• making a sampler
    basic techniques,  Knitmaster/Silver Reed,  machine knitting

    Creating Knitted Swatches (or samplers)

    Knitted swatches (or samplers) are smallish pieces of knitting that provide an example of your knitting.  They are very simple to create and are a perfect starting point for a beginner.  It is quite fun to see all the different things you can do. Test that your machine etc works correctly Ideal for beginners to practice new techniques and shapes. Show what your yarn will look like at different tensions Compare different types of yarn Experiment with different colours and stitch patterns to get inspiration Create a library of swatches that you can refer to for future garments Produce ideas that you can show to your clients Swatches are usually…

  • job lot of knitting machine yarn
    machine knitting

    Knitting Machine Yarn

    Machine Knitters prefer to buy yarn on a cone so that they can quickly and smoothly knit a garment without having to worry about yarn running out.  Today it is not easy to find coned yarn in your local shop but there are several online sources in the UK (you will find a list of suppliers in my next post on Resources).   My two favourite places are BSK for industrial yarn at clearance prices and Yeoman Yarns for a wide range of yarns, with bargain mixed yarn packs to practice with. You may already have a starter pack of mixed yarns or have been given/bought a job lot of mixed…

  • getting started,  machine knitting

    Machine Ready? Lets start knitting!

    Hopefully you have read the previous posts and have now set up your machine and work area.  You have a new sponge-bar and your needles and carriage are all ready to knit. You have also ordered or found some suitable practice yarn.   You also have opened your operations manual.  We are ready to start knitting. Threading the Yarn Mast First thing to do is to setup your yarn mast and thread it with your yarn as shown in your manual.  The tension dial should be set according to the thickness of your yarn. Setting Your Tension (NB: when the knitting machine manual describes yarn for the standard gauge tension mast…

  • getting started,  machine knitting

    Setting Up Your Machine – Check the sponge bar

    Many of the domestic knitting machines contain a needle retaining bar also known as a sponge bar or sponge-bar. Passaps, Superbas, some plastic bed machines and some really old machines do not have a sponge bar. Check if your machine has one. The sponge bar is a long metal metal bar that contains a strip of foam that holds down the needles. The needles will not knit properly without a sponge-bar in good condition. The manuals do not seem to mention anything about the sponge-bar.  The sponge-bar on a Japanese metal bed knitting machine is found in a channel near the front of the machine.  You need to pull or…