Knitting Machines
CAROLINAS MACHINE KNITTERS GUILD
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Knitter's Notes

 

These are hints on how to do a number of things on the standard gauge machine.
 Most of the hints will also work on the hobby machines as well. 
Some of these hints are part of a booklet Roz Porter used to give to beginner knitters
when they took lessons from her.
Other hints are added from various guild members.
See List to the Left of the page.

BACKSTITCH

Use this to bind off a rib when you knit a sleeve upside down, it makes the bind off much neater than a latch tool bind off.
Also use this bind off for the mid gauge machines or any machine that doesn't have gate pegs.

  1. End your work on the left side of the machine.  Using a tapestry needle and a piece of yarn 2 or 3 times the width of the piece you are binding off.
  2. Insert needle into 1st stitch on the left, front to back and come back out the next needle.
  3. Insert needle into the 2nd stitch and come out the 3rd stitch.

Repeat all the way across your work, working from left to right.


BACKWARD HEM

Sometimes the hem is at the end of the garment instead of at the beginning.
Then you need to mark it before you turn it.

  1. Knit to the row you will start the hem on, usually 20 or 24 rows from the edge, or according to your pattern.
  2. Pull every other needle to hold position, starting with the end needle.
  3. Lay ravel cord over needles in hold position, weaving brushes down.
  4. Knit 1 row (marking row) with main yarn in feeder and the ravel cord across the needles.
  5. Put weaving brushes up, continue knitting rows to end of your hem.
  6. Pick up stitches from the marking row and hang every other stitch on every other needle. 
    You can hang both the ravel cord and the stitch on the needle if you wish.
  7. Pull the ravel cord out, then latch tool bind off.

BUTTONHOLE (SIMPLE)

     Simply transfer one stitch to the needle on the right.  Leave the empty needle in work and knit across.  If you want a bigger buttonhole, transfer one stitch to the right and one stitch to the left (but you'll have to twist the bar across one of the needles on the next row (sort of a faux e-wrap).

I-CORDS

  1. Using E-wrap cast on number of stitches needed, usually 3 or 4.
  2. Set machine for regular knitting with tension 2 or 3 numbers tighter and push in 1 tuck button. Knit to length needed and cut yarn.
  3. Move outside stitches to center needle so all stitches are on the same needle (if you are using 3 needles). Push them behind latch. Lay yarn end in hook of needle and pull stitches forward, pulling yarn through sts.
  4. If you had more than 3 stitches, repeat #3 and #4.  Take off and pull yarn tight.

CROCHET BIND OFF

  1. Carriage is on the right side of the needle bed.
  2. Push all needles all the way forward.
  3. Hold your latch tool in your right hand and have your left thumb on the butt of the first needle on the right, with the yarn between your first 2 fingers.  The yarn should be on the right side of the gate peg next to the stitch you are working on. The gate peg will keep your tension correct.
  4. With the latch tool turned so that latch is on the left, hook the needle on the right with the latch tool and use your left thumb to push the needle back to A position.  The stitch is on the latch tool.
  5. Push the tool forward so the stitch is behind the latch, turning it a little so the latch is on the top.
  6. Catch the yarn in the hook of your latch tool and pull the tool toward you, pulling a loop through the stitch.
    Make sure the loop is going around the gate peg and tighten it.
  7. Hook the latch tool in the hook of the next needle turning the latch tool so the latch is on the left, and with your left thumb, push the needle back to A position.
  8. There are 2 stitches on the latch tool.  Push the latch tool forward so the stitches are behind the latch and catch the yarn in the hook of the latch tool.
  9. With the latch on top, pull the latch tool toward you, keeping the loop loose.
  10. Repeat 7, 8 and 9 until all stitches are off the needles.
  11. Pull yarn through the last loop.  Lift up on garment to remove from gate pegs.

NOTE:  If you are using a hobby machine with no gate pegs, use the needle to the right of the stitch you are binding off, the needle will act as a gate peg for you, keeping your tension correct.   Make sure the loop is going around the empty needle to the right and tighten it.


CROCHET CAST ON

  1. Pull number of needles needed for pattern to hold position.
  2. Have yarn in left hand and latch tool in right hand.
  3. Make a loop with the yarn around your latch tool, and bring latch tool up between the 1st and 2nd needles on the left end of the needle bed.
  4. Catch the yarn in your latch tool and pull it down between the needles and through the loop.
  5. Bring your latch tool up between the next 2 needles, having it against the needle on the right (this keeps the cast on loose).
  6. Catch the yarn in your latch tool and pull it down between the needles and through the loop.
  7. Repeat 5 and 6 until you get to the last needle  (actually you are crocheting from under the needles).
  8. Slip loop from latch tool into the last needle, making sure yarn is in front and clear.
  9. Set RC on 0.  Knit 1 row.
  10. Pull all needles to hold position with the machine set to knit stitches in hold.  Knit 1 row.  
     If you are doing a crochet cast on for a skirt hem, do 3 or 4 rows of the above, it makes a great hem and a nice finish.
  11. To make more rows, after # 10 above.
  12. Working behind the stitches on the needles (between the stitches and gate pegs) repeat 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 until you get to the last needle.
  13. Take the last stitch off with a transfer tool, then hang the loop from the latch tool onto the last needle.
  14. Take yarn under the needle so it is on the right side of the last needle.  Hang stitch from transfer tool back on the needle.
  15. Knit 1 row
  16. Repeat 11 through 15 1 more time.  The row counter is now on 3.

