Tips & Techniques

Our Portable Design Center

This portable laptop cart was purchased from Target.  I like it because it can easily be moved from room to room or machine to machine, it has 1 drawer for supplies, and 2 shelves on which I can keep my Disk Drive, Disk, the extra CB1 Unit, External Floppy Drive, BL5USB and BL7USB cables and an extra external hard drive for all our DAK files.  I even purchased a TV card so we can watch TV while knitting or designing.


Misc Hints-Tips-Information

How to Clean Your Knitting Machine (Dust Bunnie)
Double e wrap cast on method
Splitting Yarns
Cone Yarn Table 
How to Duplicate Stitch
How to Convert a Pattern from one gauge to another
Swatch Table of Measurements
Machine Knitting Abbreviations
Std. Size Chart US government standard sizes infant-men
Care-Content Labels Every garment you make forsale must include label.  Read the US Federal Trade Commission faqs
Copyright Information



I saw a quote recently that said "knitters have cobwebs in their corners but not their minds".

I've never professed to be the perfect house maid, but as a professional knitter who uses my machine daily, I must maintain and clean it regularly. Even if you don't knit as often as I do, you should wipe down your machine after every use and DEEP CLEAN your machine at least every 6 months.

You will be surprised at the DUST BUNNIES you'll find by using these cleaning suggestions. Plan on spending a good hour or more doing this.

Suggested supplies; 3 bowls large enough for needles to fit into Cleaning rags (shop rags work great) Degreasing cleaner like Top Job, Mr Clean, 409 or Fantastic, old beading needle (latch removed) Cattail brush, flashlight, vacuum cleaner (sm. cleaning tools from knit/sew store if avail) Lubricant-oil

Lets begin;

1. Prepare cleaning solution per mfg. Pour into the 3 bowls, deep enough to cover needles.

2. Divide your needle bed into 3 sections. Mark the bowls 1-2-3. Remove the needle sponge bar. Remove 1/3 of the needles and place in bowl 1. Remove the 2nd 1/3 needles and place in bowl 2. Remove last 1/3 needles and place in bowl 3. Let needles soak.

3. With your vacuum cleaner, go over the machine to remove any dust or lint.

4. If you have a cattail brush, run it several times through the machine.

5. Dampen clean rag with cleaner (wring out all solution) and gently wipe down the machine. With a clean rag, dry off machine. Be sure to leave no residue. Wipe down again with a clean damp rag without cleaner, if necessary

6. Take flashlight and look in the FRONT SLOTS (where the end of the needle comes out. Can you see completely through the slot or is it dark? If you cannot see completely through the slots then you probably have the dreaded dust bunnies.

7. This is the part that takes alot of time, so be patient. I found that a small beading needle works great for this. I just removed the latch to make the job easier. Working from one end of the machine to the other, hold the vacuum close to the front slots and vacuum. Now, gently insert the beading needle into the 1st slot, then GENTLY PROBE the slot for clumps of lint. Don't dig. Pull the needle in and out several times trying to catch the lump of lint. (Don't give up, it's there, maybe not in every slot, but you'll find them). As I catch a "dust bunny" I use the vacuum to get rid of them as I go through every slot until I get to the other end of the machine. Also, turn the needle so the hook is in the up position. Don't forget to "probe" under the lip of the slot. Lots of yuck hides here too. Continue across entire bed.

8. REPEAT STEP #7 SEVERAL MORE TIMES. You'll be surprised at what may be missed with each pass. Vacuum slots between each cleaning.

9. Now, work the same procedure as step 7 , but now probe the slots on TOP of the needle bed. Don't probe too deep or you'll catch the hook onto the sponge cushion inside the bed.

10. REPEAT STEP #9 SEVERAL MORE TIMES for missed yuck, continuing to vacuum between passes.

11. Again, wipe down the machine with a clean rag to remove any left over dust bunnies.

12. I prefer the spray Lori Lynn Lube, but your machine oil will work fine. Spray or oil a cloth and wipe down the bed and rails.

13. Now that your needles have soaked for awhile, take 1 bowl and with a cloth, clean EACH needle. Rinse so there is no residue remaining. DRY THROUGHLY. When you have all the needles from the 1st bowl cleaned and dried, lightly spray or oil each needle. Wipe any excess off. Check each needle latch for alignment and replace if bent, twisted or if it doesn't move smoothly. Begin replacing each needle but return the needles to a different 1/3 section of the bed other than where you removed them from. This will redistribute the needles to a different slot location for even wear. Repeat the same for the 2nd and 3rd bowls.

