Brother Knitting Machine Reviews

Brother Knitting Machine

The Brother Knitting Machines are the most popular brands of knitting machines in the United States of America and remain popular there and in many other places around the world. The Brother Knitting Machines are some of the most diverse and flexible and are well built and relatively easy to use.

Brother has been building Home and Industrial Appliances as well as business equipment since their inception in 1954 and they have maintained an excellent reputation throughout the years. That reputation was hard-earned and when Brother puts its name behind a product, you can rest assured that you will be getting excellent quality machines and an excellent value for your investments. The knitting machines built by brother are certainly no exception there.

Brother Knitting Machines come in a variety of shapes and sizes for all different manners of knitting. The Primary Knitting Machines are all of the KH series but you may occasionally see KR and KX in reference to these same machines. Do not let that throw you. The Brother KR Series is actually a set of Ribbing Attachments for certain individual knitting machines as well as two additional instructional and owners manuals for the Ribbing Attachments. There is also a KRC 830 which is a Color Changer. The KX 350 is the only machine in the KX series.

The KH series of Brother Knitting machines is a very extensive and comprehensive selection of equipment. While there will always be things that a human can do which a machine cannot, the people at Brother have done a pretty good job of making a selection and variety of knitting machines that will fit most of your needs.

No matter whether you are trying to automate part of your knitting production, just want to experiment a little or actually need the machines for mass production, the brother knitting machines are going to have something that does exactly what you want and need it to do. Many of the Brother machines come replete with a selection of patterns, punchcards and instructions to help you get started immediately. However, do not expect to master any knitting machine in the very first day.

The very first thing you need to do before you ever consider purchasing a knitting machine whether it is a Brother or any other brand, is to clearly define your needs and expectations when it comes to an “automated” knitting machine. There is not going to be any single machine that can do everything.

There are flat machines for knitting flat sections of cloth. These are generally very popular among artists and others who may want a unique background for a photograph, wall hanging or other work of art. The “Nine Millimeter” knitting machines are made specifically for heavier yarns and generally have a looser weave than the machines that are built for the baby yarn or thread-like yard often used in socks and even some clothing items. The machines built for the smaller yarns will never be useful for large sweaters, ascots, scarves and other items typically made with larger yarn.

Still, if you are looking for a reliable and dependable knitting machine that does have a number of options, the Brother Knitting Machines are never a bad idea. Given the ease of use, the readily available patterns, owner’s manuals and even instruction booklets straight from the factory itself make the Brother Knitting Machines a great option and a great overall value for the price.


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Machine Knitting Patterns

People who are new to the world of knitting altogether or more specifically to the world of machine knitting may not know this, but machine-knitting patterns can be substantially different from the more traditional Hand-Knit patterns. Still, as the knitting machines become more advanced, they are very handy tools for both product creation and for making really beautiful embellishments for knitted materials or to decorate almost any common household item.

On a more personal note, my favorites are the numerous machine patterns for the knots. I have a very difficult time knitting these by hand but there are numerous knitting machines available at very reasonable prices that have allowed me to create some of the most beautiful adornments for many household items. I use these knots that are created from the machine patterns to adorn throw-pillows, pot-holders, cookie jars and even in the creation of shadow-boxes and some of my other wall hangings.

Knitting machine patterns are not relegated to the simple knots or other smaller jewelry or otherwise decorative items that many people believe them to be. While knitting machines do have their limitations based on numerous factors, they are really quite adept at helping to create some really beautiful works of art and clothing. While many of the knitting machines come with a wide selection of patterns, there are also many more patterns readily available as well as options for creating fully custom knitting patterns.

Knitting machine patterns are also available for many of the fancy yarns that are so difficult to work by hand. The ribbon yarn has long been the bane of many knitters (and hats off to you if you have mastered this) but some of the knitting machines can almost fully automate the process while others make it substantially easier to work this and with some of the other more difficult fancy yarns. While you may not want to create an entire garment from these, you can now create some very beautiful trim and seams for your garments to enhance them and make them even more lovely than they were before.

Some people have a difficult time with the tight knitting on many blouses, capes, socks and other knitting projects that use the sports weight or other lighter yarns. The uniformity of the machines makes these worries and troubles a thing of the past. Machine knitting patterns are readily available for every type of yarn and every type of knitting project. If you were ever concerned that knitting machine patterns would be limited to small knots and other embellishments, you need worry no more. The entire spectrum of knitting projects can be completed in part or in whole with some of the knitting machines that are available these days.

One of the knitting machines that are not often the first thing people think of when thinking about knitting machine patterns are is the flat knitting machines and the numerous patterns that are available for them. Some of the flat knitting machines will require some special attention and maybe changing the yarn(s) a few times, but these patterns can be used to create actual cloth to be used in any number of different projects.

