Knitting machines galore since one is never enough, photo tutorials, and knits gone wild

How To Set Up A Knitting Machine – Brother, Studio, Singer, Silver Reed

It’s time to pull that neglected knitting machine out from under the bed, dust it off, and set it up. That’s all we are going to do today so there is no reason to panic. Actual knitting will be another day.

The first thing to do is set the machine on the table where it will be used.
how to set up a knitting machine place on table

Open the case and place the lid to the back.
how to set up a knitting machine open case place lid back

If you don’t have a diagram in the lid showing you how to store the pieces, take a picture before removing anything. It is easy to get confused when putting the machine away.
how to set up a knitting machine take picture before removing parts

Release the bar holding the lid items secure and remove the yarn tension unit.
how to set up a knitting machine release lid retaining bar how to set up a knitting machine remove yarn tension unit

Next, take out the sinker plate assembly (arm) and yarn tension pole.
how to set up a knitting machine remove sinker plate assembly how to set up a knitting machine remove yarn tension pole

Locate the two clamps and secure the machine to the table.
how to set up a knitting machine locate two table clamps how to set up a knitting machine secure machine to table

Insert the yarn tension pole into the mounting hole towards the back of the machine.
how to set up a knitting machine insert yarn tension pole

Place the yarn tension unit on top of the pole. You will have to rotate the thin wires around so they pop vertical. Then remove the accessory box from the main needle bed and set to the back by the lid.
how to set up a knitting machine place yarn tension unit on top of pole how to set up a knitting machine remove accessory box

If your machine has a removable row counter, look for it in the accessory box and attach to the mounting screws on the knitting bed.
how to set up a knitting machine find row counter how to set up a knitting machine attach row counter

Release the metal plate locking the carriage to the needle bed, thus freeing the carriage.
how to set up a knitting machine unlock carriage from needle bed how to set up a knitting machine unlock carriage from needle bed

Lift the handle on the carriage to the upright position. It will snap into place.
how to set up a knitting machine lift carriage handle how to set up a knitting machine carriage handle snaps in place

Locate the sinker plate assembly (Brother/Knitking) or arm (Studio/Silver Reed/Singer) and line it up with the carriage bolting screws. Slide it into place and gently secure it to the carriage.
how to set up a knitting machine find sinker plate assembly how to set up a knitting machine secure sinker plate assembly to carriage

That’s it, you’re ready to knit! Next time we’ll thread the machine.
how to set up a knitting machine you are ready to thread and knit

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Related Posts

December 4, 2006


1 Dianne { 09.02.08 at 5:51 pm }

I need a pattern for making a wooden knitting machine table. Any suggestions?

2 Kathryn { 09.02.08 at 8:32 pm }

I don’t know of any. I’ve always used regular work tables that I found second hand and simply clamped the knitting machine to it.

3 Terri { 09.18.08 at 1:42 pm }

Do you know where I could find someone who sells parts for older model Brother knitting machines? If you don’t, can you think of anyone I might ask or anywhere I might look? I would love to try this out but it’s missing the carriage.

I would dearly LOVE to learn how to machine knit!
Thank you.

4 Kathryn { 09.18.08 at 2:28 pm }

You could try

However the hard truth is it’s cheaper to troll Craigslist looking for cheap knitting machines and buying them for parts than it is to pay the sky high prices at some of the machine-knit shops on the internet. If you have patience, this is the route I’d take.

5 Karla { 10.11.08 at 10:38 am }

I ran across this site today and it carries parts for all types of different machines. Click on Catalog at top and type in ‘carriage’ and the machine brand and model no. or whatever you part you want to try and find, the site will give you several page links (if it finds your search) from its catalog, then when you click on a page link, you can either scroll down the page to find the part you searched for or make it easier on yourself and click on ‘Edit’ at the very top left of your IE screen and click on “Find (on this page)” and type in what you want to find and it will take you to the part on that page. Keep in mind, you can click on Find Again just in case there is more than one part available that meets your description. I hope this helps.

