Welcome to About Knitting Machines, a source of information for you about knitting machines. When I first started knitting it was by hand, and while I liked the hobby, I decided to try knitting with a machine. To my amazement, it was very difficult to find information and when I did it was piecemeal, all over the web and sometimes contradictory. So, after looking around the net for a few years and after selling and buying knitting machines I decided to put together a website with as much information about knitting machines, in ONE PLACE, that I could find online and also share what I have learned. So, basically, this site is a repository of information that is found on the internet about knitting machines and yarn in one place and some stuff that I have written. I do not copy write anything and you can use this information as you wish, which includes sending it to others or even on your own site as long as you DO NOT charge for it. My goal is to keep machine knitting alive and hopefully this site will help you in any way that you need. This site will continue to evolve as I learn more about machine knitting or find more items that I can post for you to use. So, check back every once in a while to see what's new on the site.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS
WEBSITE CONTAINS ALL THE INFO THAT I CAN FIND AND WHAT I KNOW ABOUT YARN AND KNITTING MACHINES. I am not able to answer questions beyond the scope of this website. If you need clarification, please contact me BUT BEFORE you send me a question, read the appropriate sections first, do your homework and be specific with your question. I do this for free and my time is limited hence I do not have time to answer questions that are already answered in one of the sections of this site and I will not be able to respond. If you have questions about knitting machines and any issues that you are having with your knitting machine please contact a dealer from the Vendors Page. If you have a questions about knitting, I suggest contacting a vendor or join a knitting group that is open to questions and not just a sales group or a guild.
I do this freely, at my expense, and just because. As
you will see, I do pepper this website with a few opinions here and
there, my experience, personal recommendations on vendors, what to look out
for, who might be difficult (vendors) and a few warnings, but for the
most part it is an informational and educational site. I want to bring to your attention that no vender can pay me to list them or promote them, anyone in the Preferred Vendors list or anywhere on this site is mentioned because I have heard really great things about them consistently. Any one that is mentioned and does not have a stellar review is because the opposite has happened.
I have information about yarn, knitting machines, types of models and makes of knitting machines, and information about certain machines that I am most familiar with or could find information on. I offer ALL knitting machine manuals and pattern books for FREE, and knitting patterns that knitters have graciously donated. I offer ALL Knitting Machine Magazines that I have been able to find in PDF format for your use, also for FREE. If you would ever like to contribute to the collection/library of manuals, magazines, patterns or information, please I welcome it. Email me! Send it to me!
I have listed excellent yarn stores to buy yarns from, a list of knitting machine shops that you can trust for sales and the repair of knitting machines, a list of other vendors that offer support items, dvd tutorials and books that you would be interested in, to include DAK tutorials and other items. I have a list of a lot of knitting calculators and explanations of the Magic Formula for charting. A couple to mention up front is Needle-Tek, the best place for repairs and they have knitting machine items. The best place for great prices on used equipment from someone you can trust is Custom Knits and Manufacturing (they also have new stuff). Cathie's DAK Tutorials are the best in the market bar none. Also, I have no idea who the "Knitting Fiend" is, but she has taken the time to create a ton of calculators for knitting patterns. For PASSAP Knitting Machines ask for Tammi Noble at Knit and Sew, but she also carries Brother and Silver Reed/Studio knitting machines. You can find it all under...
I have listed vendors who carry excellent knitting machine tutorials on DVD, so that you can learn in your living room as if someone was there with you. There are not too many places in the US where you can get lessons, which usually cost you at least $50 an hour and they teach you what they want to teach you. I have listed sites with the best DVD's with the best prices for you to spend your money on, as they are not cheap, and by the way should be around $35 to at MOST $50, but you usually can find them all for $35 and under. One person who makes lessons on DVD to stay away from is Hobby Knitter or Alaskan Maine-iac, her dvd's are horrible and full of mistakes.
