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shiela63051
New Pal

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2005 :  08:05:41 AM  Show Profile Send shiela63051 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Am just starting to research knitting machines, anyone have any input on them? Pro or con? Know anyone who has one? Any information would be helpful.

Shiela

Aseneth
Chatty Knitter

158 Posts

Posted - 03/03/2005 :  10:37:58 AM  Show Profile Send Aseneth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I hope someone else will jump in on this too, because my post is probably fairly negative. And I know machine knitting can be wonderful!

I own five (5!) knitting machines (including a much sought after Bond Elite) and really don't like to use them at all. (And, no I don't want to sell any of them. Like my spinning wheel which I never use, I have sentimental attachments to them based on who bought them, or when I got them, or both in some cases!)

Now with that disclaimer out of the way, let me say that I believe that I don't like machine knitting because it is not portable. Yes, I know that the "hand finishing" is, but that is the part that I least like about knitting. I prefer to knit seamless items. Two of my machines will knit seamless items (one is a true double bed and one has a ribber) but that brings up my second issue: the learning curve. I am a very experienced knitter, and it is hard for me to go back to being a "beginner." Machine knitting is knitting, but there is SO much to learn about some of the machines, like my Passap. Nothing about it seems intuitive to me! I have to look at the manual for every little thing, and I can't keep it up long enough to get out of that stage.

Among my machines, I have a Bond, or Incredible or Ultimate Sweater Machine as they are now called, and the learning curve is not bad on them. However, I didn't find that knitting on the Bond really helped me when I "graduated" to other machines. All those buttons and levers STILL gave me fits.

If I had to recommend a machine, it would be the Studio LK150. It is fairly simple to use and you can use coned or most handknitting yarns with it.

If I had my purchases to do over again, I would have bought a Brother standard punchcard instead of the bulky that I bought, and left it at that. I don't even want to think about the learning curve on an Electronic machine (for me!!!!)

I hope someone will jump in here and give a positive side to machine knitting. I have seen some unbelievable items knit on machines, it just isn't for me.
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pattiw
Chatty Knitter

USA
199 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2005 :  08:35:46 AM  Show Profile Send pattiw a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Last year I bought a used electronic machine, ribber, and color changer. I have yet to use them. I just don't have the time. I discovered, due to the demands of my life as it is right now, I can only do portable knitting. And yes, I'd be willing to sell the machine I have, if anyone's interested, for what I paid for it.

Patti

I'm not always perfect, but I am always me.
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lella
Permanent Resident

9714 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2005 :  09:33:48 AM  Show Profile Send lella a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Patti, sorry that you haven't the time for your machine. My machine knitting is soon to get the time alotted after a long lay-over.

About Bonds, many people in my knitting sisterhood bought the Bond first and then shelved it, and moved on to TOL Brothers or Passaps. They really didn't like it much. I think the Bonds have improved quite a bit.

Shiela, I own and have a used 640e standard bed (and a new G carriage) that I bought from a co-worker at the yarn shop, in the 80's, and used quite a bit for about ten years. I would love to have a similar bulky machine now that the machine will be set up again, and will probably buy one on ebay or something.

I love knitting and both kinds of knitting have their places. If you want to make beautiful things either way, it's entirely possible. Maybe you can see if there is a machine knitter's guild anywhere near you. I'm sure you will get a thorough introduction to many types of machines. Also, at the county fair, the guild here sets up a room every year so that anyone interested can come in and try out a machine without pressure to buy a particular machine. Perhaps you can find a knitting machine class where the teacher will let you sit in and see the machines in action.

Best wishes to you.

lella [img]http://www.planetsmilies.com/smilies/animal/1/animal18.gif[/img]

http://zippiknits.blogspot.com/
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jewel115
New Pal

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 03/08/2005 :  10:37:10 AM  Show Profile Send jewel115 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am really glad to see this thread, since i know nothing about knitting machines, but I thought about trying out a cheap one to see if I like it. I saw one in Wal Mart for $88 or so, but I haven't decided if it's worth the $$. After all, just imagine the beyooootiful yarn I could buy with that $$....

Jewel115
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knitlethab
Seriously Hooked

Canada
604 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2005 :  9:14:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit knitlethab's Homepage Send knitlethab a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've been working with knitting machines for approx. 30 years. Taught on most of them, except Passap. I have my favorites particularly the ones that I learned on.

