• getting started,  wicked

    What do I need to start Machine Knitting?

    As with all craft hobbies there is a range of tools and accessories that will help you as you learn to machine knit. Buying everything does cost money but if you take your time, you may well be lucky enough to find good second-hand bargains that will ensure that you can continue to knit on a budget. Overall you may need to spend money on table/space, machine, tools, accessories, spares, maintenance, yarn, patterns and learning resources. I will give more details about each of these areas in later posts. Knitting Machine: Unless you have inherited one, then you will have to buy your machine. Carefully consider which machine is right…

  • getting started,  machine knitting

    What is a Domestic Knitting Machine – Part 2?

    The 1970s/80s introduced garment shaping or contour devices or charting devices that provided visual pattern guides as an alternative to written instructions. The Knitmaster version was called a KnitRadar or Knit Contour and the Brother version was called a KnitLeader.  Some knitting machines had these incorporated into the main bed, but external ones could be purchased and attached (as shown above). A set of Pattern Contours came with the device in a range of sizes. The knitter chose the correct pattern to insert into the device. The device also included a gauge scale ruler and a set of stitch scales. A tension square was created and the gauge scale ruler…

  • getting started,  machine knitting

    What is a Domestic Knitting Machine – Part 1?

    Knitting Machines cover a range of styles from the simple plastic toy machines that can make simple scarves and socks, to the big heavy-duty industrial machines that can make a range of professional garments. This blog will be referring to the home knitting machine, a flat-bed knitting machine that range from a simple manual knitter (the user has to manipulate stitches to form a pattern) to the more complex electronic machine (electronics or software create the patterns but casting on/off, shaping and moving the carriage are all still done by hand).  Home knitting machines are called flat-bed because they have a horizontal base that is clamped to a table.  This…

  • getting started

    A Brief History of Machine Knitting in the UK.

    A very early knitting machine was created in 1589 by an English clergyman called William Lee for knitting socks/stockings in the 16th century.  However, Queen Elizabeth did not want to put hand knitters out of work and so William went to France who supported the idea and slowly the sock machine spread and developed throughout Europe.  This type of sock machine is a circular type of machine not the flat-bed home knitting machine we recognise today. Knitting was encouraged during the two world wars in the 20th century and knitted garments became fashionable during the 1950s and 1960s when a range of simple home knitting machines and synthetic yarns was…

  • getting started,  machine knitting

    Is Machine Knitting an Expensive Hobby?

    It depends upon what you are comparing it with.   It is definitely more expensive than hand knitting, but perhaps cheaper than jewellery-making or golf.  However most of the costs are upfront in obtaining your knitting machine.  After that you mostly need an annual service and a good stash of coned yarn.   If you are on a budget then accessories make good presents so write a wish-list and make sure family and friends are aware of it when it comes to your birthday. I am based in the UK and so most of the information on this page will be based on what can be found in the UK. Overall the…

  • getting started

    Is Machine Knitting Difficult to Learn?

    Yes and No.  Actually, the knitting part is not so difficult since you are just moving the carriage compared to hand knitting where you are making the stitches.  However, the difficulty comes in getting your machine to work properly every time it is used. As a beginner you must expect to make many mistakes.  Some will be of your own making, as you forget to turn a knob or move a lever.  Others will due to something going wrong with the yarn or the machine.   Experience is needed to sort these problems out but you can get help on the Internet.   Join the FaceBook Machine Knitters Beginners Circle or one…