Another tutorial, or should I say text, about creating patterns is worth mentioning up front is "CHARTING by the MAGIC FORMULA" by ALLES and published by Country Knitting of Maine. This is an invaluable workbook and explanation, written for anyone to understand and a must have if you want to make your own knitting patterns. Another text by Shirley Paden called "Knitwear Design Workshop", which you can buy anywhere including Amazon, is a must have to understand how to make a knitting pattern. I have also created an area for you to learn how to use the Magic Formula and create your own sweater designs under "Patterns, Magic Formula". In this area you will learn about necklines and armholes,bands and buttons, different collars and 2 types of sleeves. On the page titled "Vest with Shawl Collar" are templates that you can download and use to create your own patterns as well as on the first page of that section. If you like math and are a little bit of a geek like me, you will enjoy this section. Finally, I also have made a ton of blank sweater templates some of which are pullovers, open front sweaters, that are knee, hip and waist length, even peplums. You can find them all on the "Knitting Calculators" page.
About the information on knitting machines...
The sections in this website have a lot of information about Silver Reed, Studio and Brother, KnitKing Knitting Machines, as those are the ones I am most familiar with. While Brother/KnitKing Knitting Machines are no longer being produced, Silver Reed Machines are, but not all models. I have limited information about TOYOTA, later named ELNA, (Japanese made) knitting machines but have included as much as I could find under the "TOYOTA" section of this website and I have found virtually NO information on Artisan knitting machines except for descriptions on currently produced models. Also, there is a Swiss made knitting machine line called PASSAP, but I have absolutely no experience with this machine. PASSAP knitting machines are very well made and from what I hear the best knitting machine for any kind of double knit fabric. Owners of PASSAP machines are very loyal to the brand. The go to person for PASSAP machines would be Tammi at Knit and Sew, she owns a ton of these machines.
Recently (as of 2011) there has been some information out on the net about TAITEXMA knitting machines, that are supposed to be Brother clones with parts and accessories being interchangeable. I have heard the TAITEXMA brand out of Taiwan and China are not of high caliber so take care when purchasing this brand and get money back warranties. The only dealer for this knitting machine that I am aware of is Peter Smith Trading, Lt. up in Canada and ALLBRANDS in the USA.
One area that I think is a must read is theKnitting Machines and their Patterning Systems page in the "About Knitting Machines" section. It explains how knitting machines with built in stitch and garment design patterning systems work and also explains what other options are out in the market to include knitting machine software that can actually interact with your knitting machine called DAK (DesignAKnit). This section also discuses what options you have for knitting machines with no or limited stitch and garment pattern systems. It is very important for you to understand how these systems work so that you do not waste hundreds if not thousands of dollars on software and systems that you either will not use, cannot use or do not need. It is a lot of information but well worth the read for that reason alone, then when you understand it you can then decide if the $30 software is best over software that costs $500+. And by the way, the $30 software is very robust, so do not let the price tag fool you into thinking that just because it is "inexpensive" it is "cheap", it actually is great and you may not need anything else.
If you are interested in purchasing a knitting machine, I would encourage you to read about the different models first, understand what you are purchasing and then read the tutorial on what questions to ask.
As stated before, All downloads on this site are FREE! I have a lot of Brother Fashion Magazines (that others sell) that have great garment patterns that can work on ANY make or model knitting machine. I also have many TOYOTA, and almost all Silver Reed and Brother/KnitKing Manuals for the knitting machines and their accessories! There is a section for other knitting machine magazines for you to download and use to include KnitMaster (Studio) Pattern Collections. There are more magazines with garment designs and stitch patterns for the KnitMaster - Studio - Silver Reed line of knitting machines called Modern Knitting Magazine.
Please do not email me and ask me to take down any links to all the free stuff because I won't. I am not breaking any copy-write laws by posting these items for free. I know that some of you sell these items, but let's face it, you probably got most of them for free.