The Bond(s) are known as knitting frames (not knitting machines). I think that is because it does not have "self moving" parts. There are no springs on the needles or moveable gates under your carriage to move the yarn along.

Bond: Has needles that sit in groves. The hand held carriage has groves and cams that the yarn runs through to hold it tighter or looser to work the tension. As you push the hand held carriage over the needles, the yarn runs through these groves and passes over the needes. The needles are forced up and then back and create stitches. The faster or tigher you move the tension changes.

Japanese Machines (Brother and Studio): Known as knittng machines. Each have/had cheaper/plastic models on the market. Very easy to use. Each have tension units where the yarn runs through tension spools (like a sewing machine) and also has tensions on the carriage which gauges how far back your needles will pull the yarn to make the size of stitch you desire. Plastic models did not have any automatic patterning, but you could hand manipulate the needles to work slip, skip and lace stitches. The next models had punch cards the "commanded" the needles to move forward and back as the punchcard moved around. This would control your patterning and all you would have to do was move the carriage back and forth. To create new patterns you would have to punch holes in the punchcards. The electronic machines, believe it or not, were much easier to use, because a lot of the patterning was automatic and will tell you if you used the wrong carriage or you should change frome lace carriage to main carrieage, etc. You patterning was inputed by toggles white and black squares, by keystrokes in the computer part of the machine. Editing was as easy as overtyping!

It is fun and great creations can be made. I've only learned approximately 15 - 20% what is to be known on knitting machines because of all the "add" on you can get. Knitting programs, etc.

Some machines are built that you can only knit worsted weight or heavier. This limits the type of garments you can knit.

I've taught 5 year olds to knit but would not teach 5 year olds to hand knit!

You cannot knit on your machine when travelling, gets in the way of the driver, lol!

There are a lot of good points and bad points with each type of knitting.

www.knittingtime.com
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mokey
Permanent Resident

15375 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2005 :  08:38:59 AM  Show Profile Send mokey a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I never knit in the cra anyway so that doesn't bother me! For me, even using the Bond, a new world of knitting opened up. I hate intarsia and knitting large items but hand, so my Bond really made that easier. I can knit an intarsia sweater in a few hours. I suggets that anyone with a Bond who does colour work shell out the extra cash for the intarsia carriage.

"I firmly believe the Bible is the misinterpreted word of God." Mokey

www.femiknits.blog-city.com
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petrova
Chatty Knitter

USA
271 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2005 :  3:04:04 PM  Show Profile  Visit petrova's Homepage Send petrova a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have been hand knitting most of my life and love to knit, but a couple of years ago I decided to take it up a notch and get a machine. I thought that some of the ho hum larger pieces could be done easier on the machine. There is still plenty of "hand" knitting and creativity involved.

I own a Brother KH-260 "bulky" and I love the machine, but truth be told I'd rather just hand knit. Machine knitting is not relaxing like hand knitting, machine knitting is more difficult and stressful, but it is fast.

To sum it up, sometimes the machine comes in very handy but other times just a couple of needles and some yarn is very satisfying. Portable and very "zen".
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Lanea
Permanent Resident

USA
5191 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2005 :  04:38:17 AM  Show Profile  Visit Lanea's Homepage Send Lanea a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just got a Bond from Lissa so that I could knit tons and tons for felting. I make bags and a friend wants to sell them through the artists' collective she runs. If I knit the felt entirely by hand, either no one can afford to buy it or I end up feeling like my work isn't valued. With machine knitted felt, I can drastically reduce the number of hours of labor in each bag and so better control prices. So far, that's all the interest the Bond holds for me. I would definately use if for charity knitting or afghans. Apart from that, I stick to my needles.

I've moved: http://crazylanea.typepad.com/
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petrova
Chatty Knitter

USA
271 Posts

Posted - 05/27/2005 :  1:02:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit petrova's Homepage Send petrova a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Felting is exactly why I was so interested in getting a machine. When I can knit a bag in minutes rather than days, I don't feel so bad about "shrinking" it. I love the speed of the machine for this task. I too first started out with a Bond machine and now have gotten a more pricey Brother Bulky machine. The Bond is very portable light weight machine, and the Brother is a serious heavy machine. If you were interested in just knitting for felting the Bond is perfect.

