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Bond Girls

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A while back, I introduced my new toy -- a Bond Ultimate Sweater Machine. I'm still waiting to watch the video, so when Bonne Marie offered to give me an introductory machine knitting lesson, I just couldn't refuse!

It's a lot of fun to go on a knitting adventure with a fellow blogger -- someone who understands your compulsion to take pictures of every little thing just in case it is important to the perfect blog entry. Bonne Marie was kind enough to let me take pictures while she showed me how to set up the machine -- and then to take some of me so that I would have something to share. I'm going to try to put together another pictoral essay for my TechKnit section for others who might want to share in some of the pointers I learned from Bonne Marie.

After a quick tour on her machine, with a basic introduction to weights and yarn control and key plates and silcone spray, it was time for me to go it on my own. And I have to admit, geek girl that I am, it was just too exciting to be combining automation and knitting.

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My First Bonding Experience

Bonne Marie recommended standing up for best results and I did find it to work very well for me. And a little of that silicone spray across the area where the keyplate slide meant for almost effortless motion.

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After a Little Bonding

I just couldn't get over how fast and easy this was. I kept stopping to admire the lovely grey acrylic masterpeice that was descending from the machine. Before it was over, I had tried all four of the keyplates to get a sense for the tension effects they had on the worsted weight yarn. One thing that surprised me a little bit was that it's the purl side of the fabric that faces you -- and that with all the weights, the fabric looks so stretched out that you just don't think that it is going to come out right. But when you finish your work and detatch the piece from the machine, you get this:

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Bonded

How cool is that?

This machine is the perfect solution to dealing with sweaters with lots of stockinette. I've been planning on making Bonne Marie's Eyelet Cardigan in some icy pink CottonEase. So after I find a good place in my house to set the machine up and practice setting things up and swatching, I may take that project on as my first "mission".

Before anyone gets worried that I might give up hand knitting for a tech toy -- fear not! The machine is fun, but it can't do everything. Ribbing isn't a simple option, and it really is made for worsted/bulky weight wool. I'll still be handling most complicated things by hand. But it is neat to have a new tool in my arsenal of knitting options!

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