Open letter to knitting machine manufacturers

If you could "catch the ear" of someone who could start manufacturing knitting machines again, what would you tell them?

  • Why do you think it's a good idea to have new machines on the market?
  • Why do you knit? (extra income, hobby, creative outlet, etc.)
  • For someone just getting started in machine knitting, would you recommend they purchase a brand new machine or start with a used machine?
  • Would you be interested in purchasing a new machine?
  • Would you look for a machine with electronics and all the "bells and whistles" or a good, sturdy manual machine for a reasonable price?
  • If you had a company with resources to invest, would you manufacture machines?
  • Any other thoughts?

Posted by Sue Jalowiec on 05/26/2015 at 10:33 AM | Categories:



randiejg wrote on 05/26/15 11:19 AM

More mid-gauge machines and accessories, such as garter bars, color changers, and please, someone start manufacturing an equivalent to the Brother garter carriage, and make them in models compatible with mid-gauge and bulky or chunky-gauge machines.
Deb Batz

Deb Batz wrote on 05/26/15 11:29 AM

I would love a new mid-gauge machine with a ribber, preferably electronic. By the time I saved my money, the last one on the market went under. Too sad.
Sherrie Petersen

Sherrie Petersen wrote on 05/26/15 11:36 AM

I have had a Brothers 930, a Passap E6000 and now have a Silver Reed Bulky Punch card. I purchased my machines to make clothing for my family and items for sale. I would love a new electronic machine. It doesn't have to have so many bells and whistles that it costs multiple thousands of dollars. Computers have dropped in price so it shouldn't have to be the cost of a car. I also would like the option of the g carriage as arthritis is more of a problem now.

Kate wrote on 05/26/15 11:38 AM

Could there be a way to cut some of the noise of the machine when knitting?

wileyknits wrote on 05/26/15 11:44 AM

Punchcard machines still efficient. Sturdy and well machined parts as opposed to many cast metal parts. Garter carriage for broader range of machines. I would invest if the business plan looked sound and the market data showed a need. It doesn't help that the only shop in my area stepped out of the machine sales end to focus on hand knitters so that makes me wonder.
petra maxwell

petra maxwell wrote on 05/26/15 11:48 AM

If I had the resources, I'd manufacture sturdy, user friendly knitting machines, parts and accessories for beginner to experienced, to production knitting in the USA. I'd make them affordable and I'd launch a nationwide media advertising and educational campaign on behalf of knitting machines and the machine knitting craft.

Olger wrote on 05/26/15 11:51 AM

Here in Holland we can buy Chinese made knitting machines (Knittax, Knitarsia), both normal and bulky, but they are punchcard-machines. I think it would be a great idea if the electronic equivalent of the Brother 970 would be produced again.

Cerita wrote on 05/26/15 11:53 AM

Yes, I think new machines should be manufactured, especially since technology has advanced so much. I would love to see mid-gauge machines become a standard with accessories, and cloud based applications, wireless connections to the electronics, interaction with tablets as an interface etc. would be wonderful to have. Sewing and embroidery machines have really taken advantage of new technologies, and I would love to see knitting machines do so as well. I would buy a new machine with all the bells and whistles only if it took full advantage of new technology, and I would also invest in a crowd-funding KM venture if it developed in the right direction.

Ernestine wrote on 05/26/15 11:55 AM

I would like to see a company manufacture mylar sheets for machines. I am having to erase mine and it sometimes doesn't work.
jolene brewer

jolene brewer wrote on 05/26/15 11:59 AM

Would like a range of prices from the sturdy manual machines to the machine with all the bells and whistles. I too would invest in a company that would advertise and educate people. Lots of families would get the old machines out from under the bed and learn to use them. My closest dealer is approximately 200 miles from here. That is, if they are still in business. Would like the user manuals written in English as a first language. Thank you
June Clark

June Clark wrote on 05/26/15 12:00 PM

I love the Brother machines. What I would like is an up to date, fully interactive console for my Brother 970!

Michelle wrote on 05/26/15 12:02 PM

More punch card machines g carriage for midgauge Well made in the USA

Lin wrote on 05/26/15 12:05 PM

It's time for new machines on the market at a reasonable price. It getting harder to find parts for the older machines and it cost an arm and a leg for repairs and shipping. I knit as a creative outlet. I would recommend that a newbie purchase a good machine at a low price, until they decide if MK is something they want to stick with. I would be interested in purchasing a new machine if it is not expensive. I would like a good sturdy manual with a ribber. I would have to know there is a market for machine before thinking about manufacturing.

kim wrote on 05/26/15 12:10 PM

need trusted manufactures for new knitting machine burnt several times form people selling old machine with mix parts new to the machine knitting world I knit for hobby, extra income during Christmas holiday and for grand children very interested in purchasing a new machine at a affordable price
Annette Burchell

Annette Burchell wrote on 05/26/15 12:12 PM

I saw a mid-gauge machine that folded up into the size of a sewing machine case that could be moved and stored easily. I would love to have a machine like that.

Sandy wrote on 05/26/15 12:22 PM

Make them bigger, i want more needles!

June wrote on 05/26/15 12:27 PM

In this digital age there is so much creativity can be done with electronic knitting machines and programs . Just look at facebook and see the enthusiasm and determination of machine knitters. Surely it is worth developing new machines as the old vintage ones wont last forever and there's room for improvement and development of new machines for a new increasing digitally savvy market?

