Wow, talk about fits and starts. Part 1 was published August 1 and here it is the end of September already! Well, there has been more machine knitting. Quite a lot, actually.
In April, I joined the Machine Knit Community or MKC for short. It is a paid subscription, and it's open for new members only during 4 months of the year. Starting Oct. 1, it'll be accepting new members again for that month.
I had read somewhere that the site was a good boot in the rear for machine knitters and that it had really helped people keep knitting, and keep improving.
Having been on the site now for 6 months, I'd agree that this was a good move for me. The MKC is run by Nic Corrigan of Whitehall Studio in Yorkshire. Pre-pandemic, she had a shop/studio in her town where she designed patterns, made stuff and sold it, and also taught MK classes in person. Like everyone, in early 2020 she had to quickly readjust - she gave up the space in town and moved her workshop into her house. Then she set up the MKC. It will be one year old in October.
Here's what you get if you join:
- As you would expect, you can participate in an online forum with like-minded people. I'm not sure how many members there are but it is very international.
- Better yet, you can attend (live, online) regular hour-long seminars about machine knitting. Every month there is a theme, and the seminars typically relate to the theme. We did lace during the summer, now we're on to intarsia. We've talked about the design process. For me, one of the best themes was improving your knitting space.
- The seminars feature people who are working in the field of knitting. We've had Bill King (at least 4 times since I joined), Elena Berenghean, Olgalyn Jolly, Juan Alcantar from Juan's knitting garage and many others. They don't just talk - typically they also demo the techniques they are talking about. If you can join live, you can ask them questions. It's a great way to pick up tips from the pros.
- The seminars are recorded and you can watch them again (and again and again). You can also watch all the videos from seminars that were held before you joined. In January, I paid to take some classes at a virtual Vogue Knitting Live from Bill King and Olgalyn Jolly. They were fantastic, but once over, they were gone. It costs about as much to join the MKC as it did to sign up for 3 classes at VKL.
- You can also sign up for specific classes, connected with a pattern that Nic or someone else designed. This costs extra but gives you access to help with the pattern and techniques, lots of video content, and weekly sessions with the designer.
I also think the little row of purl bumps at the join with the sleeves is very attractive. The top is all seamed on the machine, and tells you how to get this effect.