Some time ago I was given a basic chunky machine. Well, it is not that basic - it will do slip and tuck stitch and weaving and has a ribber. What I really mean is that it does not have a punchcard facility so that means no fair isle.
I replaced the sponge bar when I received the machine but with ill health and moving I never really got round to putting it through its paces. So today I tried a little experiment. I wondered how it would manage with my hand spun wool. I have some (12 wpi) that is thicker than I would use on my standard gauge machine and I wondered how that would work. Well, surprisingly that knitted well at tension 1.
The blue is waste yarn.
So then I thought I would try some of my hand spun brown Jacob yarn which is about Aran thickness (8 wpi). That knitted nicely on tension 6.
Notice how the different thickness of yarn and tension makes the swatch have irregular sides! I started the off white on T3, then turned to T1 - the equivalent of changing needles in hand knitting.
So now I wonder how thick it will knit as the maximum tension is 10.2. More experimenting needed.
Seeing what this machine can cope with, fair isle would seem unecessary. Double thickness (as you get with stranding of fair isle) of these yarns would be too thick in all but the coldest of conditions!!
I like fine (ie thin) yarn knitting but I'm looking forward to trying something a bit different - and of course I have the rib and different textures to experiment with too. This feels just like a new toy.