In Case You Missed It
Our guest speaker was Karalyn Rainey, one of the original members of the Machine Knitters Guild of San Diego. She is well known as a popular machine knitting teacher at Foothills Adult Education Center.
Karalyn’s presentation began with a poll. The question was, “Do you own a knitting machine?” 73% of the members answered no, but 21% of our members do own and use knitting machines. Then there are the 7% who own knitting machines but don’t use them.
Karalyn began her presentation by showing us many examples of machine knitted items: socks and hats, bags, sweaters, hoodies, slippers, teddy bears, and sock monkeys, to name a few.
She demonstrated how to produce two machine knitted items. Her use of the overhead camera on her machine was so helpful.
The first project was a baby sock in which she demonstrated short row increases and decreases, edge stitching and binding off. All so quick and easy and beautiful!!
The next project was a hat with a fair isle heart design. In addition to creating beautifully even fair isle stitches, she showed how her machine could read from a hole punched card to make the design. She bound off the hat with an extended hem. The only hand stitching required was to seam the hat.
Other subjects covered were:
Knitting Machines. They range in cost from $50 to $2000. They are no longer made in the U.S, but second-hand machines are available through the Machine Knitters Guild. There is a technician in San Diego who can refurbish machines. Machines are designed to work in specific weights of yarn. Karalyn’s demonstration projects used worsted weight yarns. Avid machine knitters have at least 2 and up to 20 machines.
Yarns for Knitting Machines. Cones of yarn are the most prevalent, but balls of yarn can also be used. Karalyn makes her own yarn but also uses commercial products.
Knitting Machine Stitches. Stockinette is the most common stitch, but garter stitch can be done by removing the stitches and replacing them on the needles with the purl side up.
Machine knitting is not for everyone. Some have been bothered by the noise or have encountered back strain. But the quick results of machine knitting are impressive, and it is ideal for large, felted items.
Karalyn inspired us with her dexterous demonstration, enthusiasm, and knowledge. We thank her for her presentation.
Submitted by Mary Barranger, March 3, 2022