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My Knitting Machine Guide. The 10 Best & All the Machine Knitting Facts You Need in 2020

My Recommendations For Those In A Hurry

Best For Most People – The addi-Express Professional Knitting Machine is great value and reliable. Suitable for knitting hobbyists and smaller knitting projects,

What The Experts Useaddi Express Kingsize is fabulous for knitting hats and scarves. Sturdy, fast, and durable.

Note: Clicking the above links will take you to further information, current prices, and customer reviews on Amazon.

For those who want more, keep reading for my full reviews of all the best knitting machines currently available.

The Need For Speed!

Some knitters swear by these tools.

Knitting by hand takes time. Although it’s gratifying, sometimes you want to complete it. If your life is busy, and you have limited time for hand knitting a knitting machine will save you time.

Knitting Machines are excellent for knitted hats, scarves, sweaters, and blankets. A knitting machine can be 20 times faster than the traditional way of hand knitting.

My Knitting Machine review has several hand-cranked knitting machine alternatives. Below is an overview of some of the most popular and best Knitting Machines available.

Table of Contents

Stylish Storage Solutions by Knit Picks

Machine Knitting

There is a real art to machine knitting. Some hand knitters think it’s a cheat’s way of creating garments. Machine knitters dispute this. It’s more complicated and difficult than hand knitting and being a hand knitter.

Like any new skill and tool, it takes time to master machine knitting. With practice, the production of knitted garments and accessories, machine knitting is much faster.

William Lee invented the first knitting machine in 1589.

The difference between machine knitting and hand knitting is machine knitting is semi or fully automated with many knitting needles in a bed. Hand knitting is done by hand with the use of two knitting needles.

The important point is, not all hand-knit stitch types and techniques can be reproduced identically on knitting machines.

For example when creating a stockinette stitch on a machine, the purl stich side is the “right” side! Also a garter carriage part (garter bar) is required to create a garter stitch, for example.

More and more hand knitters are trying out machine knitting and finding there are a great many benefits. Namely saving time, particularly with garments requiring stockinette stitch or rib fabrics.

Much easier doing it on a machine than hand knitting.

It’s also an excellent choice if you knit for a profit, and have a buying market for your hand knits.

Most hand knitters going from hand knitting to machine knitting will experience a steep learning curve. Many would argue hand knitting seems simple in comparison.

There is much to understand and master when machine knitting.

Types Of Knitting Machines

  • Circular Knitting Machines – can create knitted tubes such as scarves, cowls, and hats by knitting continuously in the round.
  • Flat Bed Knitting Machine – Crafters, smaller-scale knitwear producers, and boutique producers commonly use flat bed knitting machines. Garments created on a flat-bed machine have side seams, so piecing is required. It is not possible to knit in the round. These machines work rows back and forth. They can be manual. Or punch card (a card with punched holes to determine stitch patterns, where stitches are slipped, tucked, creating texture, like that in a cable stitch, or knit in a different color). Or electronic/computer ready. This type can also be known as punch card knitting machines. Flat Beds Knitting Machines are categorized into the weights of yarn they can work with, into different gauge machines.
  • Fine Gauge Machines (handles knitting lace weigh yarns, thinnest thread yarns, fingering weight yarn even baby weight yarns).
  • Standard Gauge Machine (handles anything finer than DK weight.
  • Mid Gauge Machines ( are preferred by hand knitters as they handle sport weight to worsted, including DK weight.
  • Bulky or Chunky Gauge machines (can cope with a large range of yarn thickness)
  • Single Bed Machine – has one flat bed of machine needles. It produces jersey or stocking stitch knitting.
  • V-bed Knitting Machine – consists of two beds located across from each other and can produce tubes and flat knitting.
  • Brother Knitting Machines are a brand that is popular for knitters wishing to create garter stitch on their machines as they offer a garter carriage.

Shop Darn Good Yarn

What Does A Knitting Machine Do?

A domestic knitting machine creates knitted fabrics in a semi or fully automated way. It’s most often used to knit flat pieces then sewn together to make a garment.

