Knitting Machine Workshop Syllabus 2014

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Instructor: Jesse Seay

3-Part Knitting Machine Workshop

Each class is about 2 hours long, and includes homework.

Materials Fee: $26

  • Note: fee is due one week prior to start of class (thru paypal), and used to buy materials for the workshop. The fee is non-refundable, however, you are welcome to sell your spot to someone else, prior to the first class.

Class size: 4 people.

  • Additional students may be added provided they bring their own machines.

Text: Hand-Manipulated Stitches for Machine Knitters by Susan Guagliumi.

  • Purchase your own or read the PS1 copy by the machines.

Pre-Class Homework

Guagliumi, Ch. 1 pages 1-19.

Class 1 Syllabus

Review parts of machine:

  1. Bed
  2. needles
  3. Carriage
  4. Gate posts
  5. Sinker plate
  6. Tension mast
  7. Clamps
  8. Accessories:
    • Cast on thread
    • Tapestry needle
    • Cast on comb
    • Wax
    • Latch tool
    • Bodkin
    • Weights (and floor mat)
    • Comb

Go over needle positions.

Watch what machine does, w/o sinker plate, for needles in each position.

Everyone practices putting sinker plate and carriage on, off.

Carriage settings: Normal (not Hold), plain knitting.

Thread the machine.

Note: On the 930, there is a metal tab on the back of the tension mast. Yarn must go under this tab to catch properly.

1st Swatch:

Cast on methods:

• Open – knit 5 rows. Remove the cast on comb and see what happens.

• Every other needle – Cast on EON (Guagliumi, p 35). Hang comb. Bring rest of needles into work, and continue knitting.


o Tension of yarn on mast – not spaghetti, not guitar string

o Tension of knit on needles – feel the weight on it, move weights every couple of inches

o Can’t change direction once needles have entered the carriage

o Push carriage - firm and steady

o Needles should end in a straight row

Cast off

Gathering Stitch Bind Off (Guagliumi p44)

Once stitches are bound off, remove weights. Run empty carriage over needles to remove knitting from machine.

2nd Swatch

How to determine tension:

Read info on yarn package and

Use Angelika’s yarn chart as a guide:

• Cast On (EON)

• Knit 5 rows.

• Transfer a stitch to mark your place.

• Change the T dial (generally no more than 2 #’s at a time). Write down the new T.

• Knit 10 rows.

• Transfer a stitch. Change the dial. Knit 10 rows.

• Try 2+ more settings.

• Where does the carriage run most easily?

• Bind off and remove swatch from machine. Examine swatch and note the differences between each section.

3rd Swatch

The Tension Swatch

Standard Tension Swatch

  1. EON Cast on: 60 needles
  2. RC= 0
  3. Knit 15 rows
  4. Change to CC
  5. Knit 2 rows
  6. RC=0
  7. Knit 30 rows
  8. Using CC, hand-knit needles 21L and 21R.
  9. Knit 30 more rows with MC
  10. Change to CC
  11. Knit 2 more rows
  12. RC=0, change to MC
  13. Knit 5 rows
  14. Use transfer tool to transfer stitches and mark the tension dial setting.
  15. Knit 10 more rows.
  16. Bind off.

Chunky Tension Swatch

  1. EON Cast on: 40 needles
  2. RC= 0
  3. Knit 10 rows
  4. Change to CC
  5. Knit 2 rows
  6. RC=0
  7. Knit 20 rows
  8. Using CC, hand-knit needles 11L and 11R.
  9. Knit 20 more rows with MC
  10. Change to CC
  11. Knit 2 more rows
  12. RC=0, change to MC
  13. Knit 5 rows
  14. Use transfer tool to transfer stitches and mark the tension dial setting.
  15. Knit 5 more rows.
  16. Bind off.


  • MC = main color
  • CC = contrast color
  • RC = row counter
  • EON = Every Other Needle

Cast off:

  1. Move T dial up 2 notches
  2. Knit a row of ravel cord.
  3. Leave a length of MC 3x the width, and cut.
  4. Switch to scrap yarn, knit 10 rows.
  5. Remove knitting from machine
  6. Finish later.

Yarn Winding: Winding a center pull cake.

Threading the winder

Winding at least 2x, changing directions

Loose tension, no knots.

Waxing while winding

Class 1 Homework

  • Read Guagliumi.
    • Review Ch. 1.
    • Read Ch. 2 on casting-on and binding off, pages 33-36, 44-48. We will do e-wrap cast-on (p 36) and back-stitch bind off (p 48) next class.
  • Knit two tension swatches.
    • Review the manual before using the machine. Please follow each step in the manual until you have the process memorized.


