My girlfriend just started knitting and she got really good at it. I like the idea of producing your own clothes a lot since they seem to have a lot more (also emotional) value.

I remember that my grandmother had a knitting machine which made work a lot easier / faster. Now we are living in the 21th century and I was wondering whether there is something like computer programmable knitting machines that are really up to date.

I was searching the web a bit and I figured out there are .. somehow. Just I don't know where to start. What are important things to keep in mind? What features should I look for?

  • 1
    Hello there, and welcome. I've amended your question a little, so that it's a good fit to our site. Because we do Q&A, rather than being a discussion forum, we've found questions about looking for features in a potential new purchase can fit into the format here; but asking for shopping recommendations doesn't work so well, because there they're much harder to answer objectively, and because answers can go out of date so quickly.
    – 410 gone
    May 15 '14 at 13:38
  • After some private discussion among moderators, we decided to close this question here on Sustainability.SE. Questions about handicrafts may be on topic over at Arts & Crafts, which was launched some time after this question was posted.
    – Earthliŋ
    May 4 '18 at 9:01

I am a hand knitter who occasionally toys with buying a knitting machine. I have not used one personally, but I do know of the following forums with machine knitters who can help you find the right machine:

  • Ravelry.com is an online knitting forum that most of the knitters I know use to find patterns and yarn and share work. It also has a machine knitting forum, with lots of helpful, experienced machine knitters who can answer your questions.
  • aboutknittingmachines.com is another site with tons of information on all of the machine knitting options out there. It is a good place to figure out what all of the options are (because there are a LOT of options - most of them very expensive ;)).

It's important to understand that machine knitting is a completely different skillset than hand knitting. There is a steep learning curve for machine knitting, even for people who are skilled hand knitters. You need to spend a lot of time practicing on the machine, learning how to adjust it so stitches aren't dropped and how to set it up to do different stitches. The machines are very expensive, and so are the add-ons.

I've seen two types of knitting machines - ones that produce a tube and ones that produce a flat piece of knitting. If you get the tube kind, all you'll be able to produce are things that have a tube shape (socks, double-fabric scarves, etc.) If you buy a flat machine, you'll be able to produce flat pieces quickly, but then you will need to spend time finishing the garment by sewing them all together. Finishing is a skill in itself, and may knitters like myself learn to knit it the round just to avoid having to do too much of it!

  • Just to let you know I've updated the question a bit, so that it fits in with the Q&A format here. I think your answer is still a good fit to the question in its reworded form; bit I did want to give you a heads-up to the change, in case you wanted to review the reworded question, and to give you the chance to edit your answer if you want.
    – 410 gone
    May 15 '14 at 13:41

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