14. Now, replace the sponge bar with a new one. With use, the sponge on this bar becomes worn and will no longer hold the needles securely in place, making movement of the carriage harder or with some drag or the needles may not knit properly.

15. Now for the carriage. Not much to do here. 1st vacuum the underside of the carriage to remove any large balls of lint. With a clean cloth, gently wipe off excess dirt and oil that has accumulated. Remove the brushes and pick out any yarn ends stuck to the bristles. Replace if worn. When clean, lightly spray or oil all metal moving parts. NOTE: If my carriage is extremely dirty with built up yuck, I do this. Tilt or stand the carriage up. Hold it over a towel. With the spray, "drowned that sucker". Start at the top and spray down the carriage letting the dirt and excess spray/oil drip off. Repeat if necessary. Wipe off any excess spray or oil.

16. Gently clean and wipe down all of the plastic parts.

17. Replace the carriage onto the bed and feel it "glide" across the bed as if it were new again.

Depending upon the amount of use your machine gets and the types of yarns you use, will determine the frequency that you should thoroughly clean your machine. Some yarns like Chenille (and I use this alot) sheds terribly, leaving more lint that attracts & attaches to the oil that creates a build up, causing drag on the carriage, and a build up on the needles inside the bed. If the needles have a build up of dirt/oil they may not glide in and out of the slots smoothly or select properly for design work. Dirty needles and brushes also cause those dreaded "dirty lines" when shortrowing.

Happy Knitt'n


Table of measurments of a 100 stitches or 100 rows test swatch from 4" to 12"

Inches equivalent to 100 stitches or 100 rows

Required length of knitting in Inches         

  4 4.5 5   5.5   6    6.5 7   7.5     8 8.5    8.5    9.5 9.5 10 10.5    11 11  12
1/2 12-13 11 10 9 8-9 7-8 7 6-7 6-7 5-6 5-6 5-6 5 4-5 4-5 4-5 4 1/2



22 20 18 17 15 14 13 12 11 11 10 10 10 9 9 8 1
2 50 44 40 36 33 31 28 27 25 24 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 2
3 75 67 60 55 50 46 43 40 38 35 33 31 30 29 27 26 25 3
4 100 89 80 73 67 62 57 53 50 47 44 42 40 38 36 35 33 4
5 125 111 100 91 83 77 71 66 63 59 55 53 50 48 45 43 41 5
6 150 133 120 109 100 92 86 80 75 71 66 63 60 57 55 52 50 6
7 175 156 140 127 117 108 100 93 86 82 78 74 70 67 64 61 58 7
8 200 178 160 145 132 123 114 107 100 94 89 84 80 76 73 70 67 8
9 225 200 180 164 150 138 128 120 113 106 100 95 90 86 82 78 75 2
10 250 222 200 181 167 153 142 133 125 118 111 105 100 95 91 87 83 10
20         333 307 285 266 250 235 222 210 200 190 182 173 166 20
30                   353 333 315 300 285 273 261 250 30
40                               348 333 40



The code numbers inside a cone of yarn as in 2/20 the first number refers to the PLY and the 2nd number denotes the THICKNESS of the stands of yarn used in each ply.  The LARGER the number the THINNER the stands of yarn.  The tension listed is only a suggestion as NO two machines will knit alike.  Print out and write your machine settings





