Beginner Machine Knitting – Slouchy Cardigan

front view cardi

I might have mentioned before that I own a very old second-hand Knitting machine …..? I’m very much a beginner, but enjoying the process.  This is one of the nicest things I’ve made on my machine.   It’s a Slouchy Cardigan by Marianne Cant.  I follow Marianne’s blog Picperfic   and fell in love with her design as soon as she posted details of teaching her friend to make one.


If you’ve never used a knitting machine there are a few things that might be of interest to you:

* You need to know the type of yarn you will be knitting with before you purchase a machine.  Eg – thin yarn like 2,3 or 4ply , dk , Aran, bulky etc.

* My machine is a standard gauge, which means I can use thinner yarns. A mid-gauge would be for dk and also Aran I think, and then a bulky machine is for heavier yarns.

*  The tension dial is the opposite of a sewing machine – on a dial of 1-10 , 10 is the loosest tension and 1 is the tightest. This threw me at the start as I kept turning the dial the wrong way to tighten or loosen the yarn tension!

* Gauge swatches are an absolute  must !!!   I learned this the hard way, after my first jumper was more cardboard than drapey!


So back to the pattern in hand The Slouchy Cardigan on Ravelry here . It was exactly as described – an easy beginner project.  Because I only had 4ply yarn on hand, I did have to make slight adjustments.  The recommended yarn ia a lace/ 2ply.  My stitch count was the same as on the pattern, but I was getting more rows than suggested.  To allow for this I used the pattern row count and the finished garment measurements to work out how many rows I needed to do to get the correct length pieces.

Once I had changed the row count on my pattern I followed the very clear instructions as written and it came together very easily.

It has an interesting seam detail on the center back:

side drapey cardi

It really is a great beginner pattern – very little shaping or transferring stitches required, and an encouraging result which is always helpful when you are a beginner at anything.  Marianne has also realised a Jumper (Sweater) Pattern called Ali’s Jumper which has been added to my knitting queue on Ravelry so I hope it won’t be too long before you see one appear here !  Has anyone else ever considered taking up Machine Knitting ?



20 thoughts on “Beginner Machine Knitting – Slouchy Cardigan

  1. I love how your Slouchy looks…but what I love more are your encouraging words! I think that machine knitting is making a comeback, I learned most of my skills in the early 80’s when y children were very small. We just need knitting machine manufacturers to start making them again. Silver Reed (Knitmaster) are the only company making machines at the moment and so the second hand market is starting to boom. My advice is to buy a good second hand one now, before the prices get any higher, if anyone is interested in taking up such a fun new hobby! Thank you so much for your kind words 🙂

    • I took your advice Picperfic! I’ve just bought a second hand brother (knitting machine of course – I already have a brother!!), I love Marianne’s jumper in blue it really suits you. I’ve bought the pattern and the yarn.

    • I agree that machine knitting is making a comeback – and the internet is making it much easier to learn. I had a machine after college but didn’t get far with it as I couldn’t find a teacher. But now I can use youtube and blogs to explain the things that are difficult to understand from a book. Best of luck with all your new patterns 🙂

  2. Pingback: Slouchy Review | Picperfic's Blog

  3. That looks great. I’ve never thought about machine knitting before. I do remember that it used to be more popular and you’d here about it more. My mum was and still is a big knitter but it wasn’t something that she got into.

  4. Howdy from a fellow machine knit novice. Your cardigan looks great! I’m hoping that the increasing interest in machine knitting will mean more great patterns (most of the existing ones seem to be 70s and 80s abominations…). Have you ever tried converting handknit patterns for machine knitting? I’m thinking of giving it a shot soon.

  5. Pingback: Beginner machine knitting – swatch it! | make & wear

  6. I taught machine knitting for 12 years during the 80’s and 90’s at an art college so I had to learn so many different techniques to be able to help my fashion students create their designs. I was also able to have the latest machines in my studio. It was a fantastic time in my life. I have kept one of my machines and intend to get it out again once I give up working full time and go back to my dressmaking business. I hope it is making a come back as I would love to teach it again either one to one or in a class.

    • I think it is gaining in popularity again -used machines seem to get snapped up quickly on eBay and the like. What a great job to have had! I’m still learning, but hope to get more time over the summer to practice.

  7. Pingback: Machine Knitting a hat | Make&Wear – sewing-knitting-making

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