Why Machine Knitting – The Essential Facts You Need To Consider

Machine KnittingWhile most knitters are dedicated to hand knitting, machine knitting is a great way to become fast efficient, and accurate in your work. The knitting hobbyist may not find much of a use for a knitting machine, but if you knit in order to make money, or make garments for your family, you may want to consider this purchase. Many large manufacturers use machines for knit fabrics, but you can also find knitting machines intended for household use. Not only will you be able to easily figure out the ins and outs of using your machine at home, but also you’ll be able to quickly create knitted goods without working day and night on each project.

Benefits of Using a Knitting Machine

Many hand knitters despise the idea of machine knitting, and consider it to be cheating. All you should know on this topic is that once you have tried it, you will know that it is not cheating! Learning the ins and outs of a knitting machine can be a lot of work, and converting your knowledge of hand knitting to machine knitting can be extremely complicated. Still, once the initial learning hurdle is passed, you’ll find that there are many benefits to knitting on a machine.

The Speed Of Creation!

The most obvious benefit to knitting with a machine is the speed at which you can finish each project. Using a machine to knit sweaters, scarves, or other goods for your family will speed up the process immensely, meaning less money spent in department stores on over-priced winter garments. This of course can also be a most useful factor to consider if you are looking at starting a knitting business or if you want to make money knitting.

No More Slipped Stitches or Crooked Cables

Not only will a knitting machine increase your efficiency, but since most machines use programmed patterns, the ACCURACY will be high as well. While knitting by hand can produce slipped stitches or a crooked cable when you aren’t paying enough attention, a machine is made to accurately complete a job and is less likely to result in noticeable mistakes in your knit fabric.

Choose a Knitting Machine

Differences Between Hand Knitting and Machine Knitting

If you’re considering making the switch from hand knitting to knitting on a machine, there are a few differences you should first become aware of. First of all, not all stitches can be created the same way on a knitting machine, and some can’t be re-created at all, or are just too tedious to be worth it.

Gauge Differences

Another big difference in knitting with a machine is the gauge. Since knitting machines feature needles that are locked in place, you can’t just change their position or size to meet a different gauge. Instead, you have to create several gauge swatches before you can even consider knitting something sized on your machine. To find the proper gauge on a machine-knit gauge swatch, you have to first take it off the machine, roll it up, tug on it from top to bottom, and then let it set overnight to get an accurate size.

With a knitting machine, there is a lot more work in the preparation, but once you have gotten accustomed to your machine and how it works, the overall production will be much faster.

How to Choose a Knitting Machine

The most important aspect of choosing a knitting machine is to know what size yarn you prefer. Since the needles are locked into place, you can’t change them out with larger sizes for different yarns. It doesn’t really matter what projects you want to use your machine for, or what types of fiber you like best. Consider going into your local yarn store and saying “I want needles that knit wool.” That doesn’t make much sense, does it? It’s the same concept for a knitting machine. Rather than knowing what type of fiber you like, you need to know what size you like, so that you can choose a machine equipped to handle your yarn.

Making the switch from hand knitting to a knitting machine can take a bit of time. However, if you are looking at selling knitting or you’ve decided you need to become much more efficient for one reason or another, it can be worth the time needed to make the switch. If you find yourself wanting to produce your knitting faster than your hands can move, then you should be considering machine knitting as your newest hobby.

Basic Warp Knitting Fundamentals

Warp knitting

Warp knitting is a term used to describe a type of machine knitting used in the commercial knitting world. Although it is still considered a form of knitting, it is very difficult to do by hand; therefore the warp knitting fundamentals are not the same as the fundamentals of hand knitting. If you aren’t accustomed to knitting on a machine, the warp knitting fundamentals can seem rather confusing but really, it is a pretty straightforward technique.

What is Warp Knitting?

Warp knitting is a type of knitting done almost exclusively on a knitting machine, due to the fact that each needle requires its own thread, which can be very cumbersome during hand knitting. It creates parallel rows of stitches that are interlocked to form a knit fabric that is very elastic and flexible, making it a perfect fabric for women’s garments.

Warp knitting is much faster than other types of machine knitting. In fact, it is considered the fastest method of producing bulk knitting fabric. The fall back is that it can only create fabric yardage, rather than fitted or shaped garments. The knitted fabric by the yard that you find in many craft stores is created using warp knitting. This is handy for those that would like to create a sweater out of knit fabric but cannot knit. With this fabric you can sew a sweater that looks knitted and can be washed in the washing machine without the risk of shrinkage.

commercial knitting

The downfall to warp knitting is that while it is fast, the fabric created from this technique can be fairly course and thick if you’re not careful, unlike other types of machine knitting where you can get smooth, elastic fabric with much better drape. Still, if time is of importance, warp knitting is ideal since you can create fabric in bulk.