Tom wrote on 05/26/15 12:31 PM

Combine the best of all in a reasonably priced computerized machine where no speacial attachments and etc. are involved. A knitting machine that has replaceable needle beds so you can do it all, a simple lift and replace and off you go. Garter carriages for the bulky would be awesome.
Kate Nelipovich

Kate Nelipovich wrote on 05/26/15 1:01 PM

I believe manufacturers should create new machines plus provide support for the older machines.

Ellie wrote on 05/26/15 1:03 PM

Mid gauge machines please, sturdy and simple. Extras to add as skills develop. The old Singer/Brother/Empisal/Silver Reed machines were brilliant in this respect. (Sorry, I don't know about other brands). I wouldn't buy electronic...too hard to get to a service person hundreds of miles away. Manual machines I can usually, with luck and internet help, fix! Clear user manual a must.
Ann Jones

Ann Jones wrote on 05/26/15 1:04 PM

I would like to see components that add on. You could start with a basic machine, then add a punch card drive, and/or an electronic. Would like a better linking system from computer to the electronic portion. (Something that doesn't cost another $400!) Well built ribbers than can DBJ or the old Toyota Simulknit. Multiple choice lace! I want it all in one machine that is lightweight, packs well and likes to go places. A good case for the ribber, too. And a faster garter mechanism. Yep, I want chocolate AND vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, strawberries and marshmallow!! You get the idea!
Rose Barrette

Rose Barrette wrote on 05/26/15 1:11 PM

Experienced knitting machine teachers to teach us how to use the electronic machines. Also the accessories such as the double bed color changer, garter machine, the disk drive, etc. DVD's that we could purchase explaining how to use the different knitting machines and the accessories especially for machine knitters that cannot go to a teacher.
Elspa Metzdorff

Elspa Metzdorff wrote on 05/26/15 1:19 PM

Handmanipulating machines in all gauges. Domestic V-bed machines. Could also be very interesting to see a handmanipulated V-bed machine, I would love that!

pete wrote on 05/26/15 1:28 PM

less noise; longer needle bed/or ability to extend bed 50 needles at a time to infinity - clothing for larger sized people & skirts should not have to be knit sideways; patterning on the knit side of the fabric, ribber than can pattern; tool caddy; wheels and a handle on the case for easy transportation; faster garter carriage; mechanism to hold machine in place when using the motor; different sponge /retainer bar; easier to use garter bar; height adjustable stand (no more little discs on underside of stand preventing you from placing machine where you would like on the stand); yarn tension unit that can hold 12 different yarns, simple accurate instructions, knitting software better than what is available currently.
Jorge Robles

Jorge Robles wrote on 05/26/15 1:34 PM

In terms of gauge I would like to stick to the standard, mid and bulky sizes like before using either punch cards or with the newest electronics based on the Brother KH-970, Switchable Garter carriages that could be used with any of the gauges by simply selecting the gauge in the carriage, and with ribber compatibility, their respective accessories, and with competitive prices.
Eva Sundvall

Eva Sundvall wrote on 05/26/15 1:46 PM

I would ask them to make LK150 (mid-gauge) doing patterns, either by cards or electronics, and a ribber is a wish. A very simple one but not heavy and very easy to carry with you while traveling for example... Or a machine that looks like Brother KX395 (I think) both standard- and mid-gauge (or is it larger?)
Marsha Sachs

Marsha Sachs wrote on 05/26/15 1:52 PM

I would love to see new machines come on the market that take advantage of all the wonderful technology now available, like sewing machines. We machine knitters are struggling along with electronic machines that seem from the dark ages compared with what sewing and quilting machines have available. Especially interested in a mid-gauge with ribber and electronics, and the accessories that the standard gauge has like G carriage, garter bar, and pretty much everything everybody else above has wished for, like more needles.
Becky Smith

Becky Smith wrote on 05/26/15 1:58 PM

I would like more machines made like Passap so the ribbers are stable when doing double bed. I like all brothers and especially the garter carriage for all models.
Margaret Rosario-Murray

Margaret Rosario-Murray wrote on 05/26/15 1:59 PM

I purchased a Singer Mod-150 with Ribber in 1975, then purchased a Brother KH910 with Ribber shortly after. I still have my machines. I now own eleven machines including my recent Passap DM80. They all have their respective ribber, accessories and manuals. I have cleaned and maintained these machines myself. Most came with stainless needles and Sponge bars. I have never broken any needles on any of them because the first thing I did was read the manual, and master how to undo a jammed or stuck carriage. I Learned what yarns work with each machine. I have standard, midguage and chunky and bulky. The fact that these machines are still around is testament to the quality of the machines built. Mine look and work like new. I don't want any motor or Garter Carriage because they are not part of the "Art" of knitting. My wish for a machine is the SK860 with Ribber, because it is midguage. (For my choice of yarns) If Brother, KnitKing, Singer or any other manufacturer of knitting machines were to startup again, they should remember that they did produce awesome machines that are still around today. I am able to buy parts which I save as spares just in case. There is a lot on the internet, especially on Ebay. They should also understand that craft people do their crafts in waves. They do not work year in and year out doing one thing non stop. There is a resurgence because of the internet. We can now learn how to do procedures on YouTube and Facebook and not have to go across the US to a seminar, although I love traveling to them. So an investment in teaching Knitters how to use their machines, coned yarn availability, quality parts.
Karen Raven

