I am an avid knitter with a gigantic stash and have been thinking about getting into machine knitting (stash reduction). Do any of you have recommendations? Brands, types, etc..
Thanks for the help.
Hi everyone, I am very into knitting as well and I find that solving a stash issue is not as clearly defined as getting a knitting machine. We, hubby and I have played with machines since the early 1980s and I have hand-knitted since the mid 1960s. Skills include mistake free lacework and mobius hand knitting (for myself) and patternmaking from scratch, and of course machine knitting on home machines and industrial machines (for both of us). We have mid-gauge and bulky machines in Brother, mid-gauge in Singer/Silver and a Toyota.
Without a doubt our most successful and enervating project was a stash problem of too much 4ply (sock weight USA), 6ply (sport weight USA), and 8 ply (DK USA). We managed together to create a new pattern using double strands of one colour and mixing it with one or two strands of the other colours to make a plain upper half and a lower half striped in variegated by using color work. A stylish mans heavy winter sweater with delft blue on the upper half and stripes of delft blue mixed with greys, off-white, reds, pinks, and any other blending colours. The garment weighed in at about two and a half kilos so it seemed to be very effective in reducing the stash. As a garment it finally was retired with much regret as it was so warm and comfortable.
If a pattern is too difficult to create for you a solution could be to sort your stash and find a pattern that matchs the general ply you can make from your selection. This yarn selection should be able to be knitted by hand with 5mm to 10 mm needles. This could be a positive in that no machine is needed and new skills are not required. Application of textured patterning to your pattern is also a possibility and heavy cord work applique could also be fun! Ask a friend to make i-cord on a machine for you or use crochet. A ply of 1 or 2 superfine different from your pattern may not cause any problems but it was essential for us to have a tension square knitted to see colors and fabric for a final creative surge! Good luck.
LK 150 (though I think these days it's manufactured under a different name) -- I'm trying to get back into using mine (also for out-of-control stash management), but when I learned the basics several years ago, I did pretty well, considering I'm a complete klutz with anything even remotely mechanical. It's generally recommended as a good starter machine.
I just started hand knitting after years of crocheting, quilting, and sewing. I needed a new challenge. A co-worker saw me knitting (I prefer circular needles) at work and offered me a knitting machine. Of course I said sure. It's a Brother KH230 old but heavy duty. I didn't even have a manual on it when I first started. I found on YouTube many ideas on things to create and the basics as it is VERY different than knitting by hand. I LOVE it myself - a new challenge. I thought of doing a blanket/afghan with all the 'extra' yarn left over from other projects.
If you want to try out a knitting machine without getting into an expensive one you can purchase an "Ultimate Sweater Machine" on Amazon at a reasonable price (under $200) and I've seen a lot of people using them on YouTube.
Have fun if you decide to get one and I hope by now you may have already taken the plunge!