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Aug 13, 2017 07:47:20   #
I'm wondering if the Bond Ultimate Knitting Machine is worth buying. I have so much yarn and would love to use a lot of it up by knitting for charity. While I love hand knitting, as we all know it takes time and I'm wondering if I would be better off using a machine. I can't afford one of the really expensive ones but don't want to invest in a Bond if it isn't going to be worth it. My neighbor is a school bus driver and they are always wanting sweaters and hats to give to kids in the winter (we live in an area with plenty of children that don't have warm things to wear in the bad weather). Any advice would be appreciated.
Aug 13, 2017 07:57:42   #
I love my Bond :)
Mine is the Classic, the original blue one, and I think it makes a difference. From what I read a lot of the discontent with 'Bond' machines is with the later versions. Mine has always been a great machine to use and I think mixes well with some hand knitting, if wanted. I usually did my ribs by hand.
I think more people express their dislike or problems with their machine rather than the good, and this can influence new users, not in a good way.
I just bought a second - waiting for its arrival, hopefully this week - to extend mine. Double the fun :)

Just to be fair, I bought one for my sister and she doesn't (or won't!) like it :(
Aug 13, 2017 08:14:16   #
susanmjackson (a regular here)
I have one, but rarely use it. I prefer to hand knit and crochet, but it is wonderful for quickly knitting up sock blanks to dye.
Aug 13, 2017 08:20:17   #
I have a Bond E-Z-Knittr and love it. Ended up buying the accessories that didn't come with it, so don't buy a Bond that isn't complete. Those accessories are hard to find now. I have done a LOT of charity knitting with my Bond and it's been a life saver for me. I also have tons of just keeps finding me! Small blankets to go with preemie burial clothing and infant/toddler size sweaters. The small blankets were great in the beginning to learn how to use the machine, it does take some work. I've made a few sweaters for myself, but mostly the small ones. I don't like to leave a piece unfinished on the needles, so the childrens sizes are great since the pieces are small. It doesn't take long to make the pieces. I'm not one who likes to sew knit pieces together, but it's so fast to knit them on the Bond that it still saves time to machine knit the pieces and hand sew them together.

There is a lot of information online about using Bond machines. It might be worth your time to look at some of these videos to get a better idea of what you would be getting in to. You also need to know that Bond machines don't automatically do ribbing. You have to "hand manipulate" stitches for that. You'll have to decide if that is OK or if you need to step up to a machine that can. Do you live in an area that has a shop selling knitting machines? The closest to me is several hours away in Charlotte, NC., which is out of my range for the time being. Check here on KP, there has been a lot of discussion on Bond machines. Using the search feature at the top of your screen would probably do.

The Bond is a very simple, non-electric, mid-gauge machine. So, I can put the machine anywhere I want to, as long as I have good light. Mid-gauge means it isn't designed for lace weight yarn or the thick bulkies popular now. There are ways to work around that, but that was not the original purpose of the machine. But it can sure sing right along with sport/baby yarn and worsted yarn! Also, the machines are manufactured with 100 needles. You can get extension kits of 30 needles or get an extra machine and connect the 2 full sized machines. You would consider this if you wanted to make afghans or sweaters for larger folks. Or, if you wanted to knit a sweater sideways for a not-so-large person.

I read in one of the early Bond magazines (hope they are still available online, free) that the designer said he wanted to make a knitting machine available to the average housewife that was affordable and would handle most of the day to day knitting for herself and her family.
Aug 13, 2017 08:29:58   #
Hilary Mercer
I would always go for a traditional metal bed machine. There are always good used machines for sale.
Aug 13, 2017 08:30:48   #
Augustgran (a regular here)
If you want to make hats really fast,invest in the addi kingsize. I bought one a few years back for my charity hat knitting and I can make a lot on hats in the time to handknit one.
They are warm double thickness hats, as well as being reversible.
Many I did hat solid on one side stripes on the other.
I made scarves to match for some as well.
Aug 13, 2017 09:34:59   #
Can you do ribbing on the Bond? If not, is it easy to pick up stitches and knit ribbing by hand?
Aug 13, 2017 10:36:36   #
Ribbing is done on the Bond the same as it is done on any single bed knitting machine.
The stitches are reformed using the latch tool. Knit the amount of rows you want for rib, then depending on your rib pattern you drop the stitches that correspond to your Knit/Purl pattern (ie every second stitch) and latch them up with the latch tool, finishing by putting the stitch back on the needle. Latching up one line of stitches at a time.
There is a Bond ribber but they are very scarce, I've only ever seen one come up for sale.

Yes, it is easy to get the stitches onto needles to do any finishing that way, or to put hand knit stitches onto the Bond needles. But I think that's more the size of the stitches than anything to do with the Bond in particular. Lots of things seem easier to me, just because of the size of the yarn LOL
Aug 13, 2017 10:59:58   #
But I couldn't knit hats on it could I? Or would it be that you can knit hats but they would have a seam?
Aug 13, 2017 11:09:58   #
gwennieh68 wrote:
But I couldn't knit hats on it could I? Or would it be that you can knit hats but they would have a seam?

There would be a seam, same as making a hat on any single bed machine. Also, if you wanted to shape the top of the hat you would have to decrease stitches by hand.
Check out some youtube videos

eta - Do keep asking questions! It will help you get the machine that will suit you best :)
Aug 14, 2017 08:47:05   #

This is a link to a Brother KX350 on eBay. It is also a plastic bed machine, like the Bond, but comes with a yarn tension mast, and has other features the Bond won't. My first machine was a Bond USM, and I put many miles on it, but the KX350 is just a little more sophisticated.

Let us know what you decide!
Aug 14, 2017 09:32:38   #
I have a bond and I love it. . . but get the classic. . . I've heard alot of issues about the Ultimate Sweater Machine
Aug 14, 2017 10:12:27   #
AmandaR wrote:

This is a link to a Brother KX350 on eBay. It is also a plastic bed machine, like the Bond, but comes with a yarn tension mast, and has other features the Bond won't. My first machine was a Bond USM, and I put many miles on it, but the KX350 is just a little more sophisticated.

Let us know what you decide!

Thanks for letting me know about this. I really appreciate it. I have sent a couple of questions to the vendor. A couple of people have told me to buy the Bond Classic rather than the later models but so far I haven't been able to locate one. I am continuing to do some research and have found a dealer near where I live who has Silver Reed machines. I might stop by there today to see what they have but am not committing to anything until I do plenty of research.
Aug 14, 2017 10:49:49   #
I also have a Studio LK-150 and I love it (along with my classic bond) and to be honest with you I probably use it the most. If you can buy a used one at a decent price, you wouldn't be sorry. It also comes with a row counter and a yarn tension mast, which the Bond does not.
Aug 14, 2017 13:02:31   #
Don't buy the model with the purple hand carriage. They have a lot of trouble. Buy the one with the black hand carriage. They are often seen on ebay.
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