      • KH930 (standard) section on basic knitting, casting on. pdf pages 20-23
      • KH230 (chunky) section on threading machine, basic knitting. pdf pages 9-13
      • Recommended reading: Brother Knitting Machine Techniques Book. Section on knitting a tension gauge. Pages 72-73. Download here.

Copies of the manuals are available at the space. You can also download the pdf's

Class 2 Syllabus

Machine care

  • Oiling/Cleaning the machine
  • The Sponge Bar
  • Changing needles

Measuring tension swatches

Formula to determine gauge.

  • Number of stitches divided by number of inches = stitches per inch
  • Number of rows divided by number of inches = rows per inch

Note: to determine the vertical stretch for Img2Track, divide the rows per inch by stitches per inch (the result is typically 1.x).

Review Guagliumi's charts on page 8: formation of slip stitch.

Swatch 1: casting on/off with ravel cord

  1. Open cast on with Waste Yarn (WY). 10 stitches on chunky machine, 15 stitches on standard. Hang comb and weights. Knit 10 rows
  2. Thread ravel cord and knit 1 row with it.
  3. Switch to Main Color (MC). Leave a tail at beginning, 3x the width of knitting. Knit 20 rows. Leave tail at end.
  4. Switch to ravel cord. Knit 1 row.
  5. Switch to WY. Knit 20 rows.
  6. Switch to ravel cord. Knit 1 row.
  7. Switch to MC. Leave tail. Knit 20 rows. Leave tail.
  8. Switch to ravel cord. Knit 1 row.
  9. Switch to WY. Knit 10 rows.
  10. Remove knitting from machine.
  11. Cut swatch in half, through the mid point of the middle waste yarn section. Each participant takes one half, and does back stitch bind off for both the top and bottom edges.

Swatch 2: Fairisle on the 930

Use light color solid yarns for Main Color (MC) and Contrast Color (CC) yarn. Select a pattern that has floats shorter than 5 needles.

  1. EON cast on, across 60 stitches.
  2. Hang comb and weights.
  3. Knit 5-6 rows.
  4. Carriage on Left.
  5. Follow instructions on page 22 of KH-930 Manual for programming a fairisle pattern into the machine.

Swatch 3: Drop Stitch on the 230

Cast on EON, 41 stitches. Use needles 21L to 20R

  1. Knit 4 rows. Transfer stitch at needles 1L, 11L, 10R. Leave empty needles in B position.
  2. Knit 10 rows. Drop stitches at 1L, 11L, 10R. Latch up all 3 as ribs. Hang top stitch back on needle. Knit 2 rows.
  3. Transfer same stitches again. Leave 1L in work. Move needles 11L and 10R to A position. Knit 6 rows.
  4. Drop stitch on 1L. Leave 1L in work.
  5. Knit 10 more rows. Remove work from machine and tape open stitches.
  6. Use latch tool to crochet up ladders with contrast color.

Class 2 Homework

  • Knit a scarf. Use a tension swatch to determine your stitch size/length. Cast on an odd number of needles. Knit 2 rows, then transfer the stitch on the middle needle. Knit the full length, then drop the stitch off the middle needle. Latch it back up as a rib, before casting off. Use ravel cord for casting on and off. Leave long tails at both the start and finish of your main yarn, to do the bind off.

Here's an excellent diagram of how to latch up a ladder, from the TECHknitting blog.

  • Create or find a 2-color image for fairisle knitting: 40 to 60 pixels wide, and about as many pixels high. You may want to keep in mind how long the floats will be. Longer than 5 stitches can be tricky. File format: 1 bit b/w bitmap is ideal.

Reading Homework:

    • Programming your own patterns, Knitting Patterns: Pdf pages 83 —87. (Suggested reading: Variation Keys 47-56)

Don't worry about the section about the divided neckline on page 4.

If you have a Mac, I suggest installing the software and walking through it per the instructions. FYI, the sequence of button presses is the same as the sequence described in the Brother manual on page 3.

Class 3 Syllabus

Finishing Scarf

  • Stitching up sides
  • Fringe

Img2Track fairisle.

  1. Connecting the machine
  2. Loading a pattern
  3. Setting up carriage
    1. Cast on
    2. Park carriage left of turn mark
    3. Turn on KC1
    4. Knit one row to select needles
    5. Engage MC (or other patterning buttons.) Load contrast yarn.
    6. Start Knitting.

Sewing sides together.

Holding and shaping stitches.

Class 3 Homework

  • Produce a knitted swatch using the img2track software for patterning. Bind off the stitches. Due within 2 weeks of Class 3.