My machine knitting class is finished now, and although I still have a ton to learn, I am totally addicted. For me, it is the perfect blend...just difficult enough that you really need to concentrate and learn how to deal with the inevitable accidents that happen along the way, but also instantly gratifying. Once you have yourself all set up, and have tested your yarn and stitch by making a little swatch (and you are sure all is well) you can really make a big piece of knitted fabric in a short amount of time.
After leaving each class with little swatches that represented the various techniques we had learned I was eager to make a real thing...anything...but something a person could actually wear. A sweater is still more advanced than I am ready for (but the ideas are floating around, ready to be tried as soon as I get to that point!) so I decided to try a simple cowl. I love cowls...they are very cozy and pretty all at the same time.
One of the things that was fun about making them all was experimenting with little variations. Blending various yarns was a new thing for me -- with handknitting I almost never knit with two or more strands at once because I find it kind of annoying to work with. On the machine you use much thinner yarns and combining several strands is an easy way to play with color and thickness.
Another thing that is really amazing on the machine is being able to change stitch patterns. I fell in love with tuck stitches so most (maybe all?) of my cowls use them...either entirely or striped together with plain knit jersey.
Best of all, my family all loves them. I did not design these with kids in mind but as I see them on my kids here I realize that another great thing is that they are harder to lose since they do not fall off! If you have not guessed...I'll be selling these at my table at the PS 321 Holiday Shop. But, any that don't sell will not go to waste...act surprised if they appear under the Christmas tree!