Machine Knitting Basics

This class has passed
This class has passed

What’s it all about?

‘Oh, my mother had one of those!’ is often the cry when machine knitting is mentioned. These clever little machines were once a common addition to the sewing room, reaching a peak of popularity in the early seventies. But sadly the domestic knitting machine was ousted soon after the advent of the windcheater. These fast to make and inexpensive to buy alternatives to Aunty Jo’s knitted jumpers became wardrobe staples and as lifestyles changed and the world could no longer wait for a time consuming cast-off, domestic knitting machines found themselves in the garages and attics of the world…

Apparently not any longer though, trends are showing a dramatic increase in online searches concerning the humble knitting machine. People everywhere are dusting the cobwebs off these vintage treasures and joining in the search for those who remember how to coax them back into creative action. In this class you will discover how and why you should join the machine knitting revolution.

What will we cover?

We will take a look at:

  • A brief history of knitting, including a slideshow covering the advent of the knitting machine through to the wonderful kitsch advertising campaigns that made these machines so popular.
  • An introduction to the knitting machine itself – we will run through the basic terminology of the machine and some simple tips on how to use one correctly and effectively.
  • No workshop would be complete without using the machine – so two knitting machines will be set up for all participants to contribute to making two simple scarves for two lucky class members.
  • While you are not knitting you can sit back and marvel at the speed at which these wondrous machines create lengths of knitted fabric and browse through garments made on the very same machine.
  • Some tips on how to spot a second hand bargain and some insider knowledge on where to find the information resources you will need to get started and turn out knitwear in no time will wrap up the class.

Who will be teaching?

briannaBrianna Read will be taking you through Machine Knitting 101. She is a designer-maker and her knitwear label Jack of Diamonds employs traditional hand-made techniques in combination with machine knit technologies. Brianna’s multi-faceted creative practice encompasses design, production, works for exhibition and machine knitting workshops. She is a regular columnist with the Creative Women’s Circle, her monthly post titled Tools of the Trade is a series of interviews with women discussing the tools which make their creative practices possible.