Wednesday, September 15, 2010

ASK DIANA: I'm having trouble casting on

I got an excellent question over at YouTube today.  This knitter has acquired a used Studio machine and casting-on always seems to go wrong on the second pass.

I'm at a loss because I can't see exactly what happens.  I wouldn't mind watching a video, if you could send me an mpeg or similar file to my email address, diana_knits at

My readers know that I'm not much of a Studio knitter - yet.  However, they often have great suggestions.  Please look through these suggestions of mine, and readers, please give this new convert some ideas, too, by putting other suggestions in the comments.

Have you tried the cast-on where you bring every other needle into working position (leave the others back in A), knit a row, hang a comb, bring out the in-between needles, knit a row, and you're done?

Have you tried e-wrap cast-ons?

How about "rag" cast-ons, where you take a piece of knitting knitted on another machine and stick it on the needles instead of casting on at all, then knit a row of ravel cord and then start knitting with the garment yarn?

Also, you can try bringing the needles out to hold position after each row.  That can really help.

Using a cast-on comb can help hugely after the first row.

If none of these work, something's might be wrong with the machine, but probably not something serious.  Make sure your wheels and brushes on the carriage spin freely.  They can get fuzz under them and get stuck.  Make sure no brushes are sticking down and snagging everything.  Make sure the machine slides easily when there's no yarn in it but some needles are in working position.

Double-check that you're threading the machine correctly.  Oh, and post a note on the Machine Knitting group at Yahoo asking for other machine knitters in your area.  You will surely benefit from having a club or buddy have a look at the situation.

Let me think about this, and readers, please make some suggestions on the blog.


  1. I've now tried both of the suggestions above and it still 'crashes' on the 2nd pass.

    1. I just bought a Studio 360 and am having the same problem it crashes on the the 2nd pass. Did you figure out what the problem was?

  2. I'm hoping some of the Silver Reed users have a suggestion or two. I understand the cast-on is different on those machines.

    What exactly does it do on the 2nd pass? Jam? Drop the knitting? Tangle?

  3. Double check your carriage settings. Make sure that your weaving brushes are down, that your side levers are set to the dot not the triangle. Also make sure that you are passing the knitting completely with the carriage.

    Have you tried simply oiling your machine. I find that sometimes when I'm having trouble my machine just needs oiled.

    One more thought... Don't hang claw weights til the 5th or 6th row. The carriage gets caught on them and won't go past.

  4. I had to get a new sponge bar on my silver reed. Now it works like new. Its under the machine and the cost is under $20. The sponge dried out over time or where it is stored.
    I struggled with my for a long time and thought it was the table, threaded incorrectly or the yarn. Nothing I did helped, until a nice Amish lady who services them in her knitting shop helped me replace them.
    I am glad to help

  5. I agree that it most likely is the sponge bar. Having got my machine out of long term storage I had a similar problem with the weaving method of casting on but the new sponge bar corrected it straight away.

  6. My knitting instructor taught me that the problem always never lies in the machine, but rather with the knitter.

    Check tension, and adjust a few clicks looser. Use the needle pusher to pull the needles a bit (about a millimetre) back (away from you), to make sure that the needles and the next rows of knitting passes OVER the ravel chord. Pay particular attention to the outermost few needles.

    Knit five rows before removing the ravel chord and hanging the weights.

  7. I'm having the same problem- thanks for all of these suggestions!. I'm completely new to knitting machine but I was given one (knitmaster 700) does anyone have the same? I don't have a casting on comb. can anyone suggest something else I can use?

  8. No comb? Try this: You will need a piece of ravel cord (or sturdy, thin string of some sort). Bring the needles out to B position of the cast on. Knit 1 row across. There's nothing to hold it, right? Hang the ravel cord over the knit loops between the needles and the gate pegs and hold each end down firmly. Knit four or five rows and hang weights.

    I really should make a video of this.

  9. I know this is a really old thread but I just got a Studio 700 km and an SRP-60 ribber and I have all the dials, knobs and needles set for 1x1 rib cast on and when I go to move the carriages across the needles just to set them up for the actual yarn cast on, everything jams. The main carriage seems to get stuck on the ribber needles (all needles are in D position). I've tried this on different portions of the bed and the same thing happens every time. I could really use some help if you have any ideas. Thanks so much for your time.

  10. Do you have a dealer nearby? Or even another knitter with a Studio 700? Something is out of adjustment, broken, or assembled incorrectly, and comparing your machine to one that is working correctly might be very useful.

  11. Oh my...I am reading so much and so very grateful for all the wonderful people who post both their suggestions and problems..So here is mine as I am confused! I have an EMPIRAL 326 KNITMASTER KNITTING MACHINE I am aware, these can be badged differently (Silver Reed/Studio if I understand that rightly..just to add to the confusion of a newbie lol) However, I have less then 8 weeks knowledge of machine knitting...(in that time..have used with lots of success a bond incredible sweater machine..that I bought classic..then thought a metal bed with lots of options was needed..yes I know..very different) So..back to my problem..I have tried to cast on using the ravel cord approach suggested in the book..the needles placed in b position, carriage threaded and passed across, producing a zig zag effect between needle/hook and gate posts, the cord then laid on top being held slightly downwards for the carriage then to be taken across to form the knitting. It suggests 5 rows before removing the ravel cord. By my observations/experience it looks like my 'rows' are being held on the gate posts :( I unravel the cord and they are free..and I have my waste yarn to be the beginnings of my knitting etc..but every other cast on I have seen..tried has failed..and I am not convinced my 'rows' should be stacking on the gate posts the way they do initially. ANY help appreciated sorry for the long comment.