Machine Knitting Tips & Tricks

With all the sophisticated controls, a knitting machine may look intimidating to a novice user. Hand knitters who are trying out their knitting machines for the first time can follow these tips and tricks to help them ease into the fun world of machine knitting.

Prevent your buttons from dropping from machine knitted garments by attaching them with a dental floss and/or fishing line rather than thread. You can hide the lines or floss by putting yarn over them. Dental floss and fishing lines are also superb for creating ravel cords.

When sewing in zippers, we usually use garment pins to hold them in place. But these pins are inconvenient when you are moving a fabric through the knitting machine. One alternative is to use fabric glue in place of pins. After the glue dries up entirely, start sewing the zip onto the fabric. Fabric might shrink when washed so treat it first before applying glue.

Fairisle is a common stitch done on a knitting machine. It is made up of two colors knitted on one row. Many knitting machines can handle single fairisle stitches rather easily, with advanced options for 3 to 4 more colors. In contrast, Intarsia is a stitch made up of unlimited colors knitted on one row. A special Intarsia carriage is usually used with knitting machines.

To make delicate picot edges on machine knitted garments, pull out alternating needles to the outermost point. Do an e-wrap cast. Move the machine knitting carriage to your right and do 10 rows. Move the carriage again to the right while working on the other alternating needles and do 12 rows. Hang the hem on every needle.

When measuring garment dimensions, you should not use a test swatch that you didn’t make on your knitting machine. For every machine knitted project you will make, you will need to knit a separate test swatch.

Find out if a yarn is man-made or naturally made of animal or plant through a bleach test. If you soak a piece of yarn in bleach, bubbles will form around an animal-type yarn and it will disintegrate in less than 60 minutes. If the yarn fades but does not dissolve, it is created from plant fiber. Man-made yarns can withstand bleach.

While working with irregular patterns, wrong estimates are a common error, leaving you with such a lot of spare yarn. Using the same stitch and yarn you’ll be applying on your project, create a trial piece of a hundred rows and a hundred stitches (width) on your knitting machine.

Arrange your swatches according to needle size, pattern, yarn type, and washing instructions. Keep them near your machine knitting work area as they can be useful for future reference.

Emily J Watson writes articles about knitting, knitting machines and how to make money from your knitting. Visit her blog at http://www.machineknittingadvice.com for more essential advice and reviews on machine knitting.

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