Basic Warp Knitting Fundamentals

There are two main parts to a warp knitting structure. You first have the stitch itself, which is created similarly to a hand knit stitch, by wrapping yarn around the needle and then pulling a loop through an existing stitch. This wrapped yarn is called an overlap, which is an important aspect in warp knitting fundamentals.

The second part to a warp knitting fabric is the under lap, which is the length of yarn linking together the stitches. The length of this under lap is dependent on how far apart the needles are on the machine. A short under lap creates less stability in the fabric, while long under lap creates more stability. However, this can also affect the fabric’s weight, since a longer under lap requires more yarn, which makes the finished fabric heavier and thicker.

Warp Knitting Stitches

There are six fundamental stitches in warp knitting. They are the tricot knit, Milanese knit, Simplex knit, Raschel knit, Ketten Raschel knit, and crochet knit. Each stitch is used for different garments and different looks.

fundamental stitches

The Tricot knit stitch, for example, is very soft and less prone to wrinkles than other knit fabrics. Tricot knit fabrics are the most delicate and are often used in women’s lingerie such as slips, panties, bras, and nightgowns. Milanese knits, while not used as much anymore, are more stable and strong. They used to be used often to make the more expensive and high-end underwear. Another warp knitting style that is still used often is Raschel knitting, which creates thick, bulky fabric without much stretch. These fabrics are often used for making bulky items like jackets, skirts, dresses, and coats. These three fabrics are the most used fabrics in warp knitting, although there are others that are less common. The other warp knitting fundamental stitches include:

• Simplex knit, which is pretty thick and dense.
• Ketten raschel knit, which creates a raised pattern on the fabric.
• Crochet knit, which is the basic hand-crochet stitch.

Machine knitting is a great way to quickly make fabrics that are more elastic and flexible than woven fabrics. This is great for fitted garments and garments that require a lot of drape. Things like women’s lingerie would be a lot different today if warp knitting fundamentals had not been discovered. By understanding the basic warp knitting fundamentals, you can understand more about the fabric you’re using, or even attempt machine knitting yourself.

How to Choose a Knitting Machine

There are many commonly held misconceptions about knitting machines. In order to decide which knitting machine will or will not work for you, it is first important to know exactly what you plan to be doing with the knitting machine. You also need to factor in what types of yarn you will be using to knit with as the different knitting machines are set up only for specific types and sizes of yarn. In short, before you decide which knitting machine is the one that you are going to purchase, you need to make certain that it will fit your personal needs.

If you are a very versatile person and commonly knit with many different types, sizes and styles of knitting yarn, it is highly unlikely that you are going to find any single knitting machine that will do everything that you are already able to complete by hand. Furthermore, the knitting machines are not going to be able to create all of the specific knots and stitches that you do. Again, the basic mechanics of knitting make it extremely difficult for all but the most expensive commercial knitting machines to perform even a fraction of what you are currently doing by hand.

Even then, the knitting machines will have different uses and there is still a need for many different and “specialized” knitting machines. Contrary to popular belief, the knitting machines will not fully automate the entire process and greatly increase your output … at least not until you learn all of the little quirks in regards to whatever brand knitting machine you ultimately decide on purchasing. That is because each individual machine is going to be different for more than just the types and sizes of yarn that you are using.

The needles will all be spaced at different intervals depending on the knitting machine that you choose. The latch hooks are all firmly locked into place so the number of threads and the stitch size will always be constrained by this. Thus, you can purchase a knitting machine to stitch heavy yarn for sweaters and such or a knitting machine that will allow you to knit socks but unless you want some really strange looking clothes, you are going to have to compromise some.

Patterns may also be substantially different for knitting by hand than it is for the knitting machines. When you are knitting by hand, all of your stitches will be measured as you go and you have at least a modicum of control over what the final product ends up as. With a knitting machine, you may still have the same control but you lose some of the flexibility that you would have when knitting by hand. The knitting machine cannot see and think the way that a human can so by its very nature, there are always going to be some limitations.

If you only want or need a knitting machine to perform one single function in your production, you will have a much easier time selecting the proper knitting machine. However, if you are looking for a flexible knitting machine that can handle a number of tasks for you, the decision may be a bit more difficult. The two most important things for you to remember are to clearly define what you need the knitting machine to handle and then to learn enough about the knitting machines so that you know which machine will perform that function with the least probability of additional work on your part. Then again, that is why we built this site … so that you could get all of the relevant information and make an informed decision regarding which knitting machine will be best for you. There is unfortunately, no simple answer to this question.