6 Karla { 10.11.08 at 10:40 am }

Sorry I left off the link to the site I was referring to in my last post.

7 Karla { 10.11.08 at 10:47 am }

Thank you for the great How To tutorials! I am brand new to machine knitting and just received my very first knitting machine. I was able to get a fantastic deal on a used Brother KH-840; everything looks great but since it was in climate controlled storage for past 5 years, the previous owner told me that it might be a good idea to oil the needles before I use it for the first time. Does anyone know where I can find a “How To… oil the needles” tutorial? Thank you in advance for your help.

8 Kathryn { 10.13.08 at 5:26 pm }

Definitely a resource worth exploring. Unfortunately it looks like some of the parts are no longer available.

9 Kathryn { 10.13.08 at 5:29 pm }

I never oil the needles unless it is a Passap. The only places I’ve ever oiled on a Japanese style machine is under the carriage and along the carriage back rail.

In a traditional flat bed machine, the needles are held in place by the sponge bar. If you put oil drops down inside, it will only rub off on the sponge and I can’t imagine that would be beneficial.

I’m always open to hear how others maintain their machines.

10 Jaymie { 12.18.08 at 9:12 am }

Hello! I have just acquired a KH-230 with the KR-230 ribber and a KH-840 with the KR-830 ribber. I think I got these at a steal of a price of just $100 altogether for both plus the KH-840 also came with a LOAD of accessories including the intarsia carriage and some other stuff that I have NO idea what it is. Anyway while looking through the manual for my KH-840 I see that it is supposed to have extender arms that prevent the carriage from flying off while you knit and I seem to be missing these. Are they really necessary? and if so do you know where I can purchase them? Also neither of my machines came with the case lid, I’m not missing out on anything without the lids am I? Besides transporting them easily that is. Anyway, your website is a great help and I can’t wait to get started on these machines once I get them cleaned up and replace the sponge bars. I’m still a novice machine knitter as I’ve only knitted with an old Bond before so hopefully these machines aren’t too much for me. Again..your website is a great help!

11 barbara bertoldi { 12.19.08 at 5:53 pm }

Hello. I just found this website and hope I can get an answer to my question. I have a Brother machine that has been in storage for several years. I am trying to set it up again to do some knitting but I can’t figure out how to use the cast-on comb. Can anyone help me? Even though I have made sweaters on the machine in the past, I just don’t remember how to use the cast-on comb. Thanks for any help offered.

12 Karla { 12.28.08 at 3:10 pm }

Jaymie: To answer your question on whether or not you need the extension bars so your KH carriage doesn’t fly off the ends of the knitting machine: If you plan on using the full length of your knitting machine then it would be necessary to have these bars because you will have to push the carriage beyond the last needle, which actually places the carriage on these extension bars, before you can successfully come back in the opposite direction over these same needles. If you do not make sure you go completely pass these end needles then the carriage will get stuck and/or you might drop stitches, etc. Of course, if you only knit something that is using the center needles of the machine and your carriage can clear the end needles on both sides without falling off your machine then you won’t need the extension bars. I hope this helps.

13 Kathryn { 12.28.08 at 6:22 pm }

Take a look at my post on how to e-wrap cast on and knit a basic stockinette swatch. I show the cast on comb towards the end.

14 Susan { 01.04.09 at 4:21 pm }

Hi I just found this site. It’s great I have a Toyota KS950. My great aunt left it to me. With know manual and can’t find any one who teaches classes. So i m having trouble getting start. With this site i got the stand set up and the machine thread. wow I thing I am on m way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I just need to know how to use the punch cards. Any one knows anything about them?? Would love the help.

15 Gill { 01.22.09 at 3:51 pm }


I have a BrotherKh-836 Knitting machine and have just aquired a Brother Ribber Kr-850.
The ribber has brackets that slip into designated places on the knitter (all explained the the instruction booklet) but there is no explannation of how to attach brackets to Ribber. When you follow instruction the ribber just fall off.
Can anyone help please.

