Sunday, November 19, 2006

Bonding Issues

Ok, so the Bond. I watched the DVD that came with it. I downloaded and watched files from the Bond Knitting Club Digital Edition. Read lots of posts on Knitting Today's Machine Knitting Forum and just about all of the archived posts at Iwannaknit on Yahoo. Set up the machine, did the gauge swatch, took it off the Bond and let it rest overnight. Plotted out a pattern and bought an extension and row counter, set up the machine again, and cast on.


I tried. Really I did. From 4 in the afternoon until 3 in the morning Wednesday, trying to fall in love with a form of knitting that was clearly invented for the sole purpose of defeating all challengers. Dropped stitches, weights falling out of the hem, carriage jams - you name it, it happened. After all the prep and all the glowing recommendations, knitting on the Bond Ultimate Sweater Machine should have been a piece of cake.

More like a severe case of indigestion.

When I went to bed at 3:30 Thursday morning, most of the back of a simple modified drop-shoulder sweater was hanging from the Bond. When I got up four hours later I finished it, threw in some waste yarn, and took it off the machine. There were several easily seen ridges on the piece, probably from when I hadn't moved the carriage along at just the right speed, maybe from when the yarn had the tiniest bit of tension on it, and certainly on the last row that I'd knit and that had hung on the needles overnight.

I hoped it would block out. Went to work. Came home Thursday evening and gently washed the piece in the bathroom sink, wrapped it in a towel to squeeze the water out and arranged it on another towel to dry, patting it into place. But there was no question, the ridges were still visible.

Very frustrated. Very disappointed. So of course I tried again.

Here's the new and improved gauge swatch:

Not too bad, not totally smooth, but acceptable. The swatch was done with Cascade 220 on keyplate 1.

And here's what I have to show from Friday:

One child's cap, totally finished and enjoying its bath before blocking. The ribbing was done while watching Elizabeth (featuring the new James Bond playing a Jesuit priest) on the DVR Friday night, dropping down stitches and latching them back up.

The cap's not too bad. Post-blocking picture to follow.

I'm still not completely convinced that the Bond and I were meant to be together, but I have hope.

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