The key parts of a flat bed knitting machine are a needle bed with up to 200 needles, and a knit carriage moving from side to side.

The needles look like tiny latch hooks, and can be placed in four positions: non-working, working, upper working, and hold.

A circular knitting machine has needles placed in a circle and knits in the round. It can also be used to knit pieces by going back and forth.

If the machine is operated by hand crank, it doesn’t require battery power.

Which Is The Best Knitting Machine For Home Use?

The best knitting machine for home use is the Addi Express Kingsize Knitting Machine. It’s possible to create knitted fabric for scarves, cowls, and hats. Back and forth rows for pieces can also be created.

Using a knitting machine for a range of simple creations will save you time. You won’t need to learn too many new techniques to use this home knitting machine. See my review below.

Addi Express King Size Knitting machine

addi Express Kingsize Extended Edition

The #1 Best Selling larger sized Circular Knitting Machine. The addiExpress King size Extended Edition is worth the money.

Loved by knitters who complete hats, baby blankets, scarves, and other knitted items effortlessly with this product, which many call the best machine for knitting.

If you want to speed up your gorgeous, finished knits, consider the addiExpress King size Extended Edition.

The kit includes an Addi Express King Size Knitting Machine including 5 replacement needles, punch cards, 1 threading tool, 2 stoppers, 4 base feet, needle holder, 2 clampers, “Winding instead of Knitting” book, an instruction manual.

Also an addi Express Crochet Hook.

The Addi Express King has 46 needles, more than twice the number of the original one, allowing for larger pieces.

Perfect for knitting scarves and woolly hats, or an infinity scarf. Knitted fabric panels for jumpers, sweaters, and blankets. The machine is cranked by turning the handle.

You finish in a shorter amount of time than if you hand-knit.

It has the option of an additional carriage, a lace carriage.

Key Features

  • Made in Germany, sturdy construction materials.
  • Simple setup, easy to use, suitable for beginners
  • Portable and space friendly

Pros

  • Made in Germany, Addi Express machines offer excellent construction quality.
  • Addi Express machines are straightforward to set up and begin knitting on.
  • Speedy, less time in completing designs.
  • The Addi offers both rows back and forth and circular knitting functions, a bonus for projects requiring the assembly of pieces.
  • Cost-effective.
  • Can make panels.

Cons

  • Lacks tension piece control mechanism: the only thing controlling your stitch size on the Addi is your kniting yarn. The yarn guide is just there to keep your yarn in place. You’ll need to use hand manipulation to adjust it.
  • There is no way to mechanically adjust the tension piece on these machines to make the stitch smaller or bigger.
  • Need to experiment to determine whether your knitting yarn will or won’t work with the machine.
  • The Addi can’t offer anything other than a 46 stitch knitted circle.
  • The digital row counter with memory function can be unreliable.

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Making A Hat On The Addi Express Knitting Machine

SkacelKnitting on Youtube has created a fantastic tutorial on how to make a knitted hat in less than thirty minutes. Impossible? Not if you’re the proud owner of an Addi Express Knitting Machine!

Knitting a Flat Panel On The addi Express Kingsize

When you’ve bought your brand new knitting machine, you want to use it right away. Every minute you spent on studying complex material and diagrams could be spent knitting!

Here’s a tutorial on Knitting a Flat Panel piece. Created by SkacelKnitting on YouTube.

Here are 5 useful additions for the KingSize:

Winding Instead Of Knitting

Winding instead of knitting - New Instructions for the addi Express Kingsize Knitting Machine

Something for all seasons. Sweaters, caps, and a small beanbag. 31 fabulous designs. Something for the whole family.

Easy to follow, detailed procedures with gorgeous pictures. Each stitch pattern is designed with ‘fun’ in mind and is suitable even for beginners. The Winding Instead of Knitting book has 76 colored pages.

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

addi Express Kingsize with 46 needles Instructions with Patterns

addi Express Kingsize with 46 needles instructions

Contains 24 stitching patterns.

Included is a basic course for using the Kingsize version. Tips, tricks, and a helpful troubleshooting section.

