Knitting machines are complex bits of machinery. They require a learning period and are offered in a variety of degrees of complexity. Metal based or plastic, some for thin yarns and others for thicker yarns.
DETERMINE: your wants and needs. The following website has a few articles about the various machines. Do take the time to read, I’m not repeating that valuable info in this posting. Www.Yarn-store.com
A NEW machine can be purchased from a few Distributers in North America. Since there are very few Knitting Machine Dealers/Stores, it will most likely be by MailOrder and should arrive in good order. When purchasing a new machine there is peace of mind that the machine is not malfunctioning and problems are due to operator error.
PRE-OWNED knitting machines are available. Some are beloved, well cared for and others are dusty, dirty and damaged with pieces missing. This will be reflected in the Asking Price. Many Brands have not been manufactured for over 10 to 20 years. Parts are in limited supply or NOT available at all. Some buyers need to purchase a PARTS machine.
Keep in mind that these are machines, even though many are perfectly running and functioning, they are usually 20 to 30 years old, the Electronics, the Plastics and rubber is also that old. They can be brittle, hard and discoloured.
DEMO: If a seller can provide a demo of a machine, that is a bonus.
PHOTOS: are nice including Close ups. Sometimes, the closeup makes the item look worse than it is in real life.
EXPECTATIONS: A knitting machine with all the parts included. There is a picture in the front of the manual that shows ALL parts that were sold with the machine. Most of them are CRITICAL and All MANUALS that came with the machine. Without them it is very, very difficult to learn how to operate the machine without some sort of Lessons. You Tube is not enough.
Manuals are available on the Internet. It is well worth to print out all 80 pages or so.
SHIPPING: a PRE-OWNED one will not likely have the original cardboard boxes and ones would need to be constructed. These machines usually travel on a conveyor and drop into bins during shipping. They are NOT manually handled. Extra protection ( solid styrofoam) for ends of the machine is prudent for a successful delivery.
A Road trip is worthwhile.
There is no perfect knitting machine that will do everything. The Hobby plastic bed Machines such as the Silver-Reed LK150 or a Pre-owned Brother 350 are good entry points for learning how to use the Knitting Machines.
For Production use, a Metal Bed machine is the best choice.
ENJOY the journey………..using a Knitting Machine is a wonderful hobby or occupation.
Yet Another Canadian Artisan, 2015
Mary Anne Cutler