Knitting Machine Tips

Why is this so hard?

  • June 11, 2024
"I'm a reasonably intelligent person, long-time hand knitter and seamstress... how can this be so hard? "

Compare machine knitting to hand knitting.


HAND: When we hand knit, we form each and every stitch individually. Stitch-by-stitch. You have control over the direction the yarn travels and you control the tension with your fingers. This repetitive motion is soothing and relaxing.

MACHINE: When we machine knit, we depend on the machine to control the tension and formation of stitches and everything happens so FAST!

The first time I sat down at my machine and pushed the carriage across, I didn't know where to put my eyes.
  • Should I watch the carriage go back and forth? (everything was happening underneath it)
  • Should I watch the yarn flow through the tension mast? (heaven forbid there would be a knot )
  • I was amazed to watch the knitting quickly forming under the needles. (It seemed like magic)
Eventually the rhythm of the knitting helped me relax and gain confidence in what the machine was doing without my watching (controlling) every little thing.

Embrace the fact that our machines can quickly form 150 -200 stitches in a single pass of the carriage.

Knitting Patterns:

HAND: When we hand knit we often choose a current pattern, purchase the recommended yarn, swatch to match the gauge and simply follow the instructions line by line.

MACHINE: Sadly there are very few knitwear designers creating patterns for knitting machines. So we have to get creative. We are forced to modify vintage patterns, translate current hand knitting patterns to machine knitting, or learn to chart our own patterns with software or math.

None of this is "hard" but it does add steps to the process of creating knits on our machines.

Stitch patterns:

HAND: When using 2 sticks, we can knit, purl, twist and manipulate each stitch we form. We can cross cables, change colors and form eyelets for lace. But we do this one-stitch-at-a-time.

MACHINE: On the machine we have a TON of options to quickly create similar stitch patterns AND we can hand manipulate each stitch if we choose. The challenge on the machine is instructing the machine to tuck, slip, make eyelets or change colors with a single pass of the carriage.
The key to success is learning and UNDERSTANDING the buttons and levers on our machines

Machine knitting is NOT hard and it's NOT cheating!
Embrace new skills and celebrate the ability to finish in a fraction of the time of hand knitting.

    • River M
    • June 13, 2024


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