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

addi Express Stopper

addi Express Stopper

You use these on either machine to increase and decrease stitches on a panel.

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

addi Express Hook

addi Express Hook by addi

The crochet hook is a great addition to your toolkit. Also very useful for complicated knitting and crocheting techniques.

In the instance a thread has slipped, the latch hook is the perfect tool to get everything back into position. Even easier than using your fingers for reaching all of the loops, in and around the machine.

This latch tool makes casting on and off the knitted fabric is a breeze.

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

addi Express Knitting Machine Needle Replacements 5 Pack

addi Express Knitting Machine Replacement Needles 5 Pack

Backup needles, the 5 pack contains 4 white needles, 1 black needle, and a red darning needle.

The 5 Pack fits both versions.

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

addi-Express Combination Technique Instruction with patterns

addi-Express Combination Technique Instructions and patterns

Lovely socks and other accessories. They can be made without fuss. Inspirational ideas for the young and old, big and small.

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

addi-Express Professional Knitting Machine

addi-Express Professional Knitting Machine

The addi-Express Professional has 22 needles.

You can machine knit circular knitted items in knit stitch and panels on this machine.

The size of the tube is something fitting around your arm or leg.

Flat panels can be stitched together to make knitted items wider.

Good ideas for suitable projects would be premmie hats, doll bonnets, narrow scarves, mittens, fingerless gloves, and baby sweaters.

Key Features

  • 22 needles Circular and plain knitted items can be created
  • Many yarns can be used
  • Made in Germany with sturdy materials
  • Every product purchased from an Authorised addi Dealer comes with a Lifetime Warranty.

Pros

  • Easy to create smaller sized projects in a short amount of time.
  • Perfect for making small hats for Premmie babies or dolls, sock, scarves, and fingerless gloves.

Cons

  • Difficult to get neat edges when creating rows of knit stitches for flat panels.
  • Bulky weight yarn, stiff yarn, or cotton yarn are a challenge.
  • Be mindful of the yarn weight you are working with
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon
Addi Express Knitting Machines image by @melsnattyknits on Instagram
@melsnattyknits loves what she can make

Here are 8 Useful Additions:

Replacement Needles 5 Pack

Addi Express Knitting Machine Replacement Needles 5 Pack

Backup needles are a great idea. The 5 pack contains 4 white needles, 1 black needle, and a red darning needle.

Fits both the addi Express Professional Knitting Machine and the Kingsize Knitting Machine.

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

addi Express Stopper

ddi Express Stopper

The function is to increase and decrease stitches on a flat panel.

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

addi Express Hook

A great addition to your toolkit.

Also useful for complicated knitting and crocheting. In the instance a thread slips, the screw hooks are the perfect tool to get everything back into place. Makes casting on an off a breeze.

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Combination Technique Instruction and Pattern Book

addi Express Combination Technique Instruction and Pattern Book

Lots of lovely ideas, including socks and other accessories. Crafts can be made quickly and without fuss.

Inspirational ideas for the young and old, large, and small.

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Winding Instead Of Knitting – New Instructions For The addi Express KingSize Knitting Machine

Winding Instead Of Knitting - New Instructions For The addi Express KingSize Knitting Machine

Patterns for all seasons. Sweaters, hats, and a small beanbag. Thirty-one fabulous designs, something for every member of the family.

Easy to follow, detailed steps, all with gorgeous colored pictures. Each craft pattern has been designed with ‘fun’ in mind and is suitable even for non-knitters.

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Addi Express Kingsize with 46 needles Pattern Booklet

Addi Express Kingsize with 46 needles Pattern Book

Contains 24 patterns. Included is a basic course with step by step instructions for using the machine.

Tips and tricks and a helpful troubleshooting section.

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

NSI Knitting Machine for Kids (Age 6+)

NSI Knitting Machine for Kids (Age 6+)

Do your children love to knit?

Lovely idea to share some crafty time with your family

A children’s knitting machine. Ideas suitable for this machine (with a little help) are kid-sized scarves, leg warmers, mittens, and hats.

