Your knitting machine manual probably includes a chart or two to use as a guide when setting the dial on the tension mast. But if your manual is like mine, those guidelines are based on the size the yarn and do not take the type of fiber into account. Obviously, a slick yarn will move through the tension dial much easier than a fuzzy, sticky yarn like mohair. To get the dial just right, try this trick...
- Set the tension dial for the tightest possible tension.
- Thread the tension mast as directed for your machine, but don't thread the carriage.
- Pull the end of the yarn straight down toward the needle bed until it's about 6 or 8 inches above the bed. Attach a plastic clothes pin to the end of the yarn.
- Loosen the tension dial one click at a time until the weight of the clothes pin pulls the yarn freely through the mast -- the clothes pin will often fall to the floor.
- Now, tighten the tension dial one click. This should result in the appropriate setting for that particular yarn.
- If the yarn is slick and fine, you may find that the tightest tension setting is too loose. Try wrapping the yarn around the tension dial twice; on the SK-155, you can also try wrapping the yarn several times around the bar next to the tension dial before wrapping the tension dial itself.
- If the yarn is thick and fuzzy, you may find that the loosest tension setting is too tight. Try threading the tension mast without wrapping the yarn around the tension dial at all.