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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am thinking about using a knitting machine. Arthritis is giving me problems. I have no experience with machines. I only want something to do afghans, prayer shawls and scarfs. Don't think I could or would get proficient enough to do anything else. Don't know if this is an option for me but know you all have good advice.

Thanks for your input.
 

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roseknit said:
Just for Afghans and scarves I would go with Knitting studio 155 bulky machine. I think that;s the correct name, in my day it was a Knitmaster
I purchased a Knitmaster, manufactured in UK, in 1961. It was a beast of a thing to use. I purchased a Brother last year, and that is little better. I have not used it much and really regret purchasing it.
 

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Here are some good websites that can guide you on your purchase of a knitting machine:
http://www.aboutknittingmachines.com/BuyingKnittingMachine.php
http://www.scanthecat.com/html/bnro_machines.html
http://www.yarn-store.com/knitting-machine-chart.html

As for learning how to use one, Diana Sullivan made a series of lessons for beginners and up to intermediate level: http://diananatters.blogspot.com/2010/01/links-to-beginner-lessons.html

Look for more video tutorials on YouTube. There are many wonderful teachers there.

If you decide to purchase a used knitting machine, please keep in mind that the first item you'd need to replace is the Sponge Bar (same as retainer bar). Keep the old one so you can rebuild it later. Also, use it to compare it with the new one you're purchasing. Make sure that it is the correct length and width.

My personal advise is to skip purchasing a Bond or any plastic bed model. for the same price or a little more, you can get a better quality metal bed knitting machine. These KMs give you more options later one, even if you'd just making blankets and scarves. After you've become familiar with your KM and machine knitting, you will want to grow and the KM that you chose will dictate whether you can or cannot. It's an addictive hobby. Really, ask any of us :mrgreen:
 

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Totally agree with you!Been MKing since 1969.The creativity with a KM is unlimited.Besides knitting..one can weave in several different ways.I enjoy designing and working with colors..and the idea of getting my knitting done in a reasonable amount of time..very satisfying for me.Feel I am only limited by my willingness to sit down and "play".

Sandra in Colorado
 

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I don't thin this is a good choice at all as she has Arthritis and it would be to difficult for her to do the hand manipulation of the stitches.
Look at the site listed above by Entity.
Depending on what you can spend a SInger electronic machine SK 890 may suit you as the carriages have wheels under them that make it easier to push the carriage than on other brands of machines. The larger spacing between the needles would also be helpful for you when casting on or off.
If you want to spend less the Brother KH 260 for heavier yarns would be great as it allows you to change something on the machine carriage that will make the machine put out it's last needle on both sides of the bed which will help eliminate draw in. On the SInger you have to do it by had at the end of every row. It also allows you to use any of many cards that are out there so you could get patterns.

The SInger 155 is also a jumbo but as being a 12 stitch reader instead of the 24 of the Brother, you will be very limited in the cards that are available. You can make your own, but why do it when the other one has such a tremendous variety.

brknhrt said:
It all depends on what you can afford. I don't recommend the Bond, although many have success with them. The least expensive I would recommend is the Silver Reed LK150.
 

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I don't ever recommend an electronic for someone who is timid about jumping in. You have the added learning process which can be frustrating.

euvid said:
I don't thin this is a good choice at all as she has Arthritis and it would be to difficult for her to do the hand manipulation of the stitches.
Look at the site listed above by Entity.
Depending on what you can spend a SInger electronic machine SK 890 may suit you as the carriages have wheels under them that make it easier to push the carriage than on other brands of machines. The larger spacing between the needles would also be helpful for you when casting on or off.
If you want to spend less the Brother KH 260 for heavier yarns would be great as it allows you to change something on the machine carriage that will make the machine put out it's last needle on both sides of the bed which will help eliminate draw in. On the SInger you have to do it by had at the end of every row. It also allows you to use any of many cards that are out there so you could get patterns.

