So I finally got around to setting up and learning how to use my Ultimate Sweater Machine. It required 2 trips to Home Depot to get the right size board to clamp it to, and a couple hours worth of playing around. At first I just practice knitted my way through the skein of yarn that comes with the machine - that took all of 10 minutes. Then I started reading the instruction and pattern book that comes with it and thought I should try an actual pattern. This hat was from one of the patterns in the book - and took me about 1 1/2 hours to make.
The knitting is great - it looks like hand knitting accept it's perfectly even. I'll have to look closely at my hand work, but I think there is always a stitch or two that is slightly looser then the rest - even with a knitter that has been knitting for a long time. For that reason, it lacks the character of hand work. But, as my boyfriend put it, "you could really bang out some blankets". Yes - I could easily bang out some blankets.
So far I like the machine. I think when I get more comfortable with it, I'll combine machine with hand work. There is a sweater pattern I have in mind that can easily be converted to the machine since it's all stockinette stitch.
So exciting to have a new toy!