Knitting Machine - Casting-On Stitches are Too Tight

Hi all,

I’ve recently inherited my mother’s old Singer Sb100. When I try and cast on (e-wrap), I can’t even start on the first row because it’s too tight for the hooks to pull through (adjusting the tension dial makes no difference) If I wrap them loosely, they pop in front of the latches and don’t knit.

I’ve so far tried:
Adding weights (no change)
Changing the tension dial (no change)
Laying the yarn reaaaally loosely (catches on the carriage)
Doing the weird cast-on in the manual (Some stitches don’t pick up, then they all throw themselves off the hooks when trying to switch to my main yarn) Frankly I’d rather use an e-wrap cast on so I can just start knitting.

I’m honestly ready to tear my hair out!

Because it’s a ‘compact’ machine I can’t seem to find much in the way of guides online, so I was hoping someone here could help me out! I’ve attached a picture of the machine, the underside of the carriage, and a link to the manual (are links allowed? Sorry if not!)

Thanks in advance!

20181222_131041 20181222_131018

Welcome to KH!
We are mostly hand knitters but there are a few machine knitters too. Maybe @Beth_Leatherman or @MK_er can help you.

This looks like a great knitting machine, what’s called a “hobby machine “ because of the plastic bed. I typically do a crochet cast on and find that works much better. Diana Sullivan of Austin Texas has a wealth of great beginners knitting machine videos on YouTube. I have three different brands of plastic bed machines as well as some metal bed ones. I also hand knit and crochet. Feel free to PM me with any questions.


Crumbs, I’ve been crocheting for 15 years and wouldn’t have thought of that - it worked!

You’re a star, thank you!

Feel free to contact me anytime with machine knitting help. I’m by no means an expert but I do have about 20 years experience under my belt, starting with a Bond then finding a Brother KX350 when my youngest was about to start 1st grade and he graduates college in the spring! I love to combine my crochet, hand and machine knitting all in one project. Do you know the gauge of your machine? I just took a quick scan of your manual and didn’t see it mentioned. The Bond is an 8mm machine, then the KX 350 is 7mm, the LK 100 & LK 150 are 6.5 while the HK 100 is a bulky at 9mm. In case you don’t know, this measurement comes from the distance between the needles. I don’t think there’s a plastic bed machine in what is called a standard gauge machine which is 4.5mm. There’s a few more machines out there that are variations of this but those are the ones most often seen. It looks like your machine has 100 needles, which can limit the width of fabric that you can create but there are lots of techniques around that too for making larger pieces. I don’t mind helping you if I can. Dottie

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Hi i have just been silly and brought this machine i have now got very angry trying to use it i cant get it to even cast on let alone knit on it please can anyone help me

Hi Sheena and welcome!
Very frustrating I’m sure. Perhaps @MK_er can help.

It helps to know which machine that you have so that we can know how to help you. There is a bit of a learning curve to machine knitting but there’s lots of ways to get help unlike when I was learning to use mine. Once we know which machine that you have, I can help you source the information you need to make it knit! Feel free to PM me.

How do i contact please

Its a singer sb100 compact
This is the manual for your machine in case you don’t have one. This looks like a forerunner of the current LK 150. Studio and Singer were the same machines put out under different names except your machine has 100 needles and the LK has 150. Look on You Tube. Diana Sullivan from Austin Texas has numerous beginner videos to get you started. There are several others as well but she is supper great for a beginner.

Thanks, MK_er.

Sheena, to PM a forum member click on the avatar or initial in the circle before their name. That’ll bring up a Message button.

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Hi Dottie! I tried sending you a PM but I can’t figure out how to do it. I don’t know if you can help me. I recently acquired a Brother kh860 and is casts on perfectly. The problem is when I go on with the second row, the carriage starts having problems sliding. When I get to the 4th row the carriage just gets stuck. Do you think it’s maybe because of the yarn I’m using? I already cleaned the machine, changed the needles and replaced the sponge bar. I’m using a light weight yarn (weight 3) which is used with 3.75-4.5 mm needles.

Welcome to KH, Gpv!
To PM a forum member click on the avatar or initial in the circle before their name. That’ll bring up a Message button to the right of the pop-up window.

Do you have your new sponge bar with the sponge facing down on top of the needles? I made the mistake of putting mine in with the sponge facing up when I first got my standard gauge. My other machines were the plastic hobby machines that only have a sponge strip without the metal. Your yarn is too thick for a standard gauge machine. Some of them will knit a DK weight on every other needle. The best weight yarn for your standard gauge is fingering and sport weight. I don’t know what kinds of yarn you want to use but I suggest that you learn with baby sport weight yarn. The sweet spot for tension on most of these machines is fingering weight yarn at about tension 7. Try the baby yarn at about 8- 10. I successfully knitted Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool which is a lighter DK on the highest tension on my SK 303. Don’t give up. I had a lot of projects that would drop off or just plain mess up when I first started. I made a LOT of baby blankets back then for the babies born in our church. It was a great way for me to learn how to use my machine.


Hi!! I dont know why, but I can’t see that option :frowning:

Wow, thank so much for all the advice! I will try with the yarn and tension you suggested. I put the sponge facing down so I know that’s not what’s causing the issue. Once I try with the baby sport yarn I will let you know. Thank you for taking the time to answer, I’ve been going crazy trying to find the issue.

Diana Sullivan from Austin Texas has a great website as well as some fantastic YouTube videos for machine knitting.

The Answer Lady/ Ask Jack duo have a ton of information on their website as well as on YouTube.

There are others as well but I highly recommend these two for beginners. Good luck and feel free to reach out if you need more help. Dottie

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