20+ Items You Can Make on a Flatbed Knitting Machine

Knitting on a knitting machine is so versatile and fun. You can make lots of items in just one afternoon.

A knitting machine can be used to knit all sizes of hats, scarves, socks, and sweaters. Cardigans, skirts, blankets, and amigurumi are also common items being knit on home knitting machines. All types and sizes of yarn can be used to knit these items as well.

The following is a compilation of many items that can be knit on a flatbed knitting machine. Some can be made in less than a half-hour and some items such as sweaters and blankets with cabling or lace will take much more time.

Hats, Balaclavas (Ski Masks), & Headbands/Ear Warmers Can Be Made on a Knitting Machine

1. Hats are a hugely popular item to make on a knitting machine because they can often be completed quickly by most beginners. Hats come in lots of shapes and sizes and can include fair isle (color pattern), cables, tuck stitch, and even lace. Most hats can be knit in 30 minutes but some with lots of colorwork or hand manipulating stitches like cables could take an hour or more from start to finish.

2. Headbands and ear warmers can be done in about the same amount of time as hats. You can still add the famous twist to machine knit headbands since it happens in the seaming. You can add cables, tuck stitches, lace, and different kinds of colorwork, like stripes or patterns.

3. Ski Masks (Balaclavas) can be made with one large hole or separate holes for the eyes, nose, and mouth. Since ski masks have holes and are larger than regular hats they will take closer to 1 – 1.5 hours to finish. The example below requires stitching up one seam but you may be able to complete any hats in the round saving you time seaming at the end.

Gloves, Mittens, Fingerless Gloves Knit on a Knitting Machine

4. Fingerless gloves are an easy way to warm up your hands and can be embellished with fair isle or cables. You will have to do some hand manipulation of the needles for the thumb gusset but they are a fairly straightforward pattern to knit. Fingerless gloves would take you about 30-60 minutes to knit one glove.

5. Mittens are the next easiest way to warm up your hands and only add one more new skill of short rows or decreasing the top of the mitten. Mittens would take about 30-60 minutes per mitten on a knitting machine as well.

6. Gloves with fingers is another great way to use your knitting machine to its fullest potential. Lots of hand-manipulating needles, short rowing, etc. will be needed so a glove would take approximately 1-1.5 hours when knitting on a flatbed knitting machine. Of course, if it is your very first glove ever then you should plan for it to take even longer.

Scarves, Snoods, and Cowls Are Very Popular Knitting Machine Projects

7. Scarves of all sizes and widths, with cabling, tuck stitch, lace, and fair isle can be a fun addition to anyone’s machine knitting repertoire. You can be extremely creative with scarves but you could knit a quick scarf without hand manipulation in 15 minutes. Most scarves will take approximately an hour to complete.

8. Snoods can be knitted in any size, with or without a hood. Many times snoods have lots of fancy stitches and color patterning. This of course enhances any knitting project but does add time to your knitting. A machine-knit snood could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

9. Cowls can also be a fun project with lots of variation like being fit close to the neck or very loose. An infinity scarf can also be knitted with a knitting machine. With cowls, ribbing is often part of the pattern. If you have a double bed machine, also called the main bed and ribber then ribbing won’t add much if any time to your pattern. But, if you have to hand-manipulate the ribbing then you can safely double your knitting time on a machine. So similarly to snoods, a cowl knit on a flatbed knitting machine with a ribber would take 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Socks, Slippers, and Christmas Stockings are My Favorite Items to Make on my Knitting Machine

10. Socks can vary in height, the thickness of yarn, and the type of yarn. Lots of socks are made with wool. Sock yarn is often used but other yarns can be used as well. You can even combine two skeins of yarn and knit them together to add stretchiness or variety. Socks can have ribbing so if you have a ribber with your flatbed knitting machine then the ribbing will go faster than if you had to hand-manipulate stitches.

Socks can also be knit in a few different ways on a flatbed knitting machine so there may be a fair amount of seaming the sock when you are finished on the knitting machine and this will about double your project time.

Ankle socks can be knit in the round in about 20 minutes with about 20 minutes of seaming. But one sock knee-high sock with cables or color pattern could easily take an hour on the machine with more time needed for seaming.

one long seam, one short seam
2 long seams

11. Slippers are knitted the same way as socks but are usually made with thicker yarn and are meant to be worn over socks. Slippers can be short or tall, have ribbing, cables, or lots of color work so the same time frame as socks applies to slippers.

