“You’ve been knitting by hand for years, and you think you’re ready to move on to machine knitting. Think again. Hand knitting and machine knitting are two totally different crafts. If it took you long hours of practice to perfect your manual skills, getting familiar with your knitting machine requires double the effort but the rewards are truly enormous. A stitch done by hand has an equivalent of an entire row when done with a knitting machine.
What type of knitting equipment do you need? It all depends on the yarn you prefer. There are three basic types of knitting machines: bulky or chunky machines, standard beds, and mid-gauge machines. They come in a wide array of styles ranging from plain looms to really complex computerized models.
Knitting machines can be mechanical or electronic. Mechanical knitting machines are sold with punch cards you can readily use or customize according to your preference. Electronic knitting machines offer more options, with many models providing up to 300 patterns you can mix and match, knit mirror-like, sew in reverse, or alter in dimensions.
If you wish to knit sweaters and afghan blankets, a bulky machine may be the right equipment for you. Bulky machines are built with heavy-duty needles that are placed 9mm apart and hooks and latches that are large enough to handle thick yarns. Silver Reed, Studio and Brother are familiar brands of bulky knitting machines.
Mid-gauge knitting machines stand right in the middle of the pack, with smaller hooks and latches compared to those fitted with bulky knitting machines but larger than those on standard beds. Mid-gauge knitting machines have needles located 6.5mm apart that can knit sport, baby, and worsted yarns, with a variety of techniques like slip, tuck, weaving, stockinet, ribbing, and plating. The downside to mid-gauge machines is that they do not have lace carriages or a collection of patterns.
Built with tiny hooks and latches and needles that are set 4.5mm apart, standard knitting machine beds can easily knit thin yarns. They also offer a myriad of stitch type options.
A typical electronic standard bed has over 650 patterns stored in its memory, with ample space for custom knitting machine patterns. A high-end model like the Brother KH970 has a built-in lace carriage and proprietary software that enable machine knitters to program one garment to various gauges, yarns, and stitch types.
Before seeking out knitting equipment, settle on the knitting yarn type you will be using, which special features you need, and how much money you are willing to fork out. Note that a row counter, strain mast, and ribber are must-haves in a knitting machine. With a bigger budget that can cover a first-class machine, you might want to consider advanced settings such as garter bars, lace carriages, punch cards, intarsia carriages, and automatic color changers.
A feature-rich knitting machine can go a long way to developing your skills. It can motivate you to work on more sophisticated projects as you discover what your machine can do.
Emily J Watson writes articles about knitting, knitting machine patterns and how to make money from your knitting. Visit her blog at http://www.machineknittingadvice.com for more essential advice, ideas and reviews on machine knitting.”
If you are considering a knitting machine purchase, than this article will give you some helpful information. You have to remember though, that if you are buying used equipment, prices will be way more reasonable than those for the new one. So, do some research and let me know what machine and attachment are best for your needs.