The SInger 155 is also a jumbo but as being a 12 stitch reader instead of the 24 of the Brother, you will be very limited in the cards that are available. You can make your own, but why do it when the other one has such a tremendous variety.

brknhrt said:
It all depends on what you can afford. I don't recommend the Bond, although many have success with them. The least expensive I would recommend is the Silver Reed LK150.
 

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Most Machine knitting clubs, will allow a free first visit, before you choose to join.

That is where you'll find valuable advice & teaching. I can honestly say, I have learned most of my knowledge from, ...the rest, out of books. Hope that helps.

Good luck. Lucky.
 

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brknhrt, I started out with a Knitmaster electronic and then moved on to the Brother electronic machines. If you have a Brother electronic that doesn't use Mylar sheets (that when all is said and done, are the same as punch cards) then I think that these are easier to use than a punch card machine. For someone that has Arthritis in their hands it is far easier to type in the number of a stitch pattern that they want to do than fiddle with a punch card and the snaps that hold it together. The use of the machine as far as the carriage goes is exactly the same. If someone can use a computer to get onto this site and ask a question then I'm sure that they can in time (which it takes on any machine) use an electronic machine.
 

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I am sorry to hear of your issue there. Depending on how bad your arthritis is will give you the answer. I know of 2 women that had to give up crafting with yarn (crochet, hand and machine knit) as it did get real bad. An electronic machine may be your answer. Watch out as some are older and hard to judge how much longer they will last. Some machines, the parts are no longer available. Now there is the Silver Reed SK840 and SK860 that are electronic but they need something hooked to it to make the electronics work, the SK890 is no longer being made today and you may find those too high for your pocket, Allbrands has them on their page. Even though the SK155 does have the rollers on it, that carriage can be hard to push if not set up right. Same goes for the SK860. Now the SK840 moves very nice, it is a standard gauge machine and the tiny stitches may be hard to see at first but in time one can get used to it. The brother 900 series machines are electronic but again, if the electronics go, then you now have a manual knitter.
The plastic bed machines are easy to push the carriage along, although one may have problems here and there but the LK series with the rollers are nice. Now to make Afghans, I would recommend any of the plastic bed machines as you can get 2 of the same machines and put them together to make them longer (no can do with metal bed machines), so that you don't have to do strips or join them as you go along with the next strip, but those also make nice afghans. Prayer shawls are pretty easy as well as scarfs but also not that you will have to add some sort of edging to the outside of those if knitted flat to help stop the curl on the outside edges.
I would recommend looking at your local craigslist for something that you may find a good price on but if no picture with the ad, ask the seller for a picture or search for images of that machine. Yard sales as well you may find one, but most times they will need a deep cleaning or fixing other than the new sponge strip/bar to get it back to working condition. Maybe you can find one for little cost and try it out to see if this will help you. The metal bed machines are work horses but if one takes care of their plastic machines, they will also last a lifetime. As mentioned by another, the plastic bed machines, if you want some Fair Isle or a Tuck stitch design in there, will be more hand work to get it done compared to the metal bed machines but it looks like at this point you are not looking for a machine that would cost you more than a very simple one.
Beware of any ads that state they know nothing of the machine as they pretty much bought it for pennies and then sell for a profit.
Good luck with this, I hope to see another machine knitter in the world. Depending on any web page that you don’t know where they had received their information is very similar to the State Farm commercial of that very gullible lady. Going to a dealer would be better and you may find one near you that will better help you. Don’t take my word on this as you will have to make your own choice. I think all machines are good ones, even the Bonds as some just cannot pay high prices for something that they may only use here and there. http://www.clearwaterknits.com/dealers/dealer_list.html or http://www.knitcraft.com/silver/dealer_map_usa.php may help you in finding a dealer near you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you so so much for your very analytical and comprehensive rundown on the knitting machines. You have given me a lot to think about. I always appreciate it when someone takes their time to inform the way you have. You have been so helpful.