Karen Raven wrote on 05/26/15 2:22 PM

I love my Brothers! New electronics with many more patterns, especially lace. Also, new machines should have all the old patterns in them, numbered as they are in the Stitchworld books. Faster and better garter carriages with more patterns. The quality should be just as good as existing which would probably make new ones cost prohibitive. I think new knitters should start on used machines until they figure out what kind of knitting they want to do and then they can branch out from there. A traveling yarn mast so tension is even across the bed. More than 2 colors would be good too. Ah, to dream!
Lucille B. Clark

Lucille B. Clark wrote on 05/26/15 2:23 PM

I have a Brother standard gauge,which I love ,I also have a G carriage that I am having trouble with,and I cannot get any help with .would love to be able to get great punch machines should be manufactured it would be a shame for machine knitting to become a lost art.
Petra van Gansewinkel

Petra van Gansewinkel wrote on 05/26/15 2:27 PM

I would like a mid gauge machine, sturdy and easy to use for beginners. It's often difficult to find someone in de neighbourhood who can teach, so when it's simple no course is necessary. Often beginners give up knitting, because is difficult. First start with a simple machine which can be completed with additional parts. Mid gauge because the yarn in handknit stores can be used then. Electronic would be nice.
Diane Smith

Diane Smith wrote on 05/26/15 2:34 PM

I agree with many others who have already commented. A mid-gauge machine with patterning ability and ribber and other accessories available is a must. The old Knitmaster MK70 which folded up was a good idea and also the HK160 which was a similar machine but did not fold up. Both these machines were mid gauge and another advantage was that they did not have a sponge bar/needle retaining bar.
Jeannie Crockett

Jeannie Crockett wrote on 05/26/15 2:49 PM

Well, this certainly opened up some discussion! Of course, I'd love to see the machine be newly manufactured again. I know several people who are semi-interested in obtaining a knitting machine. And how about some more conferences/seminars? Make the prices effective for the sponsor to make money. Maybe the old feeling that machine knitters are "cheap" isn't true any more. And more varieties of special coned yarns.
Marie Ista

Marie Ista wrote on 05/26/15 2:57 PM

I would purchase an electronic knitting machines if it was lighter to carry and had the quality of the machines that I have. I love my standard Singer 700 with a ribber and my Knitking PC Bulky with a ribber. Both machines have punch card . Both machines are heavy to move. I enjoy going to workshops but the weight of the machines are too much for me. If there were more publicity about knitting machines and also publication for patterns, more people would know about knitting machines. When I tell someone that I have knit something on a knitting machine, they want of know what a knitting machine is. They have never heard of them. We also need more yarn on cones available. I need to send out of state to purchase and I like to see and feel what I am buying. Must be the seamstress in me.
Ann Pennington

Ann Pennington wrote on 05/26/15 3:06 PM

More affordable beginner-level knitting machines (standard, mid and bulky gauge) with optional add-ons to draw more people into the awesome world of machine knitting. The high cost of entry stops people from experimenting with machine knitting, whereas people can buy a good sewing machine for just $90. Keep the instructions very simple so people can succeed right from the get go. But unlike the LK-150, offer affordable accessories to provide the ability to slowly assemble a full package, including the ribber, garter bar, lace carriage, G-carriage, and electronic pattern control (like the KH-970). For the company offering the machine(s), examine a different business model where the profits are gained from purchase of accessories, training, patterns, or perhaps high quality fibers. Consider partnering with the open source community (e.g. to reduce the cost of design and production.
Joy Risher

Joy Risher wrote on 05/26/15 3:09 PM

I, too, would like to see new mid-gauge machines in a range of prices. My Brother standard-size is over 30 years old. Would like to use more sizes of yarn for myself, my family, and for some income. Please!
Sharon Vandervelde

Sharon Vandervelde wrote on 05/26/15 3:32 PM

I have a Brother standard gauge punchcard and a Brother Bulky electronic. My ideal machine would be a mid gauge with ribber and all patterning capabilities, lace, fair isle, tuck etc. electronic and a garter carriage to suit.

Lynne wrote on 05/26/15 3:57 PM

I would love to see rugged, efficient, cost-effective new machines on the market. If I had a company, I would only invest if there were resources such as Craftsy that would also invest in online training that can reach a large audience.
Diane Pederson

Diane Pederson wrote on 05/26/15 3:59 PM

Wish Singer/Studio would manufacture a G carriage. I had a Brother 890 back in the day and Garter Carriage. I did some great things with that combo. Lighter weight machines and electronics that are simple. No degree from MIT needed to knit. Made in USA would be great too. Many machines today are old enough to vote, expensive to repair and/or replace. One can hope.
Linda Johnson

Linda Johnson wrote on 05/26/15 4:03 PM

I'd like to see a mid-gauge punchard machine with a ribber, or maybe an electronic mid-gauge with capabilities similar to a Brother 940, 965i, etc. I'd also love to see an electronic with updated pattern designs and the ability to work with my computer with a program other than DAK, img2track.
Alexandra Athanassiou

