Casting on with the Mill.

Knitting on the Prym Knitting Mill Maxi is remarkably quick and easy when you get the hang of it, but there are a few things to bear in mind. The instruction guide is easy enough to follow, but nothing can replace practice and learning the kinks in the machine.

  • Casting On/Off: I find the best way to get a clean edge is to cast on a contrasting colour to the wool you’ll be knitting with and knit a good ten rows before switching to the wool you want to knit the piece in. Then when casting off do the same again: switch to a contrasting colour, knit ten or so rows and then remove the wool from the guide and crank the mill until the piece falls off. Then pick up the first and last row of the piece on a needle or stitch holder and rip out the contrasting wool.
  • Guage: you need to pull out a good few metres of wool from the ball and let it hang loosely underneath or pile up next to the yarn guide. Then when casting on make sure that the wool is not too tight and all will be fine.
  • Speed: this is something that definitely comes with practice, the most important things are to ensure that there is plenty of wool loose and to crank the handle at a consistent rate. Then you can gradually crank faster until you are getting eight rows a minute or so.
  • Weighting: longer projects need a lot of space because otherwise they get caught up underneath the mill, the guage is ruined and the machine starts knitting the same stitches again and again until you end up with one long stitch that covers several rows – this can be fixed, but it is always best to avoid it.

And, of course, practice. The only way to really get the hang of the mill is to use it, then speed can really pick up.

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