For the Ultimate Sweater Machine:

Tips, Hints and Troubleshooting

If you have any trouble setting up or knitting on your Ultimate Sweater Machine, follow the suggestions below.

For more information on the Ultimate Sweater Machine, please see:
~ Ultimate Sweater Machine FAQs
~ Assembling Two Ultimate Sweater Machines
~ Short Row Shaping for Shoulders
~ Abbreviations


SETTING UP

Use the non-skid mat on any flat surface, but be sure not to pull down on the hem as you set up. Or, if you want to use the clamps, be sure to use a flat surface with a "true" bottom, similar to a piece of hardwood board. One of the long pre-cut shelves available at hardware stores and home centers is a good choice.

Be sure not to screw the clamps on too tightly. This could raise the back of the bed and cause the needles to go out of alignment.

Be sure there are no raised retainer bars across the bed. These are the green bars that hold in the needles. If any are raised slightly you can push them down with your finger or use a small hammer with fabric or rubber as protection to tap them down into place.

Do not bear down on the carriage or it could be difficult to knit. Just hold down the handle enough to keep the keyplate in place.


SOLUTIONS TO COMMON PROBLEMS

Carriage jams at the beginning of the row.
Carriage jams after a few stitches.

Carriage jams in the middle of the row.
Carriage jams at the beginning of the row after you have knitted a row.

Difficult to knit completely across row.
Knitting or hem falls off at the beginning of the row.
After knitting a few rows, carriage is stuck at the beginning of the row.

Mistake or too many rows knitted.
Mistake in the middle of the row and carriage is stuck.
Getting loops over the needle while nothing gets knitted.

Problem: Carriage jams at the beginning of the row.

Solution #1: Remember the hemis back against the bed at the beginning of the row so the front of the carriage will clear the hem.

Solution #2: Be sure the green stripper plate on the underside of the nose of the carriage runs just below the needles. It is supposed to run just under the needles and slightly raise them as it knits.

Check to see if the yarn has wrapped around one of the green stripper plates on the underside of the carriage. Using your finger, release the yarn from around the plate, pull up the yarn that was caught on the plate and continue to knit the row. To prevent this from happening in the future, be sure to hold the yarn at the beginning of the row before you push the carriage, until you see the first needle begin knitting the yarn.

Problem: Carriage jams after a few stitches.

Solution: Make sure all needles are in FWP.

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Problem: Carriage jams in the middle of the row after cast-on row or while knitting the next few rows.

Solution #1: Check to be sure the needles are in FWP and not moved out of line.

Solution #2: Lift up the handle of the carriage and check to be sure all the needles are either in non-working, working, forward working or holding position. If there is a needle out of line, it can hit on the "bounce bar" on the underside of the keyplate. You will be able to see this through the tinted keyplates.

Solution #3: Do not bear down on the carriage.

Solution #4: If you have a row counter attached to your machine, remove it while you're learning.

Problem: Carriage jams or drops stitches at the beginning of the row after you have knitted a row.

Solution: Be sure the last row was knitted completely. You should knit the row until the last needle stops moving or it will be difficult to knit the next row or you can drop stitches.

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Problem: Difficult to knit completely across row.

Solution #1: Be sure there is enough free yarn coming from the pull-skein. If the yarn is pulling directly out of a new ball or if it gets caught on something on your table, it will be difficult to knit the row.

Solution #2: Do not hold the yarn as you knit.

Problem: Knitting or hem falls off at the beginning of the row.

Solution: Be sure to hold the yarn at the beginning of the row and to be sure it feeds through the yarn guide in the front of the carriage. If it is pulled out or comes out by not holding it, there is no yarn to feed into the needles and all the stitches will drop.

Problem: After knitting a few rows, carriage is stuck at the beginning of the row.

Solution: Because by nature, knitting curls toward you at the sides, to make it easier for the carriage to knit the edges, be sure to use the S-hooks and rubber bands, which serve to open out the side edges.. Be sure the knitting is back against the bed and one of the green plates on the underside of the carriage isn't hitting the knitting.

Problem: I’m having trouble using the #1 keyplate, as the needles are positioned a bit forward.

Solution: Until you’ve knitted a few rows, gently push the first few forward needles back to the usual forward working position. Then knit the row. After a few rows, you should be able to knit normally using the #1 keyplate. Also, after a few rows, your knitting will be come easier if you remove one of the weights from each side of the hem. You can use a couple of claw weights to hold down the area where you’ve removed the rod weights – or you can purchase thinner rod weights from your local plumbing supply company.

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Problem: Mistake made or too many rows knitted.

Solution: Just rip out the mistake row or extra rows. Be sure to unlatch the first stitch, which is usually a bit tighter than the others. See your instructional video on how to rip out a row.

Problem: Mistake made in the middle of the row and carriage is stuck.

Solution: Lift up the keyplate and slide the carriage back to the beginning of the row. Then rip out the stitches knitted on that row. Push the needles into either working or forward working position. Pull up the loose yarn and knit the row again.

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Problem: I'm getting loops over the needles and nothing is knitting. What's wrong?

Solution: The keyplate is not inserted properly. Be sure the back edge of the keyplate is inserted between the two "shelves" at the back of the carriage. The keyplate will have to be pushed down slightly, but not forced down. Also, be sure not to try to insert the keyplate unless all the needles under the carriage are in non-working position.

 

ABBREVIATIONS
alt alternate
approx approximately
beg beginning
cm centimeters
COL carriage on left
cont continu(e)(ing)
COR carriage on right
dec decreas(e)(ing)
foll follow(ing)
FWP forward working position, stitches just behind open latches
inc increas(e)(ing)
HP holding position
K knit
KP keyplate
LHS left hand side
M1 pick up loop lying between needles and K into back of it
mm millimeters
NWP non working position
P purl
patt pattern
psso pass slipped st over
rem remain(ing)
rep repeat
RS right side
RHS right hand side
sl slip
st(s) stitch(es)
st st stocking stitch
tog together
WP working position
WS wrong side
WY waste yarn