6 Top Tips For Machine Knitting

If this is your first time using a knitting machine, it’s natural to feel intimidated by the intricate controls you never encountered with hand knitting.

Learning to master your knitting machine takes practice and patience. I have listed below 6 top tips and tricks that can help you shortcut your way to lovely machine-knitted garments.

Punch Cards
If you are using punch cards for machine knitting, try covering with tape the holes that you are not using to prevent mistimed punching.

Pins are inconvenient to use when you’re running fabric through a knitting machine. Fabric glue is a better alternative when trying to hold a zipper in place while machine knitting. Before applying glue, make sure that the fabric is treated so it doesn’t shrink after washing. When the glue dries out completely, you can sew the zipper onto the fabric smoothly.

Marker Row
A marker row is useful when you are machine knitting down a long train of garment. They enable you to spot the row wherein you can hang a hem easily. To knit one marker row, pull out alternating needles to the farthest point and set the knitting machine carriage to “Part” or “Slip”. When knitting two marker rows, do the second row on the needles that are not on the previous row.

Stitch Gauge
If your rows are shorter than the number of per-inch stitches required by your knitting machine pattern, you can hang ribber weights or claw weights on your garment swatch to adapt your work to the exact number of rows.

Ribbing on a knitting machine keeps your stitches tight and firm. To do this, knit one circular row after the first vvvv row. After you set your needles, knit across to create a classic vvvvv row. Hang a cast on weights and comb then push the “part” button. After knitting one row, remove part and continue ribbing on the knitting machine.

Steaming and Blocking
Machine-knitted garments should be finished with a steaming process. Steam secures the stitches in place and produces a smoother fabric finish. Blocking can be done if you want to alter the dimensions or shape of your machine knitted garment. To block, pull the garment to the size you want as you steam. Not all garments are blocked but they all have to be steamed. Steam pieces one by one then stack them together and steam the seams.

How To Make Money From Machine Knitting

Many machine knitting enthusiasts have turned their favorite pastime into a profitable business. If you have a passion for knitting and have lots of downtime, a knitting machine can help you jump-start your home knitting business and begin making money from your masterpieces.

A great way to start is by machine knitting little items such as socks, bonnets, mittens and scarves. Family members, friends, and the local community can help you build a stable customer base. As your knitting business grows, you can move on to more challenging pieces such as sweaters, cardigans, tea cozy sets, shawls, vests, throws, and afghans.

As with any other sales venture, pricing is crucial to a home knitting business. If knitting for money is your goal, treat your creations as works of art rather than clothes sold off the mill. Make sure the price of your machine-knitted garments reflect the true value of your skill and effort. If you charge too little you’ll end up losing money. If you charge too much, you won’t attract as many customers. Balance your expenses and pricing to produce a healthy profit.

Costing involves two factors: time and materials. Calculate the amount of machine knitting time you will spend on the creation of a piece. The price of your socks should be different from the price of your afghan line because of the obvious disparity in knitting time needed. Set an hourly rate for your work based on the minimum wage in your country. Your hourly rate should never be lower than $7.25 in the US, and £5.73 in the UK.

Knitting machine yarn will make up the bulk of your material expenses. Always count knitting yarn as a whole, even though you’re only using 75% of the batch. This way your yarn cost is completely covered whether you use the remaining 25% or not. Other expenses you may incur in your home knitting business include trimmings, fastenings, linings, labels, packing materials and shipping.

Don’t worry about pricing your homemade machine knitted pieces higher that those sold online or in shopping malls. Although you’re using a knitting machine, each garment you knit is crafted especially for your customer and not mass-produced for the general public.

With a knitting machine, you make money and save money. Machine knitting socks, mitts, scarves, hats and sweaters for you and your family can save you hundreds of dollars in wardrobe expenses. Your machine knitting skills should also come in handy during special occasions such as Christmas and birthdays that call for personalized gifts.

There are also some great resources online where you can learn more about how to make money knitting. I would strongly recommend you visit Liz Raad’s blog www.knittingforprofit.com/blog for lots of great free information on how you can make money from knitting. She has also written an extensive E-Book on the topic of making money from knitting and you can get all the details plus order a copy for yourself by visiting: www.knittingforprofit.com.

Do Hand Knitters Need A Knitting Machine?

Machine knitting fans are ecstatic about how fast their equipment can produce elaborate stitches. But even with speed and volume advantages, machine knitting can’t absolutely replace hand knitting. They are two totally different crafts and, often, you will need to do a combination of hand knitting, machine knitting and crochet trim to finish a project.