Alexandra Athanassiou wrote on 05/26/15 4:06 PM

Machine manufacturers you need to advertise, advertise, advertise, on TV, the way Bond machines were advertised in the 80s, to attract more machine knitters. That's how we all started. We need mid-gauge knitting machines that take punch-cards and ribbers, or electronic machines like the Silver Reed SK-860 with better built in electronic systems. Moreover the LK-150, is a great affordable machine, that needs to have its fair-isle carriage, which has been discontinued, back into production.
Ellen Simon

Ellen Simon wrote on 05/26/15 4:33 PM

I really really would like them to make more fairisle carriages for the lk150 since I can't find any.
Margaret jones

Margaret jones wrote on 05/26/15 4:56 PM

I would love to see new machines manufactured again. Hopefully at a reasonable prices.
Michael Eisenman

Michael Eisenman wrote on 05/26/15 4:57 PM

An inexpensive mid gauge machine with optional computerized pattern storage/interface and features which can be purchased , if desired at all. Simplicity is the key to success . . Back to the future .
Pamela Fromenthal

Pamela Fromenthal wrote on 05/26/15 5:00 PM

So many good things listed above. For me I would love to have a mid-gauge with ribber. Also maybe garter carriages, color changers. Available parts and accessories for the machines. I am just a beginner machine knitter and am having fun. I hate being limited.
Hayley chapman

Hayley chapman wrote on 05/26/15 5:02 PM

I would love to have machines made of lighter material , I have a brother kh900 which is basic electronic but I have also had a Toyota 797 and a zippy 90 . I learnt on a silver reed and singer , but I found that every machine has to be learnt differently , why can't they manufacture a machine that you can upgrade, this would surely encourage more people to want to use machines as they wouldn't be such an investment. I would love to see machine knitting have a revival such as hand knitting( needles) is now experiancing, where are our machine knitting expos not just relegated to a small stand of guild knitter tucked away at verious craft/knitting. I have knitted for pleasure and commercial need, but i feel we are a neglected art form that is ripe for a renaissance , we need the manufacturers to take us into the 21 century.
Janet Vizkelety

Janet Vizkelety wrote on 05/26/15 5:04 PM

I would like to see new machines made and also parts because I am really frustrated by not being able to find parts. However it would be really great if a company could produce a really good quality machine at a reasonable price.

BMauer wrote on 05/26/15 5:11 PM

After having read the above comments I can only say FORGET IT. People want commercial machines but at home machine prices. I have seen some of the new machines, made in China. They are not cheap. Bearing in mind the huge number of KMs sold while available ... There is no need for NEW Machines, but a need for producing QUALITY PARTS! Just take the case of the UK club purchasing 8 ELectronic SR machines, all of which were unable to talk to,DAK of theEC1. I do not want that kind of garbage on the market. And for the 100 people actully willing to spend real money it is simply not worthwhile. A much better approach would be for companies such as DAK to get together with the Ayab and I2T people and improve their programs jointly so everyone who already owns an electronic machine could expand its repertoire.
Lesley Newland

Lesley Newland wrote on 05/26/15 5:21 PM

Personally I would love to see new knitting machines especially electronics. I strongly believe there could be a lot more people interested these days as there is so much information on the internet now and that machine knitting could make a come back.

Karen wrote on 05/26/15 5:28 PM

More mid gauge machines, possibly a metal bed with basic accessories with the ability to purchase said accessories at a discount if wanted later. Newsletter to accompany machine purchase similar to what Bond put out for years with purchaser involvement such as Q and A, etc. Currently I machine knit as a hobby and have no interest in investing in a company for knitting machine production as I don't see enough interest. No need for all the bells and whistles to start with, but if a basic machine is purchased initially a discount should be applied if an upgrade is desired.
Helen Kemmery

Helen Kemmery wrote on 05/26/15 5:45 PM

I would dearly love to see knitting machines in full production again. I purchased my Brother KH230 and KH260 whilst living in Scotland in the early eighties There was limited patterns available even at that time. Since discovering the internet my machine has been taken from the store cupboard and is now in full production. I live in Australia, where I am sure that mid guage machines with ribbers if advertised well on TV etc would do well.
Rosemary de Ponte

Rosemary de Ponte wrote on 05/26/15 5:53 PM

Since 1963 my first love has been machine knitting. I have upgraded my Empisal and Passap machines during the years and now have a Silvereed 280 full house complete with all accessories, motor etc. I have always felt that the Empisal and Passap compliment each other, I have a e6000 full house as well. I have done amazing work on both machines, mainly knitting for family. But of course as mentioned by others getting spares are a problem. I would love to see a revival of maching knitting, and not have the prices rocket as it did and put it out of the reach of so many people, hence the demise. Yes, we need someone to open up the industry again with similar machines at reasonable prices. I wait in hope for that day.
Dee Waterstone

Dee Waterstone wrote on 05/26/15 6:27 PM

I would love for a company to manufacture an affordable ribber that would be compatible with the sk160 knitting machine. I've had the sk160 for 15 years but haven't been able to get a ribber for it. Also, I wonder why someone isn't creating a wide collection of learning videos for making stylish clothes and accessories on various gauges of machines from start to finish. If they are, I'd love to know about them especially if they're posting them on a platform like Craftsy. Aside from patterns of styles that I consider outdated, some of the learning material that is now available usually leaves out big chunks of information or it's not clear to an advanced beginner like me. Also, more features that take advantage of the latest technology, please.

