Don’t be overwhelmed by all the pieces and parts of your new-to-you LK-150 knitting machine. Let’s walk through the unboxing and setting up the machine and remove some of the mystery.
Whoo Hoo! You have a brand new-to-you LK -150 knitting machine. It is such a fun machine! And I bet you can’t wait to get started.
Maybe you’ve already gotten started and played a little bit, but hang in there with me. Let’s go through all the pieces and parts and some of the basics and get you off on the right foot.
Let’s get started exploring your LK-150.
First things first, make sure you have your manual. It’s stuffed full of information that you need now and you’ll need later. Even if you’ve already set up your machine, maybe you’ve even knit a little, please take a few minutes to watch this video to the end. You may pick up a tip or 2. Plus, the more you know about your machine, the more mastery you will have over it, which translates to success.
When you first opened the box of your LK-150, don’t be overwhelmed by all the strange looking pieces that you see. Setting it up is very quick and easy. You may want to snap a photo of the box before you start taking everything out. It’ll be easier to put it back together again when you want to put your machine away.
Let’s take a look at the needle bed itself. One of the features of this machine is the fact that the needle bed is very lightweight. Turn it over and take a look at the channel where the needles pass. Now notice there’s a sponge that keeps a gentle pressure on the needles. Now if your machine’s been under somebody’s bed for awhile or the needles are sloppy, this sponge may need to be replaced. It just deteriorates over time. To check the condition of your sponge, pull out a few needles and tilt the bed. If the needles stay in place, the sponges is doing its job. If they slip back, stop here and replace that sponge. You don’t want to damage your machine or give yourself headaches because of a common, simple fix.
This sponge also comes into play when replacing needles.
While you are examining the bed. Let’s look at a couple of things. These slots are for the clamps that hold your machine in place. To use your machine, you must have a sturdy table that can accommodate these clamps. I once saw knitter who tried to use a round table and the clams were barely hanging on. Every time she passed the carriage, I was afraid that the machine was going to end up in her lap. The table also needs to be sturdy. When knitting, we’re passing the knitting carriage back and forth, and a wobbly table just won’t do.
Although not ideal, when traveling, I’ve been known to clamp my machine to the vanity in the bathroom. It’s sturdy and there’s great lighting.
Another slot to examine is the slot of the tension rod socket. Try inserting that socket into the slot before you clamp your machine to your table. It needs to click and be sturdy. Once you get a feel for this, you can insert the socket after the machine is clamped to your table, but it’s best to get a feel for that click.
The last thing to look at are the carriage rests on the side of the needle bed. Notice that this extension can be popped out. It’s very helpful when working across all the needles. You can rest the carriage all the way on the edge, giving your room maybe to hand manipulate stitches. This is just a way to keep the carriage out of the way temporarily.
Okay. Let’s start setting up the machine.
- Clamp the needle bed to your table and secure the clamps.
- Make sure the tension rod socket is in place.
- Insert the tension rod into the socket.
- Snap the tension guide onto the tension rod. This little device guides the yarn through the tension assembly. If you’re working with two yarns, it keeps them from getting tangled. It can also automatically work out loose tangles in the yarn as you knit. It won’t stop actual knots, but it can gently work out tangles.
- At the top of the yarn mast, attach the tension assembly. It consists of a tension dial and tension springs. This is the secret to perfectly uniform stitches with your machine.
- Slip the row counter in place. Remember you’re now a machine knitter and counting rows is critical. Because we stretch our knitting across the needle bed and we hang weights as we knit. We can’t measure our knitting as it’s hanging on the machine. We’ll talk more about this later. For now, just pop that row counter into place.
- There is another little piece called a yarn rest. This is used when you’re working with multiple colors of yarn for maybe fair-isle or stripes. It’s an easy way to keep multiple yards from getting tangled. Now, if you don’t have the yarn rests for your machine, don’t worry about it. You can work successfully without them.
Let’s look at the carriage. Right out of the box. The handle is flat. Pull it up into position and listen for the click.
We’ll now position the carriage on the needle bed. It’s best to push all the needles all the way back into out of work position, and then line up the channel of the carriage with the needle bed. Push the carriage to the left. It should slip smoothly.
Notice the carriage stopper. Anytime you’re seating or removing the carriage, you’ll have to pick up slightly on the front edge of the carriage to clear the stopper. With a little practice. This will become second nature to you.
Pull out a few needles and carefully pass that carriage back and forth. Again, it should pass smoothly. Also on the carriage is a carriage release that will allow you to remove it without passing the carriage to the very end. Now keep this in mind as you’re learning. If disaster happens, sometimes it’s easist just to use the carriage release and lift that carriage right off the bed. Give it a try before you get any yarn on your machine.
You are ready to start knitting!