How to Use a Knitting Machine

    by Contributing Writer

    Knitting machines allow a knitter to work even faster -- as many as 200 stitches at a time! There are many types of knitting machines available for purchase, and each can take some time to learn, but they are a quick and fun way to get through the more mindless sections of your knitting projects.

    Things You'll Need

    • Knitting machine
    • Yarn

    Choosing a Machine

    Know the different types of machines available. Manual machines require the knitter to move around the pegs by hand to change a pattern. Card punch machines require a punched card to create the pattern. Electronic or computerized machines allow you to store the basic pattern in their memory.
    Machines are also classified by the type and size of yarns they use. There are three main classifications: bulky, standard and mid-gauge. The bulky is used to make bulky sweaters or sport-style yarns. The standard is best for the finer yarns. The mid-gauge machine is the most versatile and able to use most common yarns.

    Learn how to cast-on with the machine you are using. Consult the machine's manual to determine what will work best for you, though many knitters prefer the e-wrap cast-on. With the carriage on the right and the needles in the holding position, start to wrap in an “e” fashion around the needle stems (that is past the small legs of the needle). It takes two rows to create your cast-on. Now you need to wrap the yarn around the needle, but in the hook area, and push the needle back to the working position. Repeat this step for each needle.

    Make sure that all your needles are in the working position now. Set your row counter to "000."

    Place your combs with the weights on the stitches.

    Load your yarn through the threads and through the carriage.

    The first push of the carriage will be tough, but the rest will flow with ease. If you keep your working yarn tight before you move your carriage, you will prevent those loops that get caught up on your bed hooks. It also helps prevent dropped stitches.