I've been wanting to learn to sew for some time now. I'm an absolute beginner and looking to buy a first sewing machine. I want to get that balance between spending an arm and a leg and getting something unsuitable for a beginner with functions I'll never learn to use, versus getting something crappy I will have to replace in 6 months when I figure out what I'm doing.
I want to use the machine for finishing handknits (of course!) - putting in zippers and reinforcing steeks are 2 things that come to mind. I'd also like to try my hand at quilting at some point. Other than that I'm not sure. Simple garments probably...
Any suggestions or advice about what to look for or even where to shop for my first sewing machine?