To KICK START your machine knitting skills, it is very prudent to use your Knitting Machine, EVERY single day!
Practise a small skill. i.e hanging up a mock rib hem, short rowing a shoulder decrease, full fashioned decreases, seaming edges of various stitch patterning. Lots of small skills that add up quickly.
Those of us who took formal classes, we were assigned homework and needed to produce it for the next class.
Machine knitting requires experimentation. The yarn, the shape, the sizing, the type of stitches, which machine works best for the yarn etc. There is no one size fits all. If your goal is production type knitting, once these questions are answered, then go ahead and knit 100 sweaters, all the same. Keep in mind, changing the yarn type or colour of yarn, the garment will also change.
I can’t stress enough, the value of the info in the Manuals that are supplied with your knitting machine. Learn to make your machine go and then learn how to make things on it. They are TWO different skill sets.
Here is a cast-on that I find most useful, and a suggestion of a book for those who knit garments for ourselves or customers.
This is a stitch that is highly under utilized. It is produced with very little hand manipulation, can be produced on all knitting machines, and solves a problem of added weighting of the bottom edge of a garment.
The applications are numerous. Bottom edges of sweaters, hats and scarves, neckline edges, sleeves, body of shawls etc. The configuration of the mock rib can be 1×1, 2×2, 2×1, etc…… any combination that you can think up.
Simply, it is a combination of needles in work and others out of work across the needlebed. jjojjojjo, jojojo, jjjjjojjjjjo, etc.
Sometimes, it is knit and then folded up and the cast-on edge is hung onto the stitches that are already on the needles.
i.e on a hat. Knit 1×1 setup and knit 30 rows, then hang up cast-on edge onto the empty spaces on the needle bed as in the photos, continue to knit as you choose, with all needles in work or continue with the Mock Rib set up.
A few samples.
Yet Another Canadian Artisan, Mary Anne Cutler 2019
Knit on any knitting machine, any width.
I used a dress yarn along with a very, very thin yarn on tension dial at 9, using a standard 4.5 mm gauge machine.
Cast on 40 stitches.
Setup: 5 st in work, 1 stitch out of work. jjjjjojjjjjo…….etc
Pattern: repeat the following 20 rows.
A)Knit 20 rows.
B)Make the Holes: manually transfer stitch #3 of each 5 stitch group, onto its neighbour stitch. Leave the transfer needle in work so that it knits on the next passage of the carriage.
Knit as long as desired. Mine was 6 ft, 640 rows.
EMBELLISHMENT at the hem edges.
Thread desired number of beads on the yarn that is to be used for the crochet edge. Secure yarn at the starting point of the scarf edge.
*Crochet 5 chains, move bead through the crochet yarn, crochet 5 more chains. ( 1 bead is now on the crochet chain. Next, Slip stitch the 10 stitch chain stitches onto the scarf edge. * Repeat along edge of scarf.
Finish with a bit of steam.
Yet Another Canadian Artisan,
Mary Anne Cutler 2019
A delightful article about the state of knitting in Canada. Wonderful pictures.
Blanket Yarn Hat.
Blanket yarn Hat.
Yarn, approx 80 gm used per hat.
10mm needle or crochet hook.
Cast-on 50 stitches/chains
Sizing, for a larger head add a few extra stitches/chains.
Knit/crochet, flat with a seam or circular.
Stitch pattern. I used stockinette for the knit hats. Single crochet into half of the chain stitch for the crocheted hat, circular. A knit 5 x 5 rib would be nice.
Compare the depth ( before decreasing for the crown ) to an existing hat in your closet/collection.
Decreases at crown, your choice. Everyone seems to have a favourite method.
I used 3 different methods on 3 different style hats.
Mary Anne Cutler,
Yet Another Canadian Artisan 2018
I was gifted a few balls of Blanket yarn, it is a chunky chenille type yarn. Too thick to feed through a Chunky Knitting machine. It is a nice squishy, smooshy acrylic yarn. Most people seem to use it for baby blankets.
I made some hats. Stockinette, a crochet and a different style stockinette. 3 hats, all from a 350 gm ball with enough left over for a pom pom.
All 50 cast on stitches/chains.
10 mm needles and crochet hooks.
I ran into the following tutorial about when to slip stitch an edge or not.
I’ve always been of the opinion that knitting every row in “stockinette” on the salvage edge makes for a neater and stable seam.
This article shows the whys and the hows very clearly of when to use and when not to.