1/12 Orlon 5 sts/8 rows per 1 inch E.O.N. 7


1/10 Wool 8 sts/11 rows per 1 inch 6
1         2/3 Wool 8 sts/11 rows per 1 inch 4
1         2/3 Orlon 9 sts/13 rows per 1 inch 5
1         2/7 Orlon 8 1/2 sts/12 rows per 1 inch 5
1         2/7 Orlon 7 1/2 sts/9 rows per 1 inch 7
1         2/8 Orlon 8 1/2 sts/12 1/2 rows per 1 inch 5
1        21/8 Wool 8 sts/12 rows per 1 inch 4
1    2/9 Orlon 7 1/2 sts/10 rows per 1 inch 7
1         2/10 Wool 9 sts/12 rows per I inch 3
1         2110 Orlon 8 sts/12 rows per 1    inch 4
1         2/11 Wool 7 sts/12 rows per 1    inch 4
1         211 Orlon 7 sts/10 rows per 1inch 6
1 2/11 Orlon 6 sts/10 rows per 1 inch 7
1 2/11 Orlon 6 sts/9 rows per 1 inch 8/9
2 1/15 Orlon 7 sts/11 rows per 1 inch 8
2 2/15 Orlon    7 sts/11 rows per 1 inch        6
2 2/15 Orlon 6 1/2 sts/9 rows per 1 inch 9
1 2/13 Orlon 6 sts/9rows per 1 inch 8
1         2/16 Orlon 8 sts/12 rows per 1 inch 5
2 2/18 Acrylic 10 sts/13 rows per I inch 2
2    2/18 Orlon 7 1/2 sts/9 rows per I inch 7
2 2/18 Acrylic   7 1/2 sts/9 rows per 1 inch 8
2 2/20 OrIon 8 1/2 sts/13 rows per I inch 3
2         2/20 Orlon 9 sts/12 rows per 1 inch 4
2 2/20 Sayelle 8 sts/11 rows per 1 inch 5
2 2/20 Orlon 8 sts/10 rows per I inch     5.1
2         2/20 Orlon 7 1/2 sts/10 rows per I inch 5.2
2         2/20 Orlon 7 sts/10 rows per I inch 6
2         2/20 Orlon 7 1/2 sts/9 rows per 1 inch 7
2         2/20 Wool 7 sts/9 1/2 rows per I inch 7
3         2/20 Acrylic 5 1/2 sts/7 1/2 rows per 1 inch 9.1
4         2/20 Orlon 5 sts/8 rows per 1 inch E.O.N. 7
2         2/20 Orlon 5 sts/7 rows per 1 inch E.O.N. 10
2         2/21 Orlon 9 sts/12 rows per I inch 4
2         2/21 Orlon 6 1/2 sts/11 rows per 1 inch 5
3         2/22 Orlon 7 1/2 sts/10 rows per I inch 6
3         2/22 Orlon 8 sts/12 rows per I inch 5
3 2/22 Orlon 7 sts/10 rows per 1 inch 6
4         2/22 Wool 6 1/2 sts/9 rows per 1 inch 7
4         2/22 Orlon 7 sts/10 rows per 1 inch 7
6         2/22 Orlon 6 sts/9 rows per 1 inch 9
6 2/22 Orlon 5 sts/7 rows per 1 inch E.O.N. 7
2 2/22 Orlon 4 1/2 sts/6rows per 1 inch E.O.N. 9
2         2/22 Orlon   10 1/2 sts/14 rows per 1 inch 2.1
2 2/24 Orlon 8 1/2 sts/11 rows per 1 inch 4
2 2/24 Wool 7 1/2 sts/10 rows per 1 inch 6
3         2/24 Orlon 6 1/2 sts 9 rows per 1 inch 8
2         2/24 Orlon 7 sts 9 1/2 rows per 1 inch       7
2 2/25 Orlon 9 1/2 sts 14 rows per 1 inch 3



Bring required needles to D/E position.

Begin at LEFT edge.  E wrap the first needle in the normal way.  Or make a slip knot and place it onto the 1st needle.

Now take the yarn UNDER the 1st and 2nd needles.

Bring the yarn up between the 2nd and 3rd needles.

Lay the yarn over the TOP of both needles. ( needles 1 and 2)

Place the yarn in the HOOK of the 1st needle and with thumb manually knit off the 1st stitch.

Now, there should be a loop on the 2nd needle.

Now bring the yarn UNDER the 2nd and 3rd needles.

Bring the yarn UP between the 3rd and 4th needle.

Lay the yarn across the 2nd and 3rd needles.

Place the yarn into the HOOK of the 2nd needle.  Manually knit off this 2nd needle.

Repeat this across the bed moving from left to right until all needles are manually knitted off. You are e wrapping and knitting the 1st row manually by this method.  Makes a nicer edge then just e wrapping.


