Saturday, February 6, 2010

Caveat knitter!

I am a victim of DC's Snowmageddon, the worst snow storm since... 2003. Yes. 2003. I wish you could see the wall-to-wall television coverage. You'd think this storm really was the end of the world.

We've got 30 inches of snow in a region where a third-of-an-inch of white stuff is sufficient to close every school system within a hundred miles. (This yardstick is courtesy of my brother who took this picture in his back yard.) We are officially debilitated, bored, and overfed - the grocery stored surrendered every egg, loaf of bread, and a pack of Oreos yesterday. When I ventured to my neighborhood store and bought its very last half-gallon of milk, the clerk reassured me that I was one lucky woman.

Anyway, to bide my time while I wait for the snow to melt, I decided to unpack the Ultimate Sweater Machine I bought in a half-price sale before Christmas. Thank goodness I bought it at such a deep discount because it is far, far, far from ultimate. I had visions of quick sweaters spewing forth from this easy-to-use miracle maker - but alas, I was wrong.

The biggest shortcoming of the Ultimate Sweater Machine? You cannot purl. Stockinette? Yes. Works fine and makes fast, even stitches. But purl? Garter? Ribbing? Nope. Nada. Zilch. Cannot do it. The accompanying video suggests that to do ribbing, you knit a couple of inches of stockinette and then MANUALLY unravel every other stitch down to the cast on edge and then MANUALLY use a crochet hook to rehook the yarn as purl stitches. Are you kidding? You call that a solution? I need 72 inches of ribbing and you expect me to MANUALLY unravel the stitches one by one? As my boyfriend's teenage son says, WTF?

There is an alternative solution which the company actually tells you with a straight face: hand knit the ribbing yourself and then slip the stitches one by one onto the Ultimate Sweater Machine to finish knitting. Jeez louise. Might as well just knit the damn thing by hand myself!

I'm contemplating what to do next. I'm likely going to pack it all up and sell it on ebay. Then I'll save my dough until I can get a real knitting machine that purls - at least! I don't want much. But I do want to knit - and knitting requires purling.

More disappointment, but this one isn't because of the knitting machine. Tonight I have to re-cast-on for my Handstrikket. I knitted about ten inches before realizing that either my gauge or my stitch count is way off because I've made a sweater that is 90-inches wide! I've got a big ass but it's not that big. Back to the drawing board, dammit.

Too bad the knitting machine is so deficient. I'd love to whip out the bottom of my Handstrikket in a night or three. No such luck. The moral of my story? Caveat knitter!


  1. Aside from the obvious manual thing every few rows for ribbing or having to manipulate stitches for designs (which I'd still have to do by hand anyway if I was knitting by hand, lol) for me the Bond is great for some of the simpler garments and even some of the not so simple patterns because it can stay hanging there waiting for me to walk by and do a few rows here and there as I go through the day...

    Yeah, it beckons me to come and finish the project because it's constantly in sight mocking me for not having finished because I've been so busy with everything else the past few days; really I wish it would just stop but it's so gray against my brown table that it's loud.

    P.S. Great blog you've got here

  2. They make great socks, though.
    I mentioned it previously and have to mention it once again..I bought several pairs from a home knitter on ebay and they are the warmest hiking socks I have ..even better than my Birkenstock socks!!! holes! The wear is phenomenal.

    Whip up some in a heavy wool for the Spring hikers on ebay!

    Now as for snow..welcome to NORMAL!!!! lol


  3. I remember how much fun that much snow was when I was a kid! All that snow would be a very good thing in Vancouver BC right now, they have to bring snow by truck, they're having the warmest winter in 30 years, right in time for the Winter Olympics... go figure...

    90 inches? that's even too big for an afghan! LOL I know what you are going through, I am the queen of false starts ;) Bon courage my friend!

  4. Christy, I'm going to try my hand at making a kids' sweater for Afghans for Afghans - they've made an urgent call for kids' stuff prior to March 1. I'll let you know if I change my mind about the USM after that. Thanks for reading, hon!

    Teresa, you have told me about those wonderful socks. I don't think they were made on this particular machine though. There are sock-knitting machines... can't imagine making a non-seamed sock on this thing.

    And Michele, you are welcome to take all this ridiculous snow and ship it right to Vancouver where it belongs! I hadn't realized Canada was having a warm winter, although I know exactly where their cold and snow has come to: my house! Can't wait until it goes away.

    Thanks to all of you for your friendship and support as I struggle with my cabin fever.

  5. Cabin Fever means more great blogging for Amples! Please continue your blogging!