These days, the question is not so much what kinds of machine knitting  patterns are available but what you want to create.

How to Choose a Knitting Machine

There are many commonly held misconceptions about knitting machines. In order to decide which knitting machine will or will not work for you, it is first important to know exactly what you plan to be doing with the knitting machine. You also need to factor in what types of yarn you will be using to knit with as the different knitting machines are set up only for specific types and sizes of yarn. In short, before you decide which knitting machine is the one that you are going to purchase, you need to make certain that it will fit your personal needs.

If you are a very versatile person and commonly knit with many different types, sizes and styles of knitting yarn, it is highly unlikely that you are going to find any single knitting machine that will do everything that you are already able to complete by hand. Furthermore, the knitting machines are not going to be able to create all of the specific knots and stitches that you do. Again, the basic mechanics of knitting make it extremely difficult for all but the most expensive commercial knitting machines to perform even a fraction of what you are currently doing by hand.

Even then, the knitting machines will have different uses and there is still a need for many different and “specialized” knitting machines. Contrary to popular belief, the knitting machines will not fully automate the entire process and greatly increase your output … at least not until you learn all of the little quirks in regards to whatever brand knitting machine you ultimately decide on purchasing. That is because each individual machine is going to be different for more than just the types and sizes of yarn that you are using.

The needles will all be spaced at different intervals depending on the knitting machine that you choose. The latch hooks are all firmly locked into place so the number of threads and the stitch size will always be constrained by this. Thus, you can purchase a knitting machine to stitch heavy yarn for sweaters and such or a knitting machine that will allow you to knit socks but unless you want some really strange looking clothes, you are going to have to compromise some.

Patterns may also be substantially different for knitting by hand than it is for the knitting machines. When you are knitting by hand, all of your stitches will be measured as you go and you have at least a modicum of control over what the final product ends up as. With a knitting machine, you may still have the same control but you lose some of the flexibility that you would have when knitting by hand. The knitting machine cannot see and think the way that a human can so by its very nature, there are always going to be some limitations.

If you only want or need a knitting machine to perform one single function in your production, you will have a much easier time selecting the proper knitting machine. However, if you are looking for a flexible knitting machine that can handle a number of tasks for you, the decision may be a bit more difficult. The two most important things for you to remember are to clearly define what you need the knitting machine to handle and then to learn enough about the knitting machines so that you know which machine will perform that function with the least probability of additional work on your part. Then again, that is why we built this site … so that you could get all of the relevant information and make an informed decision regarding which knitting machine will be best for you. There is unfortunately, no simple answer to this question.

6 Top Tips For Machine Knitting

If this is your first time using a knitting machine, it’s natural to feel intimidated by the intricate controls you never encountered with hand knitting.

Learning to master your knitting machine takes practice and patience. I have listed below 6 top tips and tricks that can help you shortcut your way to lovely machine-knitted garments.

Punch Cards
If you are using punch cards for machine knitting, try covering with tape the holes that you are not using to prevent mistimed punching.

Pins are inconvenient to use when you’re running fabric through a knitting machine. Fabric glue is a better alternative when trying to hold a zipper in place while machine knitting. Before applying glue, make sure that the fabric is treated so it doesn’t shrink after washing. When the glue dries out completely, you can sew the zipper onto the fabric smoothly.

Marker Row
A marker row is useful when you are machine knitting down a long train of garment. They enable you to spot the row wherein you can hang a hem easily. To knit one marker row, pull out alternating needles to the farthest point and set the knitting machine carriage to “Part” or “Slip”. When knitting two marker rows, do the second row on the needles that are not on the previous row.

Stitch Gauge
If your rows are shorter than the number of per-inch stitches required by your knitting machine pattern, you can hang ribber weights or claw weights on your garment swatch to adapt your work to the exact number of rows.

Ribbing on a knitting machine keeps your stitches tight and firm. To do this, knit one circular row after the first vvvv row. After you set your needles, knit across to create a classic vvvvv row. Hang a cast on weights and comb then push the “part” button. After knitting one row, remove part and continue ribbing on the knitting machine.

Steaming and Blocking
Machine-knitted garments should be finished with a steaming process. Steam secures the stitches in place and produces a smoother fabric finish. Blocking can be done if you want to alter the dimensions or shape of your machine knitted garment. To block, pull the garment to the size you want as you steam. Not all garments are blocked but they all have to be steamed. Steam pieces one by one then stack them together and steam the seams.

How To Make Money From Machine Knitting

Many machine knitting enthusiasts have turned their favorite pastime into a profitable business. If you have a passion for knitting and have lots of downtime, a knitting machine can help you jump-start your home knitting business and begin making money from your masterpieces.

