Friday, February 19, 2010

Beating the Yarn-Looping Miseries

Last night I went to my friend Sylvia's, and one of the things we did was knit a sock together. It was making nasty loops at the edges of the knitting, and even worse, getting caught on the loops and tearing holes in the knitting! Sylvia is very patient and had been plugging away trying to learn the machine on that sock pattern. She had made a pile of attempts, but sooner or later, the Toyota always ruined the sock.

This morning, I had a note on YouTube from a knitter in New Zealand with yarn looping problems on a Studio machine. I answered her briefly, and thought, this would make a great blog post. This same problem has come to my attention twice in two days!

On the Toyota, we did a couple things, and it's knitting much better. Here are some things you can do to beat the yarn-looping problem:

First, make sure your overhead take-up spring is nice and springy, and it pulls the yarn up enough. You could try tightening the tension on that upper wheel. Also, you can replaced the wire "antennas." I replaced a pair once and gave a machine a whole new lease on life! I got replacements from a dealer. If that antenna is saggy, then the yarn at the beginning of the row is loopy.

Also, knit only just far enough at the end of a row. Listen for the click, which means, "stop." Knitting too far draws out more yarn to form a loop.

The Toyota had brush problems. Your machine might, too. Take the sinker plate (metal part in front of the carriage) off, turn it over, and try to spin the wheels with brushes. If those wheels won't spin, those brushes are going to give you nothing but trouble! Take a screwdriver and remove the wheels, and pick out any lint or yarn that's gumming up the works. Put it all back together with a drop of oil and see if they spin now. On Sylvia's machine a couple washers were missing, and one of the wheels was tightening down as she knitted.

Feel the brushes for a bristle sticking down into the area where the yarn passes. You might have to snip off that bristle so it stops snagging the yarn.

You can also remove the offending wheel-brush and see how your machine knits without it! Sylvia and I knitted all evening without two of her brushes and we didn't miss the nasty little critters at all. Her husband is going to replace the washers and get those wheels spinning again.


  1. Thank you, thank you, Diana, for writing this post and pointing me to it!
    It was the compacted dust of 20+ years that was to blame, not the machine, which I nearly took apart in frustration!
    What a relief to have you here ! :D

  2. Hi there, I am just going through old posts in your blog (new Mk knitter) and found this post and had a little giggle.
    I had this problem just the otherday, but I noticed that it coincided with the end of the yarn. Then I noticed that it only happend when I was close to the end (ie: not the same tension left from the ball/cone), because it was so loose it was catching on the "pegs?" and making the big loops. HAH! I hate my head.. because it kinda of gave me an idea for a "loopy" project hehe
    Either way, I did not realise that tehre are so many other things that can cause this.. wow! :)

  3. Thank you for your prompt email. I went straight to your blog as directed and I am indeed pulling the carriage along to far.
    Thank you again all the way from New Zealand

  4. Thank u Diana. I will try your suggestions. Thanks again.