Key Features

  • Made of Plastic Set includes knitting machine, safe sewing needle and two skeins of thread.
  • For 6+ years
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

A Useful Addition If You Decide To Buy The NSI Knitting Machine

Kids Knitting: Projects for Kids of all Ages

Book: Kids Knitting: Projects for Kids of all Ages

In fifteen easy projects, from bouncy bean bags to a rolled-edge sweater, author and knitting expert Melanie Falick teaches beginners how to knit.

Step-by-step instructions and candy-colored illustrations for each project. Beginners learn the basics: knitting tools, finger-knitting, and basic stitches such as knit, purl stitches, mattress, overcast, embroidery, and stockinette.

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Pros

  • Youth can make their own knitted creations (with a little help)

Cons

  • Some assembly required
  • Some younger users will need help to cast on and off

NKOK Singer Knitting Machine

NKOK Singer Knitting Machine

Another option for a children’s knitting machine.

Knit scarves, hats, shoulder bags, socks, forearm warmers, and more. Made from plastic but treated with care, it will last longer.

Some will need help through some stages, casting on and off.

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

The NKOK Singer Knitting machine is pink and white. Recommended for ages 8 and up. The pack includes knitting machine two skeins of yarn, one knitting hook, one yarn needle and instructions.

Key Features

  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Simple set-up, easier for young ones

Pros

  • A great introduction to knitting

Cons

  • Some assembly required
Singer Knitting machine
@vethblack loves her toy knitting machine

Smart Weaver Knitting Kit Machine for Kids

Smart Weaver Knitting Kit Machine for Kids

On this knitting machine, knit scarves, hats, shoulder bags, socks, forearm warmers, and more.

The Smart Weaver Knitting Machine is made from plastic. Treated with care, it will last longer. Some will need some help casting on and off.

The Smart Weaver Knitting Kit Machine recommended for 6 and up. A small circular knitting machine. Perfect for the little knitter in your life.

Key Features

  • Able to create tubes (circular knitting) or flat panels
  • Suitable for Ages 6 & Up

Pros

  • Will be able to make knitted creations (with a little help)

Cons

  • Different stages of use will require adult help.
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

The Ultimate Sweater Machine

The Ultimate Sweater Machine

A knitting machine with a six key plate. Super fast for projects such as an adult sweater or afghan.

Can use yarn of different weights. A variety of knitting stitches can be used – cable, lace, Fair Isle, and many others.

A detailed instructional video is included on all the basic stitches and fancy stitches. Compatible with hand knitting patterns as well as ultimate knitting books.

This machine has six key-plate to match every size knitting needle from 6 to 10-1/2. Make an afghan or sweater up to 100 stitches across.

Able to knit 1200 stitches a minute.

Every machine has a detailed instructional video on all basic stitches and fancy stitches. Has a limited manufacturer’s warranty.

Key Features

  • Six Key Plate Can match every size knitting needle from 6 to 10-1/2.
  • Made in the USA

Pros

  • It accepts yarns from sport to chunky.
  • Portable and reasonably light
  • Variety of basic and fancy stitches are possible

Cons

  • Takes time and practice to use and work correctly.
  • Need to watch the instructional video several times.
  • Requires manual adjustment to do fancier stitches.
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Useful Additions

Machine Row Counter

Machine Row Counter

Keeps your rows counted automatically, saving time and having to count rows manually.

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Extension

Caron Ultimate Sweater Machine Extension

Extends the machine by 30 needles.

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Hand Manipulated Stitches for Machine Knitters

Hand Manipulated Stitches for Machine Knitters

Essential for every machine knitter’s library! Wonderful tips and tricks and easy to read! The author, Susan Guagliumi, an excellent machine knitter, who’s had more than 25 years in the knitting machine industry.

Extend your creativity with this inspiration.

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Hand Knits by Machine: The Ultimate Guide for Hand and Machine Knitters

Hand Knits by Machine: The Ultimate Guide for Hand and Machine Knitters

Addresses the issues involved in adapting hand knit patterns and techniques to a knitting machine. Author, Susan Fletcher Guagliumi, has more than 25 years of experience in the knitting machine industry.

