Knitting Machines

I know I know, so knitters consider knitting machines as a form of cheating. I sew I and use a sewing machine, so I don’t see much difference.

I am a slow knitter and I would like to knit sweaters for me and my husband without having to wait a year to see the finished product, so a knitting machine seems like and interesting option.

I love making intricate stitches and I will never give up my hand needles (think I will get the Options set soon) but I am an open minded person and I like to keep my options open. :angelgrin:

I would like to get your opinion… I am looking at the Silver Reed LK150, it seems like a very popular and loved machine. On the cheaper side, there is the Ultimate Sweater Machine Deluxe.

I have looked and looked and I can’t find a used LK150 to save my life. Do you own this machine? Do you have any regrets?

As for the cheap cousin, the Ultimate Sweater Machine Deluxe, any of you own it? Or perhaps you have the Ultimate Sweater Machine? Would you praise it or do you get frustrated? :think:

Thanks for your opinion!


i thought i would reply as i have used a knitting machine on and off for many many years and never thought of it as cheating, i now have a bond , i was given it some months ago and not even taken it out of the box, i used to have a brother electronic and every gadget you could want, made a bit of money when the kids were young, i loved it, so just make sure you get the machine that is right for you, is there a machine knitting forum perhaps!!!

Everyone at my old knitting group said I was just a weakling, but I’ll ask anyway–how much can you stand to knit on a knitting machine?
When my son was small, I bought a Singer…forget the model, it’s up in the attic because when he was little he grabbed at it all the time. Anyhow, it had to be bolted to a heavy coffee table and I hadf to hold the table steady with my knees and shove the carriage across with all the strength in my upper body. It was supposed to handle any gauge of yarn, but it wasn’t possible to move the carriage with anything heavier than baby weight and the yarn had to be smooth. The company said it wasn’t defective and that I just needed to get used to it. My husband tried it one evening and HE could barely get it to move. I found it so tiring that I have never really tried to use it again. Are they all like that?

I have several knitting machines, one Singer(bulky weight) and 2 Brothers (one punch card, one electronic). Knitting machines are designed to use a certain weight yarn. There are bulkys that use the bulky type yarn, there are standard machines that use the sport, fingering, dk type yarns and then there are the fine machines that use fine yarn. A fine machine will not knit with bulky yarn very easily, you have to skip every other needle and then it might not work.

Most knitting machines don’t like Red Heart Worsted weight yarn. It is too stiff or something, it just won’t allow the machine carriage to glide across the bed.

You are also limited to how many stitches wide your piece can be. For instance the standard machine has 200 needles, so your stitch patterns has to fit accordingly. If you wanted to make an afghan on this machine you would have to knit panels and sew them together.

Then there is how to do the ribbing on sweaters or hats. You either need a seperate machine called a ribber that attaches to the main bed or you need a garter carriage or garter bar. With a garter bar you have to manually turn the work over, with a garter carriage you program your rib, 2 x2 or what ever you want then turn on the machine. It will knit the rib (and several different stitch patterns) for your with out you having to move the carriage. The ribber I don’t know too much about. I have the garter carriage so I have no need for the ribber bed.

I use my machines to mostly knit stockinette stitch. I don’t like setting them up and programing them for the different stitches. But doing a top down sweater is super simple. I can get one done in stocking stitch in about 4 hours. I clamp my machine to either a craft table or the dining room table. This allows me to sit down to work the carriage.

One draw back on these machines is that they are extremely noisy. You can’t knit on one and watch tv at the same time unless you turn the tv up very, very loud.

When looking at machines there are machines that you have to hand manipulate the fancy stitches, there are machines that use punch cards and there are electric macines that have stitches programed into them.

The Brother machines are no longer manufactured as are several other brands. Right now I can’t remember which ones, but I know that most of them are not made any more. It is really hard to learn to work the machine by yourself. Most of the machines are made in Japan. The manual that comes with most machines are hard to figure out sometimes because they have been traslated from Japanese to English and sometimes things get lost in the translation.

If you can find a “teacher” to help you out that would be great. Also another thing to consider if your machine breaks down it may be hard to find a repair man. I live in California and finding someone who can work on my machine is difficult. However, my Sister who lives in Dallas has no problem because the machine knitting craze is still going on down there. They even have a guild.

There are lots of things to consider when purchasing a machine. Such as figuring out what gauge machine you need according to what weight yarn you will mostly be using. What you will actually be knitting may play a part into your purchase as well. Then there is the pattern capablity. How intricate do you want your stitches.

I am no authority on knitting machines, these thoughts are just what I have learned by working with my knitting machines.

Thank you very much for all that information. I have no experience with the machines whatsoever, I yet have to look for a local retailer to go check them out.
I knew that they are loud after seeing them on TV and hearing somebody use one on a podcast.