Pat wrote on 05/26/15 7:03 PM

Our machine knitting club has trebled in the last 6 months. It appears the interest in machine knitting is increasing but our major stumbling block is the lack of available suitable machines. I have an MK70 I bought second hand years ago and because it folds away it is wonderful, I also have a very old push button Empisal but I would love something modern and reliable with a range of functions. I do however like it, as it is obviously a very durable machine. I don't think you would have to have all the bells and whistles for people to take up machine knitting. A reasonable range like they have for sewing machines would be great.
Loretta McCollough

Loretta McCollough wrote on 05/26/15 7:24 PM

I love my Brother machines and am sad they are no longer made. While I'd be up for a new high quality standard gauge machine with all the bells, whistles and electronics, I believe the mid-gauge range would also be very popular since those machine are really scarce today. Having the ability to add components (ribber, garter carriage, intarsia and lace carriages, electronics) and well-written manuals are also very important.
Teresa Schultz

Teresa Schultz wrote on 05/26/15 7:31 PM

I enjoy using my knitting machine because of the speed it provides, this allows me to use my needles and crochet hooks to add special details. There is a place for knitting machines just as there is a place for sewing machines. Can you imagine a world without the sewing machine? Can you imagine the need to hand sew only? Knitting machines give us options and allow our creativity to be used in a different way. I have an old Japanese machine from approx 1964 and am still learning. I would like to invest in a newer machine with a larger gauge but haven't found the right machine yet.

Doris wrote on 05/26/15 7:57 PM

I have an older Toyota machine that only knits fine yarns. It would be great to have one machine with interchangeable size needles so you can knit whatever gauge you want easily.
Saileth Ramirez

Saileth Ramirez wrote on 05/26/15 8:18 PM

If I knew how to build them and had the means to, I would definitely start a company to put knitting machines back on the market. I own a mid-gauge and a standard machine and they are sturdy, but I would love it if they were more in-tune with the new technology and modular too. They could be tailored to however the knitter wants to work, like serger-coverstitch machines do. There would be more software options (for the mac too), different sizes and more user-friendly gadgets and add-ons. Fool-proof casting-on would be a good feature to ponder about.
Eileen Bator

Eileen Bator wrote on 05/26/15 8:31 PM

My first love is the standard bed. I use my 965 the most. The g carriage no longer works and I wish it did and was easier and less finicky. I would be interested in a midguage that is not as heavy as my old Studio/with/rubber but more sturdy than the lovable LK 150. But I would also love to have a sock knitting machine to make circular socks out of all the fabulous sock yarns now available.
D. McCann

D. McCann wrote on 05/26/15 9:24 PM

I would love software that can run on my tablet. I have a Garter Carriage that I use with my Brother 930, which I love, and a Brother KX350. And I love the idea of interchangeable needle sizes and more tech savey machines.
Karen C

Karen C wrote on 05/26/15 9:32 PM

I have an old Brother standard and mid. Never got to the ribber, but replaced needles and spongebar. Currently rediscovering both machines due to Internet videos. I'm interested in puchasing a sock knitter. I knit from fall to spring, and have grandkids to make for. I don't like the flimsy plastic knitters in craft stores. Not looking for motor, but would be interested as an upgrade.
Michael l

Michael l wrote on 05/26/15 10:14 PM

How about bringing back a true double bed machine, such as the Passap dm80 I've had mine thirty years and never a problem but then again it was what they used in the industrial factory's..they still use the pusher system on jacquard machine's.
Joan Hathaway-Sheldon

Joan Hathaway-Sheldon wrote on 05/26/15 10:43 PM

I bought my Brother standard gauge w/ribber and my Knitmaster chunky w/ribber at the height of the machine knitting boom in England. There were local clubs, magazines, awesome regional shows with classes and yarn and fashion shows. So many of the yarn companies put out yarn on cones and had patterns and instructions available. It was exciting and so creative. My dream machine would have a needle bed that could switch spacing between standard, mid and bulky (not sure how that would work as the needles are different, but hey, this is my dream...I don't have to understand how to design it) and could be bought in two sizes...standard and plus (to accommodate plus size patterns needing more needles). I'd want a garter carriage that could adapt to the different spacing and it would come in either 24 stitch punchcard or electronic with infinite patterning, bells and whistles. I'd want the punchcard to be able to be designed and punched via the computer (I always seem to make mistakes in my have to be so careful) with software to show what overall designs would like when they're expanded and to help with patterning. I love my patterning devices, but it would be nice to have it via a software program. My dream machine would allow me to do fair isle in the round on both beds. It would have the ability to use more than two colors in a row and a color changer that would work for both beds and hold more than 4 colors. There would be beautiful furniture cabinets made for the machines that would easily and functionally hold the accessories and tools. I would like to see machine knitting guilds with visiting expert teachers like we have for knitting, sewing, quilting and weaving. And yes, I would like cases that are easy to transport with build in wheels (these machines are heavy!) And definitely a massive marketing and support network.