LACY CROCHET TRIM

  1. Work 1 row of single crochet.
  2. On last row, make single crochet in first stitch, (chain 5, skip 3 stitches, single crochet in next stitch).
  3. Repeat directions in ( ) until end of row

NO FAIL CREW NECK
Roz Porter says:  I learned this at the very first seminar I ever attended in Columbia, SC, Joyce Schneider was the demonstrator and I loved her for this hint.

This neck is guaranteed to go over any head

  1. Work double the length of rib you want for your neck rib.
  2. Hang the beginning row of stitches back up with the stitches on the needle making sure you pick up straight below each stitch.  You now have 2 stitches on each needle.
  3. Cut your thread 2 time the width of the stitches on the bed and thread into your double eye needle (or tapestry needle)
  4. Using the needle, slip the stitches off the machine needles and onto the thread on the tapestry needle.
  5. Work across and at the end stretch the neck as wide as it will stretch to ensure you haven't gathered it. 
  6. Secure the thread and weave in ends.

KITCHENER STITCH ON THE MACHINE

Roz Porter says: I found this on the internet and loved it.  In fact, until I tried this, the only directions I had that worked for me was from a HK book so I always took my work off the KM and put it on 2 knitting needles.   Now I don't have to do that and this is easier anyway. Sorry I don't have permission to copy the file but here is where you can find it:   http://www.magiccables.com/tip2.html

All I can add to Ricki's instructions is, after you've done the first 4 steps, don't go back to the beginning and repeat, just repeat the last 2 steps across.  That would be:

"Now front-to-back thru the front stitch on the 2nd needle and the back stitch on the 1st needle.

Then back-to-front again thru both stitches on the 2nd needle."


BEVERLY'S FRIENDS JUNE AND JOAN'S RIBBER CAST ON

A fabulously easy cast on that eliminates that flare you get with the regular circular cast on

This was given to everyone on Prodigy years ago by Beverly Kanvik.  She refused to take credit for it, saying it came from her friends June and Joan so we have always called it the Beverly's Friends June & Joan Cast On. It's a wonderful cast on, especially nice on the bulky machine but works equally well on the standard machine, do try it! One thing, it doesn’t work well with fuzzy yarn.

  1. Zig-zag cast on to the left. Insert cast on comb and weights, put ribber needles in hold and set ribber carriage to hold.
  2. Knit one row to the right, put hold levers back on ribber carriage and push in left part button. Knit one row to the left.
  3. Put part button back to plain knitting and knit one row to the right.

Continue knitting in rib and after knitting is complete, take the loop of yarn opposite the end of the beginning yarn and carefully pull through the cast on loops at the beginning of the ribbing.


HOW TO ADJUST YOUR BROTHER RIBBER
This is a scan of the page Knitking had in one of the Knitking magazines. 
Click HERE to download it in pdf format 


WORKING WITH GAUGE   
From Cathie Sanders, www.northtipton.com

How do I figure out mathematically how to match 2 ends of a yarn with 3 or 4 ends of a thinner yarn?

Working with gauge doesn't have to be complicated. It's usually a simple matter of division. You mentioned 2 strands of 2/20. That would equal 4/20.   Divide 20/4 = 5. 
To find a yarn that would be about the same thickness as two strands of 2/20, simply look for another 5.
3/15 (15 divided by 3) is a 5. 2 strands of 2/24 (4/24 or 24 divided by 4) is a 6.
 Not so much off.

So, if you're looking for a thinner yarn that you could use multiple ends with, you wouldn't want to use a 3/15...too thick with multiple strands. 
I have a cone of 2/30 yarn and one of 2/32. Multi strands of either (2/30 x 3 strands = 6/30 = 5) or 2/32 x 3 strands = 6/32 = 5.3) would work.


WHY YOUR HOUSEHOLD SCREWDRIVERS DON'T WORK ON YOUR KNITTING MACHINE
From Jan Burch

We all use screwdrivers on our knitting machines, don't we ???? BUT, have you found that on the Phillips headed 
(crosshead )screws, the head of your screw driver doesn't fit very tightly and it slips out without warning. This can cause the head to round and then become impossible to undo.

