Need a 3rd hand?

Need a 3rd hand?

Tame that yarn tail when you are casting on or changing colors.

Put a little extra weight on the tail with a clothespin or clip of some sort.  Not only will the initial cast on row be neater, the first few stitches of the next few rows will form properly, making seaming easier.

machine knitting tip

machine knitting cast on
Some of our younger knitters may not know what a clothespin is … believe it or not, once upon a time, people put their clothes on lines out in the sun and wind to dry … but that’s a story for another time ;o)

Any clip will work, (binder clips from the office supply will work in a pinch), but I like chip clips that are coated with a rubber type material. They hold the yarn firmly.

Whatever type of clip you use, store it around the base of your mast for easy access.

Partial Cones – How much yarn is left?

Partial Cones – How much yarn is left?



Do you have enough yarn to knit the project you are planning? Sometimes a partial cone is just enough. We’ve discovered a large variation between cones, even those that look the same.

How much yarn is left?

Weigh the remaining yarn with the paper cone. Subtract 24 grams to 44 grams from the weight for an estimate of the remaining yarn.

To get an exact measurement, re-wind the remaining yarn with a cone winder or a ball winder and weigh only the yarn.

Picture This … (new Dynamic pattern)

Picture This … (new Dynamic pattern)

Picture this …

A machine knit baby pinafore pattern in 2 styles …. any machine, any yarn, any gauge!

  • Do you have a little girl in your life who would love a knitted dress?
  • Inspired by a hand knitting pattern?  Why “translate”?
  • Looking for a fast project?  These are quick to knit … make them simple (think 2 pieces, rolled edges and crochet trim) or as complicated as you like!
  • How about a blank canvas to get creative? Mix ‘n match stitch patterns, play with color, add stripes … LACE!  Make it your own!

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Problem yarn on your knitting machine? Try this tip

Problem yarn on your knitting machine? Try this tip

Some yarn on cones is produced specifically for industrial knitting machines.  The yarn is treated  so it will pass easily through the mechanisms of the machines.

For machine knitters, this means 2 things.

    1. You should ALWAYS dress your swatch. Wash and dry the swatch as you you will be caring for your finished garment.   This will not only give you a true gauge, it will remove any finish that may have been applied to the yarn in the manufacturing process. (If your yarn requires dry cleaning, I suggest hand washing a swatch in cold water.)
    2. If you are working with cotton, linen or vintage (old) yarn, wax the working yarn as you knit. Many knitters find this helpful in working with diffficult yarns.  At one time there were yarn sprays that also helped with static and dry yarn, but adding more chemicals to your environment is not the best choice.
knitting yarn on cones
Brother machines came with a ring of wax that fit around a post on the mast.
A small bit of wax will transfer to the yarn and may make knitting easier.
knittingyarn on cones


Do you wax the yarn as you knit? Comment below to share your thoughts.

machine knitting tips

Machine Knitting Swatches – How many stitches?

Machine Knitting Swatches – How many stitches?

Critical tips for machine knitting accurate gauge swatches.

The whole point of a swatch is to accurately determine how many stitches and rows you are getting with YOUR yarn on YOUR machine. For accuracy, you don’t measure a swatch from edge to edge, you measure in the center of the swatch.

  1. It’s important to knit a swatch that is large enough to measure AT LEAST 4″ square in the middle.
  2. To prevent errors, knit the same number of stitches and rows on every swatch you knit on a specific machine.
  3. Use contrasting color yarn of a similar weight to your garment weight to mark the center area of your swatch
  4. Permanently record your tension setting on your swatch (eyelets or tag)
  5. Let your swatch rest before measuring
  6. Dress your swatch as you will treat your finished knitting.
  7. Measure accurately – both flat and hanging
  8. Swatch for every stitch pattern you will be knitting


  1. Unless you are using a gauge ruler, knit a swatch AT LEAST 5″ square. (Just guess … don’t get hung up with rules) You want to measure the stitches within the middle of the swatch.  Don’t try to measure from edge to edge, you WON’T get an accurate measurement.
  2. Mark a section at least an inch from each edge of your swatch.  Use a contrasting color yarn and baste a quick square.
  3. Measure the square and count the number of stitches and rows within the square.
    Divide the number of stitches by the width measurement (24 sts / 4″  = 6 stitches per inch)
    Divide the number of rows by the length measurement (30 sts / 4″ = 7.5 rows per inch)
Armed with this information,  match a pattern gauge or use the Knit it Now Dynamic “Basics” patterns to create your sweater.
Learn More: Swatching Series

Baby Pinafore Machine Knitting Pattern

Baby Pinafore Machine Knitting Pattern

What could be more fun than knitting a dress for a little one? Our knitting machines can make quick work of the boring parts and leave us time to have fun with color, embroidery, and other embellishments.

With the Knit it Now Dynamic Baby Pinafore pattern you can use any yarn, any stitch pattern(s) and ANY MACHINE to create your own, one-of-a-kind pinafore.

Get the pattern

Play with color and stitches

Take a look at our Pinterest Pinafore Board for Inspiration