Rage against the machine...

Does anyone know how to translate a knitting machine pattern for hand-knitting?
I recently acquired some old knitting magazines from friends who are moving out of the country. In one of them, there is a lovely lace pattern I'd like to adapt to some shawls I'm planning.
Unfortunately, the pattern is written for a knitting machine. I just cannot fathom using a machine for such a hands-on craft as knitting... What next? Horseless carriages? Correspondances without the need for pen, ink and paper?


Knipper's picture

It may require some manipulation. Does the pattern mention making a swatch in pattern? You could do that and see how many stitches you get to an inch and plot it out from there. As a purist, I agree with your comments about the knitting machine. For the person who wants to create a large inventory it may be the thing, but I feel it takes away from the pleasure of knitting and the beauty of the work in hand.

I will be working at my local yarn shoppe on Thursday, so I will ask the owner what she thinks and let you know. I have gotten into lace work recently and enjoy it very much. One of the recent projects was a shawl from Cherly Oberle's Folk Shawls book - the Sarah Blanche one. I even had my photo taken with the Yarn Harlot with it wrapped around both of us. Currently doing a feather and fan scarf in five Koigu colors for one of my nieces.

Let me know if you have any questions.


malckwan's picture

Well the pattern is written in such a way that it completely baffles me... there are none of the familiar terms from hand knitting charts but rather things like "non-working position" and it seems to require 3 or more needles...

I'll try and type some of it upo and let y'all have a crack at it...

Sum Ergo Knit ~ I am, therefore I knit.

Sum Ergo Knit ~ I am, therefore I knit.

Lee Griffiths's picture

I have a reasonable level of experience with machine knitting, so I could happily help you translate, if you can scan or type in the machine instructions.

On a side note, I don't agree that machine knitting is "wrong".  It is not as enjoyable as hand knitting, to me, but it does allow you different opportunities for creativity - it can produce very intricate lace or fair isle designs very easily even in the tiniest guage yarns, which I'd never have the patience, or time, to complete by hand.

One other thing I use my machine for is swatching design ideas quickly (which really only works if you're into color because texture stitches on machine and hand knitting differ considerably).  It allows me to prototype four or five alternate ideas in the time that I'd be able to do one swatch by hand.