1. Set machine for loosest carriage tension and biggest yarn you can use easily. Your goal here is to get a big stitch.
2. Ewrap each needle, loosely, just as if you were practicing your 'cursive Es'.
3. Now hang weights all the way across or cast on comb right in the middle (first one should be about a foot long for learning...you can make half and full width versions later).
4. Push all needles out all the way (this helps to prevent carriage tangling in the beginning. Knit 4 rows remembering to push needles out all the way each time.
5. Now it should behave and you can avoid the needle pushing, just use your carriage slowly in the beginning. Knit 2030 rows and bind off, loosely. The rag is now ready to use.
6. Turn the purl side toward you....you will not see this in most videos and the reason I didn't just send you to youtube. The purl bumps on your rag will be loose enough to simply push onto a needle with your finger....slide2 or 3 on and then hang a weight, placing it anywhere on the rag that seems comfortable. I like to get down about an inch from the bottom edge, just to keep the weights out of my way while we're getting it on the machine.
7. Now continue pushing purls onto needles, working your way down the bed, sliding purl bumps onto needles, one after the other...trying to stay on the same row, which is pretty easy as the rag will easily 'fold' right on one line. (If you use a stitch from the row before or the row after, it will have no effect at all, just stay on the row as much as is easily feasible.)
8. When the entire row of stitches is on needles, slide back behind hooks, do one row of ravel cord, knit and then begin with your project, casting on with NO wraps (called a 'provisional cast on') or Ewraps or crochet hook (in this case, you must come up in the middle of each ravel cord stitch), whichever kind you prefer or is called for.
NOTE: (Whatever is called for, I use provisional style most of the time as these stitches are open, available for knitting the opposite direction, or continuing into hems or facings or edgings in whatever method I like.......remember, knitting patterns are a road map, not a bible).
NOTE: This type of cast on can be used on any machine for any size project (I have a couple of full width rags and a half dozen half width rags.....and size does not matter....if you are casting on 30 stitches, you just go to the middle of your rag and estimate, beginning with a stitch a few inches from the middle and working across to your 30 needles.
The ends of the rags will just hang downward with a weight holding them out of your way, move upward, as necessary).
NOTE: If you are having a hard time, try one of these simple tools and I think you will like it.... after completing the rag, you will simply hang (with purls toward you ...
WHAT’S DIFFERENT: I know, the videos show hanging them with the knit side facing you and using a pickup tool, but I think this is easier and doesn't need a tool....) weight, do one ravel cord row, and begin............the weight is attached to your rag, which allows you to use any yarn easily and quickly.
NOTE: If you try this and think you will like it, then you will want to make yourself a few (lots of us have multiple projects going...and you can always stop where you are, ravel cord, and waste yarn off to clear your machine for another project. I prefer having 2 full length and several half length rags and I also prefer to make them all from hot pink … this makes them easy to find in my knitting supplies, and used up some really ugly hot pink yarn……..
ADDITIONS: In recent rags, I have added a small 1 inch hem at the beginning...this allows me to slip rebar (purchase at your hardware store, asking them to cut a 1 ft, 2 ft, and 4 ft length. This stuff is dirt cheap, heavy and they will cut it for you.