16 toki leach { 02.06.09 at 4:17 am }

Got a singer 210 knotting machine. It makes the first pass okay but when you go left to right it kicks the yarn out. Have tried the string across but not seem to help. Am I doing something wrong or do you think it is the machine. Needles seem to work kind of hard. Any advice or help woud be greatly appreciated. Thank you

17 Connie { 02.06.09 at 9:57 am }

Gill, I have a KH-890 but I’m hoping it’s similar enough to yours so I can help. Did you change the clamps on the knitter to the new S shaped ones that come with the ribber so that the front edge of the knitter is now tilted up? After slotting in the ribber, the lower edge of the ribber should be tilted towards you and the two machines exactly perpendicular to each other. Take another look at step 6 — did you clamp the reinforcing arms to the table? That’s what holds the ribber in place.

18 Linda Clarke { 02.13.09 at 6:45 am }

what i need is a pr of table clamps for flat bed knitting Brother KH-710 do you sell these or do you know where i can get a pr from?

19 Kathryn { 02.13.09 at 7:16 am }

I don’t know why but table clamps are frequently missing from used machines.

For a stop gap, I’ve used those rolls of rubber drawer liner between my machine and the table. The stuff used as a non slip surface under area rugs also works.

Sometimes I have extra clamps. None at the moment.


20 Bette { 02.13.09 at 8:27 am }

I just acquired a used Knitking Compuknit Bulky – same as Brother HK 270 – and it is missing the yarn rod and rear yarn feeder. Does anyone happen to have these parts lying around or know where they might be purchased?


21 Margaret Fletcher { 07.19.09 at 1:37 am }

HELP!! Yesterday I purchased a 2nd hand Brother KR-830 knitting machine. Then found the manuel was for a KH-840. I can’t make any sense of the instuctions on how to assemble. The seller said she doesn’t know where the original manuel is. Does anyone know where I could obtain one? It is over 30 years since I last used a knitting machine and technology has obviously advanced a lot since then. Desperate Margaret!

22 nadine { 07.23.09 at 1:27 pm }

smashin website! was starting to despair…..i bought the knit ribbing attachment brother kh850 and have no clue how to put it up please help has been dormant for 3 months need to use pronto!

23 elian { 07.30.09 at 11:50 pm }

can u tell if and where i can buy ne of these knitting machines in Australia?


24 melanie kennedy { 08.27.09 at 12:12 pm }

Hello there, i wonder if you would be kind enough to assist me. I have a brother kh 881 knitting machine. I am casting on with the casting comb hooked over the prongs as it should be, i release it after 1st row as instructed , but then when i knit the cast on comb isnt dropping as it should it just stays high but not attatched to anything and the knitting then jams up………… I really hope you know what im doing wrong as its years since i had a knittting machine and in those days i could complete the work in no time at all. many thanks melanie

25 melanie kennedy { 08.27.09 at 12:19 pm }

Hello melanie again i probably ought to add. When i say not attatched to anything i mean it isnt attatched to the machine at all. It holds the knitted work correctly, I also got with the machine a ribber and all other gadgets and gizmos so i may well be back screaming for mercy….. Thanks again it is a fab web site and its in my favourites already.

26 Dhey { 11.01.09 at 7:27 pm }

Anybody knows where to get the punchcards for Brother KH-840?

27 Michelle { 01.02.10 at 9:47 am }

Would anyone know if a KR-830 (ribber) fit a KH-800?

28 Teffani { 03.03.10 at 6:13 am }

I have a 910 and it’s fuse has blown. I am told I have to remove the right side of the knitting machine which I have tried to do but suspect I have not unscrewed the correct screws as it won’t come apart – can anyone help?

