Monday, March 10, 2008

Knitting Machines and the trouble with them, Plus Pocket knitter

So I have two brother knitting machines set up and have been playing with them. That brother 210 sure gives me a pain in using it. The stitches on one side or the other tend to not want to knit properly.

What happens is this. The first couple of rows knit fine, then there will be a row where the end stitch (usually on the left side of the bed), won't knit off the existing stitch. It holds that stitch for several rows before I discover it. You can see this in an earlier blog posting I did.

So I took out all the needles and the retainer bar and cleaned them and the machine. It was really hard to clean this one with the brush because it has these weird sinker hooks and needles.

Machine was put back together and it still does the same thing. All the needles are find, the sinker hooks move easily, the carriage parts move just great, and the retainer bar is straight and cleaned. No I do not need to replace a "sponge bar" as this machine doesn't have a sponge bar. It has a permanent metal retainer bar and as I said it is cleaned, straight, no nicks or any type of damage to it.

My only other guess is there is not enough weights at the beginning to hold the work right. Not enough weight, how can I get more weights on there. I had six claw weights to begin with. I now have four more that I did a buy it now on from ebay. I put two on one end, two on the other end, and spread the rest across the center area.

So the right side is now knitting perfectly, but the left side, yep you guessed it, NOT knitting off the end stitch. This is so frustrating. I worked for hours last night on it. This time change gave me more energy when I finally got time to go to those machines.

So the other machine. The 930. I was playing with it, the electronics patterning part, doing some swatching of skip stitch patterns that are built in. I did several and see a couple that I really like. Then I got to one to try and the stitches all knit off perfectly except for one needle on the right. That one I didn't notice was developing a problem and suddenly the carriage wouldn't move. I had actually damaged the latch on the needle.

I have had problems with that side before so I figured that there was a needle latch that I didn't catch when I checked that had a starting problem. So I switched out the needle and tried the pattern again. Same needle now with a bent needle.

I went to groups to discuss my problem and some say check my tension on the dial. Maybe the tension is not right for this yarn, but I have knitted from this same cone at a few different tensions and the higher where I have been told to try will make a very stiff fabric, but I will still give it a try.

Oh for those of you just getting into machine knitting be sure to check out the youtube videos on knitting machines. There are some really good ones. I have watched most of the ones for the bond machines and then I watch the ones from Susy Ranner. I like those last the best as she also shows where there is problems and how she deals with them. (Susy's vidoes actually got me going on setting up my machines to work with instead of storing them).

The last time we went shopping I didn't get much for knitting purposes. The only thing I actually bought was a couple of Pocket Knitters. I have looked at them before but the price for one was higher then I wanted to pay for a cheap little comb like tool. They had a lower price at JoAnn's so I got a couple.

Ok why did I buy two of them? Well, the tool that comes with these is not one that I would really like to use with these hand knitting tools. I will actually use a knifty knitter tool as it will work better, but the tool that comes with these is perfect for putting with my knitting machines. It is a transfer tool. Yep a single transfer tool for much cheaper then I can get a transfer tool anywhere else. Oh I have several transfer tools but most of those have the 1/2, 2/3, or 1/3 (for those who do not machine knit but have seen a transfer tool from the pocket knitters, that little bar with the center opening is different/same for the machine transfer tools. The difference being that these tools can have multiples of one bar with hole on one side and two or three of those bars, shafts, on the other side).

So there was a dual purpose in purchasing two of the pocket knitters. The tools with go to the machines, and the knitters themselves will get a different tool used on them.

So that is it for now on the knitting machines.


Blogger knitninney said...

I have just learned about knitting machines and have the singer- I get lost at the claw bar, and the machine doesn't seem to work after the claw bar is on- could Anybody guide me through the whole one step process? I don't feel like I can count to One these days ( Joann shop )

6:59 AM  
Blogger Amoonsinger said...

After you cast on and hang the cast on comb then when running the carriage keep a steady hand on the comb pulling it down slightly while running the carriage. I always find that first couple of runs are a little tough to do but after that the running is smooth.

There are lots of places to go for help for the knittng machines. Ravelry has a great machine group and yahoo has several of them. I don't have a singer but there could be a group for that machine or look for the hobbyknitter group. Berta and others there are excellent at helping.

Then check out youtube for videos. Just search for machine knitting and lots of stuff comes up. I like the ones from Susan Ranner as she isn't afraid to show her errors and what she learns to correct the problems she finds. It sure shows how not only us newbies have troubles.

There is a sharp learning curve in adjusting to machine knitting, but once you get past that it is so wonderful. I just love it and you can mix and match with crochet, needle knitting, and even loom knitting if you wanted to.

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello,I was just reading your blog
on machine trouble.I just purchased a KH210 and when I took it apart to clean I've noticed two
sponge bars inside under the back.
One presses the needles and the other presses the "gate pegs" it is wider then most sponge bars.
If you could scan your KH210 instruction book so I can see it as my machine didn't come with one,
I would greatly appreciate it.
Thank-you and good luck.

7:58 AM  
Blogger Amoonsinger said...

The 210 I have has a permanent bar for the needles. So maybe someone replaced the one in yours. The manual has nothing on the sponges, most of the manuals only show how to remove a sponge bar for replacing a needle but never tell you that from time to time the sponge needs to be replaced also, but like I said the Brother KH210 has a needle bar. It is a solid round metal bar that holds the needles in place.

Now I do not have to scan this as someone else already has one scanned and put on the net. Go here:
Brother KH210 Manual and click to open the file (it is a pdf file).

The manual for the 210 is very small compared to the manuals for some of the other machines, but the 210 is also very different in the sinker hooks and needles then other brothers, but some of the other manuals can help you learn the machine:
Brother Knitting machine manuals
Each of the manuals can help you along in learning your machine.

As for the other sponges, well leave them alone. On one of the yahoo groups they talked about these and unless they have totally come a part then you should not mess with them. If they have or you have removed them, then you might need to try to find a service manual for the machine. I have them for a couple of other machines but not the 210.

The other thing would be to find someone who services brother machines and have them look it over.

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've had the same problem with my 210. Apparently we're the only two people online with this machine, so I had to figure it out myself. I found that tugging slightly on the knit to make the stitches on the end larger helped them slide off the needles. It's slower, but better than having to fix missed stitches.

2:43 PM  

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