"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either." ~ Elizabeth Zimmerman


It Was Another Life

In the 1990's I got into machine knitting in a very big way. I don't remember how I found out such a thing existed, but when I laid eyes on one I fell in love. In May of 1989 Sweet Hubby bought me my first machine, the Passap E6000 (I do not believe in starting small). It is a Swiss made double bed machine with a computer on it. It can do amazing things. I seem to have a natural ability for it because I caught on very quickly and made my first sweater within 2 weeks after bringing it home. I  became obsesssed. Soon I owned all the attachments that go with it.

They say knitting machines are like potato chips. You can't have just one. For me, it was true.

My next machine was the Brother KH970. It is a Japanese made standard gauge machine with 200 needles and a computer. I also acquired all the add-on's and attachments that go with it, such as the ribber, garter carriage, color changer, lace carriage etc.

All in all, eventually I owned 9 different knitting machines. When I closed my needle craft shop in 2006, I sold or gave away 5 of them so now I just have my favorite 4. The Passap, my Brother 970, a Brother bulky punchcard machine, and the Incredible Sweater Machine.

In the mid 90's I started designing patterns for machine knitting. I started with a few toys, then went into afghans. Some of my patterns were published in Machine Knitters Source magazine and others I sold at various machine knitting seminars around the country and by mail order. I also did quite a bit of teaching both at seminars and here at home. I wanted to have my own knitting machine dealership very much, but it was not to be. I did have an Artisan dealership for a short time, but gave it up in disappointment due to lack of support and broken promises.

I had plans to write garment patterns too, and even had some in the works, but the industry took a serious nose dive, eventually coming very close to death, so those plans got shelved. Now the Passap and Brother are no longer being made. In fact, the factories were actually torn down and replaced with what the companies felt would be more profitable endeavors. Now, as far as I know, the only machines still being made are the Silver Reed.and the Artisan and there is very little support for them, which is a shame because knitting machines are a barrel of fun. By the way, it's not cheating. Machine knitting is a whole unique craft unto itself.

I stopped machine knitting around 2003. I seriously injured my back, resulting in surgery for a burst disk. I wasn't allowed to use my knitting machines for several months. I just never got back to it after that. One of these days I hope to find, or make, the time to get back to it.

In the meantime, I have decided to put the few machine knitting patterns I wrote up on my free knitting pattern site. I'm starting with this one, the Pillow Car.

The idea I had behind this toy is something little guys could play with that would be relatively quiet and could be used for a pillow when nap time rolled around. It's about 10 inches long and the little passengers are 5 inches tall. It's written for the 4.5mm Standard Gauge machine and made with 3/15 weight (fingering) acrylic yarn. It's designed to be completely machine washable and safe for babies. If you happen to be interested, the pattern can be found on the Beadknitter Patterns site. And just so you know, I am working on a hand knit version of this toy.

Motorola DROID 2 Global Android Phone, Sapphire (Verizon Wireless)So, how was your Mothers Day? Mine was very nice, despite the severe lack of sunshine. Sweet Hubby took me to a Verizon store and bought me a Droid 2 for Mothers Day. He and Ruth also took me to see the movie, Thor, which I declare to be awesome. I enjoyed it a lot. After the movie we went out to dinner. I wanted steak in the worst way, but all the places around here that serve good steak were packed with 2 hour waiting lists, so we went to the Mongolian Barbeque instead. It was very tasty, and probably a lot healthier than the meal I originally planned to have. ;-)

I didn't get much in the way of crafting done over the weekend because I was playing with my new phone. First thing I did was download Angry Birds and start playing it. Now I understand why it's so popular. It's a fun, not to mention addicting, game.

Rumor has it that we are supposed to be having some really nice weather with temps getting up into the 70's. I say IT'S ABOUT TIME!

Live long and prosper. \\//

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