With a knitting machine, you can weave large pieces with knitting machine yarn in a short amount of time without inflicting your hand with carpal tunnel syndrome. Machine knitting brings out your creative side – blending delicate lace with fancy patterns in exotic color mixes that might otherwise be tough to achieve when knitting by hand. Machine knitting also provides you with hundreds of patterns to choose from, pre-installed with your equipment so you don’t have to browse through several shelves in a crafts shop. A Brother knitting machine has more than 500 pre-set pattern options.

Despite these benefits, there is a downside to machine knitting. And it’s important to know about these disadvantages before you fork over all that cash on a knitting machine. First of all, knitting machines are way too bulky to sit on your lap. They would take up a large amount of space in your house. Also, knitting machines require tons of spare time when setting up and learning their complicated features.

Knitting machines can mean a large investment of money. Brother knitting machines can cost around $500 or more, depending on how fancy the features are. A knitting machine works with only one weight class, so you will need a different knitting machine for each different yarn weight you will use, plus expensive special attachments for ribbing or working knit/purl mixes. A Silver Reed ribbing attachment goes for around $700, an Intarsia carriage for $90, and yarn changer for $300 – these are all added costs that could drive your costs through the roof.

Flexibility is one advantage that hand knitting has over machine knitting. You can increase or decrease as many stitches as you want in the middle of a row just as easily as the beginning or the end. But to do ribbing or purl stitches on a knitting machine, you have got to drop all of the stitches on the row that you need purled and work them back up again. You can see both sides of the pattern while you are hand knitting, but you can only see the purl side when you’re machine knitting, making it difficult to see how the final result would actually look like.

If you are still set on buying a knitting machine, try out several brands and models as you begin your search. Ask other machine knitters for recommendations or attend knitting seminars. Machine knitting chat groups online are also great sources of info when deciding on the appropriate knitting machine for you.

How To Use A Sock Knitting Machine

Knitting socks is a great hobby and it can also be a profitable side business for stay-at-home moms who have been practicing the craft for years. If you want to make money from knitting socks, mittens, or scarves, you will need a sock knitting machine.

Finding one can be a challenge because the sock knitting machine is obsolete. No one makes them anymore so you will have to look for a restored machine through antique dealers or a used furniture store. When buying a sock knitting machine, make sure it was thoroughly cleaned, polished, adjusted, timed and knitted on.

Now that you have a sock knitting machine sitting in front of you, learn first how to knit tubes, then heels and toes, using practice knitting machine yarn. Sock weight knitting yarn is ideal, but you can also use sport and worsted. Opal, Regia, Loma’s Laces, Trekking XXL, Fortissima and Alpaca are some of the popular types you can apply. Loose the tension when working with thicker knitting yarns.

In the sock knitting machine is a cylinder with slots for needles. Latches on these needles do the knitting as each needle passes through the cam shell path. To make socks on a knitting machine, set up a bonnet or webbing on the middle of the machine to make the needle move continuously. Thread some brightly colored scrap yarn and knit about two to three inches. Later on when your sock is done, you can clip and rip this scrap yarn from the hem of your sock.

Set the yarn firmly on the yarn ball winder to maintain an even tension. Turn the crank and count the number of rows made as the carrier goes around the cylinder. Take a stitch from the first row and hang it on the needle to knit the hem top.

Once the hem stitches of your machine knitted sock are done, you can put a ribber on the machine to produce purl stitches. With the ribber on, crank the machine to the desired length of the leg part of your sock. As you knit the ankle part of the sock, half of the stitches on the ribber needle will transfer to the cylinder needle. Note the red marks on the cylinder as your start and stop points for the heel and toes.

To knit the heel, raise the back half of the needles so you only work on the front of the machine. Raise a needle on one side and crank around. Raise the other side and knit back. Repeat this process until you reach the red mark. After the heel is knitted, move on to the foot of the sock. The toes are also knitted on the front half of the knitting machine, just like you did with the heels. Sew up the top of the toe with a Kitchener stitch and you’re done.

Learning the intricacies of a sock knitting machine takes patience and a lot of practice. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll enjoy your hobby more than you ever did.

Welcome To Machine Knitting Advice

Welcome to Machine Knitting Advice! Here you will find lots of great information and advice about machine knitting, including tips on buying a knitting machine, how to choose the best knitting machine for your needs, how to maintain and run your knitting machine, and where to find machine knitting patterns, help and support. If you have any questions about machine knitting, please reply in the comments section of any post. I hope you find Machine Knitting Advice a helpful and informative resource!