29 Annie { 03.14.10 at 8:01 am }

Hi Gill and Connie
I have exactly the same problem as Gill. The ribber brackets, which should be fixed to the back of the ribber, have been taken off, and I cannot work out how to fit them back on. Can anyone help, please?

30 Marta { 03.25.10 at 12:38 am }


I need help with my newly bought brother KH-840 knitting machine.
I have managed to put it together, but cant seem to put the wool on. I have tried different technics, but the wool just comes off.
Could anyone plz send me diagram on how to put the wool on the needle?
Thank you for your help.
Marta :-)

31 Rebecca { 04.26.10 at 1:17 am }

Hello, can any one please help me!

I am having trouble with the Brother KH-840 model knitting machine, when i use the ribbing attachment to the carriage the top needles are getting stuck underneath, and preventing me from moving the carriage?

32 anna { 09.02.10 at 1:01 pm }

i have just been given a brother kh 836 and have set it all up i cast on ok using the cast on comb i manage to knit about 12 rows and then it all goes wrong is there anyone that can tell me what i am doing wrong and how i need to correct it thankyou

33 Anne { 10.15.10 at 7:31 am }

I have retired to Spain. I have a Toyota 901 Knitting Machine. After a number of years I decided to put up my machine. I found the yarn tension pole was missing. This means I cannot put the yarn tension unit on the machine. I did buy a eight way tension mast, but that seems to have disappeared as well. I wonder if anyone can help me to purchase a tension pole or the tension mast.
I would be most gratefull.

34 Jill Bray { 11.09.10 at 4:30 am }

If you go on to ebay uk there are plenty of parts for the Toyota.The majority of sellers will post to spain.

35 Chip { 11.15.10 at 11:47 am }

Hi-unpacked my KH 800 Brother after yrs only to find no handle to carriage. Took carriage to several hardware stores to get bolts to fit it. It was my hope to make or adapt something to fit. No luck. Metric-no problem. Extra fine threads-problem. Any ideas? Thanks

36 Chip { 11.15.10 at 12:02 pm }

To anna-Are you add your weights? Sometimes, when I get in a hurry, I forget and stitches are dropped or knotted. Try add the weights after the first few rows, making sure to evenly space them across the knitting. hope this helps.

37 Sarah { 11.29.10 at 12:16 am }

Hi there,
I’m having a problem with my KR850 ribber carriage. When I run the carriage across the needles the connecting arm is hitting the needles on the top bed and jamming. It looks like the connecting arm needs to be raised up a bit but I don’t know how you would do that. Any ideas what I’m doing wrong would be great!
Thanks :-)

38 Patricia { 12.12.10 at 7:47 pm }


I just received a Studio Silver SK8-200 but the manuals are missing. Can anyone help me to find a manual for it? Thanks.

39 joan kissell { 01.02.11 at 10:56 am }

I have a KH-531 Machine and Just purchased a KR-551 ribber It has 2 other pieces that are called a sinker plate in my manual for the 531 and a brush arm assembly in the manual for the 551 ribber BUT i cannot see how it is to be attached to the carriage. HELP!!!! Someone else asked about a cheap table I bought [on sale ] a Work Force [brand] adjustable work table, which is suppose to have 2 boards on top ,I didn`t put those on but put on a piece of plywood that I covered with batting and material[stapled on] then screwed to the top brackets 24×48 makes a great table and I found out last night that it will fold flat. very sturdy!!!! I am looking for an old heavy adjustable ironing board and I am going to do the same with that may cut the point off if need be ,but want to have it at different heights.

