I don’t know about you, but before this workshop I had no concept of what machine knitting actually was. Little did I know, I was in for a treat that would tickle all of my impatient, perfectionist tastebuds, AND I would walk away with an amazing pom pom beanie to top it off!
The Introduction to Machine Knitting Workshop, led by knitwear designer (and all round gem of a woman) Lorena Gonzalez, was held at the ever popular Footscray Community Arts Centre as part of their year-round calendar of craft workshops. This three part workshop series was on three consecutive Thursday nights from 6pm-9pm. Even having had zero experience in this form of knitting, even after the first workshop I was feeling so confident about being able to actually make my own beanie. It was the perfect amount of time to learn the basics of machine knitting, and even get to know your fellow workshop mates on more than a ‘hi, nice to meet you’ basis.
Even though this mechanical form of craft has been around for many decades, mainly in commercial settings, it seems not many people are aware of it’s domestic possibilities (and utter crafting bliss!). So what do these machines look like? Think of a cross between a tabletop keyboard and sewing machine, with big flexible antenna things sticking out the top. Funny huh?
Well let me tell you, once I saw the way this machine worked I was completely hooked (pun intended)! What would take me about 10 minutes to knit with the traditional needle method, now took me one quick swipe across with my ‘carriage’ and it was done. So simple, so bloody quick and to top it all off…perfectly tensioned stitches every time. What more could you ask for?
Yes, you might ask ‘what about the blissful, meditative qualities of knitting in front of a fire with a cup of tea and your favourite TV show on in the background?’, but honesty I would give up that serene scene (every now and then) to know that in a hour or two I could have a beautiful, professional quality beanie! I mean, how could you resist that temping result?
Anyway, I’ll stop myself there before the perfectionist in me gets out of control with excitement.
Let’s talk about the beautiful lady that led us through this great workshop.
Lorena Gonzalez from Loré Loré Knitwear was the perfect teacher. I thought primary school teachers were patient, well I hadn’t met Lorena. The amount of times she must of heard her name called out asking for help with a dropped stitch or some weird, never before machine knitting situation (trust me there was one of those I’m sure), and yet she would always be over with a warming smile and hands of solutions. Her demonstrations were clear and to the point, with little tips and tricks here and there about how your hands should be to make the stitch easier.
When it came to us actually getting on the machines, it was initially a bit intimating (so many little needles, hooks, and tools!), but with the guiding handout provided and Lorena’s calm encouragement, we all glided through it stitch by stitch. And before we knew it we were into the pom pom making process and putting the final touches on our beanies. Yas!
We all walked away (into the very cold Winter Melbourne night) with a beanie on our noggins and a smile on our face. It was the perfect Winter Thursday night activity, and I wouldn’t hesitate in a heartbeat to take another of Lorena’s workshops, maybe a scarf or even jumper next time (getting too cocky with my new found abilities?).
Loved what you have heard about the Introduction to Machine Knitting Workshop and want to try it for yourself? Well check out Lorena’s online links below for more information about upcoming workshops and where you can purchase her beautiful creations.
Live in the Footscray area and are keen to see what other workshops/course are on at the Footscray Community Arts Centre? Follow the links below to find out more about what this great organisation is doing with their local community and the arts community in general.