Socks and slippers can be knit flat or in the round. There is even a special machine called a circular sock machine if socks are the thing you’d like to specialize in.

12. Christmas Stockings are so fun to personalize and easy to whip up on a knitting machine. Stockings will take the same amount of time as socks unless a lot of personalization and hand manipulation is needed.

13. Boot cuffs can also be a quick project made on a knitting machine in less than 15 minutes.

Sweaters & Cardigans are Probably Why Home Knitting Machines Became Popular

The reason I got started with knitting machines was to make my own sweaters that actually fit me. I started on a knitting machine from Joann Fabrics called the Ultimate Sweater Machine. I’ve since upgraded to metal bed machines that are MUCH easier to use.

14. Sweater patterns for knitting machines come in sizes from baby to adult and use thin yarns as well as thick yarns. Just like socks and scarves, sweaters can be enhanced with color patterns, lace, cables, and tuck stitches. These little extras all add time in creating any project. Sweaters also have different shapes such as boat neck, drop shoulder, raglan, and yoke sweaters. Yoke sweaters will take much longer than a simple boat neck or drop shoulder.

A simple sweater knit on a double bed knitting machine can take 2-3 hours while a more involved sweater can take 4-6 hours or even longer.

15. Cardigans are only slightly different than sweaters and some would argue easier to knit. A simple drop-shoulder or sleeveless cardigan without a button band would be similar in time to a basic sweater. However, shaped necklines, buttons and button holes, and cables or yokes will add 3-4 more hours.

Dish Cloths and Blankets Can Also be Knit on Flatbed Knitting Machines.

16. A simple dishcloth can be knit on a knitting machine with cotton yarn in just 15 minutes. You can add some hand manipulation of stitches or stripes to your dishcloth as well. Knitting Machines can be very basic or come with patterning cards or electronics that make color patterns and tuck stitches very quick and easy to do. That makes a dishcloth only take 15-20 minutes.

17. A blanket is going to take a bit longer to knit than a dishcloth but they are very similar. A blanket is just going to be several pieces sewn together at the end. So you can make a baby blanket or a king-size blanket. Obviously, the size of the blanket and cables or hand manipulation patterns will affect the time it takes to knit a blanket. Plan for it to take 1-4 hours to make a blanket on a flatbed knitting machine.

Amigurumi, Baskets, and Purses can Be Knit on Flatbed Knitting Machines

18. Let’s not forget about knitting some stuffed animals and other Amigurumi. I knit some pumpkins this last fall on my knitting machine as well. You can knit a tube in the round, a closed end tube, and flat pieces so it’s natural that you can knit amigurumi on the knitting machine.

19. Baskets can be made on a knitting machine too. You’ll need stiffer yarn and a bulky knitting machine to handle the thicker yarn. Some tuck stitches would make great baskets, big or small.

20. Bags or purses can be knit in the round or flat and pieced together. A lot of bags, especially produce bags, are knit with a lace design which is no problem for a knitting machine.

Knit Your Skirts, Sweater Dresses, and Jumpers (Pinafores) on Your Knitting Machine

21. Short skirts, long skirts, skirts for kids, and skirts for adults can all be knitted on a flatbed knitting machine. Usually, skirts are knitted in two pieces are stitched together. Therefore a skirt will take a little less time to complete than a sweater, approximately 1-2 hours. However, skirts can also have lace and cabling along with color patterns so they can take 3-4 hours or longer as well.

22. Sweater dresses are going to be quite involved but well worth the effort. Many baby dresses are knitted by proud grandmas every day on knitting machines. Obviously, a baby or toddler dress can be finished in a couple of hours while an adult sweater dress could take 6-8 hours.

23. Jumpers are going to be easier than sweaters just because there are no sleeves to add. They can include lace, cables, and lots of color changes though so they could take anywhere from 1 hour to 4 hours.

The sky is the limit with machine knitting. You can make almost anything with a knitting machine that you can hand knit. There are a couple of things that aren’t time-efficient and are probably quicker to hand-knit, like garter stitch, but most items will be much faster on a knitting machine.

Ready for your own flatbed knitting machine? Check out our article on how to choose a knitting machine that’s right for you! (coming soon!)

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