You say pneumonia, I say, uh, pneumonia

What’s the best way to recover from the flu? Why, a bout of pneumonia, of course! Damn, I’m tired of being sick. I do think it’s finally gone, but talk about leaving a person worn out! I haven’t had the energy to do much of anything for nearly three weeks now.

BUT! she says… I have gotten a few things accomplished while sitting around. I’ve knit at least a dozen cotton washcloths and handtowels, made quite a bit of progress on the nondescript socks (they’re for my brother, so they’re enormous and thus taking a long time), as much housework as I dared with lungs operating so far under the norm, and best of all, made lots of progress on my summer fieldwork research project.

Here are some of the cotton dishcloths I’ve made recently:

They’re very quick to knit on the machine, and I’m finding that it’s a nice way to test new punchcard patterns and other techniques on a small scale but still with a usable finished product.

Here are the three handtowels I’ve knit so far on the machine:

These are so soft! At first I was skeptical about knitted towels, but now that I’ve had a chance to use them, I think they’re much nicer than terry towels.

Finally, here’s a cool racking pattern I did on the knitting machine. Racking is done with two beds of needles (main bed and ribber), changing the alignment between them every few rows to create zigzags. I’m not sure there’s even a way to do this in hand knitting, and if there is, it would undoubtedly be painstaking in comparison. Anyway, this is the front side (where the zigzag is only evident in the floaty bits between the strong ribs):

and this is the back side:

Quite different, aren’t they? Racking is my new favorite machine knit technique. Reversible fabric! And it doesn’t curl even a little bit!

All of these are knit in cotton yarn salvaged from thrift shop sweaters. Got some hideous sweaters for between $1 and $3 each, unraveled them, and voila! Cotton yarn cheaper than I could buy it new.

That concludes this not-so-thrilling update.

3 thoughts on “You say pneumonia, I say, uh, pneumonia

  1. Knitted towels, now that’s something I’ve never thought of making on my machine. I’ll have to have a go. Thanks for the idea!

  2. I hope you feel better soon! That is a mighty impressive amount of knitting!!! Is it relatively easy to reuse store bought sweaters on a knitting machine? Do you have to cone up the yarn? (Not that I have a knitting machine right now, but you know, just for reference ;) )

  3. Susan, I can’t take the credit. They were mentioned on some knitting machine listserve I belong to, so I had to try them. Basically, they’re the same pattern as the washcloths but wider and longer. These three are all 100 st. across and between 300 and 400 rows (depending on tension).

    knittingbee, yeah, it’s easy to reuse yarn (for hand or machine knitting). You just have to make sure that the seams are rippable – if the seams have been serged, the yarn has been cut and when you unravel you’ll just get short lengths of yarn. I just take out all the seams and use my ball winder to unravel the piece (arm, front, back). Then use the center-pull balls from the ball winder on the machine.

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