Tips for new machine knitters: schematics

I thought I’d start posting tips for new machine knitters as they pop into my head. Today’s tip is one I have passed on to new machine knitters before, with big thank-yous later.

Do not buy a knitting pattern that does not include a schematic, with dimensions of course, and a few notable exceptions.

Exceptions are common sense and generally square or rectangular: hat, scarf, leggings, pillows. There is no other way to tell at a glance whether the pattern will fit you or whether you can modify it to do so. There are too many patterns out there with schematics to waste your money or time on those without. Machine knitting does not lend itself to knitting a while, then holding the piece up to you to see if it fits. You can’t even measure it while on the machine to see if it will fit, because the horizontal stretch across the needle bed has an inverse affect on the length.

Sites that have schematics:

Drops Design

Knitty –I’m not sure if all of these have schematics, but some do.

Ravelry –You may add “schematic” to the search field. If the designers have included that tag to their patterns, they will show in your results list. Ravelry requires you to join, but there is no fee.

That will get you started. If you find other sites that include schematics with their patterns, let me know and I will add them here for others to follow.

Free Machine Knit Patterns

I thought it was time to add some of my free machine knitting patterns to my blog, in addition to their home on ravelry.com. So here goes . . .

Deceptively Simple Roll Brim Hat

Designed for standard gauge machines. The pattern isn’t Fair Isle; it is random, determined by the yarn. So simple!

Stars & Stripes Hat

Designed for mid gauge machines. The stars on the top are actually decorative buttons.

Deceptively Simple¬† Hat II¬† — designed for mid gauge machines

Roll brim option
Folded brim option
Nicely shaped top


Rainbow Hat with Cuff

Designed for double-bed standard
gauge machines; requires ribber.


Tri-Color Tuck Hat

Designed for double-bed standard gauge machines with punch card or electronic patterning.