Knitting Machine1
Current Projects, Geekery

A Knitting Contraption

Look what I made!

Arm warmers

I’m so excited! I’ve wanted knitted arm warmers for so long. The only thing holding me back was the fact that I don’t really know how to knit. So, what did I do? If you answered: learn to knit, you would be extremely logical, but, unfortunately, incorrect.

I used SCIENCE. Ok, well not really ‘science’… I used an old knitting machine that my Grandma found in her basement! This job is, I would estimate, from the early 80s. It totally reminds me of some sort of musical instrument, except instead of music, it makes craftiness.

Knitting Machine1

If you’ve never seen one before, it basically looks like a keyboard full of hooks. When you cast on, each hook holds one stitch. Every row, a loop of yarn gets pulled through the last stitch on each hook, so that as your knitting progresses, the piece hangs down from the ‘keyboard’. (There are some wonderfully ghetto-80s youtube videos that I found online.) What makes the whole thing crazy efficient, is that all you have to do to knit a new row, is to just slide a carriage across the keyboard of hooks! A special plate on the underside of the carriage jiggles the hooks back and forth as it goes over them whilst feeding more yarn into the hooks.

Knitting Machine 2

Cool, right?

The problem that I have is this: I don’t have the jiggly-hooks-part. It has apparently been lost to the bowels of Grandma’s basement. So, my knitting machine is not super speedy. I have to actually jiggle the hooks manually as I go along. It’s not that bad though – the whole process is still comparable to the time it would take me to crochet it.

And yet, the lack of this ‘key plate’ (that is seriously what it’s called – I googled it) irks me. So, I’m in the process of making one out of cereal box cardboard and duct tape. Duct tape is my friend. It can do no wrong.

My progress was thwarted when Mark took out the recycling two days ago.

I will post about my key plate once I get it working properly. I’m off to eat more cereal. 😉

Action shot!

Arm Warmers on Arms




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