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How do you sew on knit materials?

Oh ye Texas GW members who know everything (smile) how do you sew on knit materials?

I used to sew like crazy, but after sewing hundreds of items up through my children's teen years I got tired of it and let my Mom (now deceased, but who loved to sew) do my hemming and alterations.

A couple of years ago I inherited a sewing machine from an aunt. It is probably who knows how old, (30 years?) but is like new because I don't think she ever figured out how to use it.

Anyway, it sews straight seams beautifully, but the stitches won't pick up on the knit materials of some items I'm attempting to alter. I tried the zig-zag and it won't do it either. So what's the secret of sewing finely knitted cotton and spandex containing fabrics? Perhaps a new modern sewing machine?

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