Knitting tools are as simple as two sticks and some twine. Some knitting machines are barely more than that. There are those with shiny buttons and knobs that hook to your computer. Machine knitters hope that the new generation will show an interest in the old ways, reviving machines that seem to be going the way of the dinosaur. Some of them really ARE dinosaurs compared to the few, sleek new ones. For the most part tho, they still work.

I saw a knitting machine from 1898, in full operating condition. Antique? Hell yeah, but man, it was cool. Kind of like a teenager who plays chess with the really old guy down the block. The amazing thing is that apart from metal to plastic, the basic designs haven’t changed much in the last 70 years. Sure, the caddies of knitting machines can run themselves, but for the most part, they are still manually manipulated to some extent.

Knitting machines have always been a bit pricey. The Ultimate Sweater Machine runs a cool $240 in stores, despite the plastic parts and cheap tools. The antique metal bed machines usually go from the $50’s to $1k plus, fully loaded. Some still work great, as cherished items from the unsung knitters. Others need a heck of a lot of TLC as they were bought by someone who wanted to learn, but didn’t have the time or maybe the help they needed to learn the machine. A crafter looking for the next big thing.

Those of us who can’t afford a Passap or Brother 940i scrounge for parts. We’re at the mercy of those who can name their price. If I thought I’d get lucky, I’d go dumpster diving!

Why the rant? I’ve met so many people that say they can’t knit. They’ve never heard of a knitting machine. If you want to create something find a dinosaur, ask around, get tangled up a few times, and you might find it enjoyable. Create something! Find a passion for a life spent on computers and cell phones. Look to the old to make something new.

Oh, and if Armageddon comes, learn to knit. Shopping malls won’t be restocking!


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