• 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. First though, do not jump into trying to knit a garment. Now is the time to learn to create some swatches. You need to learn to cast on, knit and then cast off. There are different ways to cast on and cast off so this should be fun. But first you need to thread your…

  • 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

    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…

  • knitmaster 550 electronic machine
    machine knitting

    2019: A good time to learn Machine Knitting

    Hi, I am Carol land I live with my cat Jenson in the Forest of Dean, UK. Finding myself with time on my hand and needing a challenge, I decided to learn the old art of Machine Knitting. I have been researching into machine knitting to see if I can do this new hobby on budget. I am recording my progress, good and bad, in this blog. I am also including useful information and resources for my own reference and hopefully for other new knitters. I sometimes hand-knit or crochet in the evening, but find it takes a long time and can get boring. I need something a bit more…