A chance to learn…

Some time last year I posted a comment over on “Casaubon’s Book” to the effect that I needed to learn to spin and also to machine-knit. The spinning I cracked fairly soon afterwards, and have enjoyed so much that I’m saving very hard to add a brand-new (handmade) spinning wheel to my stable of workshop tools, now that I have a clear idea of what kind of spinning I like best and what features will be most useful. But the machine-knitting was proving a little harder to get to grips with. I tried contacting the nearest machine-knitting group I could find online, but they’re 30 miles away, which is too far to go on a regular basis, and they didn’t know of anyone closer.

But on Saturday, on my way back from the monthly Weavers, Spinners & Dyers Guild meeting, my elderly Louet wheel fell over in the back of the car and smashed an already-cracked demijohn that was awaiting its final trip to the Tip. So I popped it straight down there whilst the engine was still warm. And there sat a battered box containing a Singer Designer 2 knitting machine… naturally it had to come home with me. It’s so much less complicated than any of the other full-size machines I’ve seen that at first I thought half of it was missing. But the instruction book listed the parts, and there they all were. And this machine is extremely simple; it’s probably not very versatile, but who cares? I can work it! It’s just one step up from my Simpleframe knitter; basically the same, a bit bigger, with a carriage!  No complicated tension devices or impossibly-intricate storage cases which you can never shut again, just a bed, a counter, a carriage and a few straightforward weights, combs and hooks. I’d made a scarf out of scrap yarn within a couple of hours of getting it out of the box…

Now I know I will eventually be able to master those great complicated beasties up in my loft (a Passap and a Toyota, with hundreds of bits and manuals and pattern books) as I’m beginning to understand what’s going on and how. But in the meantime, I have a tool with which I can churn out simple scarves & jumpers that I can embellish with other techniques, and maybe one day I can use it to help other people in the same position.

I never cease to be amazed how things work out…

One thought on “A chance to learn…

  1. Sue May 26, 2010 / 5:48 pm


    I have a singer designer 2 and I cna not figure out how you remove the casting on comb once you have picked up the loops infront and put thim on the alternate hooks, as it appears that the comb is fastened in by the knitting.

    Can you please help


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