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September 12, 2022  |  Home

How to use a knitting machine

Knitting machines speed up the knitting process significantly, so they're great for when you're pressed for time. They're also ideal for people who can't knit by hand for any reason. However, before you get started, you'll need to learn how to use a knitting machine

All machines are different, so there isn't just one way to use a knitting machine. While it's possible to discover the basic idea of how these machines work, you'll need to examine the manual for your exact model to learn the ropes. 

In this article: Walfront LK150 Mid-Gauge Plastic Domestic Knitting Machine, Addi Express King Size Knitting Machine and Sentro Knitting Machine

Thread the machine

The first step is to thread the machine with your yarn. In some cases, you'll just need to thread the end in place and turn a crank or move the carriage, but in others, there's a good chunk of manual threading to do. 

Place weights

Some machines have weights to secure the yarn and keep stitches even and consistent. These must be placed before you start knitting. They may also need to be moved throughout the knitting process, so check the instruction manual carefully. 

Turn crank or move the carriage

Home knitting machines are usually manual rather than electric. They'll have either a rotating crank or a sliding carriage. With the yarn and any weights in place, you simply turn the crank or move the carriage and the machine does the hard work of knitting for you. 

Home vs. professional knitting machines

Home or domestic machines are in a different category from professional machines. 

  • Home: Home machines are relatively compact, so you can use them on a kitchen table or on a desk. They're manual, so you need to move the carriage or turn the crank by hand. They're relatively affordable, though prices vary widely depending on quality. 
  • Professional: Professional knitting machines are electric and run automatically. They can usually work with several colors of yarn at once to create designs of your choice. However, they're too large and too expensive for most home users and hobbyists. That said, they're good investments for those hoping to sell their knitwear.

Flat vs. circular knitting machines

Some machines are flat and can only create flat pieces of knitting. Others are circular and can create either tubes only or tubes and flat pieces. Consider which is more useful for the garments or other items you want to knit. 

Knitting machine gauges

Most machines are standard- or mid-gauge, but you can also find fine and chunky gauge options. Some are adjustable so you can switch between gauges. The correct gauge for you depends on what you want to knit and how you like the finish. 

  • Fine-gauge: These machines use lightweight yarns to produce super fine knits. 
  • Standard-gauge: With these machines, you use a four-ply yarn to produce knits with a tight, smooth finish, similar to knitwear bought from a store. 
  • Mid-gauge: Ideal for creating sport weight and medium weight knits, mid-gauge machines are great for people who want something between a fine knit and a chunky knit. 
  • Chunky-gauge: You can use chunky-gauge machines to create loose and chunky knits from bulky yarns, such as Aran or mohair. 

Best knitting machines

Walfront LK150 Mid-Gauge Plastic Domestic Knitting Machine

This flat tabletop knitting machine is operated using a carriage. It's smooth, easy to use and great for large projects. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Addi Express King Size Knitting Machine

With 46 needles, this large circular knitting machine is a versatile choice, creating tubes and flat pieces. It has a simple hand crank to operate it. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Sentro Knitting Machine

Since it's affordably priced, this machine is a great choice for occasional use or craft projects with kids. You can use it to knit tubes or flat pieces. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

BZVV Circular Knitting Machine

All you need to do to work this machine is screw the yarn into the spindle and turn the hand crank. Then, its 32 needles make light work of simple knitting projects. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Addi Mega Pro Knitting Machine Set

In this kit, you get two knitting machines: one large 46-needle version and one smaller 22-needle version. It also comes with spare needles and a trio of pattern books. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Zeya Zezirdas Knitting Machine

This simple hand crank circular knitting machine has 48 needles. You can easily adjust the yarn to give you a tight knit, loose knit or something in between. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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