The Key Parts Of The Knitting Machine

Update:08 Nov 2018

In this article, we'll tell you the important pats of k […]

In this article, we'll tell you the important pats of knitting machines.


The key parts of the knitting machine are a needle bed with up to 200 needles, and a knit carriage. The needles look like tiny latch hooks, and can be placed in 4 different positions: non-working, working, upper working, and hold. The knit carriage is a fairly flat piece of metal and plastic with a handle and lots of switches. When you cast on, a stitch is placed in each working needle, and when you run the knit carriage over the needles, each one knits. The carriage and needles just make the knit stitch over and over again.


With hand knitting, you can knit in the round or flat. With few exceptions, knitting machines are used to knit flat pattern pieces, which are then assembled as in hand knitting. The difference is that with hand knitting, the knitting takes longer than the finishing, but with machine knitting it's just the opposite-the finishing takes longer.


Although the machine can perform several stitch techniques automatically, the knitter must perform all shaping (as in hand knitting) by increasing or decreasing the number of needles in use at the appropriate time. To make a garment piece, such as a sleeve, the knitter places the correct number of needles into working position and casts on. Each time the knit carriage is passed over these needles, one row is knitted. The gauge has been worked out beforehand, so the knitter knows how many stitches and rows to knit for each piece. The work hangs straight down from the machine in front, with the reverse side facing the knitter, and grows towards the floor.


To shape the pattern piece, the knitter can use several different methods to increase or decrease. To increase the sleeve from the cuff, the knitter moves additional needles to working position at regular intervals. To shape the sleeve cap, the knitter decreases by moving the stitches to be decreased to adjacent working needles and placing the empty needles into non-working position before moving the knit carriage. It's even possible to short row by placing needles into the hold position.


The advantage of machine knitting is, obviously, that you can produce stitches very quickly. The disadvantage is that you lose flexibility with regard to the types of stitches you can make. When you knit by hand, you can place knit or purl stitches wherever you like and without much extra effort, to produce ribbing, garter stitch, or textured stitches such as moss or seed. The machine simply can't do this automatically without extra attachments.


Quality knitting machines include several components that make knitting much easier. These include the tension mast, metal needle bed, gate posts, fully functional knit carriage, row counter, extension rails and specialized tools. Hobby machines may not have some of these parts.


The tension mast is a tall rod with dials and funny-looking wires attached to it, that stands up from the back of the machine. The needle bed holds the needles in place so they can slide back and forth while working. Gate posts are stationary metal pins between the needles that help the stitches to form and knit correctly.

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