Friday, November 23, 2012

New adventures

My steeking workshops never get many students. I assumed it was because the very thought of cutting their knitting makes people feel all weak at the knees. And, for sure, there is plenty of that. But I also think that the homework scares people away. Most of my workshops don't require homework (or if they do, there are ways around it), but for this class- cutting a knitted tube and turning it into a doll-sized sweater- the homework is absolutely necessary. And people don't much like homework.

I'm teaching the steeking class for the Knitting Cruise to the Bahamas in July (link to the right), and I decided right away that I would provide the knitted tubes and the yarn, because if people don't want to do homework at their houses before a festival, they surely do not want to do it on a cruise ship to the Bahamas.

If absolutely necessary, I would knit those tubes by hand, but that was my worst-case-scenario. First, I thought I'd try a knitting machine. My friend Dana had a small Addi round knitter that looked like it could do the trick, except it only had 24 stitches. I need a bigger tube for my workshop. I had a cheapo plastic crank knitter that I bought at Target a few years ago, but it dropped stitches, and was way too frustrating to use for anything but a teeny tube scarf. So asked around, did some research, and then ordered the Addi Express King Size round knitter.
 It arrived today. Dana's knitter was a little bigger around than the antique sock machines. This one is huge- at least 13" across, with 45 needles. It's solidly made and the reviews are nearly all positive. The needles are plastic, but they seem sturdy.
 It came with an instruction book, a nice pattern book, extra needles and other supplies, including clamps to keep the knitter from sliding around on the table.
 It can knit back and forth (for, you know, making sock blanks.....).
 And it can knit in the round, for sweater tubes, and a bazillion other things.
The gauge is pretty big- maybe size 9-10 needles, and the fabric is stretchy. There's going to be a learning curve, but from my test swatch (ignore the hole at the bottom- that was user error), I am sure I'll be able to use it for my workshops and classes.

This afternoon, I'm going to play. I'll be back tomorrow with pictures.

1 comment:

Sophie said...

Looks like fun! But maybe you could have considered that one...