Spinning yarn for knitting machine

Hello everyone :slight_smile:

I have two historic knitting machines (Knittax S4 and Phildar D7) laying around and was thinking of spinning the wool out of raw wool.

I washed the raw wool (Valais Blacknose) 5 times and carded it with my drum carder 3 times. I now get pretty thin singles using my spinning wheel.

I am testing it on my Knittax and found out that it actually works. Problem is, I still get some slightly thicker parts or bumps - and my Knittax throws it off. While using all needles, I knitted 3 rows and it threw off 3 stitches in the third row.

Any ideas on how to gain more consistency while spinning? Or other ideas?

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Welcome to KH!
I wonder if either spinners or machine knitters have had this problem?

I don’t spin my own yarn but have found that hand spun yarn that I have bought can knit up quite beautifully. Assuming that you are not having any needle issues with commercial yarns, perhaps you could try adding some more weights to your knitting or go up to a higher number of the tension. I’m thinking that the Phildar is a higher gauge machine. Have you tried the yarn on it to see if you can knit your handspun on it? Also, there might be an issue with those three needles if it is the only area that you are repeatedly having issues with. Sometimes there are issues with needles that might not be readily obvious to the naked eye. Is your machine clean and the sponge strip in good shape?


I’m sorry, I have no experience with this.


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Thank you for your reply, everyone!

@MK_er you are right, with commercial yarn there was no problem so far.
The Knittax - as far as I know - doesn’t need any weights. I’ve read that somewhere some years ago and I’ve also observed that no historical Knittax comes with weights. Please correct me, if I’m wrong :sweat_smile:

I’ve got the Phildar pretty recently. Therefore it’s still in the cleaning process (the needles are working fine, so I think after I’m done with cleaning this weekend or so, it shouldn’t be a problem working with it). However, what I can say about it is, that the inbetween lengh of the needles is 4mm, the tension can be adjusted up to stage 12. For reference, the Knittax has an inbetween length of around 5mm and the tension can only be adjusted up to stage 10. The Phildar is a double bed, the Knittax is a single, but I have the so called PSG (Patentstrickgerät in German) for double bed simulation.

And yes, the Knittax is clean, oiled and maintenanced for the last few years. It was in a pretty good shape when I got it. I’ve already used tension stage 8 and 10. I’ve observed the same problem on different needles.

Regarding the needles: You might be right, maybe there is a problem with them and I just can’t see it with my bare eyes. I will test more rows with my hand spun and report it here.

I’m also suspecting that there might be a problem with the wool itself, since it’s a bit rougher. I still have Texel wool lying around, so that would also be a test subject that I’m going to report it here.

Also, I found one single post on another forum that mentions the same problem. It seems to be a common problem, but not impossible to solve. The first step would be more achieving more consistency. The second is using more carefully the paraffin wax.

I do spin my own yarn for the knitting machine. One thing I have learned it that you need to be very very consistent in the thickness of your yarns. I always ply my yarns… makes it much easier. But most machines don’t like thick and thin.

The other alternative is to use a machine made for chunky yarns. It can handle somewhat thinner, but not thicker. So if your machine does not like your yarn, it may need a machine for thicker yarn!

The final thing is that you need to practice, practice, practice. I have been spinning for many years, and mine has certainly gotten better through time. I almost always use a spindle for all my spinning, and it has greatly improved in the last several years. But it just takes lots of practice, and study to get better. Keep on trying!!

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To be consistent, you need to practice, practice and more practice!! I
have been spinning for a very long time, and have noticed I have
improved greatly the last several years. You need really good
instruction [hard to find] and then practice for many, many hours! I
did nothing but spn and spin for a long time. Then I used the yarns
for various projects… very nice yarns! I enjoyed using them. But it
didn’t come easy… I practiced and studied what I’ve spun to make it
better. Over and over… you will get there, but not without all the
work. Sorry, there is no quick fix here!