I recently got a nice deal on a used USM. The person I bought it from online wasn’t the OG owner and didn’t know much about it. I seems like it’s in fairly good shape aside from one rusty needle and all the parts are with it.
I have no personal experience with knitting machines, however this didn’t seem overly complicated, I understand the principles of how it’s SUPPOSED to work, and I like to think I’m reasonably intelligent. I’ve gone over the directions thoroughly several times checking and rechecking each step, but I cannot get the thing to work smoothly. Something “just doesn’t feel right.”
The biggest issue seems to be that the carriage is just REALLY HARD to push across the row. And after every row the needles are out of alignment and have to be reset. Sometimes it just jams ouright and I have to take it apart because I don’t want to force it so hard something breaks.
I am not using the “yarn it came with” of course because I don’t have that. But I am using a smooth, new, worsted acrylic yarn and I doubt that’s the issue.
Some of the little hinged thingeys on the ends of the needle hooks are a little sticky/don’t easily flip back all the way. I’m not sure how critical that is or what to do about it other than work them back and forth a bit, but that should have nothing to do with the carriage being able to move the needles.
The only thing I can think of is that there is a strip of foam underneath the retaining bars, which makes the needles slide less easily. However the instructions manual says nothing about removing this (doesn’t mention it at all). And when I tried removing it, the needles seem really loose and tended to rattle around more than it seemed like they should, and that doesn’t seem to work well either, which is why I put it back in.
I’m lost. And confused. Any suggestions or advice? TIA!
Ultimate Sweater Machine knitters (Bond knitting machine)
Bond-related only, no sales
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I've wanted to try a machine knitting for the longest time - but the sheer cost and complexity of one has put me off. After much research and talking to lots of people - I decided to give this machine a chance. My Bernia cost a pretty penny and I haven't regretted any moment of that investment (in fact I would recommend a Bernia to anyone) but I was very worried about throwing away $ on this purchase (a birthday present from my husband.)
It took me about 3hrs to set up and figure this little beast out. If you are considering this machine I would only recommend it if a) you know how to knit b) you are patient and relatively calm and c) machines do not intimate you.
The knit is surprisingly good. Here is the test patch I first made with the yarn they provided in the box.
I have to say - so far it has won me over. It is plastic and it is not finely engineered - but for the $'s it is pretty amazing. Here are my tips ...
- don't bother with the wax they give you reach straight for the silicone spray
- keeping the tension on the edges of the hanging knitting is key (invest in some knitting machine weights asap)
- slower is better - don't rush - check each row for dropped stitches before starting the next- ignore their advertised speed - slower is better
- don't force the carriage - or press down too hard - you should be able to move it side to side with one hand
- watch every video on You Tube you can find BEFORE buying or setting up to learn about its quirks and limitations
- keeping practicing, breath lots and have chocolate/diet coke on hand
I just knitted 60 rows of 130 stitches each in about 40 mins - which is much slower than their advertized rate - but I was being ultra careful.
Stay posted for some projects I have planned with this little machine.
American Bond Ultimate Sweater Knitting Machines No Longer Available, Accessories Only from Spin Rite Caron Yarns. Wire Cord Knitters
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Knitting ultimate machine sweater
From me to you: Ultimate Sweat Machine Tips!
Stop! Wait! Don’t drop that Ultimate Sweater Machine off at the thrift store. I know learning a new tool can be frustrating, but I’m here for you. I promise.
I’m a professional hand-knitter, but still relatively new to using a knitting machine. Using the Ultimate Sweater machine however, became crucial last fall as more and more companies began commissioning large, yarn-bombed pieces from me. Out of sheer necessity, I buckled down and got on board the USM train. Through trial-and-error, I picked up a few tricks that ultimately made my experience more successful. Now I’m sharing those tips, along with answering consumer questions, in 4 videos on the Bond America website. Give ’em a look, and put what you’ve learned to work on your own USM.
Oh, and don’t forget, there are also traditional how-to videos and 24-hour help available, too! Learn more here.
filed under TV/Video, Vickie Howell for Caron.
Welcome to the Home Page for the Ultimate Sweater Machine
NEW ACCESSORY FOR THE USM! Stainless Steel Cast-on Combs now available for USM and 8mm machines. Link to Cast-on Combs
Bond Pattern Books & Accessories for Sale
Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ's
Assembling 2 Ultimate Sweater Machines together
Short Row Shaping For Shoulders
Lace knitting book
Free Bond Misc Magazines, Books, Publications
Bond Buzz Newsletters
Other Misc Links
TIPS, HINTS AND TROUBLESHOOTING
If you have trouble setting up or knitting on your Ultimate Sweater Machine, follow the suggestions below.Troubleshooting
Setting Up Your Machine:
Use the non-skid mat on any flat surface, but be sure not to pull down on the hem as you set up. Or, if you want to use the clamps, be sure to use a flat surface with a "true" bottom, similar to a piece of hardwood board. One of the long pre-cut shelves available at hardware stores and home centers is a good choice. I can't stress enough that it is very very important to have your machine on a perfectly flat surface.
Be sure not to screw the clamps on too tightly. This could raise the back of the bed and cause the needles to go out of alignment.
Be sure there are no raised retainer bars across the bed. These are the green bars that hold in the needles. If any are raised slightly you can push them down with your finger or use a small hammer with fabric or rubber as protection to tap them down into place.
Do not bear down on the carriage or it could be difficult to knit. Just hold down the handle enough to keep the keyplate in place.
USM Attributes:Comes with 4 keyplate sizes to match every size hand knitting needle size from 6 to 10 1/2.
Comes with 100 needles, so you can make up to 52" circumference sweater using chunky weight yarn.
You can use hand knitting patterns from information provided with each machine.
Extendable—make an even larger sweater or afghan with one or more
Extension Kits—you can even join two Ultimate Sweater Machines together!
Knits yarns from sport weight through chunky weight.
Knits fancy yarns from pencil roving through textured bouclé yarns, in all fibers.
Made of high quality polymer used in aircraft.
Resulting knitted fabric looks as if it had been made by a professional hand knitter.
"Bond" and "Sweater Machine" names are highly recognized and respected for quality needlecraft tools, especially easy-to-learn and high quality knitting machines.
No prior knowledge of knitting is required.
Free detailed instructional video on all the basic techniques and doing fancy stitches comes with each machine.
The Sweater Machine is ideal for crocheters who can add knitting to their crocheted pieces, or sewers, who can now knit as fast as they can sew.
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