"Should I buy a knitting machine?" - a question I asked myself, and you're probably also asking yourself right now, which is why you're here.
I'm a crocheter who first learned how to knit - but fell in love with crochet when I realized it worked up much faster than knitting. But lately I've been attending various markets and fairs and realized I needed a way to make more items in less time (After all, I am a one-woman business and sometimes it just feels like I don't have enough time to get everything that I want to get done, done!)
So I bought the Sentro 48 Needle Knitting Machine with the goal of whipping up beanies for the winter.
And since then, I've gotten a lot of questions about it:
- How does it work?
- Do you like it?
- What weight yarn works best in it?
- What size knitting machine should I start out with?
- Is it worth it?
So I'm here to answer all of these questions (and more) to hopefully help you make the decision on whether or not you should buy the Sentro Knitting Machine.
How does it work?
After setting up the machine, I honestly didn't even read the instructions on how to use it. I'm a visual learner, so I just went to YouTube to watch some videos on how to get started. I watched this video to learn how to make an adult beanie - and I didn't need any other video after this one!
Essentially you thread the yarn, crank a lever, and bind off.
At first I definitely dropped a few stitches, but after a couple of tries it's very simple to use. I would suggest practicing with some scrap yarn or yarn you don't really care about at first to get the hang of it before making a full beanie or knit piece. This brings me to my next point...
What weight/size yarn works best?
YIKES did I have to learn this the hard way. I was making a tri-color beanie and bought Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn and Crafter's Secret Big Idea Yarn because they were both weight 4 yarn, but WOW are they different. The I Love This Yarn worked totally fine, but as soon as I switched over the the Crafter's Secret Big Idea Yarn, the knitting machine would NOT crank. Like, the noise this machine made was awful. I realized too late that the yarn was too thick for the machine.
SO, my advice on yarn weight thickness: weight 3 yarns or thin, weight 4 yarns work best. Anything that's a thick weight 4 yarn will NOT do well. And anything over that (weight 5, bulky, super bulky etc.) - simply are not compatible with this machine.
What size knitting machine should I get?
Sentro has a few different size knitting machines: 22, 40, and 48. There are also different brands, like Jamit and Loops & Threads. The different sized machines are good for making different items:
- 22 needle: perfect for making doll hats, scarves, socks and leg warmers
- 40 needle: perfect for making kids hats, scarves, bags, clothes, etc.
- 48 needle: perfect for making adult hats, scarves, bags, clothes, etc.
So depending on what your intended use is for the knitting machine, choose wisely! I chose the 48 needle knitting machine because my main purpose for buying a knitting machine was to make adult beanies (and the occasional knit panel for sweaters/cardigans).
Is it worth it?
This machine cost me roughly $54. If I charge $30 per beanie, I make my money back in 2 beanies time. For me, I think it's absolutely been worth it. Having the option to crochet (which is my passion) or whip up some beanies or leg warmers when I need to increase my production is SO nice. My suggestion to anyone thinking about getting a knitting machine is first think about what products you're going to make with it, and go from there. If you really don't have anything in particular you wanna make with it, maybe wait it out until you have some ideas.
But as far as the machine itself goes, it works great (when you use the correct yarn with it) and whips up pieces very quickly.
You can also buy an attachment/adapter that will allow you to crank the machine effortlessly with a drill (to save your hands and arms from all that manual cranking).