So it has happened. My sister now wants a knitting machine.
Actually I’ve always thought that’s some kind of cheating and I’ve never tried anything like these before. I’ve been wandering, any machine knitters here? Maybe that’s a strange thing to ask, but I’d really appreciate a piece of advice. What brand would you recommend? Any specs we should consider?
I haven’t used my machines in a long time. I’ve only made blankets with them. There’s a wide variety of features. Mine are not electric, not computerized. I’d suggest watching YouTube videos to see what they can do. There are Facebook groups that could help too.
P.S. Do you consider using a sewing machine cheating? How about cutting down a tree with a hand saw vs. a motorized saw? Not meant to be mean—just some perspective. My knit club makes beautiful things by machine. I just prefer hand knitting.
Thanks for your reply, Beth. Can you tell which brand they are?
As for cheating. Mentioning this fact was more like a “I was wrong before” confession - well, I’ve never seen them before “in live”. I understand how do they work now. And I believe that one can make beautiful crafts with it.
That’s why I’m asking for recommendations - since I support my sister’s decision fully.
No offense taken
Mine are Silver Reed & Brother. Most of the gals at knit club have Passap and something I can’t think of at the moment. Look for a knitting machine group in your area and see what they use. It’s easier to get help if you use the same machine. I am frustrated a lot at the demos at club meeting because they use terminology that doesn’t apply to my machine. They kept saying to “push the part button” and I didn’t know what that meant for me. I finally learned and now have forgotten! Seems I have to relearn every time I use a machine because I haven’t done it for so long. You need room for it and I sure don’t like putting them away and getting them out. And I don’t like being holed up away from Hubby. Same with my sewing. I always wanted a sewing room, and I’m glad I finally have one, but I feel like I’m ignoring him when I go there. I tend to do more in my sewing/knitting room when he’s out of town. It’s too small for everything though!
My first knitting machine was a Sweater Machine it was given to me, I learned the basics and made quite a few items with it. I upgraded to a vintage Home Knitter Machine HK350 from Ebay (this model has been replaced by the Silver Reed LK150 also available on Ebay).
I don’t use it very often but it is available to compliment my hand knitting.
I had a brief fascination with knitting machines last year after finding a bunch of patterns at a car boot sale - I bought a bundle and found the most gorgeous chart for a coat with unicorns on it, but no instructions so googled like mad to find out who it was by etc. But at the same time I kind of fell down a rabbit hole and was transfixed by watching people use them on YouTube. I think they’re just different, and better/less good for some things than hand knitting.
I also bought a “novelty” knitting machine from a charity shop a couple of months ago - one of those As Seen On TV type deals, where you clamp a series of plastic combs to a table edge and use hooks to knit. I haven’t tried it yet, but think it will be interesting to see if it can make anything halfway decent.
Once again, thank you, Beth!
Also thanks to other girls for their replies and feedback.
Unfortunately our knitting group is closed due to quarantine and that’s why I can’t ask them right now.
So, while I was waiting for replies, I started googling around and - funny thing - there’s no mentions of Silver Reed, though both you and flknit5 recommended them. Only Sentro, Agawa and addi on such lists, over and over again which leaves me with questions. Like, they’re really small and the only feature I like is that they can be used for circular knitting. Guess that’s why I’ve always considered them to be more toy-ish.
But I trust you more, girls, and same goes for my sister. I shared your posts with her and after some considerations she decided to order LK150. Good thing we have a local dealer!
I think Beth is so right when she says about other types of mechanical versions of hand-doing/making. It’s a different thing; I would never sew by hand, I always use my machine (I’m what’s known as an ‘art’ quilter and do it professionally) but I love knitting by hand. I certainly wouldn’t cut the lawn with a pair of scissors, and much as I love horses prefer my car for most journeys. People are so funny in their predilections! There’s no right or wrong, just what works for which things; sometimes having peace and quiet, a ball of wool, a pair of needles and a lap is all that one wants; other times I can imagine a machine would be really interesting? Oh no, now I’ll have to watch the video!!
I would get a Studio LK150 or Brother KX350 as a first machine. The Brother is no longer being made and would have to be purchased used. The Lk150 can be found both new and used. If you go the used option, it will most likely need cleaning and a new sponge strip before it can be used. There are lots of You Tube videos for help with this. These machines are considered as “hobby” machines and are mid-gauge machines knitting the widest range of hand knitting yarns. There are online groups with the various ones on Facebook being the most active. Please be aware that there is a bit of a learning curve to learning machine knitting just as there is to hand knitting. If you have more questions, feel free to reach out. I currently have several machines but my KX 350 is my favorite since I have two put together and I can make so much more with it.
I have always been a slow knitter so machines were very attractive to me. Once I learned how to use it I was fairly prolific. Made nice sweaters as well as blankets. I have a Brother bulky electronic (I think the 860?). Then I got a job in a yarn shop & had to do more hand knitting so as some others said, hand knitting was more portable & convenient. I now have the Brother Bulky & a Brother Standard gauge both electronic with ribbing attachments sitting idle in my guest room. . Sad.