Mary wrote on 05/26/15 10:48 PM

I would like decent mid-gauge garter bars. I wish they make the Japanese ones again. I would like updated, clear manuals. Manuals that include more troubleshooting and solutions to common problems. My new bought SK 840 has the old EC 1 instructions that did not come with the machine, and is discontinued. For the price charged, a decent manual should a must. Affordable software for the electronic machines would be very nice. DAK is outrageously expensive. FC 6 is a very sought after fair isle carriage for LK 150. They should start making them again. It is my wish also if there were some stylish fashionable magazines for knitting machines.
Linda Corsover

Linda Corsover wrote on 05/26/15 11:12 PM

I would like better pattern-designing software that is based more on real shapes. Since I am a sewer, I use my pattern-making knowlege with Knitware and Garment Designer programs to design my knit garments. DAK is not only hard to learn, but the standard patterns are really poor, and to use Original Pattern Drafting, you have to be able to create the pattern pieces from scratch, which is beyond the ability of most knitters. Once I get my garment designed in one of the other 2 programs, I can transfer the pattern pieces to DAK, and use DAK with any of my machines, electronic, punchcard, or manual, to easily follow knitting instructions on my computer screen.
Margot Gloger

Margot Gloger wrote on 05/27/15 1:28 AM

I can relate to most of the comments above. It shows, there is a real need for new machines again as the old ones are starting to wear out. My Passap Duo 80 is stil going (since 1970) but is a bit tired. Have lots of other machines. I also like a motor as I do a lot of comercial stuff. What about a sock knitting machine?

MJD wrote on 05/27/15 5:04 AM

The possibilities that a new machine would hold! I remember purchasing my first Knitting Machine an LK150. My imagination went wild! I couldn't wait to get it home and out of the box. I am still enjoying the ease of its use, but I do wish that I had chosen something that had a ribber attachment. So, when the opportunity came to purchase a Pssap E6000 I jumped at it. Unfortunately there were problems with it that I have not been able to get past. Getting it to a qualified and/or capable repair person is expensively prohibitive. So, yes I too would like to see new machines available with attachements and better software.
Maartje Boer

Maartje Boer wrote on 05/27/15 6:07 AM

I am teaching students at University in knitwear design and techniques (in The Netherlands). I would love to have a classroom full of standard one-brand machines, in fine, mid-gauge and bulky. We’re now using Passap, Brother and Silver Reed. With standard I mean machines that are available for a long time, with all the necessary accessoires and parts easily available. Some of my students want to buy a machine for themselves too. Who can beat the Brother and Passap machines? I am not convinced about the quality of Silver Reed, yet. It’s all in the quality of the sturdy metal, so please invest in good materials. A sturdy double-bed machine like Passap. Good quality needles and parts. I would buy all the bells and whistles according to software, and according to techniques like jacquard, tuck, skip, lace, intarsia, plating, double bed. At university it’s all about electronic machines and V-bed like machines. I would pay for it. Please no cheap stuff. There are enough reasonable-prices machines already on the market. Besides that, I am a designer-maker, so I would like to buy a few new machines, and I would even invest in it through crowd funding. G-carriage is nice too, or an equivalence to that. I also give knitting courses to consumers, and I see the demand for machines is rising. In The Netherlands there’s only 1 (!) shop that sells knitting machines, and I’m pretty sure they’re doing well. Hope to see more shops or suppliers coming up.
Lynne Younger

Lynne Younger wrote on 05/27/15 6:36 AM

Every fabric shop that currently sells the bond should be selling the LK 150. It's a much better machine. Machine knitting is a great hobby. It doesn't replace hand knitting, but you can finish a project much quicker. Start with a used machine--learn, learn, learn. I am always interested in purchasing new machines but I have run out of space! If I had money to invest, rather than the machines, I would update and overhaul Designaknit! These days tech is hot!
Sue Corcoran

Sue Corcoran wrote on 05/27/15 6:43 AM

Knitting is my passion. The old machines are excellent, but I would love to see new machines as well. I rather like working within the limitations of the older machines as I find it challenges my creativity. But there should be new ones with more, and easier to use capabilities. I reluctantly gave up my Studio 860 mid gauge because it was so heavy to push. I now use the LK 150 and the Brother KX 350, both wonderful machines. I'd like to see needle selectors for those machines to allow for more patterning. I still have 3 standards, a 970, a punchcard 891, both with ribbers, and an old Brother folding machine. I'd like to see more machines like the folding ones especially. And or a case for the plastic mid gauges that would allow me to take it on airplanes. I'd like more seminars and workshops, and a place to get out the word for the few remaining ones. (I'm going to a 5 day workshop at Peter's Valley, a summer craft school in Northwest NJ. There would be a waiting list for it if machine knitters knew about it.) would I invest in a company making machines? Yes, I think I would.
Vera Zaccariello

Vera Zaccariello wrote on 05/27/15 10:40 AM

Knitting machines are awesome. If you're a sewer you can create fabric for cut and sew, make simple sweaters or those more elaborate with hand manipulated stitches. The goal here is to get the attention of the younger generation. At seminars display up to date knitted items (we keep showing the old stuff whose life as gone out of them). Use better yarns, etc. Let's show what this machine can really do! The end result would be more people wanting machines creating the need for machines being manufactured again.
Frances Cook

Frances Cook wrote on 05/27/15 11:17 AM

make a garter carriage for the bulky
Frances Cook

Frances Cook wrote on 05/27/15 11:18 AM

make a garter carriage for the bulky and longer needle bed
Morag Walker

Morag Walker wrote on 05/27/15 11:46 AM

I would like too see more spare parts made for the machines we do have and a rep/agent in every town (as was years ago) who could teach how to work the machines. There should be more education, I could help out as it's my passion!!