40 Marney { 06.29.11 at 8:31 pm }

I need to take apart my singer knitting machine and clean it before using
It is a memomatic beige colour maybe 321/322/ or a 323 not sure
how do I take it apart toclean it and then reassemble it ready for use please I have no instructions, the machine has been in storage for many years please help.
Thank you

41 Pat Myers { 09.28.11 at 11:52 am }

help” Ineed easy intructions on hooking up my ribber to a BROTHER MACHINE

42 leah holzer { 01.10.12 at 12:36 am }

Hi have .a singer 500 electric,Does this machine have a colourchanger in the box.
Can i use this with my computer.If so what cable will it use.
Thank you

43 Carmel Kiely { 01.11.12 at 7:23 am }

I’m having a problem with my KR850 ribber carriage. When I run the carriage across the needles the connecting arm is hitting the needles on the top bed and jamming. It looks like the connecting arm needs to be raised up a bit but I don’t know how you would do that. Any ideas what I’m doing wrong would be great!

Sarah – did you find an answer I am having the very same problem

44 sara(new comment) { 01.27.12 at 5:37 pm }

i want to know how to use this machen how can i get one i like this mac hen please answer me by email & how to work

45 sara(new comment) { 01.27.12 at 5:42 pm }

i want know how to get this mach en & how i work on it if there is course to learn please answer my question by email thank you

46 Leah S.(new comment) { 02.11.12 at 9:46 am }

Carmel K.-
I am having the same issue- have you had any luck??

“When I run the carriage across the needles the connecting arm is hitting the needles on the top bed and jamming. It looks like the connecting arm needs to be raised up ”


47 Leah S.(new comment) { 02.11.12 at 10:11 am }

Carmel K-
I have just fixed my problem- maybe it will help you too-
I replaced the sponge bar that keeps the needles down, my old was was too flat, and the needles were higher than they were suppose to be, thats what was causing the jamming-
Make sure the new sponge bar is inserted sponge side down, and I oiled the metal part before i inserted it for good measure.

Hope this helps

Happy knitting.

48 Laurel(new comment) { 08.06.12 at 7:47 pm }

I am trying to set up my Brother KR830 ribber and the carriage does not meet the carriage on the top bed, can anybody help as to what I have got wrong please?

49 christine(new comment) { 08.07.12 at 12:07 am }

hi i brought a brother k h 836 not use a knitting machine for a while i set it up ok but need to know how to cast on with the caster that came with it and how to use the punch card as well many thanks christine

50 Holli B(new comment) { 08.19.12 at 3:43 pm }

I just purchased a brother KH-531 at a garage sale. Manual is unreadable. Machine looks like it’s in pretty good shape, but some of the needles don’t go back all the way, and I’m afraid to force them. If anyone has a manual, that would be swell. If anyone could tell me what sort of lubricant is recommended in the manual, that would also be swell. I’d really like to give this machine a try!

51 Garoldine(new comment) { 03.24.13 at 2:45 pm }

I have a singer knitting machine. How do I attach the ribber to it?
I do not have directions and have not used it for years.

Thank you,

52 Gloria Winson(new comment) { 08.03.13 at 6:14 am }

Hello there, I wonder if you would be kind enough to assist me. I have a Brother KH-881 knitting machine. I am casting on with the casting comb hooked over the prongs as it should be, I release it after 1st row as instructed, but then when I knit the cast on comb isn’t dropping as it should it just stays high but not attached to anything but the yarn and then the knitting jams up…….. I really hope you know what I am doing wrong. I was given this machine, as I am trying to earn an income from home due to ill health.

53 Muhammad Safi Ullah(new comment) { 01.23.14 at 2:27 am }

Salam can you help me ? how to operate kinting machaine ?

54 Eva(new comment) { 10.11.14 at 11:26 am }

I don’t know if you work on this type of machine put I need help. This is a second hand machine, I just got and I’m trying to learn how to us it. It seems that one of the parts is locked in place, I have looked in the book and this part doesn’t have a name , so here goes. The machine is a studio 700 knitting machine the carriage is the unit I need help with it needs to slide back and forth to knit with this machine. The part that is locked is at the back top right side of the carriage there is one just like it on the left side(it can move). I dont know if there is a switch I can turn or if I need to just oil it and see if it will lossen up can you help me. Thank you Et

Leave a Comment