Posted in Knitting Machine

Knitting Machine Guide – Part 1: Buying a Knitting Machine

If you’re wondering whether to invest in a knitting machine or not, you’ve probably been ‘umming’ and ‘ahhing’ about the decision for a while. This is a common dilemma for many knitters. Buying a knitting machine is a decision you don’t make lightly. You would love the speed and convenience of a knitting machine but you don’t want to spend money on a piece of equipment you’re not going to use, or one which will see out its novelty and then be banished into the cupboard under the stairs!

 

The truth is that knitting machines are a great investment and can give you a beautiful finished piece of knitwear up to 50 times faster than hand knitting!

If you’re the kind of person who has lots of unfinished knitting projects lying around because you got bored before they were finished, then a knitting machine could be just what you need. Or maybe you’re thinking about setting up a business, selling your knitting on Etsy or one of the other craft sites? Or maybe you just love designing and making your own knitwear but haven’t got the time or patience to hand knit them.

This guide is designed to give you all the information you need to know about knitting machines – how they work, how to get the best results from them and which one is right for you.

So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Why You Need a Knitting Machine

A knitting machine is the fast track way to become more efficient and accurate, no matter what piece of work you are crafting, and whether it is for personal use or for selling for cash.

It’s really that simple.

Machine knitting is up to 50 times faster than hand knitting.

Big manufacturers regularly use knitting machines because they mean you can create garments fast, but these are obviously going to be too big and bulky for home use. The good news is that you can purchase knitting machines which are solely for personal use, and these are easy to use, whilst also giving the chance to play around with their various settings in your own time.

Machine knitting is up to 50 times faster than hand knitting

Kiss goodbye to slaving over items for hours, sometimes even days, and wave ‘hi’ to having them arrive in a matter of hours, or less.

The one thing you need to get out of your mind is the idea that using a knitting machine is somehow cheating on the process of creation. You will quickly find that using a knitting machine takes time to learn, and there some skill is needed to operate it properly.

What Can You Make With a Knitting Machine?

Anything! From sweaters to table clothes, hats, to scarves, the options are literally as endless as they would be if you were hand knitting, and the only major difference is the time it will take to complete the job. This means that you can avoid heading to your local department store for that cute sweater, and you can make it yourself in no time at all!

What Can You Make With a Knitting Machine

If you want to create garments and items for cash, a knitting machine is also the best way to go, because of the time and efficiency factor.

The Difference Between Hand Knitting and Machine Knitting

We’ve bigged up the knitting machine idea, but you need to know that you’re going to see major differences when you first make the switch.

Difference Between Hand Knitting and Machine Knitting

The main differences are:

  • Some stiches need to be created differently
  • The gauge on a machine is different and you will need to create the right ones for you
  • Preparation is more important when using a machine

What’s next? Well, you need to know how to find that ideal knitting machine, right?

Knitting Machine Brands

Doing some research around the internet you may have come across people talking about knitting machine brands such as Brother, Passap, Toyota and Singer which were all very popular 10+ years ago. But these machines are no longer being produced. You can sometimes find a used or refurbished one for sale but if you want the assurance and convenience of buying a new knitting machine – with that all-important guarantee, ease of repair etc – then Silver Reed is the answer.

The good news is Silver Reed Knitting machines are high quality and great value for money (particularly if you buy from the UK). They are easy to set up and use and there are a number of options to choose from depending on what you want to achieve with your machine knitting.

But whether you decide to buy a Silver Reed or opt for a used machine the brand of knitting machine is not your most important consideration.

Choosing Your Knitting Machine

The most important thing to consider before you buy your new knitting machine is what yarn you are going to use.

You see, with a machine, the needles are locked firmly into position, and you can’t change them for different sizes and types of yarn. This means that you need to think about what you’re going to use your knitting machine for.

  • Do you want to use thick wool?
  • Do you want to use thinner yarns?
  • Do you want something in the middle, so you can be a little more multi-purpose?

The machine you choose must be able to easily handle the type of yarn you prefer to use.

With hand knitting we need to think about needle size. With machine knitting we need to think in terms of the ‘gauge’.  The gauge refers to the number of stitches per inch.

  • Fine gauge – Knitting machines have needles which are 3.5 – 3.6mm apart, which is a 7 gauge. This means you can use wool and yarn from 3ply and some 4ply.
  • Standard gauge – The needles are 4.5mm apart and this equates to 5.6 gauge. This I 4ply and the occasional type of fine double knit.
  • Mid gauge–The needles are 6 – 7mm apart, which is 3.9 gauge. This type of knitting machine is particularly good for DK yarns.
  • Chunky gauge–This particular knitting machine has needles which are 9mm apart, and that is a 2.8 gauge. Thick yarns are best suited here, including DK, aran and light chunky yarns.
Posted in Yarn Bombing

Welcome To Knitta Please!

Yarn Your World Happy

At Knitta Please we love all things yarn. From spinning yarns to yarn bombing. Yarn brings color and warmth to the world. Yarn helps make the world a happier place and right now the world needs more happy.

