So you are thinking about investing in a knitting machine?
Although it is tempting to dive straight into researching other people’s opinions on the top knitting machines available, we would urge you to pause and first take a step back.
You need first to be thinking about what you want to do with your new knitting machine. You want to knit things! Specifically, what types of things do you like to knit and what types of wools and yarns you wish to use. We ask you to think about this as not all knitting machines are as good at producing all kinds of garments and certain types of yarns work better with certain brands of knitting machine.
Although some knitters and crafters only ever knit a single type of garment or use a limited selection of yarns, many people look to produce a wide variety of knitwear using many different kinds of yarns. We do not want to disappoint you but if you fall into the latter category of knitters you are unlikely to find a single machine that will allow you to do everything you can currently do with traditional knitting technics.
All but the best commercial knitting machines struggle with the wide variety of yarns, stitches and knots you can achieve with your traditional trustee knitting needles.
There is not a knitting machine available in the domestic market that will allow fully finished garments to be produced.
So, choosing the best knitting machine is all about choosing the best device to meet your needs and bear in mind you might need more than one knitting machine.
As an example, a knitting machine to cope with heavy yarn to produce warm jumpers is likely to have the latch hooks locked to provide consistent stitching; this would not be good at making feathery shawls.
If you aim in purchasing a knitting machine is only to perform one key stage in your knitting process the task of selecting the correct device is much easier, however, if you are looking for greater flexibility
And to cope with several of your knitting processes, the buying decision becomes a lot more complicated.
Top Tips When Choosing a Knitting Machine
- Clearly define what you want to achieve with your new knitting machine and where you are prepared to compromise.
- Take time to research the various machines and read our reviews.
Types of Knitting Machines
- Bulky Knitting Machines
- Standard Bed Knitting Machines
- Mid-Gauge Knitting Machines
Often used for heavy sweaters and jumpers, the needles are set to about 9mm apart and they have a hook a latch configuration capable of coping with heavy wools and yarns. These can be operated via pre-punched cards or by creating a pattern of you own design. They can carry out Fair Isle, tuck, slip, lace, intarsia, and other knitting techniques. Brother and Silver Reed are two great examples of the more bulky knitting machine
Standard Bed Knitting Machines
These are often utilized to knit suits and lace curtains. With a needles placement 4.5mm apart, hook and latches are smaller than those on bulky or mid-gauge machines. . These machines can accomplish a wide variety of stiches and will work well with thin or very thin types or yarn or wool.
When looking at the electronic standard bed variation of the knitting machine you can often choose from more than 700 templates and these can be customised.
Mid Gauge Knitting Machines
These are the type of knitting machine that will get you to produce knitted works that look closest to hand knitting. As the name might suggest “mid-gauge”, these are cable of utilising a fast range of yarns and wools including the likes of worsted, sport and baby yarns. The needle placement at 6.5mm allows for most common types of knitted stiches to be produced with ease
produce the closest quality to hand-knitted fabrics. With needles set 6.5mm apart, these machines can knit a wide variety of yarns, including baby, sport, and worsted types. Lace is done by hand and most models do not have stored patterns or automatic selection of needles. Mid-gauge machines can do some of the most common knitting stitches like stockinet, slip and tuck, as well as techniques involving weaving, plating and ribbing.