I had a fabulous afternoon! A new crafting friend invited me to a meeting she goes to twice a month with people with knitting machines. They share knowledge, patterns, yarn, and machine parts to name a few things. Some just want help or company while they knit. I'd never heard of such a thing for the home knitter. I was just fascinated and overwhelmed once I laid eyes on one.
It's a monster of a machine. The particular machine I got to watch was probably about 5 feet long, about 5 inches thick and about 12 inches wide. It was stored in a case like a sewing machine, but the yarn was fed into it like a serger is fed thread. The gal slide a knitting cartridge back and forth once set up and knitted in 20 minutes what takes me 4 hours by hand.
These were the nicest gals. 3 were probably 60 to 70 years old and 3 of us were in our 40's. The 2 younger gals inherited their machines. One of the older gals had been using her knitting machine for 40 years. Another gal had been doing it equally as long, but had gotten a new machine about 10 years ago and paid $1000 for it. She said they run about $2000 now, they are so computerized and they were complicated. The old machines look complicated to me I can't even imagine it being worse. I really got the sense that those that could use their machine adeptly were passing on the tradition.
The new crafty friend of mine says she has 4 knitting machines and I'm welcome to come over and play. I'm definitely going to take her up on it. OH BOY... just what I need another machine and another craft!