Whether you are attracted to a machine for making exqui […]
Whether you are attracted to a machine for making exquisite fine gauge knits or you are lured by the promise of speed, a knitting machine can be an enticing temptation. But it can also be very expensive, so before you go shopping, you should understand your motives and goals.
Knowing what you want to make with a machine will help you decide which—if any—machine to buy.
Types of Machines
Like knitting needles, machines come in different sizes. There are four different machine gauges, defined by the distance between the needles on the machine’s bed. The larger the gauge, the thicker the yarn it can handle.
Fine gauge machines (3.6 mm between needles) knit the thinnest thread-like yarns. They produce fine, lightweight knitted fabrics. Machine knitters usually move up to this machine—it’s not often bought as a first purchase.
Standard gauge machines(4.5 mm) are the workhorses of machine knitting. They knit commercial grade fibers: anything finer than DK-weight yarns. Typically, you use coned yarns on a standard gauge machine.
Mid-gauge machines (6.5 mm) are the best machines for hand knitters. They handle all types of hand yarns, from sport weight to worsted, including DK weight, ribbons, novelty yarns, mohair, and nubby yarns.
Bulky or chunky machines (9 mm) are used to knit the thickest of hand knitting yarns.