Craft enthusiasts around the world have embraced the creativity and simplicity of knitting machines. While knitting is traditionally accomplished with two hands and a number of knitting needles, these machines make creating a knitted garment faster and smoother. It may sound like cheating, but knitting machines still afford all the flexibility of creating unique garments from any knitting patterns and incorporating cables, blocking, and shaping for a finished product that looks professionally made.
Knitting machines can produce flat or tubular shapes depending on the garment, and can even be set to work two colors of knitting yarn into a pattern on the work. Most home knitting machines use a method called weft knitting that produces a fabric texture similar to that of hand knitting. In contrast, garments constructed on knitting machines will generally turn out smoother and with less imperfections than hand knitting. In fact, knitting machines were originally advertised and popularized by their ability to create seamless stockings for women in the early 20th century.
There are many varieties of knitting machines on the market and it is important to choose one suited to the knitter’s needs and creative interests. Different machines will require different sizes of knitting wool or knitting yarn, though most machines, like needles, can knit with yarns of many different materials. Like sizing needles, machines need the proper size of yarn material to work with. Further, it will take some practice to get used to knitting on a knitting machine instead of by hand, so a few practice swatches can be a good idea. Soon, knitting machines can take knitting to a whole new level of accomplishment!