But wonderfully, fantastically and incredibly, I now have a functioning knitting machine and ribber:
So I've spent the past few days getting a feel for the machine and I've found a wonderful resource in the amazing Diana Sullivan's blog. It seems a little difficult to navigate through initially, but she has two invaluable courses of video lessons on basic machine knitting, and on using the ribber.
The only problem is that I found it pretty boring just to work through lessons on technique after technique, and producing a million boring samples. By the time I got to the point were I was trying to use a technique in a design, I'd forgotten it and had to re-learn it again anyway.
My thinking is that it would be more fun to have a small project with a few different techniques to learn at the same time as making something nice...
So I'm developing a pattern for some mittens as a starter project and hoping to post a step-by-step tutorial very soon. The mitten design isn't quite ready yet. The first attempt was a bit of a fail unfortunately:
The other enormous fail was my attempt at grafting the thumb: