plenty of practice yarn
basic techniques,  machine knitting

Practice makes perfect

Once you have your machine cleaned and you have plenty of suitable practice yarn (see my post called Get some Practice Yarn). Make sure your operation manual is handy and that you have your tools set out in your work-space. You will soon learn to use your tools and to know which ones are important. You may need to buy extra tools, but only when you know that you need them.

If you are a beginner, I would not start with your favourite pattern as it is unlikely that you will do a good job first time. Instead, have fun making swatches/samplers as these are the best way to learn how to knit with your machine, and they can be fun. The next post will cover this in more detail.

knitting sampler test
try out different yarns and patterns

Set-up your yarn mast with the appropriate yarn. For a beginner with a standard gauge machine I would use use 4 ply on tension setting 2 or 3 (tension dial on the back of the yarn mast). If I am using 2 strands of industrial yarn (2/28) or 3 ply I would use tension 4.

check your yarn mast tension
check your yarn mast tension

Change the tension dial if these numbers are too tight or too loose for your yarn. You need about 10 – 20 cm as shown in the above diagram. If there is not gap, then you tension is too tight and you need to decrease the number. If your tension wire keeps moving upwards and the gap is getting bigger, your tension is too loose and you need to increase the number.

Learn the basic techniques

These techniques described in this section will form the basis for an array of knitted items and garments that can easily be made on a home knitting machine.  

Practice setting up your machine, tools and carriage correctly to knit these basic techniques. You will need your operation manual nearby. Refer to it all the time even if you are following a pattern, as it will show you the correct settings for each type of stitch and technique.

There is often more than one way to do anything, so try them out and find out which methods are best for you. Learning these techniques will help you to understand how your machine works and to figure out what tools etc you need in the work space.

Most of the basic techniques can be done on most Japanese knitting machines (and Chinese equivalents). You do not need any special accessories such as a ribber or colour changer. These can be added when you are more experienced.

I will link to any videos that I have found useful to show you how to do a technique.

I will also be adding simple knitting patterns that you can follow once you have learnt some of these techniques.

Let the Knitting Adventure begin.

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