>The Machine Knitting Police

>When I bought my first knitting machine, a Bond, in 1982 there was no instructional video and no internet so the only way I could learn was with the instruction books and through trial and error. I could have done with a little help at times but had nowhere to turn. So now that I have this blog, whenever people ask me how to do things I try to help them out or point them in the right direction because I know how frustrating it is when you can’t work things out.

Quite a while ago a lady contacted me about her Bond machine, I think it had a damaged section and she wondered how she could fix it. I made her a short video showing how to take it apart and swap the sections about. I put it onto DVD and sent it to her, then deleted my copy of the video. I wish I’d kept it.

Another time I wrote a blog post saying that I’d spent the day darning socks and someone asked me how I do it. So I made a video and posted it on the blog. I hope she saw it and found it useful. It might not be the correct way to darn a hole but it works so it’s alright for me.

Since then I have made lots of videos of different techniques I use with my knitting machines. I do not claim that my methods are the right way/only way/easiest way to do things but they work for me. I make them more as a guide to give people an idea of what to do.

I sometimes get requests from people asking how I do certain things. One person asked me how I join the ankle part to the top of the heel when I knit flat socks on the single bed. So I made a video entitled ‘How I Graft On The Knitting Machine’. Notice I didn’t call it ‘This Is How You Should Graft On The Knitting Machine’, I never said that it was how it has to be done – I said it’s how I do it.

So I received an email today saying that someone had commented on the video.
This is what they’d written:

“I’m sorry but this is completely the wrong way to do it!
That seam is ugly and has no stretch!The quick way is to run
off on waste yarn and replace stitches back needles with the right side facing you.Then machine graft using the stretch method.The best way is to remove from machine and hand graft for an invisible join!”

When I read the first line I was furious, in fact I was absolutely stottin! Who the Hell is this person, the Machine Knitting Police? Who are they to say that it is completely the wrong way to do it? If it was completely wrong it wouldn’t work. Just because it’s not the way that they do it doesn’t make it wrong. I was asked how I do it and the video shows how I do it. I use this method for socks – the join is not seen by anyone but me. Nobody has ever stopped me in the street and said “Hey, that seam in your socks is ugly!”. Nobody can see it – it’s inside my shoe. I would not use this seam for anything that would be visible, I would use the method the person describes but that doesn’t mean the method I use in the video is ‘completely wrong’. None of my socks have ever fallen apart because I’ve joined them together in this way so how does that make my method ‘completely wrong’.

I don’t have to make these videos, they take a lot of time not just filming them but editing them afterwards. I have a laptop with a 40GB hard drive and only 512MB of RAM – not exactly designed for video editing – sometimes I have to re-boot the computer halfway through. I do it because I want to help people. There aren’t many free videos out there, I wish there were more. I am not an expert, just someone trying to share what I know and it really pisses me off when self-righteous people feel they have to inform me that I’m ‘completely wrong’.

This person obviously feels that there opinion is correct and that I don’t know what I’m talking about but you know what they say – opinions are like arseholes, everyone’s got one………..

So, just to clear up any confusion about my videos – they are not the definitive guide to machine knitting, I never said they were, they are just my way of doing things which I hope may help people along a little bit. They are also free. If people do not like what’s in them they should remember that I didn’t charge them a penny to watch them. Whether or not people decide to use my methods is entirely up to them but to call my methods ‘completely wrong’ is just………. completely wrong.

Talk to you later,


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