Maybe the 5th time is the charm?

I had this idea to create a nice holiday afghan as a gift for my father for Christmas. Unfortunately, it's clear that I've forgotten some of the basics for how to do machine knitting. The problem has been compounded by the fact that the machine I'm now using is a newer model than the one I've had years of experience on.

First attempt: I didn't get the cast-on right.

Second attempt: I forgot to cast on, but started anyway, and then discovered after 20 rows or so that I had misconfigured the machine for lace knitting instead of fair isle and also had the wrong end-needle selection chosen.

Third attempt: Cast on properly, and recognized my mistake and thought I then pressed the right buttons, choosing the "PART" buttons. After several rows of not getting any two-color knitting, I realized that was wrong, too, and I needed to consult the manual.

Fourth attempt: This is it! I cast on right, I selected the right patterning button, was getting fair isle, with the right needle selection. I was wrapping my edge stitches and everything was going terrific! Around row 200, I looked at the right side (behind the machine), only to discover that the pattern was wrong, with the left half of the image on the right side and vice versa. I had inadvertently shifted the pattern to the right by 95 stitches! The next half hour was spent unraveling the two colors to put back onto their cones.

Fifth attempt (this morning): Well, I certainly learn from my mistakes. Now I've got a proper cast-on, correct patterning, correct positioning, and so far everything is going smoothly.

Despite all of this, I'm still hopeful I can get it finished by Wednesday. (If not, it certainly won't be for a lack of trying!)


albert's picture

I don't know anything about knitting machines, but what you have described sounds alot like what I go through every time I pick up the needles. No wonder I get so little done. But at least you can blame that blasted machine!

Veni, vidi, kniti.

Marc's picture

I wish I could blame the machine, although during this panel (which I did otherwise finish successfully a short while ago), the yarn did snag and break once, so I've got a small hole I'll need to patch up, but that's not a big deal. In this case, it was my own ignorance. I was using a slightly advanced feature of the machine that is done somewhat differently from the machine I used to have, and I declined to follow the instruction manual figuring that I knew how to do it well enough.

Silly me! :D

rc_in_sd's picture

Sorry to hear about your frustrations, but it sounds like you keep a pretty positive attitude. I don't know anything about machine knitting, but I'm very curious, and i enjoyed reading about your experience. Please keep sharing!

Marc's picture

I can happily report that, indeed, the 5th time came out just fine. My contrast color yarn did snag at one point in the carriage and broke, so it ended up dropping a couple stitches. I caught the stitches with a locking stitch marker and will patch that up shortly.

I'm in the midst of working on the second, lining panel. This one is plain white and goes very quickly (thanks to my machine's motor drive). Every 100 rows or so (it varies according to the pattern), I stop so that I can pick up an entire row from the first panel and join it to this new second panel. This will hide all the floats and make a very soft and thick afghan panel.