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View Full Version : Knitting Machine advice?


TheMabeses
12-03-2009, 11:04 AM
Well, I've been reading/researching about knitting machines (electrical and manual) in the last couple of days and think I want to try one. I absolutely love to knit but my hands and time are being too stretched.
I'm hoping a knitting machine would help me do things quicker. I love to make Christmas stockings and have so many ideas for them but not the time nor stamina for it. I've sold about 16 stockings and hope to make this a small hobbie/business. I was wondering though, if a machine would make it quicker for me since I do a lot of intarsia and fair isle and not sure if doing those techniques would be any quicker on a machine.
I've watched videos and read about how the Bond America Ultimate Sweater Machine works and wasn't sure if this was the way to go. I'm wondering if it would take just as much time to adjust the yarn on the needles as it would to hand knit my stockings.
I'm just researching a lot now and trying to figure out what would be the best option and what would be the best machine for a newbie machine knitter. Any help would be appreciated! :)

globaltraveler
12-03-2009, 01:30 PM
No, I don't think the Bond is a good way to go if you're doing this as a production business (much as I love mine). I think I'd probably check with dealers who deal with more industrial machines with your questions -- do remember that there's a fairly hefty learning curve when using knitting machines.

TheMabeses
12-03-2009, 01:44 PM
Thanks, globaltraveler for your response!
Do you think it would be better for me to start out with a Bond machine (I have a coupon to get it fairly cheap right now) to get the hang of machine knitting first or try for a more expensive machine and learn it all from there?

globaltraveler
12-03-2009, 05:00 PM
If you're serious about production work, I'd start with a better machine. The Bond is definitely a hobbyist's machine, lightweight, and could be very frustrating for someone trying to do lots of product quickly while trying to learn the machine at the same time. It took me a couple of months of working on the Bond to figure out some of the variables and tricks, which won't change in the slightest for a production machine, and then you'd have to learn the production machine all over again when you got that, so I suspect it'd actually be somewhat wasting your time, though I could be wrong about that.

Most reputable dealers in knitting machines are perfectly willing to talk to you about your choices. Contact a few of them. Best if you can find one in your area in case you need help; plus they usually will run classes or offer tutoring on the machines -- and always good to be close to someone who can repair your machine when you're in the middle of a work run!

TheMabeses
12-03-2009, 09:57 PM
Thanks again. :muah:
Would you have any recommendations for brand or model of machine for a newbie like me?
I've been researching like crazy about this. The closest dealer to where I live that I could find is about 3 hours away. Which is a little far for my taste but would be willing to travel that distance if you think it would be needed. :)
I've also looked on ebay and such and some ads, most are selling used Brother brands. I've been reading that they are out of business, is it wise to buy a brand that is no longer being manufactured.
I found this for sale for $699. Do you know if this is a good deal?
"...Here is a Silver Reed Model 700 Punchcard Knitting Machine w/ Built In Knit Contour and a Silver Reed SRP-60N Ribbing Attachment. All with original accessories, manuals and punchcards. This machine and ribber are in absoutley beautiful condition. Only used a couple of times. Would make a great Christmas gift. I have also included some pattern books to get you on your way."
I really appreciate any and all your help. :)

globaltraveler
12-03-2009, 10:15 PM
You might not have much of a choice. Silver Reed is considered a good reputable model as is Brother. I don't know if that's a good deal, I'd discuss it with a dealer who can tell you if s/he can help you learn to use it and be able to repair it. (Also, try googling that machine for more info. :) ) I am a big fan of having a good support system when working with machines for your business!

nannaknits
12-04-2009, 12:25 PM
Other things you need to consider: What size yarn will you be knitting with. Knitting machines are designed to use a specific size like bulky, dk, or fine weights. You can't knit bulky on a fine gauge machine very easily. To knit socks with no seams you will need a ribber as well. If you just have the knitting bed with no ribber you will only be able to knit flat. Most knitting machines are no longer being manufactured. So finding someone who has knowledge to fix one may be troublesome. Also trying to learn to use the machine by just reading the instruction book can be difficult at best. Most manuals are transcribed from Japanese manuals and some info gets lost in the traslation. So if you find a teacher that would be awesome and so much easier to learn. The Bond machine is more like a toy compared to the more expensive machines. Don't get me wrong, I bought a Bond first and was totally disappointed. It is really picky on what type yarn you use, mine didn't like Red Heart. The carriage kept coming off the bed causing the stitches to drop. It did stockinette stitch fine but anything else was a pain.

janeway4eva
12-05-2009, 07:01 AM
I have 4 knitting machines in the loft 1 chunky 2 standard and one fine guage you will find it takes longer to do intarsia than it does on needles there is a greater degree of concentration needed when using a machine you have to manipulate every stitch manually and it takes a long time in my experience machine knitting takes longer than manual knitting and i wouldnt bother with a machine just for refrence my machines are all brother if your going to try it get a cheap machine off ebay and try it out first then if you dont like it you wont have spent a small fortune on a machine. :)

TheMabeses
12-06-2009, 03:02 PM
Your opinions are much appreciated!:happydance:

meowmeowmeow
12-06-2009, 07:35 PM
You should youtube any products you're interested in.I've seen quite a few knitting machine tutorials and even some tutorials on using old sock knitting machines.I love to youtube any big purchase just to see how others have used it/like it.The comments people leave are also helpful.