Monday, December 04, 2006

Monday Photo Time!

For today's Monday "Customer Project Photos" I have a wonderful array of photos to share with you, provided by Sandy.

Sandy has recently taken up machine knitting and has quickly progressed from the basics on to doing more advanced fairisle colorwork. As someone who owns a knitting machine myself, I can tell you that there's nothing easy about machine knitting! My machine serves mostly as an interesting modern sculpture in my knitting studio, since I have never really been able to master the thing (understatement of the year!).

All of the photos you see below were made with
Fearless Fibers Superwash Merino Sock Yarn. The patterned scarves were knit double-wide and then seamed, so that the stranded colors on the reverse side are hidden and the pattern shows on both sides. I'll start with two close-up photos so you can see the intricate details.

This scarf was made using the Lilac and Sunshine colorways. Sandy reports that she loves the Fearless Fibers yarns in fairisle patterns because each color shades the pattern in its own way.



This next one is made with the Midnight Passion and Raspberry colorways, one of Sandy's favorite combinations.



In this group photo taken from a greater distance, the individual colorwork can't really be seen, but it gives you an idea of the amazing array and depth of Sandy's work. In this photo, the ones on the right were knit with an antique sock machine, using a single colorway. The ones on the left were knit with a standard gauge machine using two colors.



I won't even tell you how quickly Sandy moved from learning the basics to doing more complex colorwork, nor how quickly she completed all of these wonderful projects. If I told you that, you might all run out to buy a knitting machine and I must forewarn you, as mentioned previously, it's not as easy as you might think!

Each machine has its own idiosyncrasies and they can be quite temperamental. The machine also is not a magical tool that does everything for you. It forms the individual stitches for you and can be quite a time saver in that regard, but it requires quite a bit of manual manipulation, particularly as you move into garment creation where shaping is required. Increases, decreases and such all require manual work with tiny little tools. The smallest bend in a needle - barely perceptible by the human eye and seemingly impossible to find as the source of the missed stitches plaguing you - can send you into a fit of frustration, moving on to cursing and tears. OK. Perhaps it can't do that to you, but it sure can do it to me! Kudos to Sandy for learning so much so quickly and conquering the beast! It almost makes me want to dust off my machine and take another crack at it. Almost ...

Great job, Sandy! Thank you so much for sharing your work.

And to all the rest of you, keep those Fearless Fibers project photos coming!

8 comments:

~Tonia~ said...

WOW those are AMAZING!! Machine or no they are beautiful. What a great use of your yarns.

Elisa said...

I'm in awe! What beautiful work. Does Sandy have a blog? I'd love to see more of her work.

Tandi said...

Wow, those are amazing. The colorwork is gorgeous.

aija said...

I had no idea machines could do that!! I love the first of yellow flowers on purple, inspiring.

anne said...

i am awestruck sandy—those are really something else! i too, have a knitting machine that has stood in my studio now for several years becausee i don't have the patience to sit and learn to use it!
kudos to sandy!

Theresa said...

Wow! Incredible! Those are definitely aweinspiring! Thank you Sandy for sharing

Sandy said...

Hello everyone. My name is Sandy and I just wanted to say thank to all of you for the nice comments. I consider myself a beginner knitter. My mother was an avid hand knitter and as a child I had so many beautiful hand knit sweaters. I remember crying when some of my absolute favorites wore thin at the elbows and the yarns broke. I actually wore them out. I was so proud of what my mother made because no one else had anything even close. I did learn to knit quite young but I always said I liked crochet better because I could do it faster. So being the slow hand knitter that I am I thought I would look into a knitting machine. And the honest truth is that without the wonderful instructor that I have I would never have been able to figure out how to make the machine work. And even so, I've made so many mistakes and messups and rip outs and start overs that I've even worn some of the yarns thin enough to break by knitting them over and over and over. But I'm determined to learn this process because it's good therapy after my recent chemo treatments left my fingers numb and tingly. I consider myself lucky to have found fearlessfibers. I love Debs subtle colorways because they self shade the fairisle patterns. I knit 3 or 4 pairs of hand knit socks on a circular needle with her yarns at first and then discovered that it would work in the knit machine. Today in class I was learning a weaving stitch making placemats on the machine. The first one has numerous mistakes, the second one is pretty good but I got the machine jammed and it wouldn't budge. My instructor is so patient while she un-does our messups and gets us on our way again. My third one was going great till the last four rows and I really jammed it up again. And I had to call out HELP. Well I must say I am in awe of the hand knit pieces that I see in blogs. And I can only dream of being that good of a knitter. But at least I'm having fun learning these new techniques. And most of all I get such pleasure receiving gorgeous hand dyed colorway yarns and finding out what I can do with them. At least I have a lot of xmas presents ready to go. It has been impossible to hide what I'm doing and both of my daughters have already seen most of the scarves and picked out which ones they want. I've got a couple tucked away that they didn't see yet. So there will be some surprise. Well its not quite like getting a hand knit sweater but in the stores it looks like scarves are the in thing this year. Happy knitting and thank you for all the wonderful comments. Sandy

picperfic said...

beautiful work...I have recently gone back to macine knitting after about a 10 year gap and have been looking for a machine knitting blog to keep an eye on...thanks for sharing

Marianne