This is a quick and easy way of casting on. It is also called Automatic Closed Edge Cast On. This method can be carried out on any machine with weaving brushes or a weaving brush attachment. These brushes just hold the yarn so that the first row can be knitted. You may wish to start on left side of machine if you are doing a pattern so that you start the pattern on the right of the machine. (left-handers may want to do the reverse).
You can find written diagrams in the Knitmaster 700 Operation Manual on page 11 (page 14 in the pdf). Free download from here.
I use this method for most of my swatches and tension squares.
- Pro: The method is quick and easy. You can stretch or draw up your hem.
- Con: The edge is a bit ragged as it is just a row of stitches with a thread running straight though. If you break the thread the stitches will undo.
Step 1: Decide how many needles you want to cast on and push these towards you into hold position (d position) with the flat edge of your needle pusher.
Step 2: Move your carriage across the needles and back to move them into working position (b position).
Step 3: Using the 1 x 1 side of the needle pusher, push every other needle into holding position (d position).
Step 4: Thread your carriage and pull the thread over the needles. Just lay it over the needles. Hold this with your left hand with about 12 inches overhand on the left . You can also attach a small clothes peg.
Step 5: Put your weaving brushes down into working position. On most modern Knitmaster machines this is done by gently pushing the little cream lever back toward the carriage and allowing it to drop down.
Step 6: Set the carriage stitch dial to Main Tension minus 1 whole number. Make sure the Russell Levers are set at II and the pattern levers are set to no pattern. The carriage dial should be set to Stocking Stitch.
Step 7: Move carriage to the left slowly and carefully holding the yarn down (but not too tight). Move the carriage to the left a few inches beyond the knitted needles.
Step 8: Now push down the loops on the needles so that they will not come off. Check the last needle is not loose. Move the carriage back to the right across all the needles to finish our cast on.
Step 9: Set the carriage Tension to Main Tension, reset your row counter and start knitting. I would do at least 2 more rows and then you can lift the weaving brushes and add weights.
(NB: if you are doing a tuck, slip or lace pattern you may not be able to use the weaving brushes, so I suggest that you cast on using a cast-on rag and ravel cord – see later post)
Add claw weights to the bottom of your knitting when you have done enough rows (4 – 6). This will give enough space between weights and carriage to stop any damage. I tend to add a claw weight for every 35 – 45 stitches. For a swatch of 50 stitches I have two claw weights.
You can now carry on knitting your swatch or garment.
When knitting a pattern most people (certainly right-handed people) will start row 1 with the carriage on the right. You may want to start on the left if you are using a colour changer.