I'm lucky because there is a local store here in Santa Monica California Stitches from the Heart, and Ellene Warren has classes offered there. They are very helpful, although with the Bond machine I learned by watching the enclosed video. The Brother is a little more complicated and classes really do help.

A word of warning, if you get into machine knitting you will go through yarn at an amazing speed. I thought it would just deplete my yarn stash but the opposite has happened, I've just been buying larger amounts of yarn.

Stitches from the Heart is a charity: http://www.stitchesfromtheheart.org/
Ellene Warren's site :http://www.ellenewarren.com/

One of these days I will have to sell my Bond on Ebay, not enough space in the house for all the yarn stash etc.
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calicokitty6
Seriously Hooked

USA
864 Posts

Posted - 05/28/2005 :  3:09:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit calicokitty6's Homepage Send calicokitty6 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I was thinking of getting one and looked them up on eBay today. I found several in many different price ranges. Some were offered at $20 while others were $500. I was not sure which one was best to try and now have a better idea after reading this thread.

=^..^= Debbie
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kfgardner
Chatty Knitter

USA
183 Posts

Posted - 05/28/2005 :  4:46:12 PM  Show Profile Send kfgardner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I had a Bond America knitting machine...Hated it! I sent it back. Hand knitting is much more satisfying and gratifying. I haven't tried the others. My experience with the Bond machine has soured me on knitting machines very much.

Kimberly
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nursemom
Warming Up

51 Posts

Posted - 06/08/2005 :  10:40:17 AM  Show Profile Send nursemom a Private Message  Reply with Quote
These are questions for any of you ladies who have knitting machines. Do you think it is dangerous to buy a used knitting machine? What should I look out for in a used machine with respect to possible repairs needed or missing parts? If I want to use it for many different weights of wool what brand should I look for and what do you think is a fair price range for used? Can you buy extra parts or manuals for knitting machines from the manufacturer? I have been really interested in looking for a used one to buy as a Christmas present for myself?
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Inkmama
Seriously Hooked

891 Posts

Posted - 06/08/2005 :  11:31:00 AM  Show Profile  Visit Inkmama's Homepage Send Inkmama a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is a really stupid question that I think was just answered: Is it that you can do everything on a machine that you can by hand, only faster?? And you use the same yarn?

Thanks for your patience with my ignorance!

Barbara

Writing blog: http://penonfire.blogspot.com

Knitting blog: http://knittingonfire.blogspot.com
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jade
Permanent Resident

USA
1543 Posts

Posted - 06/08/2005 :  1:03:10 PM  Show Profile Send jade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've hand knitted for decades and knitted a little on my mother's knitting machines when I was a child, but two months ago I took the plunge and bought a knitting machine. It's a Studio 360K, a manual, i.e. not electronic, machine and it came with almost every accessory available. I'm still on the steep part of the learning curve and I understand fully the frustration of having to go back to the beginner's stage in learning how this thing works.

This link is to Angelika Burles' website. She posts here sometimes too. The link has tons of information on different machines, yarns, differences between machine and hand knitting etc. etc.

http://www.yarn-store.com/knitting-machine-information-articles.html

There are lot of other online resources - use your search engines and you'll find lots of them. There are yahoo groups devoted to machine knitting. The busiest seems to be Knittingmachines@yahoogroups.com but there are others devoted to Singer/Studio/Silver Reed (all the same machines), Passap, Bond and others.

To answer some of the questions: I bought my machine which is about 20 years old from an ebay seller. I found a local dealer and replaced the sponge bar, a common maintenance item. Many, if not most, of the machines being used today are really old. The Passap my mother had before I was born is still being used. It seems that a good quality machine will lost almost forever. And you can repair/replace just about every part of it if you have to. Buying a new machine is a very expensive proposition. Expect to pay around $1000 for the basic main bed on a manual and another $500 for a ribber. Electronics start around $2000+.

Machines are generally classed as fine gauge, standard gauge and bulky. The "gauge" part refers to the spacing between needles which varies from 3.6mm to 4.5mm and 9mm for the three basics. Mine is a standard and I've knitted laceweight to sportweight on it, plus knitweaved using bulky yarns. Anything from DK and heavier is better knitted on a bulky machine.

