafting skills can always use practice, right?  Well, I started with a different turquoise and it went well.  When I ran out, I joined in a skein of the SAME CASHMERE, a deeper purple that Mom had dyed for me recently.  This seemed to be going well, too…until I looked at the knit piece and noticed dropped edge stitches, ‘blobs’ where several stitches apparently got knitted into one (causing a pucker or half-bobble), and broken yarns!  AUGH.  I gave up again and made sure the Passap is listed for sale in my Ravelry trade stash.  I simply do not feel the trade-off (of timesaving machine-knitting, versus careful and high-quality hand-knitting) is worth it.

So, now I’m at yarn’s end, with no projects on the needles and no idea what to knit next.  I have all that beautiful Sterling Silk & Silver that Mom dyed for the store…hmm…

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