Solution. there are 3 different types (not sizes) of Phillips screwdrivers, each having a different slope to the edges.  
You need to get the right type:  The types are:  American, Japanese, and Metric.  They can also go by some different names
(one type was designed specifically for electronics and thus has a different slope).  Since most of our machines are Japanese, it is safe to assume you need the Japanese Phillips driver in the correct size (yes, there are different sizes too). 


WHY WOULD A KNITTER USE THE SEWING MACHINE ON KNITTED TOPS?
From Kathryn Doubrley, www.theanswerlady.com

SEWING TIPS:

Once you “get the feel” of this procedure, it is really very easy.  

The article above is  an excerpt from the book on CD,  Knitting and Sew On
  ©2006 Kathryn Doubrley
 http://www.theanswerlady.com/knitting_and_sew_on.html


WHAT IS A SPONGE BAR AND WHY DO I NEED TO CHANGE IT?
From Cathie Sanders, www.northtipton.com

It's the job of the sponge bar, or needle presser bar, to press up against the needles and hold them firmly in place.  If you take your bar out and its flat, its time for a new bar.  Even if you leave it out for awhile and it seems to fluff back up, it won't do its job.  Also, if you press your your fingers into it and the sponge doesn't spring back, its time for a new sponge bar.  If its slow springing back, its time to start seriously thinking about getting a new sponge bar.

I keep two sponge bars for each machine and rotate them.  That seems to lengthen the life of both bars.  Also, when I'm not using a particular machine, I take the sponge bar out (unless its my LK 150 which has a sponge strip that I never take out) and put it on top of the main bed.  No reason to leave the bar in the machine to flatten.   

You can write the knitting machine model and date sponge bar was acquired or recycled on the bar with a permanent marking  pen.


DAK CABLE HINT
So you went to Office Depot or Staples or some office supply place and asked them for a USB-to-serial port cable thinking you could save yourself some money. You got it home, plugged it in and DAK didn't work with it. WAIT! Don't send that cable back yet.

Try this:

FROM Natalie Langkilde's geek husband
http://webpages.charter.net/langkilde/
After installing the USB to COM converter, right click on MY Computer and choose Properties.
Select the Hardware Tab and choose Device Manager
Click the + next to Ports (COM & LPT)
Right click the USB port converter and select Properties
Select the tab called Port Settings. Then select the Advanced Button
On the next screen you have the Option to select the COM Port #. Here you need to change the port number. 
(We thought perhaps since DAK is really a DOS program you have to select something between 1 and 4 but others have told me that isn't necessarily true).
You also have the option to disable the FIFO Buffers. The FIFO buffers can cause a compatibility issue so disable them.
Choose OK

And if it still doesn't work, try this hint 
:

FROM Marcia Hauser 
http://www.marciahauser.nu

If your carriage icon doesn't move, try this. When you are in the knit from screen feature , Hit Control Shift F3. A screen will come up, asking if you want to turn the DAP on or off. Click on the one not turned on, and see if your carriage icon will move. Hope this is of assistance.

For your information, you can also speed up the download to the machine in a similar fashon. When in stitch designer Hit Control Shift F6, a screen will come up asking if you wish to increase download speed.


DOUBLE E WRAP CAST ON or E-wrap over 2 needles cast-on
From Valeria Truitt

  1. Start at the left of the bed. Push the required needles to D position.
  2. With the yarn coming from your right, E-wrap the first needle (or use a loose slip knot on the first needle).
  3. Bring the yarn up between the second and third needles to the right and lay in the hook of the first needle.
  4. By hand, pull the first needle back, catching the yarn and knitting off the first stitch. Leave the needle in B position.
  5. You now have a stitch on the first needle and a loop over the second needle. Bring the free yarn up between the third and fourth needles and lay in the hook of the second needle.
  6. Pull the second needle back, catching the new yarn and knitting off the second stitch.
  7. Continue to wrap two needles and knit off the loop on the left needle until you have all of the required needles set up with a stitch and in B position.
  8. Carriage on the right, thread the yarn in the carriage and begin knitting.

KEY TO PATTERN ABBREVIATIONS
The following are the abbreviations used in most of the patterns in the newsletter

A - Out of Work Position
B or WP - B position
carr - Carriage
CC - Contrast Color
c.o. - Cast On
COL - Carriage on Left
COR - Carriage On Right
dec - Decrease(ing)
EON - Every Other Needle
EOR - Every Other Row
EOS - Every Other Stitch
inc - Increase
K - Knit
K1R - Knit 1 row
MC - Main Color
MB - Main Bed
MT - Main Tension
MY - Main Yarn
ndle(s) - needles
R(s) - row(s)
sts - stitch(es)
T - Tension
UWP - C/D Position
WY - Waste Yarn or scrap yarn
Last updated Wednesday, May 21, 2008 | Contact webadmin | ©2003-2010 Carolinas Machine Knitters Guild