God bless you and I hope your holidays are wonderful. (I wish you lived next door but then you would get tired of me)
 

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I agree about the sponge bar. Unless the seller specifically states that it has been replaced, you will need to get a new one, or make one, and you can see how to dothis on you tube. I think it's a good investment to buy a new one though.

I have three Singer (knitmaster) memomatics. A 323, 360 and 329, bargains I could not resist. My first knitting machine was bought in the 70s and it was a singer memomatic also. They are sooo very easy to learn and the manuals are quite comprehensive. If you do buy one and need help you can always come to this website for all the lovely people who want to share.

Try and buy one that states it comes with manual, all tools and Pattern punch cards. This would be a complete machine. Don't worry about a ribber if you hear that word because that is an extra learning curve and you would be best to get used to the Main Bed first. For one of these singers you should look to pay anywhere from $100 - $200 without ribber, however some people don't know there worth and you may get one a lot cheaper. Let us know how you go.
 

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M2SMRTFORU said:
I am thinking about using a knitting machine. Arthritis is giving me problems. I have no experience with machines. I only want something to do afghans, prayer shawls and scarfs. Don't think I could or would get proficient enough to do anything else. Don't know if this is an option for me but know you all have good advice.

Thanks for your input.
A bulky/chunky knitting machine may not be kind to an arthritis sufferer; the thickness of these yarns make the carriage harder to push than a standard gauge machine.

If you opt for a standard gauge; you can get a motor drive or use a garter carriage. These will make your machine self-propel.

Best wishes
 

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Thecanechair said:
Try and buy one that states it comes with manual, all tools and Pattern punch cards. This would be a complete machine. Don't worry about a ribber if you hear that word because that is an extra learning curve and you would be best to get used to the Main Bed first. For one of these singers you should look to pay anywhere from $100 - $200 without ribber, however some people don't know there worth and you may get one a lot cheaper. Let us know how you go.
I would put this a little stronger and say MAKE ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that the manuals, tools, punch cards, etc are included. I purchased my machine from reputedly respectable dealer and technician. The manual was not there and she said she had sent for one. She lent me one until she could get one for me. Then said it was on disc and would forward it to me. Then said her computer could not read it, then could not print it. I said it did not matter if her computer could not read it, perhaps mine could, she still did not send it to me. I managed to get the same discs, no problem. I also purchased a printed manual, a new, reprinted edition. I emailed her and gave her the details of the purchase. She said that she could not get through to the seller, I do not know why as they were on ebay. She then demanded I send her the copy she had loaned me. I was tempted to say that as the machine was sold with a manual and she had not provided the manual I was keeping her 'loaned' copy until she provided me with a manual. Ditto with tools, punch cards. The ones she sent me were for another machine, not the one I had purchased from her. She then demanded I send them back to her. Nothing mentioned about cost of postage. Yes, I sent them back, they were of no use to me. I went into Perth and purchased the correct items. There was one part I could not fathom and asked her about it. She said that part came from a Singer machine and the one I bought was a Brother. I knew what I had purchased. She said she only sold Brother machines, she did NOT sell Singer Machines. She was a Brother technician of over 40 years standing. Funny, when I went to her house, the first machine she bought out was a Singer and I told her I would rather have a Brother.........something wrong there. She also said that Knitmaster machines were NEVER manufactured in the UK. They were manufactured in Japan. When I produced evidence, including photos of the machines and the UK factory, she would not even look at it. Knitmaster was taken over by the Japanese company Brother in the mid 60's when British manufacturing industry went into decline and Japanese industry became dominant and took over many UK firms. That is why we had many immigrants from the UK in the late 60's, men and women came seeking employment.

