Knitting is the favorite and age-old tradition we can say, it has a warm history, and will remind most of us of our grandmothers and mothers love wrapped in every stitch. But as we know revolution has its roots spreading almost in every field. Knitting too has been blessed with the machine age and there are knitting machines in the market today that will knit with ease and perfection. As lives become more and more busy, seldom is there time for sitting peacefully and hand knitting our woolen requirements. A knitting machine can be described as a machine that can knit yarn automatically. This is a machine that knits yarns, in a semi or fully automated pattern. It sure saves on a lot of time and gives you good results, has less scope for tangles and errors. But it still needs attention so as to save on any slipped or tangled stitches. There are different types of knitting machines, they have different frames that are designed to knit in variations, just like different knitting needles. The important consideration while choosing this machine is the thickness of the yarn. Let us now understand how these machines work.
How Does a Knitting Machine Work
We will first check the working principle of this machine and then understand their different types machines and their mechanism. A normal machine will be designed to knit a stockinette stitch. There will be other patterns available that have different needle, but that will be possible if you buy that specific type of machine. The stitches made by machine will be more accurate and even than the hand made stitches. All the knitting is done in an automated manner. Just in case you are not familiar with how to knit, it will not be a problem. With a little experience on hand knitting, there will be an advantage of learning to operate the machine in varied patterns easily and quickly.
➜ The basic parts of a knitting machine are: hooks or needles, carriage – which carries the yarn across to the other end, bed – the surface designed with grooves that holds the needles or hooks, tension – that is the point of adjustment for regulating the amount of pull.
➜ For a normal operation you will have to put across a yarn on the hooks. The hooks, also called needles, latch to the yarn across the carriage. There is one needle or hook meant for each stitch in a row, and then the yarn is dragged across through the loops. This makes room for more loops, and the knitted yarn is dropped just below the seam of new loops. The carriage is then pushed to make another row of stitches.
➜ Now there are 3 major types of knitting machines. They are manual machine, card punched machine and an automated machine. In a normal machine, you have to manually move the needles by hand to get a different pattern of stitch. In a card punch machine, there are different cards for different patterns of stitches. These need to be put in the machine, which commands the machine to change the patterns. Now let’s get to ‘how do electronic knitting machines work.’ In an automated or electronic machine, the patterns are stored in the data or card of the system, which will help in different patterns.
➜ There are also different sizes in the machines, like bulky, mid size and standard. The needles or hooks are variable in sizes. The standard machine will use fine yarns and the needle size will also be smaller than the other two. While the bulky machine will use thick yarns and use big needle or hook sizes.
While choosing one, consider the purpose of the machine. Another important fact is that, it is not that machine knitting gives you better quality than hand knitting in less time. It is true till a certain extent, but machine knitting will have its own disadvantages. It still needs attention for detail, especially when changing the cards for different patterns or manipulating the electronic command to change the pattern. Knitting machines are easy to handle and give good results, but without the hand knit feeling of warmth and content.