Recently a knitter wrote:

I am an accomplished long-time hand knitter and just got an LK-150 knitting machine. I've been able to knit a couple of hats. I want to knit my first sweater....

A: Use the Knit it Now Glossary for all of those cryptic MK terms. 300 terms, definitions and examples ... the list is always growing!
A: It's really is a matter of what you like. You don't need yarn on cones to machine knit. But the weight of the yarn needs to be appropriate for your machine.

What yarn(s) have you been using for your hats? If you want to use a different yarn/fiber, use a similar gauge.
Yarn for Knitting Machines
A: Technically any knitting patterns can be used with the machine.

Considerations for using hand knitting patterns:
  • You need to match the pattern gauge gauge
  • Translate HK terms to MK techniques
  • Identify what HK techniques are possible on the machine (example: a garter stitch project isn't practical on the machine)
  • You'll need to convert length measurements to row counts (machine knitters can't measure as they are knitting)
Machine knitting patterns:
Sadly, very few knitwear designers are producing patterns for the machine today. Vintage pattens are a good source of inspiration, but most of the recommended yarns are discontinued and the style/fit can be dated

Charting Software:
Design your own knitting patterns using software like DesignaKnit

Knit it Now patterns:

A: we recommend a simple sweater style to gain confidence in your knitting. Our course "Your 2nd Sweater" is a great place to start!

It's titled "your 2nd sweater" because for their first sweater, many knitters attempt something way beyond their skill level and get discouraged. Put that behind you and knit "your 2nd sweater" in any size and enjoy some success.
This sweater may not be the style you want to knit, but it is a great place to get a TON of information that will answer a lot of your questions.

For exmple there is a section in the course titled "Decisions, Decisions, Decisions" Making decisions before even knitting your swatch builds habits that will ensure your success with future projects.

A: We recommend measuring a sweater you wear for sizing. Check the FINISHED dimensions of your pattern and the size that will mirror the sweater you measured.
Why guess at ease? If the sweater you wear is 38" at the bust, choose the size with a 38" FINISHED bust size. (use the pattern schematic or calculate based on the stitches and rows in the pattern)
A: Unlike hand knitting, you probably aren't going to use the same yarn as the pattern designer, so it's critical that you learn to estimate the amount of yarn you need for your planned project. Here's a detailed reference for resources on calculating yarn needed:
A: Machine knitters are knitting "backwards" the purl side is always facing.
We don't turn the work back and forth with each row. It will take some time to get used to viewing the purl side as you are knitting.
I've been known to crawl under the machine so I could see the "right/public" side an to admire the knitting in progress 
A: Don't let anyone tell you that your LK is a "toy" - you can do soooo much with it!  Use it without a lot of fuss and bother (and a shorter learning curve than other machines). 

If you choose to expand your skills with a metal bed machine in the future... great!  Don't be surprised if(when) you are tempted to get another machine ... adding a ribber and automatic patterning opens up a world of new possibilities with your machine.

Check out the Knit it Now LK-150 courses - everything you need to learn about your machine
A: Currently hand knitters seem to be obsessed with jumping through hoops to avoid seams. Machine knitters can't easily knit "top down" - but with a little planning we can get similar results

Consider a top-down raglan on the machine (only side seams to finish)

A: Even though purl stitches have to be manipulated by hand, there are an almost unlimited number of stitch patterns to add color and texture to your knitting.

Some hand knitting stitch patterns just aren't worth the effort on the machine - for example an entire garter stitch sweater (unless you have a Brother Garter Carriage ) would take a lot of manipulation on the machine and would be faster to knit by hand.
 
Do the fun stuff by hand and the boring stuff on the machine. Mix hand and machine knitting for beautiful results!

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1 COMMENT
Nancy M
 Aug 2, 2022
Great tips! Would advise getting into the good habit of making swatches and dressing them, and learning good measuring habits. Keeping good notes as you go .