Machine knitting is really the underdog of hobby knitwear. It's a whole new skill set from hand knitting, and just generally under sourced. Check on the internet....type in knitting and I bet everything will be hand done.......
As a designer, I had to train on machines. It would be really stupid to give me a job designing specs for designs if I didn't even know how they were constructed in a factory, so I had to learn domestic machines and industrial and believe me those ones are huge! It did however provide lots of amusement for the other people in my class when 5'2' me had to stand on a chair to change the cones.
I just fell in love with knitting. The techniques and adaptations you can use on a machine, the ease of partial knitting, combinations of yarn you can produce and not to mention the fluidity of fabric you can create with those smaller stitches.
All machines should be truly loved! They are so versatile and allow you to play with construction and shape. Even as beginners you can just create such beautiful garments, not to mention in half the time of hand knitting! But even though the numbers are fewer, take this to heart....... the designs you see on the catwalk are MACHINE knitted....I hate to tell any hand knitters out there reading this, but even the chunky items that look like they are hand done, aren't! They're a 1.5-5gg machine. Sorry to break it to you but actually where fashion production is concerned.....machine knitting rules the land!
Since I do both, I really like the fact that machine knitting has it's own special place and not only do I want to promote machine knitting patterns, but lets really do it with style!