Christina wrote on 05/27/15 3:17 PM

I completely agree with every word that another contributor wrote (quoted her below) I too would invest and also buy this kind of machine. The only thing I'd add is a bulky that can handle real homespun yarns, the bigger the better. Cerita wrote on 05/26/15 11:53 AM Yes, I think new machines should be manufactured, especially since technology has advanced so much. I would love to see mid-gauge machines become a standard with accessories, and cloud based applications, wireless connections to the electronics, interaction with tablets as an interface etc. would be wonderful to have. Sewing and embroidery machines have really taken advantage of new technologies, and I would love to see knitting machines do so as well. I would buy a new machine with all the bells and whistles only if it took full advantage of new technology, and I would also invest in a crowd-funding KM venture if it developed in the right direction.
Linda Jensen

Linda Jensen wrote on 05/27/15 4:59 PM

The reality is that it would be a huge investment for a company such as Brother to bring back into production the knitting machine. It is currently a niche market (of which I am one, owning upwards of 27 various machines). They would have to promote, advertise and get various venues to sell, teach and inspire to make anything back for investors to keep the venture afloat. It might have to be a willing company that can acquire the related patents, starting small and growing as the market directed. But if I had the world on a string, I would ask for a full range of machines, from the beginner/student plastic ones such as the Brother 400 which changes from standard gauge to bulky with clip-in pieces, to the more advanced computer driven, providing all the best that technology has to give. I have not been a fan of all kinds of different parts/attachments that have to be cobbled together, screwed on, seated into plastic clips that break and tweeked to use successfully (just envision a main bed with the added ribber, 4-color changer with the extension rails, etc.) I would simplify DAK so it wouldn't be a swear word to me anymore and start a national machine knitting magazine with updated designs for simple to advanced machines. Also, give some knitting machines to various schools other than trade techs to get young students creativity flowing. That will create the desire for MORE. Show them at County Fairs, establish local stores dedicated to machine knitting or start franchises. Wouldn't it be wonderful?

Chrissy wrote on 05/27/15 8:24 PM

I would love to see a new machine that would incorporate all of the best features of the past and add that to what could be added with today's technologies. A wireless interface with a place to mount your tablet of choice and access to a public domain database of stitches and/or optional shared cloud availability of patterns and stitches. The ability to design patterns and stitches is a must, and a ribber and garter carriage are essential options and shouldn't be difficult to obtain. It would be nice to be able to convert one machine to multiple gauges. And here's an idea - if the bed were not flat, and instead were shaped as a crescent, then the back and forth motion of the carriage could be assisted by gravity! Better yet, a motor drive at a reasonable cost. And last but not least, step by step directions for every function, setup or project should be on screen as well as a help function so that the manual isn't needed. Lines and rows and color changes should have notifications when changes need to occur. There should be a built in calculator for gauge and garment size so that when a pattern is added it may be customized by plugging in measurements (sort of like the 970). A standard carriage should be able to convert to lace or intarsia, too. And the bed should be extendable for making larger blankets or fabric or there should be more needles to start with. The most important thing is that it would be made with quality metal parts like the first machines were long ago and not plastic!
Nancy Mangeri

Nancy Mangeri wrote on 05/27/15 11:37 PM

I would like to see a good solid metal bed machine that could be upgraded with attachments and accessories.A very understandable manual would be a must. I am a confirmed,spoiled, Brother fan. My husband bought me my first Brother Hi-L Automatic Knitting Machine in 1972 for our first anniversary. It has an 8 button pattern center. It came with the lace carriage and the Knit-leader. He had to read the manual to me as I did what he said because the English was translated from Japanese and the grammar was not always correct! Many hundreds of miles of yarn have gone through that machine and it still works great. I did add a non-coordinated ribber(make one pass with the main carriage then move the ribber carriage.) Then I got a coordinated ribber! what fun and ribber work went much faster and with fewer mistakes. (I even found a Brother stitch pattern book with over 1,000 different 8 stitch repeat patterns.) We have kept up this great work horse ourselves keeping it cleaned on a regular basis and with regular deep cleanings (read --take the whole bed apart and clean thoroughly, lubricate with the proper lubricants and reassemble) I have since added a Brother 800 (12 stitch punch card pattern center) a Brother Bulky+ribber and a Brother plastic bed mid-gauge.

marina wrote on 05/28/15 7:26 AM

Maybe affordable sock knitting machines could be made.?
steel breeze

steel breeze wrote on 05/28/15 8:14 AM

> Why do you think it’s a good idea to have new machines on the market? Because it’s getting harder to get spares for the current ones, and innovation has stopped. > Why do you knit? (extra income, hobby, creative outlet, etc.) Creative outlet really - I’ve got some Etsy items on sale but they’re not exactly selling like hot cakes so I won’t be leaving paid employment anytime soon! > For someone just getting started in machine knitting, would you recommend they purchase a brand new machine or start with a used machine? I’d always recommend a basic punchcard machine, 2nd hand, for a beginner. A small investment to see if they like it - it’s not for everyone > Would you be interested in purchasing a new machine? That would depend on if it did something new that my current stable don’t :) > Would you look for a machine with electronics and all the “bells and whistles” or a good, sturdy manual machine for a reasonable price? Myself, probably an electronic (wouldn’t it be cool to have USB input?). If I was starting again, a punchcard. > If you had a company with resources to invest, would you manufacture machines? Yes - and I’d continue with garter carriages for a start. It would be so cool to have a chunky garter carriage, and with advances in electronics it might not even have to be that big.
james king

