Thursday, September 3, 2009

Posting a Video Ribber Course

As I put these links up, I hope that any beginners who are trying to learn to use a ribber will follow the sequence - watch a lesson, do a lesson, in order. You will probably need to modify them to fit your machine - have your manual open so you can find the settings for tuck, slip, etc. for your own brand of machine. I am trying to organize this so it builds knowledge in a logical way. By doing them in order, you shouldn't find them too difficult to do.

For the typical beginner, machine knitting is intimidating. There's a reasonable fear of breaking or bending something, and the general sense that you don't have enough hands! But please persevere...I just had the lovely experience of handing my niece two machine knitted blankets for her beautiful new baby, and I didn't tell her how quickly I whipped 'em out! After all, I work all day and can't sit for hours with knitting needles, as much as I would like to.

I still have the 10-minute limit on YouTube, which is okay with me, because I don't want them to be long and boring. But it does mean that I can't show the beginning steps over and over again or let the camera run for long while I am pushing the carriage back and forth.

The lessons are begining to get interesting. For instance, the e-wrap cast-on that I just put up is something that you won't find in your manual, yet is easy to do and makes a very nice edge. It is also practical when you have to cast-on additional ribber stitches in the middle of a project, for instance in the Almost Seamless Baby Sweater.

I keep changing the links on the left margin of this blog to make it easy to navigate to the different groups of lessons that I have put up. First of all (and down the list) is a complete beginner's machine knitting course for the person with any flatbed Japanese knitting machine. Above that is a link to the beginner's project, which is a V-neck raglan sweater. Above that is the complete garter bar course - quite fun, and I bet I've got something in there you've never seen before. Now I'm on the ribber, and the course so far can be reached by clicking on the "click here" in that top link description. Here's my rationale: if I were a beginner, what order would be good to acquire and learn equipment? I imagine I'd start with a main bed, then I'd try to get my hands on a garter bar (because it's relatively cheap and does so many useful things), and then I'd try to purchase a ribber. Or, maybe I'd have gotten the whole works from some knitting nut and I just wouldn't know where to start! So here's a plan of attack.

I think charting devices are the next useful thing, where you can trace on a pattern and then knit to fit, but that won't be for a little while because there are so many amazing ribber techniques. I've got plans for lots of ribber lessons.

I do love to hear from you, and this time, let me throw out this question - what kinds of patterns would you like to have? Do you knit gifts, or things to sell, or what? Let me know... For instance, I was thinking about putting up a garter bar watch cap with garter stitch around the ears for warmth and then garter bar decreases to make it fit the head. To design something and double-check, to proofread it carefully, takes a little work, so I'd like to know what people need.

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