Leicestershire Machine Knitters

Andrewes St, Leicester

About Machine Knitting

A knitting machine is a device used to create knitted fabrics in a semi or fully automated fashion. There are numerous types of knitting machines, ranging from simple spool or board templates with no moving parts to highly complex mechanisms controlled by electronics. All, however, produce various types of knitted fabrics, usually either flat or tubular, and of varying degrees of complexity. Pattern stitches can be selected by hand manipulation of the needles, push buttons and dials, mechanical punch cards, or electronic pattern reading devices and computers.

Comparison of machine knitting to hand knitting

The fabric produced using a knitting machine is of a more even texture than flat knitting, hand-knitted fabric, which is particularly noticeable on large areas of plain stockinet stitch, and can be an advantage. Some stitch patterns (e.g., tuck stitches) are much easier to produce with a knitting machine. Others (e.g. garter stitch) can also be produced with machine knitting, but can take a little longer; however, this is still much faster than hand knitting. The standard gauge 200-needle machine can knit the finest yarns up to a good sport-weight (4ply UK), while the heavier yarns knit better on a mid-gauge or bulky knitting machine.

Machine knitting saves a considerable amount of time but does require learning to operate the machines correctly. Most if not all hand knitting patterns can be worked up on a machine, either identically or in a similar design, but some are simpler to do by hand, whilst others are easier on a machine. Hand knitting patterns are designed to "flip" the fabric on every row so that the knitter consistently uses the dominant hand. However, machine knitting is consistently knit with the fabric facing the same way. Flat bed machines knit back and forth and circular machines knit continuously in the round.

Hazel Green demonstrating hairpin lace

Leicestershire Machine Knitters are a group of ladies and Bob who meet the 3rd Tuesday of the month, 10 am to 1 pm at LCIL West End Neighbourhood Centre, Andrewes Street (off Hinckley Road) Leicester, LE3 5PA. We have a planned programme where tuition and support are given.

Perhaps you have a knitting machine in your loft and feel that it needs to be used again. This is an opportunity to dig it out and regain your skills from many years ago. Or perhaps it is a new hobby that you wish to explore; we can give advice about different types of machine and you may try the club machines before you buy.

For further information, please contact the club secretary. Contact details are on our About page.

Where we meet:

West End Centre
Andrewes Street (off Hinckley Road)