I had a lot of trouble with the machine. I paid $700 in August last year and in November I was ready to take it to the tip. I told her this and she said she would try to resell it for me, but she could not get anything near the price I had paid for it. She could get between $300-$400. I asked why the machine had dropped to half its value in three months, no answer was her stern reply. Then she emailed me, she had a buyer, a firm sale, but I was to take the machine to her house, over an hours drive away. She did not mention what price the buyer was paying. The buyer would go to her house and inspect it, would pay her and she would then pay me. Am I suspicious or does anyone else smell a rat. I asked why the buyer could not come to my house and why she could not pay me direct. No answer was her stern reply. She was also silent on how much commission she would charge me for the sale. I did not take up her offer.

The machine is sitting in my bedroom, at the moment it is dropping two stitches from the ribber. It probably has had incorrect needles been used. I had this problem with the main bed and removed the problem needles and found they were not the correct needles, they were shorter. The garter carriage, I think that is what it is called, that transfers the stitches from the ribber to the main bed, does not work it is quicker and easier to transfer the stitches by hand. The lace carriage, no way could I get that to work. I have not looked at the, sorry the name has gone, it uses the mylar sheets to graph a garment. But I am not a happy knitter. My daughter has given me books that she has picked up here and there, so I also have a bit of a library of knitting machine books. I have also been given a supply of the 1ply yarn that it uses. I also purchased a fine knit bar so I could use this extra fine yarn. In fact I have turned down two supplies of this fine yarn, I do not want too much yarn that I am not using. I purchased the machine in order to knit with this super fine yarn, as anything over the old 5 ply is really to hot to wear here in Perth.

It is a pity I live so far away in Australia because at this stage I would give it to someone who knows how to use one and would use it. I think I still perfer to hand knit, I can knit whilst watching TV, take my knitting outside under the trees and take my knitting with me when I go for a cuppa or visit my sisters or other friends. I am a disillusioned machine knitter.

Someone said to advertise it on ebay. I have purchased from ebay, but never sold anything. Someone else mentioned selling it though GumTree, but I do not know this site. Perhaps I should try ebay, I might get something for it, but then I might end up selling it back to the dealer if it is listed on ebay. The seller does not know the identity of the buyer until the sale is complete and perhaps it is just me but honestly I would rather take the thing to the tip than sell it back to the technician I bought it from, and sell it at a considerable loss. Would anyone else feel the same way about selling it back to this woman so she could then resell it to someone else at a profit?

I have taken the sponge bar out, it is not sitting in the machine whilst the machine is not in use.
 

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Martha French said:
Thecanechair said:
Try and buy one that states it comes with manual, all tools and Pattern punch cards. This would be a complete machine. Don't worry about a ribber if you hear that word because that is an extra learning curve and you would be best to get used to the Main Bed first. For one of these singers you should look to pay anywhere from $100 - $200 without ribber, however some people don't know there worth and you may get one a lot cheaper. Let us know how you go.
I would put this a little stronger and say MAKE ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that the manuals, tools, punch cards, etc are included. I purchased my machine from reputedly respectable dealer and technician. The manual was not there and she said she had sent for one. She lent me one until she could get one for me. Then said it was on disc and would forward it to me. Then said her computer could not read it, then could not print it. I said it did not matter if her computer could not read it, perhaps mine could, she still did not send it to me. I managed to get the same discs, no problem. I also purchased a printed manual, a new, reprinted edition. I emailed her and gave her the details of the purchase. She said that she could not get through to the seller, I do not know why as they were on ebay. She then demanded I send her the copy she had loaned me. I was tempted to say that as the machine was sold with a manual and she had not provided the manual I was keeping her 'loaned' copy until she provided me with a manual. Ditto with tools, punch cards. The ones she sent me were for another machine, not the one I had purchased from her. She then demanded I send them back to her. Nothing mentioned about cost of postage. Yes, I sent them back, they were of no use to me. I went into Perth and purchased the correct items. There was one part I could not fathom and asked her about it. She said that part came from a Singer machine and the one I bought was a Brother. I knew what I had purchased. She said she only sold Brother machines, she did NOT sell Singer Machines. She was a Brother technician of over 40 years standing. Funny, when I went to her house, the first machine she bought out was a Singer and I told her I would rather have a Brother.........something wrong there. She also said that Knitmaster machines were NEVER manufactured in the UK. They were manufactured in Japan. When I produced evidence, including photos of the machines and the UK factory, she would not even look at it. Knitmaster was taken over by the Japanese company Brother in the mid 60's when British manufacturing industry went into decline and Japanese industry became dominant and took over many UK firms. That is why we had many immigrants from the UK in the late 60's, men and women came seeking employment.