If you’re new to knitting, crocheting or weaving you’ll be able to check out our beginner’s guides. And if you want expert opinions on what to buy – from needles and knitting machines to craft lamps and looms – our reviewers will help you choose the right tools for your projects.

We’re working on these guides and reviews as fast as we can. (But you can’t rush these things and we’re only a small team :)) Why not add your name to our mailing list and we’ll let you know as soon as they’re ready.

In the meantime, we want to tell you a bit more about the wonderful world of yarn bombing.

What is Knitta Please?

In 2005 Magda Sayeg, a knitter from Houston, Texas was looking for something to brighten up her shop. She thought it might be fun to knit a small, colorful cozy for the door handle. And unintentionally started a craze that swept the world – yarn bombing.

Knitta Please Magda Sayer Yarn Bombing
Magda Sayeg: Making the world a more colorful place!

Magda got together with a few other likeminded knitters. The collective called themselves Knitta Please! (Wikipedia) Mundane urban objects like parking meters, street signs and lamp posts were transformed. Houston never looked so cheerful.

And now we want to help bring a little more happiness into people’s lives through yarn. Whatever you want to do with it, we’re here to help. Knit it, crochet it, weave it. Decorate a building or play with a kitten. It’s all good.

A Beginners Guide to Yarn Bombing

A little like graffiti, but much more welcome. Yarn bombing is bright, vibrant, and on the rise. This fantastic and colorful craze is taking over the world, one stitch at a time. Yarn bombing shows no signs of slowing down!

City Bus Yarn Bombed
City bus yarn bombed: This would brighten up our commute

Coloring the World Happy!

When you think about street art or graffiti, you’re picturing spray cans and paint. Now, what if that art was made of wool or yarn? Yes, that is yarn bombing!

Objects large and small are covered with knitted wool. It can be anything, from a gatepost to a city bus. Of course, graffiti can last forever, but yarn bombing is a short-term deal. And yarn boming doesn’t destroy or deface property. This makes it so much more flexible and won’t land you in jail!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Yarn Bombing

Graffiti can damage property. It can also be offensive. Yarn bombing on the other hand makes the world a happier and more colorful place. And who could object to that?

In theory, you should be able to yarn bomb anywhere. There is a big ‘but’ here – you should check the area you’re in. Privately owned places, like Malls, will have strict policies so it’s a good idea to ask for permission first. But if you’re a bit of a risk taker and like the thrill of being a rebel, then just go for it!

We’ve never heard of anyone getting in serious trouble for yarn bombing. If the authorities don’t like it, they just take it down. Of course, one way of avoiding any problems is to keep it personal. Just yarn bomb things in your own yard or your home.

Yarn Bombing On The Rise!

From the early days of Knitta Please, yarn bombing has grown and grown. You’ll now find examples of this exciting hobby right across the world.

In 2008 the Jafagirls in Ohio were in the spotlight for their Knit Knot Tree design. This is now one of the first images you will see on a Google search for the term ‘yarn bombing’! Then there is London’s Deadly Knitshade. Aka Lauren O’Farrell. Lauren hit the big time with her Knit The City exhibition across the English capital, telling a story with hand-knitted props. And in Australia, a group calling themselves the Twilight Taggers were keeping busy.

Yarn Bomb London Knit the City
Phone Fun: Part of a Knit the City project by ‘Deadly Nightshade’ Lauren O’Farrell

Yarn bombing is here to stay. And every day, thousands of people all over the world are yarn bombing to brighten up their neighborhoods, their yards and their homes.

Yarn bombing even has its own Day of the Year! The first International Yarn bombing Day was on June 11, 2011. And it’s getting bigger and better every year. With everyone from punk rockers to pensioner joining in.

As far as we can see the world needs cheering up and if yarn bombing can bring a smile to our faces then long may it continue.

Ready To Do Some Yarn Bombing?

With all this fun talk about yarn bombing, you might be wondering how you can get in on the action. Well, it’s best to start small. It’s also best to think very carefully about where you’re going to yarn bomb. (Whilst yarn bombing isn’t illegal, some authorities may not take too kindly to it!)

For that reason, we suggest starting small. Something you can create quickly and which doesn’t take too long to fix into place. And as far as the design is concerned, go for it! Think color, think vibrancy, think unusual! The whole point of yarn bombing is to make a creative statement using wool and yarn. If you have a stash of old wool that needs using up or one of those many unfinished projects you know you’ll never get around to, why not get creative on an old wheelbarrow?

A wheelbarrow covered in yarn
Wheelbarrow at Sherman Gardens, Newport Beach: Are you digging the fun?

Basically, yarn bombing is a personal deal. It’s about showing your creative nature, so whatever works for you, goes. First things first, do you have any spare yarn or wool sitting in your closets? If so, be kind to the environment and use it up, yarn bombing is the best way to do just that.

So, now you know what it is, maybe it’s time you started a little yarn bombing of your own? And if you do we’d love to see it. Please send in your photos and we can show off what our readers are doing!

Part of the fun of getting creative is sharing your ideas and inspiring others to do the same.

But whether you want to cover a city bus or just keep your ears warm Knitta Please will be here to help make your next yarn project a success.

Happy Yarns