Ahh, learn from an expert:
When I was struggling with my first knitting machine - and lost, since the manual seemed like a poor translation from the Japanese and its sketches were, well "sketchy," I phoned my father-in-law. He came over to have a look. He was originally trained as a textile engineer, and he gave me one great piece of advice: with machinery like this, the tension is critical! Get the tension right, and everything else is easier.
Get the tension wrong, and well...