Mystery of the holes is solved! I needed to add just this one smallest weight to the cast on comb and to move the comb up when there gets to be a length of fabric hanging from the machine.
I took everything off the machine, rewound all the yarn, checked the sponge bar, cleaned and oiled, and brushed out the interior.
Then I started experimenting with weights. I hung 2 heavy weights on the cast on comb but I could see that the fabric would be too different from the already made front panel. So I used just one little weight in the center of the comb and added the lightweight claw hangers under the area where the increases were being made at the sides but that caused loops at the edges.
So far, just this one weight, centered and the comb moved every 50 rows or so has done the trick.
Whew. Now I can go to dinner. I wasn’t going to give up today until I solved the puzzle.
Next time I will simply remove the knitting, and start over. I spent way too many hours trying to do repairs on the machine. More intense learning experience!
Machine knitting is great fun when it’s going well.