A word about buying; I would encourage you to join YAHOO groups that are dedicated to knitting machine enthusiasts, there you will get the best deals. BUT, these groups also have their issues and I would encourage you to read what I think about YAHOO Groups on the this page:"About YAHOO Groups". Also, you should read the page on Internet Buying & Selling and how to protect yourself. As far as Buying off of auction sites, while eBay does offer a wide selection, their prices are overinflated because the seller has a lot of fees to pay eBay, hence sellers inflate the price of the machine or shipping charge in order to cover the cost of eBay fees. You should NOT use eBay as means to measure what a machine cost or what it is worth, as I said the prices are very inflated for the most part. Buying from eBay also does not guarantee that you will get what you paid for. Just make sure that when you pay for something you have a way to get your money back if things are not as they seem. PayPal is a great way to do this BUT it may not always work, especially if a SELLER gets ripped off. This is just one suggestion and you can protect yourself as a SELLER by requiring the money to be sent as personal and as a gift OR transfer the money out of PayPal and not ship the item until the money hits your checking account, or wait until it is past the point of when a Buyer can file a claim, or just not use PayPal at all and accept checks or money orders only. More on this in the section "About Buying A Knitting Machine" and how SELLERS can protect themselves.
In each knitting machine section I have included a price guide for each knitting machine manufacturer for you to be able to make an informed offer. I personally recommend the following YAHOO Group when in search of a knitting machine or looking to sell something that you want. It is dedicated to just the buying and selling of knitting machines, knitting machine accessories and yarn for the machine knitter:
The link above will take you to a free group where you can buy and sell knitting machines and yarn in peace and without the usual chit chat an ridiculous rules. Just click the link, join and that is it!
About currently produced knitting machine magazines, there really are not many choices. You have Machine Knitting Monthly, but it costs about $110 a year for a subscription and I think that is for 6 issues! I would recommend trying out Country Knitting of Maine, News and Views, a bi-monthly knitting machine magazine created by Linda Williams of Country Knitting of Maine. This is a magazine dedicated to knitting machines with lots of patterns, helpful articles, hints and more to include a series on felting by Kathryn Doubrley. Some of the contributing authors: Jo Newton, Kathryn Doubrley, Cathie Sanders, Maggie Andrews and more. You can contact Linda for a subscription at this email: email@example.com or go to her website. The price of a subscription is: $37.99 in USA, $38.99 in Canada, $45.99 for International subscribers. In England you can contact their distributor Linda Irwin directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
HOW TO USE THE SITE to BUY A KNITTING MACHINE
My aim with this site is for you to have as much information about knitting machines as possible, the different models, manufacturers, gauges, styles and information on how they work, if they use software etc...
1. Usually, you will first decide what type of yarn you mostly use like fine yarn or thick yarn most of the time, or something in the middle or maybe you use a variety of yarn types, this will dictate knitting machine gauge, which you will read about in the "About Yarn" section. Also, there is a lot of yarn information, off course, in the "About Yarn" section.
2. Then read about how knitting machines work in the About Knitting Machines section, so you get a good understanding of what you may want or need, a punch card, a manual starter machine or electronic/computerized knitting machine, then....
3. You can decide which manufacturer you like best such as Silver Reed/Studio, Brother, PASSAP, Artisan etc... given price point and/or variety of machines and then...
4. Finally, you can decide on which knitting machine model to buy, such as a Brother 965i or Studio SK860 knitting machine, with or without a ribber.
That is not only the most logical but also the most cost effective way when making a decision on which knitting machine to buy. Also, knitting machine prices really do not fluctuate that much, so my price guides are what I would pay AT THE MOST for the knitting machine, you can always offer less.
Please note that information on my website is information that I found all over the place and just compiled it to sit in one website (this one), some if it I have written, some came from magazine articles, some from white papers and some from different websites. If you have information or you find some of the information inaccurate, please email me and I will correct it as soon as I can. If you have information that you think is relevant, please send it to me and I will review it and decide whether to post it or not.
All information is accurate and to the best of my knowledge
I hope this website helps you in making your decision when purchasing a knitting machine and enjoy all the free stuff.