Thursday, February 19

The spoon-fed mentality

It never ceases to amaze me, that people, who are intelligent enough to get online and surf, seem to be unable to use Google or a similar search engine to seek out the information they need. No, they expect a complete stranger to practically walk them through something step-by-step. I have a video of "lace knitting without a lace carriage" on Youtube - a useful workaround for anyone who has a Brother or Toyota knitting machine but no lace carriage, or if one wants to produce lace on a chunky machine (which never came with lace carriages - the needles don't bend enough). Some cheeky devil asked me to post a video of the normal lace carriage in operation. I may well do that someday, but IN MY OWN TIME. The Brother standard machine is packed away at the moment, and I have no plans to unpack it - I don't really have the room. I appreciate that, machine-knitting being somewhat an underground craft these days, that there's a generation of people that won't have seen such a thing in action. But it is quite clearly documented in the manuals. You will learn best by trying the thing out yourself, and learning from your mistakes.

Having said that, I'm more than happy to help people out (via the blog, e-mail or 'phone), if they have TRIED to do something and failed, or they have got stuck on something. Obviously, if I am teaching you in person, then that is a different matter.

Making a video takes time - not least because my camera insists on using Quicktime, and my video editing software only accepts AVI and MPG formats, so straight away a ten minute clip can take up to an hour to convert. Then there's the small matter of captioning - it's not unknown for videos to get claimed by someone else, so I prefer to mark mine in someway, so that a casual observer on Youtube is in no doubt of the creator and knows where to find my blog.

If the learner does not have the will to learn, then there is no point in teaching them. You have to have a passion for your subject, otherwise what's the point?

Do I sound like a miserable git? A curmudgeon? Well, so be it. If I had nothing else to do all day but knit and make videos, then perhaps matters would be different, but as it is, I work full time and am also on an evening course. I also have to cook, eat, sleep and do laundry. There are only so many hours in a day!

Why go off on this subject? Because it recently affected an online friend of mine, and I am annoyed on her behalf.

The passap shawl jumper has a front and a back, which is a result for me! The first attempt at the front went rather wrong, and ended up getting frogged. For those without Passaps, there is no holding position on these machines. Putting the needles fully out is a sure-fire way to bend or break them, in fact. Partial knitting is done by setting the front lock to LX, and putting certain pushers out of work. Needles with a pusher will knit; those without will be slipped. Which is fine, for small amounts of partial knitting. To knit the two halves of a neckline, I figured it was easier to knit half of it off onto waste yarn, complete the first half, and then rehang the second half and mirror the neck shapings. Possibly not the quickest of methods (I welcome any suggestions!) but it worked for me. Another thing about the Passap E6000, is that you tell it the whole width of the garment at the beginning.It expects you to run the carriage the whole width of the bed, regardless of what you are knitting (you get a nasty beep and are forced to walk through set-up steps if you upset the computer). At this point I turned off the console, because the machine can knit stocking stitch without the computer. Turns out you can enter new width figures later on if you need to. I shall remember that next time.

There may not be enough yarn for a full-length sleeve, so calculations are in order. Might be another short-sleeved job.

I've been corresponding with some Passap experts about my problems with the FORM program - so far I can't get past error 161 - and I think I made a few mistakes. I put in the wrong swatch measurements, and I halved my hip and bust sizes because logically a back is half of a garment. I am going to try inputting the revised program tonight, and see if I can't do a dry run with the thing. It seems like a lot of effort for a simple bit of knitting - but I just need to get my head around what it wants and in what format. I need to think like the original programmer.

The body measurements are entered in cm, and the swatch measurements (for 40s by 40r) in mm. That might have tripped me up, too. I'll probably post an example of a program, when I get it working.


Susan said...

I know exactly what you mean about the videos!

Knitterman said...

Brava, m'lady! Anyone able to drive a keyboard without a chaperone should be able to search for knitting machine videos. It's not like it's never been done before.

The requests that annoy me are those who address an entire list to ask something like, "My father only wears plain socks; can someone send me a pattern?" Uhhh... "Google is your friend, dear."

Knit on!