Who is better, human or machine? Machine knitting is all about speed and volume. A knitting machine can produce an entire row in seconds which could take several minutes by hand. Knitting machines also turn out patterns with a more even tension. But no matter how efficient these machines are, nothing can substitute the creativity of a hand knitter. Some hand knitting patterns do not adapt well with a machine. And most projects require a combination of hand knitting, machine knitting and crochet trim to complete.
A knitting machine enables you to knit a remarkable amount of stitches per minute without putting too much stress on your hands and fingers. An intricate artwork that takes several days to finish by hand can be done by a machine in just a few hours. Most machines also have hundreds of pattern ideas to choose from. For example Brother knitting machines offer more than 500 pattern designs.
While knitting machines are fast and efficient, they can put you at a disadvantage too. The most obvious downside is size. You need intense free space to accommodate a bulky machine. Using a machine to knit also requires 100% of your attention. Unlike with hand knitting, you can not watch TV or supervise your kids while on a machine. Learning how to set up and operate a machine can be time-consuming too.
Another plus with hand knitting is flexibility. You can easily adjust your stitches in the middle of a row whereas with a machine, you will need to drop all the stitches you want purled and work them back up. Hand knitting also allows you to see your work as you knit along. With a machine, you can only see the wrong side of the pattern.
One major setback with machine knitting is the cost of the machine itself. These things can cost an arm and a leg, with an entry-level Brother knitting machine carrying a hefty tag of $ 500. A machine can only work with one weight class, so if you want to knit other yarn weights, you will need a different machine for each. Knitting machines also need special attachments like a Silver Reed ribbing attachment sold at $ 700, an Intarsia carriage at $ 90, and yarn changer at $ 300 – additional expenses that you seriously need to consider before deciding to try out machine knitting.
Check out several brands and models before buying a knitting machine. Ask machine knitting experts for advice or attend knitting seminars at a local club where you can view free demonstrations. Machine knitting discussion forums on the Internet can give you ideas on choosing the right knitting machine for you.