Machine type, pattern detail, and user expertise are the most important aspects to consider when choosing the best knitting machine patterns. There are several types of machines and many types of patterns, so it may be difficult to choose without narrowing down the selection. Those just starting out would benefit most from patterns with lots of detailed instructions. More experienced knitters may also choose to create their own patterns, which may be easier with the use of knitting software.
The type of knitting machine patterns you’ll most likely be looking for will depend on the type of machine you have. Some machines hold many more stitches and needles than others, so making large blankets and throws are easier. Smaller machines are usually used for making personal garments or other crafts. Circular knitting machines are most often used for knitting in the round to create garments like hats, socks, or even skirts. Most knitting machine patterns will specify the type of machine they are intended for and how many stitches are needed so you know if your machine is big enough.
The best way to tell the quality of the pattern is by how easy it is to follow. Knitting machine patterns with clear instructions and details are important, especially for beginners. Abbreviations of common knitting terms, such as cast on, slip stitch, and cast off, are found in a large majority of patterns, but instructions should not be more abstract than necessary. Graph or charted patterns are a solid choice for visual learners and can be programmed in computerized machines easily or set up on standard machines as well. Patterns which also detail how your machine should be set up before casting on are also a very good idea.
Normally, those who are just learning how to machine knit will want to start with easy projects such as scarves, tote bags, or even table runners. Lace patterns are very popular for these types of projects, but may be hard to reproduce without detailed pattern instructions. Lessons may also be a good idea to get the most out of your machine. It is important to know that machine knitting is very different from hand knitting, so even those who have been knitting for years may have to take some time learning. The best knitting machine patterns should help you do this.
More advanced knitters may wish to draft their own patterns. This can be done by hand or by using software which will create it for you. This software can create very good knitting machine patterns, so long as it has a function to generate instructions along with the pattern. Charted patterns created this way can also usually be programmed into computerized knitting machines very easily.