Knitting machines offer a quick way to knit all kinds of garments and home accessories. To start with the machine may look intimidating, but it soon becomes familiar when you practice on small pieces of knitting that don't need too much shaping. Knitting machines are available in various different gauges to enable knitting in the finest yarns right through to fashionable chunky yarns.
To knit a quick scarf on a standard gauge, single bed machine, cast on 100 stitches in the middle of the bed leaving the central needle without a stitch. The empty stitch will make a crease in the knitted fabric so it naturally folds in half. Knit 800 rows, marking every 100 rows with a coloured thread at both ends of the row. Bind off the stitches, fold the scarf in half lengthwise and sew the seam on a sewing machine using a zigzag stitch. Use the coloured thread to help you to match up the side seams, then remove the threads.
Knit cushion covers by knitting squares of either patterned or plain knitting. Making cushion covers is the ideal way to try out new fairisle stitches, or to experiment with lace designs. You can make covers to whatever size you wish, even knitting several small squares to patchwork together into a larger square cushion cover. Another way to make cushion covers is to sew together the tension swatches that were made for other knitting projects.
A good way to use up leftover yarn is to knit doll's clothes. For most simple doll's clothes you don't even need a pattern. A skirt for any size of doll is simply made from a rectangular piece of knitted fabric, seamed to make a tube. Either turn down a small hem at the top of the tube then thread with narrow elastic, or machine sew the elastic directly onto the knitting. Stretch the elastic as you go and use a zig zag stitch so the machine sewing has a little stretch.
Dog sweaters and bandannas knitted on the knitting machine look cute and you can tailor them to perfectly fit your pet. Knitting a bandanna is a good way to practice increasing stitches as you'll want to knit a large triangle to tie around your dog's neck. Start with two stitches cast on in the centre of the needlebed, then bring forward to working position one needle on either side of the two stitches. Knit one row. Bring forward the next two needles on either side of the knitting, then knit another row. Continue increasing stitches in this way until the bandanna is the size you prefer. Knit two rows between each increase if the triangle is becoming too wide but not deep enough.