Sometimes the needles don't catch the yarn. This usually occurs when the angle in which the yarn is delivered to the needles that come out is too horizontal, making it unreachable by the needle's hook.
This can happen mainly due to three different causes:
- The beginning of the piece is too far from the clamp
- Knitting floats that are too long
- The yarn feeders aren't aligned as they should be
1. When yarns carriers are being initially moved to start working. Especially if we aren't knitting with the full bed. The further the first working needle is from the leftmost position, the higher the chances for the yarn to not be caught.
We are currently working on a software solution for this but for the time being a manual preparation to overcome this issue is required. The idea is to reduce this delivery angle, one way to do this is to catch the yarns 2-4 needles before the first working needle. Do this for all the yarn carriers working during the file and then move them a bit to the left leaving the working area clear. You can catch a few yarns with needles in the front bed, and a few with needles in the back bed so none of the needles gets too full.
You can see which needle will be the first working needle in the software by going to 'stitch view', adding the start module and zooming in on the left edge.
As an example: a scarf starts in needle 95, we will catch all the yarns in needles 91-93 and move the yarn carriers backwards, to needle 85 approximately (making sure yarn carriers are not overlapping, otherwise they will trip the clump sensor).
Once the piece has started and it has knitted with the yarns. Pause the machine to push upwards those needles you used to temporarily loop the yarns, this will drop those loops and the knitted piece will be able to move downwards into the rollers properly
2. Knitting long floats can cause issues when knitting every 6 needles or more. The bigger the separation between working needles, the higher the chances the next working needle won't catch the yarn.
3. The height and/or centeredness of the yarn carrier is not aligned appropriately and should be adjusted. This is approximately how they should be:
If you don't have a feeler gauge set you can use a thick piece of paper or check this by eye, by moving the needles up and down and looking at how close they get to the tip of the yarn carrier. Too low will result in the tip of the feeder colliding with the needles and bending the latches of the needles, too high and the needle hooks won't catch the yarn.
It is easier to check the position of carriers 3 and 4, as they are the ones more centered between both needle beds. With carriers 1 and 6, it is more difficult but the idea is that the tip is as centered as possible, while being at around 0.5mm from the hooks of front and rear needles.
Check this in different positions along the needle bed.
If it is too high or too low, loosen slightly the screw highlighted below to correct.
If the tip of the carrier is not well centered, hold the feeder's base and apply some force to its tip to bend it and correct its position.