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judy3t Posted - 02/18/2009 : 2:40:37 PM
I got a spinning wheel for Christmas. Then this month I broke down and got a drum carder. While washing raw fleece is definitely an exercise in disgusting, there is something so cool about the whole process of washing, carding, dying and spinning I have no time left for knitting or weaving. So I was thinking of trying a knitting machine, at least for the boring "this yarn is so cool I want a straight stockinette sweater" stuff.

Will the home spun yarns work well with a machine? Will I miss hand knitting too much? Is it worth the investment? Should I try a super cheap plastic one just to see or save myself the aggravation and save my pennies and wait until I my yarn forces me to buy a bigger house?

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Maggi Posted - 12/06/2010 : 4:24:15 PM
Hi there

I spin also and used to love the feel and smell of unwashed yarn and spin in the grease. Could be something to do with the fact I worked in an old Scottish woollen mill when I was a teenager and it started of my great love of textiles. A long time ago when I bought a spinning wheel (did not have a drum carder unfortunately) it took me ages to spin a reasonable amount to knit - and of course there was the hanking and twisting. Never could I get the gauge just right. I used to spin everything I could get my hands on for experience ie camel hair, all sorts of specialised fleeces such as Jacobs. The machine I chose to do this with (and believe me I had a large choice at the time) was simply a Bond Classic machine. Its a reasonably priced machine to play around with having several different keyplates for different guages, and its lightweight and simple to set up. I used it for everything, really good with mohair - one of my friends at our wee knitting machine club was a real expert on this machine. It used to offer a ribber but I would not buy this, I searched high and low for one and bought it purely because I am a collector of knitting machines,but it was the worse invention ever. I love the Bond and still use it even today, as it allows one to just play around and still produces a credible garment in no time at all and in those days the books that came with the Bond were the best ever.
justinaknits Posted - 08/25/2010 : 7:53:43 PM
If you plan on spinning up worsted weight yarn, then I would recommend either a Singer SK-150 (since you say you just want to do stockinette, or a Singer SK-155 if you think you might want to get a little more adventurous later on, as it uses punchcard for design knitting, and does tuck, slip and punch lace. YOu can also get a ribber for either one of these machines later on if you find you want to do more detailed work.
If you are going to spin thinner, then either a Singer (SILVER REED) mid gauge metal bed machine, or an Singer LK-150 mid gauge plastic bed machine would be the way to go.
I have both, and they are both hard working machines, and the SK155 is so smooth to use, and hasn't balked at anything I've tried to use on it. You can usually find them on eBay for around $200-$250, and they are worth every penny of it.

chiral Posted - 06/30/2010 : 03:56:55 AM
I used to knit garments for a local spinner, so yes you can do this easily. Any chunky machine should be fine, depending on the ply of yarn you are making. My spinner could make down to 2ply (lace weight) so this could go on my standard gauge machine.

My advice is that you can start with a fairly basic machine (maybe even a plastic one) and trade up as you get more experienced. It's not only quicker to knit a garment but quicker to experiment and design your own work and mistakes are not as big a drama as hand-knitting a garment only to find it's the wrong size or something.


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