A great way to start is by machine knitting little items such as socks, bonnets, mittens and scarves. Family members, friends, and the local community can help you build a stable customer base. As your knitting business grows, you can move on to more challenging pieces such as sweaters, cardigans, tea cozy sets, shawls, vests, throws, and afghans.

As with any other sales venture, pricing is crucial to a home knitting business. If knitting for money is your goal, treat your creations as works of art rather than clothes sold off the mill. Make sure the price of your machine-knitted garments reflect the true value of your skill and effort. If you charge too little you’ll end up losing money. If you charge too much, you won’t attract as many customers. Balance your expenses and pricing to produce a healthy profit.

Costing involves two factors: time and materials. Calculate the amount of machine knitting time you will spend on the creation of a piece. The price of your socks should be different from the price of your afghan line because of the obvious disparity in knitting time needed. Set an hourly rate for your work based on the minimum wage in your country. Your hourly rate should never be lower than $7.25 in the US, and £5.73 in the UK.

Knitting machine yarn will make up the bulk of your material expenses. Always count knitting yarn as a whole, even though you’re only using 75% of the batch. This way your yarn cost is completely covered whether you use the remaining 25% or not. Other expenses you may incur in your home knitting business include trimmings, fastenings, linings, labels, packing materials and shipping.

Don’t worry about pricing your homemade machine knitted pieces higher that those sold online or in shopping malls. Although you’re using a knitting machine, each garment you knit is crafted especially for your customer and not mass-produced for the general public.

With a knitting machine, you make money and save money. Machine knitting socks, mitts, scarves, hats and sweaters for you and your family can save you hundreds of dollars in wardrobe expenses. Your machine knitting skills should also come in handy during special occasions such as Christmas and birthdays that call for personalized gifts.

There are also some great resources online where you can learn more about how to make money knitting. I would strongly recommend you visit Liz Raad’s blog for lots of great free information on how you can make money from knitting. She has also written an extensive E-Book on the topic of making money from knitting and you can get all the details plus order a copy for yourself by visiting:

Do Hand Knitters Need A Knitting Machine?

Machine knitting fans are ecstatic about how fast their equipment can produce elaborate stitches. But even with speed and volume advantages, machine knitting can’t absolutely replace hand knitting. They are two totally different crafts and, often, you will need to do a combination of hand knitting, machine knitting and crochet trim to finish a project.

With a knitting machine, you can weave large pieces with knitting machine yarn in a short amount of time without inflicting your hand with carpal tunnel syndrome. Machine knitting brings out your creative side – blending delicate lace with fancy patterns in exotic color mixes that might otherwise be tough to achieve when knitting by hand. Machine knitting also provides you with hundreds of patterns to choose from, pre-installed with your equipment so you don’t have to browse through several shelves in a crafts shop. A Brother knitting machine has more than 500 pre-set pattern options.

Despite these benefits, there is a downside to machine knitting. And it’s important to know about these disadvantages before you fork over all that cash on a knitting machine. First of all, knitting machines are way too bulky to sit on your lap. They would take up a large amount of space in your house. Also, knitting machines require tons of spare time when setting up and learning their complicated features.

Knitting machines can mean a large investment of money. Brother knitting machines can cost around $500 or more, depending on how fancy the features are. A knitting machine works with only one weight class, so you will need a different knitting machine for each different yarn weight you will use, plus expensive special attachments for ribbing or working knit/purl mixes. A Silver Reed ribbing attachment goes for around $700, an Intarsia carriage for $90, and yarn changer for $300 – these are all added costs that could drive your costs through the roof.

Flexibility is one advantage that hand knitting has over machine knitting. You can increase or decrease as many stitches as you want in the middle of a row just as easily as the beginning or the end. But to do ribbing or purl stitches on a knitting machine, you have got to drop all of the stitches on the row that you need purled and work them back up again. You can see both sides of the pattern while you are hand knitting, but you can only see the purl side when you’re machine knitting, making it difficult to see how the final result would actually look like.

If you are still set on buying a knitting machine, try out several brands and models as you begin your search. Ask other machine knitters for recommendations or attend knitting seminars. Machine knitting chat groups online are also great sources of info when deciding on the appropriate knitting machine for you.

How To Use A Sock Knitting Machine

Knitting socks is a great hobby and it can also be a profitable side business for stay-at-home moms who have been practicing the craft for years. If you want to make money from knitting socks, mittens, or scarves, you will need a sock knitting machine.

Finding one can be a challenge because the sock knitting machine is obsolete. No one makes them anymore so you will have to look for a restored machine through antique dealers or a used furniture store. When buying a sock knitting machine, make sure it was thoroughly cleaned, polished, adjusted, timed and knitted on.

