The LK 150 Knitting Machine is much more than a “hobby knitter”. Cast on just once and you’ll be hooked. It’s just one of the reasons it sits at the top of our list of great gift ideas for knitters.
The term hobby does not begin to describe the versatility of this lightweight machine.
Perhaps the initial impression might be to compare the LK 150 to the Caron Ultimate Sweater Machine which is still sold in craft and hobby stores like Joann and Michaels. I wouldn’t compare them to each other. They are miles apart in versatility.
As the original hobby knitter, I never compared the sweater machine to any knitting machine [even when the sweater machine first appeared on the market] but I am quick to admit that with expert hand manipulated stitches, a hand knitter can produce unique knit garments on the ultimate sweater machine.
Knitting Machine Supplies & Accessories
- ☑️ Already own a knitting machine? Click HERE to find all types of accessories, replacement parts and sought after supplies for several brands of machines.
- ☑️ In a hurry to knit the first row of your new sweater? ==> See the best price for the Silver Reed Hobby Knitter then create handknits by machine!
Machine Knitting Is Not REAL Knitting!
I beg to differ. As a long time knitting machine instructor, many first-time machine knitting students of mine were very disappointed that their new purchase required that much actual “work” in producing a finished garment. So…
To correct any misconceptions about machine knitting in general, the LK 150, the Bond/Caron or any other model of knitting machine – a machine merely allows the knitter to knit an entire row of stitches at one time rather than one stitch at a time in hand knitting.
Any color work, shaping through increases and decreases and stitch patterning is done manually – not automatically. Only patterning is done automatically on electronic machines.
Manual or electronic, you still have to knit individual pieces and assemble the sweater as you would a hand knit project.
There is no magic formula or accessory that allows the knitter to produce a finished sweater by inserting a card into a chip slot.
The fun, however, is in watching and knowing that your knitting project develops somewhat faster than by hand knitting. There are other gadgets to help speed up assembly! We’ll add them to another list of gift ideas.
So, forty plus years and at least 9 full-size knitting machines later, why would the LK 150 attract me enough to buy it? No laughing please 🙂 The answer is…”because I can take it with me”!
The LK 150 Knitting Machine
The Instruction Manual
The knitting machine comes with an illustrated, comprehensive 52-page manual that covers everything from how to set up the machine to:
- Names and parts for each part
- The accessories
- How to cast on and knit plain stockinette
- Pattern knitting
- How to knit a garment
- Knitting techniques
- Helpful hints
- Packing away the machine
- Standard knitting symbols
Setting Up The Machine
Setting up the LK150 knitting machine is as easy as opening the shipping carton, removing the styrofoam inserts that hold the tools and assorted components, and lifting the machine out of the box.
It comes in a single 38-inch wide bed and does not have any separate extensions. With 150 needles, you really do not need any.
The only remaining step is to attach it to the edge of a table or on a stand with the metal clamps [they come with the machine].
Once the machine is securely attached to the edge of the table, attach the yarn mast with tension guide, the row counter and secure the knitting carriage to the needle bed. Lift the carriage handle to an upright position. You are ready to knit!
Important Features Of The LK150
Needle Bed Extension
The LK 150 comes with built-in extensions but they are not really needed unless you are going to knit the front or back piece of a sweater that needs more than 100 stitches. Remember that you have a total of 50 more needles if you knit a larger size.
Knitting over 100 needles will produce knit fabric of the following dimensions:
- At 4 stitches to the inch, you have a width of 25 inches per front or back = 50 inches
- 100 needles at 4.5 stitches to the inch equal a width of 22 1/4 inches per front or back = 44.5 inches
- 100 needles at 5 stitches to the inch = a width of 20 inches per front or back = 40 inches
Yarn & Stitch Dial
As a single bed machine, true ribbing is not possible on this machine. It would require a ribber bed.
However, it is possible to make latched ribbing. The machine comes with a stitch dial setting [R] for latched ribbing.
The formed stitches and rows are tighter than the lowest number on the dial.
You can opt to knit ribbing on regular needles and then transfer the open stitches to the machine. You can drop alternate stitches to be latched up as purl stitches (latched ribbing) or begin the knitting on a provisional cast on and pick up the open stitches once the piece is finished.
The dial comes with two sets of stitch sizes if you decide to knit over every other needle!
Knitting on every other needle translates into a 13mm needle spacing which is close to size 17 knitting needles.
Located on the sides of the knitting carriage are two sets of levers that control how the needles work.
Near the top edge of the carriage and nearest to the needles are the “side levers“. They control the needles for stockinette , plating and tucked stitches.
About half way down the side of the carriage are the Russel levers. These levers control the needles when they are in the holding (non-working) position – closest to the pink strip on the needle bed.
LK 150 Knitting Machine Optional Accessory
Yes, the LK 150 knitting machine does have an accessory!
In our opinion, the best accessory to complement this hobby knitter is the Intarsia carriage.
Replace the regular knitting carriage with the Intarsia carriage to expand the can-do repertoire of the LK 150. Open up the world of single motif designs and patterning. Be sure to add this little knitting machine to your Christmas wish list.
Our quick and easy machine knitting patterns will feature simple designs for costuming – or not.
Our first sample cardigan sweater will be knit exactly as described in the instruction manual. We’ll provide a gallery of step by step photos to illustrate the progress.
Let the knitting begin! Nearly all our new one-of-a-kind sweaters will be knit on the LK 150 knitting machine to demonstrate its versatility.