You can knit a surprising range of stitches on a machine. Most machine knitters have ingenious ways to get what they want. I'm just starting to learn these tricks. Only the Brother machine has a garter carriage which allows you to knit and purl on the same row, all the other machines knit only, so you have to manipulate stitches to get garter stitch or other kinds of reverse knitting.

This reply has rambled on far too long! Hope it's of some help.

Cheryl
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nursemom
Warming Up

51 Posts

Posted - 06/08/2005 :  6:49:12 PM  Show Profile Send nursemom a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks Cheryl for your post. That answered most of my questions. I continually see machines offered for sale in the local buy and sell papers and wondered if they were a "good deal" and what to look for when you go to see a used one. That is how to know if it need repair. I am sorry if these were "stupid questions" someone's post before you had a tone of irritation.
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nursemom
Warming Up

51 Posts

Posted - 06/08/2005 :  6:55:35 PM  Show Profile Send nursemom a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh my gosh I apologize. I misread the post above Cheryl's. It read like a slight against my question at first glance. DUHH! she was asking a question herself. So sorry.
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jamieyates
New Pal

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 06/12/2005 :  4:00:30 PM  Show Profile Send jamieyates a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I was wondering if anybody knows anything about a made in Japan Hand-E-Knit portable knitting machine? It is old, but I'm not sure how old. I can't find any information or directions for it. I thought I would be able to pick it up and use it since it is a manual machine and I know how to use a Bond manual machine but it's not quite the same. I thought nothing could be harder to use than a Bond--I do love mine but they are tricky to learn.

thanks
jamie

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S.H.E
New Pal

16 Posts

Posted - 06/15/2005 :  09:46:26 AM  Show Profile Send S.H.E a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Everyone,

It's June 15, 2005 and I am an experienced hand knitter, but always had this desire to try machine knitting. I took a course at FIT in New York City and got a wonderful taste for it. I live in CT and was wondering if there were any machine knitters in my area or Westchester New York City area. I haven't bought a machine yet. I am researching now to make sure I buy the one I need. I like the Brother machines, that is what I worked on at F.I.T, but do any of you know anything about the Silver Reed? The thing I like about the Silver Reed is that you can get parts if needed. Thanks for your help
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jade
Permanent Resident

USA
1543 Posts

Posted - 06/15/2005 :  10:20:04 AM  Show Profile Send jade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by S.H.E

Hi Everyone,

I am researching now to make sure I buy the one I need. I like the Brother machines, that is what I worked on at F.I.T, but do any of you know anything about the Silver Reed? The thing I like about the Silver Reed is that you can get parts if needed. Thanks for your help



Hi - please read my long post above. I have a Studio 360K which is about the same as Silver Reed's 280. Silver Reed, Studio, Singer and Knitmaster are all the same machines, SR is the manufacturer and the other companies were distributors. The links I gave will take you to Angelika's website which has lots of information about Brother, SR and others. The yahoo groups, in particular knittingmachines@yahoo.com, are lively and informative.

I like my Studio which is a manual. I didn't want to deal with electronics which are a lot more costly and more temperamental. The 360K is a real workhorse with a smooth carriage, really super lace carriage and plenty of support available. I've been pleasantly surprised at how much I can do with it. In the two months since I got it, I've completed 2 pairs of socks, a lace wrap, a sweater and a jacket (still needs front and neck bands). This weekend I plan to start on a lace cardi so I'm swatching for it now.

Brother has the garter carriage, unique to them. There's also a lot of support even though they no longer make machines. I can't think of any reason not to purchase a Brother. But if I had tons of money and were looking for another machine (I'm not) I'd look for a Passap.

Cheryl
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GloryB
New Pal

USA
37 Posts

Posted - 06/21/2005 :  1:49:07 PM  Show Profile Send GloryB a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have 4 machines. My starter machine is a Brother KX350. I got that one about 20 years ago, the only one that I bought new. About 15 years ago I upgraded to a Studio 328, a standard gauge punch card, with a ribber, Then I got a Brother KH260, bulky punchcard, with a ribber. My most recent addition is a compuknit 111 with a G-carriage.
Silver Reed, Studio and Singer are all made by the same company. Brother and Knit King are made by the same company, although stopped making knitting machines a couple of years ago.
I'm afraid I've never heard of the Hand-E-Knit.
Yes, anything you can do by hand, you can do on a machine. Some of things you can do on a machine, I wouldn't begin to try to do by hand.
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