Thursday, May 16, 2013

Finally Ready: The Knit Leader Course

We were waiting on packaging, and now we have the Knit Leader courses available for sale!   Want one?  You can purchase one from the blog, here, or from

This course consists of two high-definition DVDs, about 4 hours of video time. 

The Knit Leader is a Brother accessory that has been around forever, is widely available used, doesn't cost too much, and works best on Brother machines, although you could use it for other machines and hand knitting if you wanted to advance it by hand.  I have been surprised at how many people have one and don't use it!  It's a wonderful shortcut to making garments that fit.  You draw your full-sized pattern on the mylar sheet, load the sheet in the Knit Leader, set the stitch and row gauge, and the Knit Leader guides you along the way, sort of a GPS for machine knitting.

This course would transfer well if you have a Toyota Knit Tracer, because that one's very similar to Brother's unit, but I don't recommend it for Silver Reed half-scale equipment, which is too different.

I broke everything into segments.  Since there's absolutely no plot, unless you think knitting swatches, a sweater and a hat makes for a story, and because I go rather slowly, you'll be glad to skip over to the technique you need to see.  These disks have menus so you can skip around.   Here's what I show on the course:

Disk One:
  • Making a standard gauge swatch
  • Making a measurable ribbing swatch
  • Making swatches to solve problems, like the planning of the buttonholes, the transition from ribbing to garment, and the best color scheme
  • The Knit Leader, its essential supplies, and other helpful things you can purchase easily
  • Using the Knit Leader with sewing patterns
  • How to choose the correct stitch scale
  • How to set the row gauge
  • Shaping an armhole with full-fashioned decreases
  • Shaping a shoulder with short-rows
  • Divide and shape a neck
  • Inset pockets
  • Join shoulder seam on machine
  • Join armhole seam on the machine
  • Making a sleeve
  • Shaping in Fair Isle and matching up the pattern
Disk Two:
  • Knit 1, purl 1 button band
  • Good-looking, easy vertical buttonholes
  • Short-rowing a curved hemline
  • Short-rowed horizontal bust darts
  • Making vertical darts, with and without the garter bar
  • Knitting a tidy, folded waistband at the top of a skirt or pants
  • How to use the Knit Leader with your bulky machine
  • Crafty uses for the Knit Leader
  • Knitting larger and plus sizes
  • Monkey Hat project planning
  • Intarsia with Knit Leader
  • Monkey Hat kntting details
As with all our products, we ship every weekday and charge $3 for US regular mail, no matter how many items you order. We ship all over the English-speaking world, but international shipping costs more. If your country charges customs or fees, that will be an additional cost to you.


  1. Diana, another wonderful video course to add to my library. Even though I can already do almost everything in your course, I find that your videos are so clear and easy to understand and so well produced that I want them in my library. I teach others to machine knit, and so these are fantastic reference materials.

    Thanks for another wonderful, lasting contribution to the machine knitting community!


  2. This is one tutorial that is so needed. Technically, it isn't hard to learn how to use the KL and yet, so many machine knitters are having trouble learning it. I applaud you for dedicating your time in making this tutorial. Thank you!


  3. My disc arrive all the way to Australia.
    I was really excited and watched the whole thing that night - but i was dissapointed that you didnt teach me about what to look for in buying a paper pattern and how to draw it etc. Im dont know how to sew and was hoping this conversion would have been on the disc too.

    Do you have a video/lesson on this somewhere?

    I am saving my pennies for the next video...
    love from Simone

  4. Simone, what you need is a regular sewing pattern that (1) fits you (compare your measurements to the ones on the packaging) and (2) is sized for knits. Trace it without the seam allowance.

  5. How does this translate to a Singer Knit Radar?

  6. It would translate great if you have a Singer radar that uses full-sized patterns. If you have a half-size, then some things are different; for instance, you can only use sewing patterns if you make them smaller.

  7. Does this show you how to draw the pattern on the mylar? I only do basic knitting and some punch card work on my brother kh860 and ribber. I have a knit leader 116 and a color changer. They think I've neglected them long enough.

    1. I draw on mine in the course. I show how to choose and use a sewing pattern.