• getting started,  machine knitting,  Wicked

    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 Tension Mast First thing to do is to setup your yarn tension 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…

  • getting started,  machine knitting,  Wicked

    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…

  • getting started,  machine knitting

    Setting up Your Machine – First get your Operation Manual

    Hopefully your knitting machine has arrived, and your knitting table has been set up.  You are now ready to start setting up your machine. Get Your Manual Your machine will usually come with its operating manual or user guide.  This manual is absolutely necessary to understand how to set-up and operate your machine.  If your machine did not come with a manual, then I strongly suggest that you try and find a second-hand one if possible.  Ask in the facebook groups or set-up an alert on Ebay. Alternatively, you can download pdf formats of most manuals at www.machineknittingetc.com.  You should be to take the file to a local printers and…

  • a new knitting machine
    getting started,  machine knitting

    Got my Knitting Machine…Now what do I do?

    First, if you have your first knitting machine, or it is on it’s way to you, congratulations.  This is the start of your new hobby. You will probably be excited to start knitting.  But this may not be possible yet.  You need to prepare your knitting area and machine before you can start.  This post will go through the things that you need to do/get before you can start. If your machine is an new or old Knitmaster/Silver Reed/Singer/Studio standard gauge machine, then this blog is perfect for you as I will be showing you what to do on a Knitmaster standard gauge machine.   However, if you have a different…

  • getting started,  machine knitting

    Where to Buy your Knitting Machine?

    If you have read the previous post, you should have a good idea of what type of machine you want to purchase. You need to look for the best one that you can buy within your budget. For example, if you want to buy a standard gauge punch-card machine, then you can buy a new SK280 for approx £700, a reconditioned and tested machine for about £400 and an second-hand bargain for £100-300. The cheaper machines tend to be older and may not have been used for a while. Cheaper bargains can be found if you are willing to clean and service them yourself (you can find info and videos…

  • 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,  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…