Now that you have a sock knitting machine sitting in front of you, learn first how to knit tubes, then heels and toes, using practice knitting machine yarn. Sock weight knitting yarn is ideal, but you can also use sport and worsted. Opal, Regia, Loma’s Laces, Trekking XXL, Fortissima and Alpaca are some of the popular types you can apply. Loose the tension when working with thicker knitting yarns.

In the sock knitting machine is a cylinder with slots for needles. Latches on these needles do the knitting as each needle passes through the cam shell path. To make socks on a knitting machine, set up a bonnet or webbing on the middle of the machine to make the needle move continuously. Thread some brightly colored scrap yarn and knit about two to three inches. Later on when your sock is done, you can clip and rip this scrap yarn from the hem of your sock.

Set the yarn firmly on the yarn ball winder to maintain an even tension. Turn the crank and count the number of rows made as the carrier goes around the cylinder. Take a stitch from the first row and hang it on the needle to knit the hem top.

Once the hem stitches of your machine knitted sock are done, you can put a ribber on the machine to produce purl stitches. With the ribber on, crank the machine to the desired length of the leg part of your sock. As you knit the ankle part of the sock, half of the stitches on the ribber needle will transfer to the cylinder needle. Note the red marks on the cylinder as your start and stop points for the heel and toes.

To knit the heel, raise the back half of the needles so you only work on the front of the machine. Raise a needle on one side and crank around. Raise the other side and knit back. Repeat this process until you reach the red mark. After the heel is knitted, move on to the foot of the sock. The toes are also knitted on the front half of the knitting machine, just like you did with the heels. Sew up the top of the toe with a Kitchener stitch and you’re done.

Learning the intricacies of a sock knitting machine takes patience and a lot of practice. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll enjoy your hobby more than you ever did.

The Right Knitting Machine For You

Hand knitting is a craft that is enjoyed by many people, but if you’re way past the novice level and want to take on the challenge of knitting larger patterns, or your knitting business is at the stage where you can’t keep up with demand by hand knitting alone, or you just want to be able to knit up more items per hour, then maybe it’s time for you to invest in a knitting machine.

When you knit by hand, you create one stitch using two needles. Imagine how much work you can do with a knitting machine that constructs an entire row all at once!

There are three common types of knitting machines: bulky machines, standard beds, and mid-gauge versions. Some are simple looms while some can be highly complex with buttons and dials operating computerized functions.

Heavy sweaters are knitted on a bulky machine, which has needles set 9mm apart and hook and latches that are large enough to work on thick yarns. Bulky machines can also carry out Fair Isle, tuck, slip, lace, intarsia, and other knitting techniques. Studio, Brother knitting machines, and Silver Reed are popular brands of chunky machines.

These knitting machines can be mechanical knitting machines, which allow you to choose from selection of pre-punched cards as well as create your own patterns. Electronic knitting machines have more flexibility and a wider range of uses. They can have around 300 patterns stored in memory which you can turn upside down, mirror, reverse, or double the width or length.

Standard knitting machine beds are typically used to knit suits and lace curtains. Needles are placed 4.5mm apart and the hook and latches are smaller than those on bulky or mid-gauge machines. A standard bed knitting machine usually offers numerous stitch type options and can accommodate very thin yarns.

Electronic standard bed knitting machines allow you to choose from more than 650 templates with more room for customized patterns. Advanced models like the Brother KH970 come with an automatic lace carriage and a computer program that enables you to knit the same sweater with different yarns, gauges and stitch design without re-entering the garment piece.

Mid-gauge knitting machines produce the closest quality to hand-knitted fabrics. With needles set 6.5mm apart, these machines can knit a wide variety of yarns, including baby, sport and worsted types. Lace is done by hand and most models do not have stored patterns or automatic selection of needles. Mid-gauge machines can do some of the most common knitting stitches like stockinet, slip and tuck, as well as techniques involving weaving, plating and ribbing.

When choosing a knitting machine, decide on what type of yarn you want to use, what features you need, and how much you’re willing to spend. A row counter, ribber, and tension mast are necessities in a knitting machine. Some special features you may want to consider are lace carriages, garter bars, punch cards, automatic color changers, and intarsia carriages.

It is best to get a knitting machine with these extended features so that as you get more confident with machine knitting, your machine will be able to grow with you and allow you to take on more challenging projects.

Welcome To Machine Knitting Advice

Welcome to Machine Knitting Advice! Here you will find lots of great information and advice about machine knitting, including tips on buying a knitting machine, how to choose the best knitting machine for your needs, how to maintain and run your knitting machine, and where to find machine knitting patterns, help and support. If you have any questions about machine knitting, please reply in the comments section of any post. I hope you find Machine Knitting Advice a helpful and informative resource!