Thanks for the warning for the repairs, I did not think about that.

i guess I would have to knit the ribs by hand at least at first. I did read about that limitation.

I will keep gathering information, thank you so much for your input, and let me know if you see a used one for sale!! :wink:


I bought the Ultimate one and I returned it! I hated it. It would skip and jump all over the place on the carriage. I ended up with bleeding hands. I gave up and returned it to JoAnne’s. The sales girl was really shocked to see how beaten up I had become. I was so upset I was crying. Maybe I got a bad machine? Maybe I’m just a dork and couldn’t figure it out? I can’t tell, I tried three times and just gave in that it wasn’t for me. Or, at least, that machine wasn’t. It’s cheap and it felt cheap. I would rather invest in something that feels like it’s not going to fall apart on me.

After more research, I found similar experiences on the internet. It’s sad because that machine is more affordable, but surely not worth hurting one’s hands like that :frowning:

Maddison, I hope a generous soul offers you the real thing :slight_smile:

I have a Bond Ultimate Sweater Machine. I haven’t had any problem using it at all. I think people expect it to be very fast. It is faster than hand knitting but not like a Brother or Silver Reed. If you go slowly and deliberately it will work well. It is meant for home use, it is not commercial quality and I think a good way to find out if you want to invest in a higher quality, more expensive machine later. I am enjoying learning how to use it and my hands are just fine.

I have an ultimate sweater machine and the only problem that I have is that i need to do garter stitching, and I do not have a garter bar or a garter carriage. I do believe that the garter carriages are expensive, and I am not sure where to find a garter bar in the US. Please help me because I would love to do garter stitching with either the bar or the carriage…what do you recommend?

I know this is an old post but I have new information for anyone who is just now reading this(like myself).
Okay, Okay.
So I am a cheater(knitting machine). I have never knitted by hand in my life due to I could never keep the tension with my hands. I do love my Ultimate Sweater Machine though. It wasn’t always that way… Actually I was about to return it because I was having problems with the carriage sticking and being stubborn when sliding it across the bed. Not to mention I thought this machine was going to be simple to operate and it wasn’t (that is until I figured out how to properly use it. Now the carriage sings along and it is music to my ears.)… I have been wanting to knit baby blankets and accessories for friends children for years. It was only in the last month or two that I finally sat down and spent several hours really learning how the machine works and how to make it work for you instead of letting the machine run you. First of all let me say, make sure you wax or silicon spray the key plates!!! I actually set mine up on the kitchen table with only the non-skid mat(included in the kit) and the bed doesn’t even move… Second, There is a serious learning curve with the USM and you have to take the time to learn it before you will be turning out baby blankets in less than an hour…
Since really learning about this machine I have actually bought another Ultimate Sweater machine (Deluxe kit) and plan on making my own ribber bed in the next 2 weeks. The problem is my husband now has to help me weld a bracket together as there is no brackets out there for this machine because there is no RIBBER for the ultimate sweater machine…
As far as a GARTER BAR there are plans on the web on how to make one from a yard stick and flexible plastic head band…
I haven’t tried it yet but plan on doing it after I get the Ribber setup and working.

Once I get the ribber bed up and running I plan on posting the plans on how we did it online as there are currently no plans out there for a ribber bed for the ultimate sweater machine. I am really excited about getting a ribber bed for my machine.

I hope this helps…

it was good to read some new things about the ultimate bond sweater machine from Kelsicia. i live in australia and have just purchased a bond. it has not arrived yet, but i am now really looking forward to learning to use it. cheers

Hi there Kelsicia, I just read your post and was wondering if you could help me out. I recently purchased the machine and was so excited only to be dissapointed as I can not get the carriage to move smoothly at al!! It may run smooth for three stitches then it drops stitches and runs past stitches picking up only some stitches. The carriage is so stiff, its wrecking my head at this stage!! :wall: Just wondering if you could let me know how you got the hang of yours, there must be a knack to it that im just not realizing. Also the foam sponge underneath the stitches is that meant to be there or is that is what is restricting the movement. Hope you can help!! Thankyou!!

i have manuals for the machiene and the ribber…but cannot find anywhere a manual for the simulknit?.?.have all the parts but dont know how to use it can any one help?.? many thanks

please could anyone help me …i need a good stockest of 3 ply coned wool in all colours

I haven’t used any of these sources but a quick search on Google turned up:

See if one of them has what you want and if you can find out how reliable they are.

I looked at all the machines adn to be honest I went on craigs list be cause I felt that $179.00 for a piece of plastic is outrageous.
I was able to pick up a Brother Profile KH-588 for $50.00 that’s right the BIG 50.

There were many listed on there for various amounts. I live in Southern California so, results for your will vary. You can also check ebay, you will get a much better deal.
It is an old thread but I hope this info helps anyone thinking about paying over $100.00 for a piece of plastic.

Here is a link to some info to assist you in your knitting machine journey.