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Arts & crafts

Knitting machine

(22 Posts)
jellybeanjean Thu 21-Feb-19 16:28:31

I've just had the best news: my DD and her DH are expecting twins later this year after a tough time on IVF. I'm so excited and can't wait to start making/knitting. Sadly my hands and fingers are useless with arthritis so I thought I might invest in a knitting machine. I know nothing about them. Are they worth buying?

aggie Thu 21-Feb-19 16:37:58

I had several Knitting machines over the years , they are great but you do need use of both hands in my experience . I had one that I could do fairisle on and loved it , but my children didn't ! OH hated the noise it made as well , best thing would be to visit a shop that lets you try it out

H1954 Thu 21-Feb-19 16:45:59

I agree with Aggie on this one. I also had a knitting machine some years ago and using it does require dexterity with your fingers and hands.

NanaandGrampy Thu 21-Feb-19 18:58:49

I had one many years ago but never really got on with it sadly .

Doodle Thu 21-Feb-19 19:36:33

I had one too (lucky enough to win it in a competition). I did make a few things with it (mainly jumpers my children didn’t like!). Need lots of patients and very fiddly as I remember.
Just a different thought. I read somewhere recently about some new design egonomic knitting needles by Prym. Perhaps these would help you to knit better.

Doodle Thu 21-Feb-19 19:36:59

Patience !!

Anniebach Thu 21-Feb-19 19:55:52

Using a knitting machine also means using small tools a lot, increasing, decreasing , casting off. Also a good grip on the carriage . If you have trouble with a crochet hook I doubt you would manage all that goes with a machine .

Jalima1108 Thu 21-Feb-19 20:20:34

not sure. My MIL had a fairly simple one which was good but then invested in a very complicated Swiss machine as she used to produce items to sell.
She never really got to grips with it and gave it to me - but I couldn't fathom it either.

The DGC may not like knitted items for very long - probably age 7 they may decide they don't want any more of granny's knitted garments, so consider if it is worth the investment.

jellybeanjean Thu 21-Feb-19 21:38:40

Thanks for all the helpful comments. I might pop along to hobbycraft at the weekend for a browse. It's really holding needles I struggle with. And there's a garden centre next door, so coffee and a few plants might be in order as well ?

jacq10 Thu 21-Feb-19 22:02:57

Have you tried bamboo knitting needles jellybeanjean? They are a lot lighter than metal ones and the wool doesn't slip off them. They are more expensive but they do make a difference.

Bathsheba Thu 21-Feb-19 22:04:41

I doubt you'll find any knitting machines in Hobbycraft - they sell one or two online, but I've never seen any in their stores.

I used to have a Knitmaster many years ago, which I used such a lot, from my teens right through to when my children were in their teens! Later, this one having died from rust, DH bought me a Silver Reed LK150 when I too found hand knitting difficult due to arthritis. It's a basic machine that uses DK and chunky yarn, but it doesn't do ribs, so I knit these by hand (I can manage that still) and transfer them to the machine for the bulk of the knitting.

I guess it all comes down to how bad your arthritis is. I can manage like this, but as someone upthread said, you need to be able to use smallish tools for decreasing and casting off, so if your arthritis is very bad you may find this is beyond you.

Bathsheba Thu 21-Feb-19 22:06:17

Oh and I meant to say: big congratulations - twins! How exciting! ??

Classic Fri 22-Feb-19 10:41:30

Agree with all the above, I had knitting machines but it took good eyesight and very good lighting to do the setting up on the needles, transferring stitches for increase/ decrease etc, but worst of all, I didn't get the satisfaction of knitting, i.e sitting comfortably relaxing in front of the telly or in the park and knitting, instead I would be sat up at a table concentrating closely on the machine. Have you tried crochet? It will be a case of getting new finger and hand muscles toned up, so you will get aching fingers at first but build up to longer and longer sessions. If its your index or forefinger joints that hurt, you can learn to hold the hook with your other fingers, I now find crochet so much easier to do than knitting.

GabriellaG54 Fri 22-Feb-19 11:12:12

How lovely. ??? ?‍?‍?‍??‍?‍?‍?????

grandtanteJE65 Fri 22-Feb-19 15:07:07

Would a round knitting frame perhaps be something you could use? I've never tried one, but I know a lot of ladies use them for making baby clothes.

Are you able to crochet? Or use a sewing machine?

Congratulations and best wishes to you all.

FountainPen Fri 22-Feb-19 15:41:39

There have been many, many threads on the specialist site Ravelry about knitting with arthritis so it would be a good idea to read throught some of those.

People find different brands of needles better or worse. Chiao Goo needles are a popular choice.

Others have mentioned using compression gloves.

Still others have suggested a change in knitting style. Learning the Portuguese style many help. This requires less hand movement, a thumb flip to put the yarn around the needle rather than a British throwing style. Video here:

narrowboatnan Fri 22-Feb-19 17:26:40

Congratulations Jellybeanjean - double trouble coming up!

I had a knitting machine once, used it for about six months. DH complained about the noise it made as it slid up and down along the rows and, although it was a lot quicker than hand knitting, it just wasn't as therapeutic.

GabriellaG54 Sat 23-Feb-19 15:25:14

It's cheaper to buy.

Jalima1108 Sat 23-Feb-19 16:42:39

It's cheaper to buy.
but not as satisfying.
You can buy anything with money but you make with love.

GrannyIris5 Sat 23-Feb-19 18:55:12

I’d think twice about a machine. Can’t pop it in your bag if you’re out in the car or maybe sit on the sofa with your feet up knitting. It’s not a race I’m sure any garments you manage will be gratefully received and every stitch knitted with love.
Try Knit-Pro they have small needles in assorted mm and you attach a cord the length you require, it saves all the weight on the needles and strain on your arms. Have a look at Deramores or Black Sheep. I always think Hobbycraft are so expensive, maybe John Lewis with their price match?

craftyone Sun 24-Feb-19 06:58:37

I used to have 2 brother punchcard knitting machines, ribbers, the lot. 70s, 80s, 90s but they did take up a lot of room and needed a lot of dexterity. I must have got the outlay back but eventually decided that the output was not worth the space, they became dust gatherers, so I gave them to a rehab centre, hoping that they could use them for some sort of income

I hand knit a great deal and my hands are becoming iffy now but circular needles are the way forward, two circulars, they are flexible so knitting sits in the lap. Knitting for a while plus breaks, makes arthritis manageable as do special crafting fingerless gloves with thumb supports

Chiaogoo make fantastic interchangeable kits, needle sizes and lengths, all in one small zipped bag and the metal lace needles are very easy on the hands. Purlescence is where I got my kits from

Learning another knitting style really does help, it changes the knitting action so is equivalent to hand resting

jackfowler Wed 10-Jul-19 12:15:54

A knitting machine is an ergonomic device designed for creating smart knitted clothing and accessories. You can knit garments of any color, size, and style, such as sweaters, scarves, mittens, hats, and socks. Knitting machines allow producing clothing much faster than you'd do knitting in a conventional way.