CC1  CC2  CC2    (usually) contrast colours
1/3,2/3,.1,.2    denotes tensions represented by dots between whole number on stitch/tension dial
AH  Arm Hole
alt   alternate(ly)
altog altogether
ANR  all needle rib (DR,ENR,FNR,K/K)
beg   beginning
BB    back bed
BH    Button Hole
BLg    Back Length
BNO    Back Neck Opening
BO    bind off (cast off)
BOLT      bind off (latch tool)
CAL    carriage at left
CAM    Carriage
carr    carriage (cam box) (lock - Passap)
CAR    carriage at right
CB    cam box (generic term for carriage/lock)
CC    clearing cams (generic term for part/slip/empty buttons)
CC    contrast colour
CCO    Closed Cast-On
ch    cha
CH    chain cast-on (latch-tool/crochet cast-on)
CLCO    Closed Cast-On
cm    centimetre(s)
CO    Cast On
COC    cast on comb
COBH    cast on by hand
col    colour
COL    carriage on left
con    contrast
COR    carriage on right
cont    continu(e)(ing)
CR    carriage release
CY    contrast yarn
DB    double bed
dc    double crochet
dec    decreas(e)(ing)
DK    double knitting
DR    double rib (ANR,ENR,FNR,K/K)
EN    every needle
ENR    every needle rib (ANR,DR,FNR,K/K)
EON    every other needle
EOR    every other row
e    every
FB    front bed
Ff(FF)    fully fashioned
FI    Fair Isle
fig    figure
FL    fine lace (on Brother machines)
FLg    Front Length
FNO    Front Neck Opening
FNR    full needle rib (ANR,DR,ENR,K/K)
foll    following
ft    foot (feet)
g     grams (grammes)
GC    garter carriage
GS    garter stitch
H    holding position
H    Hip
HK    hand knitting
HP    holding position
I    working position (needles) (Passap)
IC    intarsia carriage
in    inch(es)
inc    increas(e)(ing)
K    knit
KCI }    dial positions on Brother machines
KCII }    dial positions on Brother machines
K/K    knit/knit (ANR,DR,ENR,FNR)
kg    kilogram(s) (kilogrammes)
KP    Knit Position, same as WP
L    lace
L    left
lb    pound(s) (weight)
LC    lace carriage
LH    left hand
LHS    left hand side
LOL    lock on left (Passap)
LOR    lock on right (Passap)
M/c    machine
MB    main bed
MC    main carriage
MC    main colour
MC    multi-colour (on Brother machines)
mm    millimetre(s)
MT    main tension
MT-1      main tension minus one, one whole number
MT+1    main tension plus one number more than main tension used in knitting the garment
MY    main yarn
N(s)    needle(s)
Nd(s)    needle(s)
Ndl(s)    needle(s)
NB    note (take note)
No    number
NRB    needle return buttons
NSB    needle selection buttons
NWP    non working position-needles that have not been cast-on
0    central position on needle bed
O    neutral position (needles) (Passap)
O/0    no stitches or rows worked
OCO    Open Cast-On>
opp    opposite
OS    Out of Service - Same as NWP
oz    ounce(s)
P    purl
PAT    pusher aligning tool (Passap)
pat    pattern
patt    pattern
Pb    push-button
PC    punch card
PK    Partial Knitting-same as Short Rowing
PU    Pick Up
R    right
R's    Rows
RB    ribber bed
RC    return cams (generic term for holding position levers)
RC    row counter
rem    remaining
rep    repeat
RH    right hand
RHS    right hand side
RP    rest position (Passap)(Same as HP)
RT    rib tension
SB    single bed
SC      single crochet
SD    selector dial (Passap)
SL    Slip
SH    Shoulder
SR    Short Row
SRE    silk ribbon embroidery
SS    stitch size
S/S    stocking stitch (stockinette stitch)
st(s)    stitch(es)
StS    stitch size
std    standard
strd    strand    stocking stitch (stockinette stitch)
SY    scrap yarn
T    tension
T's    Times
TC    transfer carriage
TD    tension dial
Ten    tension
TO    Take off
tog    together
trans    transfer
U/A    Underarm
UWP    upper working position
W    Waist
WE    Work Even
WK    waste knit (K a few rows and release from machine, using WY)
WOCO    wind-on cast on (e-wrap)
WP      working position-straight stockinette stitch
WY      waste yarn
yd    yard(s)
YO      Yarn Over
#    tension Number
x    times
 [   ]    figures in brackets refer to larger sizes
 (   )    at end of sentence denote total no. of sts.,


Splitting of Yarn Using Multiple Strands

I have been knitting using multiple yarn strands, but having a problem with the strands splitting once they hooked onto the needles. Sometimes only 1 of the 2+ strands would catch leaving ugly loops. If I held the yarns together in my fingers as I knitted across this for the most part didn't happen. While looking for an alturnative to my fingers, I tried this and it works great. I have the 4 and 6 section color changers. My machine was set up with the 6 color changer tension unit normally with the yarn guide at the back of the tension pole. I took off the rear yarn guide from the other 4 color changer and put it onto the tension rod of my machine but whipped the yarn guide to be in FRONT of the pole and ran the yarn through it just before putting it in the feeder.

If you don't have a color changer using the 2 yarn guide from another machine will work depending on how many colors you are using. You can always purchase an extra yarn guide from your local dealer.





   Updated Friday June 09, 2006