Why Scrap and Ravel?

Starting your knitting with waste yarn and ravel cord is a machine knitting staple technique. 

Scrap and Ravel Cast on

  • Chose a yarn that is appropriate for your machine
  • Cast on with any method
  • Knit a few rows - end with the carriage on the left.
  • Knit 1 row of ravel cord (smooth, slippery yarn - crochet cotton works great)
  • Cast on over the ravel cord with your garment yarn
  • Knit your piece
  • After blocking, pull out the ravel cord and remove the waste yarn.
  When non-machine knitters hear the term waste yarn, they often cringe.  Spinners especially are uncomfortable thinking about "wasting yarn".  I've even known machine knitters who unravel and re-use waste yarn (even though they have dozens of cones sitting in their stash) ... .but that's a topic for another soapbox post.
scrap and ravel for machine knitting   waste knitting for machine knitting

Why Scrap and Ravel?

  • Use waste knitting to hang cast on comb and/or weights
  • Protect delicate/fine yarns
  • Immediately start patterning (tuck, lace, etc) with weights in place
  • Leave waste knitting in place to make blocking easier - especially for edges that roll
Posted by Sue Jalowiec on 01/28/2014 at 5:22 PM | Categories: General Info - Machine Knitting Tutorials -


Shirley Grossman

Shirley Grossman wrote on 01/30/14 9:07 AM

Thanks Sue for all the great tips. I especially want to thank you for DAK 8 tutorials. I am finally getting to know how to use DAK and enjoy it.
How can I get the pattern for waterfall cardigan

How can I get the pattern for waterfall cardigan wrote on 02/01/14 7:46 AM

Your weekly tips are very helpful and informative.

Betty wrote on 02/01/14 8:37 AM

Hi, although I have had a knitting machine for years, I hardly ever used it, now I want to start knitting again. If I am knitting the rib of a sweater and cast on with waste yarn, knit a few rows and then do a row with ravel cord, then carry on with the rib, wont the knitting come undone when I remove the ravel cord? ~~~~~~~~~~~ You are correct, the ribbing will come undone. You missed one step in your description .. .you need to work a closed cast on with your garment yarn after you knit the row of ravel cord. 1. Cast on with waste yarn and knit a few rows... hang weights in the scrap 2. Knit a row of ravel cord. 3. Cast on with your garment yarn 4. Knit your ribbing 5. Remove the waste knitting by removing the ravel cord 6. Your garment cast on will be intact. Better yet, use a "broken toe" cast on - this method keeps the ribber cast on comb out of the garment edge. Here's a link to a video that includes this technique http://www.knititnow.com/learn/tutorial/618/beautiful-ribbing-cast-ons ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Sue
Nancy Yergin

Nancy Yergin wrote on 02/01/14 9:13 AM

One of my retirement goals was to re-learn HOW to use those three knitting machines in my attic. Got the first one (Studio 700) back in the late 80s and actually made some nice things with it. I learned by reading books (this was before internet access) and when I had an opportunity to buy a used Studio bulky machine, I bought it and then found a used LK-140 which I am currently playing with. Knit It Now has opened up the opportunity for me to once again enjoy the process of machine knitting. I'm having a great time - and the tutorials help me so much. Thanks.

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