james king wrote on 05/28/15 10:19 AM

I would love a machine that was more integrated with a home computer. I need a machine to make sample garments. I have a passap e3600 and find it very antiquated. I prefer my brother but I would like a double bed machines with needle section on both beds. I would love to by a 21st century machine thats is made to be used with a computer and not a built in one. I wish I could buy a Shima Seiki or stoll industrial machine but they are two heavy and to expensive if these brands would make a sample or domestic machine they would blow all the past brands out of the water. A motor option is a must for anything under mid gauge
Margaret Rye

Margaret Rye wrote on 05/28/15 1:45 PM

It would be wonderful to have a home machine that works like a Shima Seiki or stoll machine. All the great design features without the huge price or weight. Having a wider knitting width for blankets and shaping triangular shawls would be fantastic. A garter carriage for the bulky machines. I have several brother and knitking machines that I use as various parts wear out or degrade. Easier interface with dak or similar would be wonderful.

Lynne wrote on 05/28/15 2:46 PM

It's time for some *true* innovation. I think we need to think bigger! Brother electronics are back in the Atari era and S/S/S machines aren't much better. S/S/S machines not duplicating all the electronics is a trait worth continuing, however. Gauges have fallen by the wayside and that robs us of choices. The most important word to me: Modular. Let beginners all the way to pro users start with a 50-100 needle module and add on as their skills, interests and funds allow. Let beginners get their feet wet at a low cost but not have to change out their machine to upgrade--just grow into more machine. It would also make the machines more portable. Make machine knitting more social. Make it possible for those who want to knit big blankets, do it! Take a small module with them to make socks, etc. Have a motor that works with any number of modules by having a modular rail. No garter carriage per se, but that functionality in a better package--better design. Which might mean re-designing needles at bigger gauges to make them more flexible. FOUR gauges by one company. Again, in modules. *Bluetooth* capable with tablets (or computers) and a slot for tablets on the machine itself. Let the electronics people use everyday for other needs provide the computer-power for their knitting w/o added expense and let's do away with as many cords as possible. That would keep the machine costs down while providing exciting capabilities. An extensive database of tutorials from the mfg to get everyone up and running. I can dream. :)
Diane Pederson

Diane Pederson wrote on 05/28/15 3:12 PM

Have just read all the great ideas. Agree totally with comments about DAK. How about a magazine or a textbook, about DAK and how to use it. It is very expensive and apparently deep learning curve. DAK for Dummies.
Meg Stiles

Meg Stiles wrote on 05/31/15 2:45 PM

Interesting that this discussion thread has been picked up and continued on Ravelry. As a Toyota knitter, I'm living on a fine line for parts; I've already purchased extra beds, for needles if nothing else. I have noticed that Toyota 901 and 950 machines are also becoming more expensive recently - glad I bought when I did. Wish I could find a replacement needle for my linker. Since the likelihood of a "new" manufacturer making knitting machines is more likely to be a company like Taitexma, perhaps we should focus our efforts and support toward them. China is where all our replacement parts are coming from anyway. I do not yet own one of their reproduction machines; I've heard rumors of quality issues so far. I would love to see new machines with full needlebed control, a standard USB interface, and supporting software that is not outrageously priced. I wonder how we can engage them in this conversation?
Elsa Schmithorst

Elsa Schmithorst wrote on 05/31/15 4:35 PM

I would love for new machines to be produced by a manufacturer who is willing to take a chance on us, machine knitters. I think they would not be disappointed. Machines should be electronic, with the transfer of designs done the same way that the sewing machines do - by card, USB, or a direct link. However, a punchcard machine should also be included in the line for beginners. I started with a Brother punchcard in the early 70's, and I wish I would have kept one of the later ones I had (I now have a Brother 940, 965, a bulky 260, a 6.5 mm mid gauge, and a fine gauge - all electronic and all with ribbers). The punchcards are the workhorses of the knitting machines, great for newbies because they are so uncomplicated. The thing for the manufacturer is to seriously support the dealers who I think were largely left to their own devices inthe past, to the detriment of the buyers. Perhaps this was because at the time, the Japanese manufacturers were not familiar with the way business is done in the US. Selling knitting machines should be done like selling sewing machines. In stores, where parts, accessories and instruction would be readily available. Prices for top sewing machines run into the many thousands, but prices for knitting machines would probably be lower ( could be wrong, of course). Now for the questions: It would be a great idea to have new machines on the market as long as they are well made. For someone just getting started, I would recommend to either buy a new punchcard machine or a used one, but it should be in perfect condition. Nothing will put off a beginner so much as a machine that gives grief; she (he?) will never touch it again. Yes, I would definitely be interested in purchasing a new machine with all the "bells and whistles". But that is because I have been machine knitting since the early 70's. For a newbie it would be better to buy a good sturdy machine, but not a manual. That will quickly get annoying. If I had the resources and the knowledge, yes, I would invest in manufacturing machines.