Learning to Machine Knit

In a past life when I was working as a research scientist there was a whole host of professional training; ‘writing COSHH assessments’ ‘how to build a database’ ‘time management’ ‘working with radioactive materials’ …. Anyway, now I work for myself I thought I ought to arrange some more training, but none of that dull, useful stuff!!! Instead to celebrate yarn shop day on Saturday 27th April I book myself in for a beginners machine knitting afternoon with KnitWorks in Bethnal Green, London.

Oh my goodness, what a place, stacked from floor to ceiling with cones of yarn of the most glorious colours and textures. After four hours of very patient teaching I came away with some of the skills to master machine knitting, a rag tag collection of samples, a bag of yarn and a finished scarf, which, after a hot wash with plenty of fabric conditioner to shrink it after an error with the tension dial, is good enough to wear!

I now NEED a knitting machine…much to my husband’s horror! The problem is which brand and model. Many of my friends swear by Brother but they stopped production in 1996 so all the machines are vintage and my concern is how to get my paws on a good one??? The other option is to choose a new Silver Reed machine, not cheap but still in production so maintenance should be easier. Then there is the question of a simple manual machine or a full on electronic beast! So many options so any thoughts would be appreciated.


4 thoughts on “Learning to Machine Knit

    1. Thanks Connie, that is really helpful and your knits look great. Over the past few days I have been trying to visualise the types of garments and homeware I would like to make and most ideas seem to focus on the yarn, texture, very simple graphics and possibly combining with some hand knit and crochet so I think you are absolutely right, I probably just need quite a simple machine. Here’s to having some fun with yarn!


  1. Yes you should start with a simple machine. Many of the old knitmasters are still going strong and I prefer these to the brothers. But it depends upon the thickness of the yarn you want to work with as to which gauge of machine you need. Cant wait to find out what happens.


    1. Thanks for your thoughts. I have chosen a new Silver Reed standard gauge machine. It seemed sensible to go for a machine that I should be able to get spare parts for. Now for some fun!


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