I had a lot of trouble with the machine. I paid $700 in August last year and in November I was ready to take it to the tip. I told her this and she said she would try to resell it for me, but she could not get anything near the price I had paid for it. She could get between $300-$400. I asked why the machine had dropped to half its value in three months, no answer was her stern reply. Then she emailed me, she had a buyer, a firm sale, but I was to take the machine to her house, over an hours drive away. She did not mention what price the buyer was paying. The buyer would go to her house and inspect it, would pay her and she would then pay me. Am I suspicious or does anyone else smell a rat. I asked why the buyer could not come to my house and why she could not pay me direct. No answer was her stern reply. She was also silent on how much commission she would charge me for the sale. I did not take up her offer.

The machine is sitting in my bedroom, at the moment it is dropping two stitches from the ribber. It probably has had incorrect needles been used. I had this problem with the main bed and removed the problem needles and found they were not the correct needles, they were shorter. The garter carriage, I think that is what it is called, that transfers the stitches from the ribber to the main bed, does not work it is quicker and easier to transfer the stitches by hand. The lace carriage, no way could I get that to work. I have not looked at the, sorry the name has gone, it uses the mylar sheets to graph a garment. But I am not a happy knitter. My daughter has given me books that she has picked up here and there, so I also have a bit of a library of knitting machine books. I have also been given a supply of the 1ply yarn that it uses. I also purchased a fine knit bar so I could use this extra fine yarn. In fact I have turned down two supplies of this fine yarn, I do not want too much yarn that I am not using. I purchased the machine in order to knit with this super fine yarn, as anything over the old 5 ply is really to hot to wear here in Perth.

It is a pity I live so far away in Australia because at this stage I would give it to someone who knows how to use one and would use it. I think I still perfer to hand knit, I can knit whilst watching TV, take my knitting outside under the trees and take my knitting with me when I go for a cuppa or visit my sisters or other friends. I am a disillusioned machine knitter.

Someone said to advertise it on ebay. I have purchased from ebay, but never sold anything. Someone else mentioned selling it though GumTree, but I do not know this site. Perhaps I should try ebay, I might get something for it, but then I might end up selling it back to the dealer if it is listed on ebay. The seller does not know the identity of the buyer until the sale is complete and perhaps it is just me but honestly I would rather take the thing to the tip than sell it back to the technician I bought it from, and sell it at a considerable loss. Would anyone else feel the same way about selling it back to this woman so she could then resell it to someone else at a profit?

I have taken the sponge bar out, it is not sitting in the machine whilst the machine is not in use.
I suggest you google machine knitting clubs in Western Australia to see if you can get some help to get it working.
Best wishes
 

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ValT said:
I suggest you google machine knitting clubs in Western Australia to see if you can get some help to get it working.
Best wishes
I did attend the local club, three months in a row, but they are more than a bit snobbish there. My friend from spinning attended this club for over seven years with her cousin. They always called her 'the Wanneroo girl', she lived in Wanneroo. They never once called her by her name, even though she pinned it to the front of her dress so they could see it. After her cousin moved she did not go there again. Other clubs are a bit of a distance away. But it is a thought, to give another club a go. I am not too fond of driving long distances these days, too many trucks and road trains on my local roads.
 
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