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Whenever we start a new craft or set out to learn a new skill, it's common to be overwhelmed.

Machine knitting has so many terms. Plus there are so many machines "out there" that it's easy to get confused.

More experienced knitters may refer to techniques that are foreign to you and talk about instructor names from days gone by.

Don't get lost!

Food for thought:
When learning to cook, you don't start out with a 5 course meal. You might start making some pasta and sauce until you make the perfect meal for your family. You'll then add dishes to add to your menu one-at-a-time.

We always advise to master the main bed before attaching the ribber. Keep your ribber in the box until you are comfortable with swatching, shaping, short rows and stitch patterning on the main bed.

Why learn 2 machines at a time? Gain confidence with your machine, then incorporate the ribber.

Yarn Crazy
Another tip is to find a yarn that you love that is appropriate for your machine and use it multiple times.

Why complicate things by switching the fiber, twist and weight of the yarn. Use one yarn for a few projects and focus on learning the machine without changing "mediums".

If you are learning to paint, you'll want choose, watercolors, acrylic or oils and perfect your techniques before jumping to something else. The same with yarn. Focus on mastering the machine.

You aren't alone ... does this sound familiar?
When I first started machine knitting, I was initially overwhelmed. I was an experienced knitter and professional seamstress... how could this be so hard?

Arrogantly, I jumped right in with the ribber, and g-carrige, 2 machines, lots of yarn and really big ideas. (Sound familiar?)

I finally pared everything down and focused on one machine (main bed only) and learned how to accurately swatch then knit some simple projects, blanket, scarf, shawl etc, building my confidence to knit more complicated projects.

Machine knitting patterns decision
Another challenge I faced was in making a decision about patterns. I tried using a Charting Device , DesignaKnit , Sweater Wizard, Cochenille Garment Designer and even hand charting with pencil and paper.

Needless to say, I was spending more time charting and planning projects than knitting (Sound familiar?). Once I chose DesignaKnit (and learned to use it) my confidence grew and my knitting production increased.

Today we have Knit it Now Dynamic patterns - Any yarn, any machine, any stitch pattern with no learning curve, no software updates and no math!

Parking Lot yarn
I also spent too much time struggling with different yarns. I got caught up in using "parking lot yarn" (Southern California knitters know what this is ).

I didn't understand my machine and hadn't decided on a charting method, but expected miracles from those mill ends of different fibers, textures and weights.

Maybe a version of this sounds familiar....
A knitter recently asked about knitting lace with a lace carriage on her new electronic machine.

It turns out that she hadn't even tried knitting in ANY stitch pattern. She wanted to use DesignaKnit, but didn't have the correct hardware to send the electronic information between her computer and her machine. She was sooo discouraged.

Before sending her down the DAK rabbit hole, I suggested she plan some successes with simple projects that she could finish and feel accomplished. She started knitting hats for charity and graduated to easy kids sweaters.

Once we got her set up with DesignaKnit for stitch patterning on her machine, she was off and running! She build on her previous knitting successes and add stitch patterns.

Don't make machine knitting harder than it needs to be.
Keep it simple and enjoy the process

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Jacqui H
 Nov 30, 2022
The LK150 is the best learning machine! It is so simple and not at all temperamental, knits easily obtainable hand knitting yarns and loves fingering to worsted weight yarn. Also, not everyone's budget can stretch to it, but I bought mine brand new and it was a HUGE relief to know that if an error occurred it was mine and not some problem with an old, second hand machine. Helped me enormously.

Cherie S
 Sep 24, 2022
A quick update to my earlier comments: I've been looking at the fall ready-made sweaters coming into the stores. A good number of them are drop shoulders with either a V-neck or crew-neckline in Stockinette. The necklines are not finished with ribbing or crocheting, just the fashion decreases. The hems are either rolled edge or a mock-rib. Some were waist length; some had a longer back; some were tunic length; and others were dress (knee length). Some were plain all one color; others two-colored strips; and some were tweedy. Definitely, cozy! The sweaters are exactly like the Knit It Now "Carnation" dynamic sweater pattern. Gosh everyone! I bet we can all do these sweaters and we'll be on trend. I'm currently working on a V-neck pullover at the moment and just happened to have a rusty color in my stash which a found in the stores.

Patricia M
 Sep 22, 2022
Totally agree, especially about using the same yarn. Another thing to remember is not to despise the simple machines. One of the biggest mistakes I ever made was to discard my mother's old Bond in favour of a top of the range electronic machine before I could knit basic stuff. I never fully mastered the electronic and it was eventually replaced by a sensible KL150 and a basic SK280 both of which are infinitely versatile, and I am constantly amazed as I discover how easy it is to master complex techniques on these basic machines

Petra v
 Sep 21, 2022
I totally agree. I have my knittingmachine a lot of years and I am still struggling. I constantly switch yarn and techniques and I always disappointed about my results. Your recommendation to stay with a yarn that suits yuo is a good one. I must be patient but a have a lot of ideas and am still struggling to get the most of DAK and get my pattern to fit. I see fantastic projects of other people on social media and often ask myself: how did they accomplish this. But I am still trying.

Sue J
 Sep 20, 2022
Cherie, Thanks for your comments. They are a good reminder for all of us! I was a professional seamstress and long-time hand knitter ... how hard could this machine stuff be? Wow! Was I ever surprised! If anyone is struggling today, please don't feel alone ... we've all been there!

Cherie S
 Sep 20, 2022
Yes, I agree too! The machine has a lot of steps to learn. When I learned to knit by hand years ago, my first project was a square. Boring, but I learned how to perform all the steps from start to finish. When I got my machine, it was too easy to forget that it took me quite a while to learn how to hand knit. Why did I think I could learn to machine knit without going step by step? I originally thought the machine would do it all, just like that. Well, as everyone learns that one pass of the carriage can make a total mess if you don’t take the time to learn the steps! As I progress through the lessons and projects, it’s a great feeling to start and finish a project without looking at the manual. It’s so encouraging! Thank you Sue for all the help and encouragement you provide!

Arlene B
 Sep 20, 2022
I totally agree!