Standard Knitting Machine Brother KH836

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[TODO @mounia] Include a photo.


The machine manual linked below offers and end to end step by step guide, but here are a couple of videos illustrating the basic steps as an easier guide to getting started:

  1. Set up machine
  2. Thread yarn suitable for the standard gauge machine (box labelled as suitable for standard knitting machine)
  3. Set your tension using the tension dial (wheel) on the carriage This is the tougher one for beginners: what tension to use for which yarn thickness. I recommend starting with a tension 7-8 for the yarns we have in the space, see how you like it, and test a few different tensions up and down and choose the one where you like the look and feel of the resulting knitted fabric (lower number --> tighter loops / higher number --> looser loops)
  4. Use an e-wrap cast on to start your first row (bottom edge) of knitting
  5. Plain knitting (all you need to do from here is to move carriage back and forth, there are a variety of other stitch types that require different machine settings and / or hand manipulations but leaving out of this getting started guide as the learning curve is a bit steep before you get there - check out the manual linked below if you want to get into it)
  6. cast off when you’ve knitted the desired number of rows to create a finished edge for your knitting to prevent it from unraveling when you take it off the machine
    [more beginner friendly method]
    [more efficient method imho]

You know know how to knit a row of plain knitting! If you want to knit a piece of a specific width and length, you need to know that:

  • the width of your piece is a function of the number of needles you cast on, and your chosen tension
  • the length of your piece is a function of the number of rows you knit, and your chosen tension

Unfortunately, there is no hard formula on the relationship between those, so you need to knit a test swatch (called a gauge swatch) and infer the dimensions from measuring it:

  1. knit a swatch of x stitches (= x needles) and y rows at your chosen tension z
  2. measure your gauge, ie: count how many rows and stitches are there in say a 10 * 10cm square
  3. use proportionality math to determine the number of stitches / rows you need to knit at that tension z to get the width and length cm you want

Punch Card Knitting

The machine will accept “brother style” 24 column punch cards. @kyle was unable to find them at industrial sewing machine vendors in London but they can be purchased on ebay. To laser cut punch cards, you can use this tool to create vector images. Directions start on page 44 of the manual but here’s a synopsis:

  1. Insert the punch card into the slot. Use the feed nob to advance, holding the button to the left of the slot to make it easier. Advance the feed until the start line (#1) is just visible.
  2. Clip any additional cards to the top using the outermost feed holes. The row numbers should match up.
  3. Ensure you’ve planned how many columns your project will be. The pattern starts on the first needle not in the A position and will repeat after 24 columns. Yarn A will be used for unpunched holes and yarn B for the punched holes.
  4. Ensure the card lock lever is in the filled circle position (no automatic movement)
  5. Follow the directions above to cast on and knit a starter row normally.
  6. Begin to use the pattern by setting the card lock to filled triangle (advance both directions), the carriage change knob to KC, and carriage cam button to MC. Additional stitch settings can be found in the manual.
  7. Knit to your heart’s content

Condition Notes

2nd hand

Induction and Training

If applicable, a short description of induction requirements


List of @usernames who are responsible for maintenance

Risk Assessment

Keep your skin away from all the pointy things, wear good shoes: you will accidentally drop your knitting and the weights holding it :slight_smile:

Before Use

During Use

After Use


[TODO @mounia ]