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 Knitting Machine Talk
 Mid-Gauge Machines
 need help selecting between artisan & silver reed
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cutoutwitch@gmail.com
New Pal

1 Posts

Posted - 10/17/2006 :  9:47:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit cutoutwitch@gmail.com's Homepage Send cutoutwitch@gmail.com a Private Message
I'm looking to get a manual, mid-gauge machine. For the price, the Artisan 70D seems to be the clear winner - metal, double bed, ribbing, etc. The Silver Reed, which is more expensive, is only a single bed. To get ribbing capability, you have to upgrade to the electronic version, in which I have no interest.

Is the Silver Reed that much better? Anyone have any experience with the Artisan 70D?

Thanks!

ValerieG
Chatty Knitter

107 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2006 :  09:45:51 AM  Show Profile Send ValerieG a Private Message
I own a SR fine gauge (830) and really like it. There was an article several years ago in a magazine (sorry, it would take some searching to find , I’ll try to remember to do that) that said that the quality of Artisan is variable... but the next magazine had a rebuttal. So not having actually used an Artisan...
Can you find a ‘club’ in your area with some experienced people? (I drive 1 ˝ hours to reach my closest club and they are mostly using Brothers.)
Valerie
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sarah@k_rev
Warming Up

67 Posts

Posted - 10/19/2006 :  5:06:38 PM  Show Profile Send sarah@k_rev a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by cutoutwitch@gmail.com

I'm looking to get a manual, mid-gauge machine. For the price, the Artisan 70D seems to be the clear winner - metal, double bed, ribbing, etc. The Silver Reed, which is more expensive, is only a single bed. To get ribbing capability, you have to upgrade to the electronic version, in which I have no interest.

Is the Silver Reed that much better? Anyone have any experience with the Artisan 70D?

Thanks!



I have a Silver Reed/Studio 860 mid gauge, which is the electronic. Which model Siler Reed are you talking about ? Because I understood there were 3 Silver Reed mid gauges: the 860 electronic, a plastic bed LK150 and the other a metal bed manual, the SK160 (which can be upgraded to become an 860).

I had been under the impression that you could put the mid gauge ribber on either of the metal bed machines, but could well be wrong. The ribbers on the Silver Reeds are all 'manual' as the top bed is the one which has the patterning capability, so unless the 160 is quite different in design, I can't see why they wouldn't have made it to take a ribber. Might be worth researching.

But I'm afraid I steered clear of Artisan myself because of a less than perfect reputation. Just on the visuals, their finishing is not crash hot, imo, as well as being a bit clumsy in design - but they may work perfectly well. So I can only speak of my first hand experience with the Silver Reed, and mine has been very well manufactured and reliable.

But there are mid gauge machines, both Artisan & Silver Reed, that come onto the second hand market. I actually got my used 860 & ribber from the US as it was a good deal more cost effective - even with shipping costs to Australia - than buying new.

Sarah
--
http://www.sarahdurrant.com
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pamulla@earthlink.net
Chatty Knitter

100 Posts

Posted - 11/16/2006 :  3:38:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit pamulla@earthlink.net's Homepage Send pamulla@earthlink.net a Private Message
I have a SK160 mid-gauge. The only difference between that and the electronic SK860 is that the carriage is electronic on the 860. Silver Reed (previously known as Studio)has only one ribber which fits both metal machines.
I like my SK160. I frequently knit the body of garments and do the special effects and finishing by hand. It works very well for me.

Shape the world, one stitch at a time
Pam in CT www.roddyknit.blogspot.com
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MissMartha
New Pal

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2007 :  11:52:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit MissMartha's Homepage Send MissMartha a Private Message
I'm trying to make the same decision. Which one did you get? Are you pleased with your choice?

Thanks for your help!

quote:
Originally posted by cutoutwitch@gmail.com

I'm looking to get a manual, mid-gauge machine. For the price, the Artisan 70D seems to be the clear winner - metal, double bed, ribbing, etc. The Silver Reed, which is more expensive, is only a single bed. To get ribbing capability, you have to upgrade to the electronic version, in which I have no interest.

Is the Silver Reed that much better? Anyone have any experience with the Artisan 70D?

Thanks!

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gemini53
New Pal

USA
16 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2007 :  09:38:11 AM  Show Profile Send gemini53 a Private Message
I would go with the Silver reed I have a punch card Artisan and it works now because I have a Studio fabric presser. You get what you pay for

for my patterns and freebies http://www.freewebs.com/artknitter/
http://krafts.blogspot.com/
http://sewingforme.blogspot.com/
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maggie@cooperfam.co.uk
New Pal

9 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2007 :  8:08:17 PM  Show Profile Send maggie@cooperfam.co.uk a Private Message
I have the Silver Reed fine and standard guage machines, with ribbers, I also have 3 Brother machines. Here in England a new machine called the Creative was launched, which though modestly priced had a few drawbacks. Mainly the finish wasn't that great, if you got a good one, it was ok, a poor one, well you were at the machine hospital every week. I've looked at the Artisan, and it's remarkably like the Creative, even uses the various Brother carriages etc. It isn't a Brother though,it's a clone, and if the Artisan is the American version, it's made in China and marketed in England under one name, Europe under another and America under another.
Silver Reed, single bed punchcard machines don't have to be upgraded to electronic to have ribbing capability. Each punch card single bed machine has it's own ribber attachment as an optional extra which makes it a fully functioning double bed machine. You can at a later stage buy an electronic upgrade carriage, though at the rate technology is advancing, electronic patterning systems less than 15 years old are now defunct, and when the electronics go, unless you have a manual patterning facility (punch cards)you have a machine that can't function to its maximum level.
The Silver is a beautifully engineered piece of equipment that will,if looked after, outlive you and I. You only have to look at E Bay to see knitting machines that are 30 and 40 years old, stillworking, for sale. I own a very early Jones machine with moving sinker posts, that's easily over 40 years old and it still knits beautifully. Two of the best machines ever manufactured by Brother, were the KH881 24 stitch punch card machine and it's succesor the KH 891, this are regularly available on E Bay for very modest prices. Both had built in knit radar and both have colour changers, ribbers, intarsia carriages and lots of other gizmos. I have the full complement of parts for the 881 and can vouch for its knitting quality.
Another excellent machine, in fact the Rolls Royce of knitting machines, is the Passap Duo 80 a proper double bed machine. It does need love and attention if it is to perform consistently well. I have the Duo 80 and the E 6000 the electronic version. Spares are still widly available and helpful do it yourself Passap maintenance books. Like all top of the range equipment, it does need regular attention, but the knit quality is superb. You can buy these at very reasonable prices on E Bay,they do take a bit of learning though as true double bed machines don't knit as swiftly as single bed machines. You need a 4 colour changer and Deco unit for jacquard knitting or any pattern knitting,though it is possible to do it by selecting needles to knit and carriage settings.
If I were just starting machine knitting today I would go down the second hand route first, then if I didnt take to it, I wouldnt feel so guilty about the price paid for the machine. If I did take to it, visit E Bay and get a different guage machine to add to my first one. As I stillhave 8 machines left out of stable, you can tell I took to it, I don't own a mid guage machine though. Although my lovely old Jones will knit double knit, I believe you call it worsted ? I'm afraid I'm more comfortable with thread counts, the industrial yarn weights so I'm not too certain what your yarn terms apply to.

mags
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