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Prym MIDI Knitting Mill Machine

Prym MIDI Knitting Mill Machine

It’s portable and lightweight. The largest number of stitches you can use is 20 when knitting in the round and 16 when knitting flat panels.

Key Features

  • Lightweight
  • Made in Germany

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Suitable for small projects
  • Circular knitting and flat panels
  • With a mode switch for added flexibility in what you can create

Cons

  • Need to work the machine slowly to ensure no dropped stitches.
  • Takes experimenting to find the most suitable yarn.
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Prym Knitting Mill Maxi

Prym Knitting Mill Maxi

It’s lightweight and hand-operated. The largest number of stitches you can use is 44 when knitting in the round and 40 when knitting back and forth panels.

Key Features

  • Lightweight
  • Circular design
  • Made in Germany

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Suitable for circular and flat panel design.

Cons

  • Need to work the machine slowly to ensure no dropped stitches.
  • Takes experimentation to find the most suitable yarn weight
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

It can be incredibly hard for beginners to select the ideal knitting machine.

There are many models to sift through.

Your best bet is to decide what sort of design (big or small) you want to create with a knitting machine.

Regardless of which one of the many knitting machines you choose, you’ll save time with these knitting devices than if you did hand knitting.

Best of luck using your new favorite tool. 🙂

Something we forgot? Leave a question or comment at the end.

Image credits: © Amazon.com

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About Jodie Morgan

Hi. I’m Jodie Morgan, owner and creator of Knit Like Granny. (Yes, I’m a real person :) ) Thanks for being here.

I created Knit Like Granny to help show 1,000,000 people the benefits of knitting & highlight alternatives to fast fashion.

I love knitting and have met so many other fabulous knitters through this site. I enjoy learning and helping others discover the joys of working with yarn.

Please say hello!

10 thoughts on “My Knitting Machine Guide. The 10 Best & All the Machine Knitting Facts You Need in 2020”

  1. I have a daughter who’s not so interested in knitting with needles, I thought she might like a knitting machine. Which is the best for a 10 year old?

    Reply
    • Hi Candice, good idea to introduce a knitting machine to spark your daughter’s interest in craft. The best one to start with would be the NKOK Singer Knitting Machine. I’ve shared a review of it above and hope that helps. Cheers Jodie

      Reply
    • The best knitting machine for home use is the Addi King Size as it knits up larger projects like hats, cowls and scarves. You can knit flat pieces too. There’s more information in my post. Cheers Jodie

      Reply
  2. Thanks for your review of the two different sizes of Addi knitting machines. It’s helped me decide to get the King size as I want to make bigger projects

    Reply
  3. Jodie,
    The USM detailed in your website looks fantastic, but, seems unavailable everywhere given that it was discontinued in 2015.I
    I am looking for a table top machine (horizontal type) for my wife to use. Ideally for sweaters, dresses etc., possibly as an at home business. Thus, needs to be robust. Also needs to be able to do multi-stitch, Fair Isle, multi-colour, super-flexible etc.
    What machine would you recommend please?
    Thank you,
    Richard

    Reply
    • Hi Richard. Thanks for getting in touch. I will update my post with what you have found regarding the USM machine, thanks for letting me know. I am by no means an expert on the type of knitting machine you are looking for. I will ask my readers to see what they recommend and get back to you. Cheers Jodie

      Reply
  4. Hi Jodie! Great Post! Just wondering overall which machine would you suggest that does it all? I’m primarily interested in making adult sweaters and hats. Thank you in advance!

    Reply
  5. Hi Danyelle. So glad you’ve found this info helpful. I would recommend the Addi Kingsize machine. It is an investment but you will be able to make adult hats and sweaters with flat panels (there will be the need for seaming) with this larger machine. I have another post discussing the Addi Knitting machine here https://knitlikegranny.com/addi-knitting-machine/ It includes some great links to tutorials for making hats and sweaters. Hope this helps. Cheers Jodie

    Reply

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