March 2009

Machine Knitting

I know some hand-knitters do not like to hear anything about machine knitting, whereas, the die-hard machine knitters cannot stop singing its praises. In my view, although hand needlework is a precious form of art and a source of pride, machine knitting has its own place and benefits in the needlecraft world.

There are pros and cons for using a knitting machine. For the cons, I can say:

  1. They are bulky and need a lot of room to set up.
  2. They are not cheap, and for some might not be even affordable.
  3. There is a learning curve for working with them. Something some people ignore.
On the pros side:
  1. Some people cannot maintain an even hand in knitting. Knitting machine knit evenly especially the stockinette stitch.
  2. For people who have arthritis in their hands and cannot knit for a long period of time, a knitting machine can be of great help. They can knit the basic shape on the machine, and do the borders and embellishments by hand.
  3. For people who have little time to knit large projects, they can do it on a machine in a fraction of the time.
I believe knitting machines have their own place in the knitting world. In many instances, they make life easier. However, if you donít know what you are doing, they can become very frustrating.

A myth I hear most is that you cannot knit on the machine with hand knitting yarn. This is not true. The only thing you should do is to choose the right machine for the yarn you want to use. In hand-knitting, there are different needles for different yarn weights. Similarly, there are different machines for different yarn weights. Remember you can do almost anything with the machine as you do with hand knitting, including cables and lace, if you have the correct equipment. To learn more about knitting machines, check out:



Nazanin S. Fard

Needlecraft University

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