If you have your eye on the Addi Express Knitting Machine, you might want to get more information on the machine and see if it is the right fit for you.
It is a different knitting machine to the conventional flatbed types, but it does have its own strengths and weaknesses. The Addi Express Knitting Machine is capable of creating some wonderful knitted items, but there are also things that it cannot do.
Knowing its capabilities and limitations will help you make the most of the machine, and decide if it is the machine you want to invest in.
Addi Express Knitting Machine Review – The Machine
The Addi Express King Size Knitting Machine is the larger version if the mini express. It has 46 needles which can create larger items in the round.
The kit comes with 46 needles, a needle holder, a decrease needle, 5 replacement needles, 2 screw hooks for sturdy mounting and 4 base feet. The new kit also includes a manual row counter.
The machine is suitable for a yarn count of 4-8 for circular knitting and can create a piece of 10 to 15 inches in diameter, and flat pieces up to 18 inches wide.
“Winding Instead of Knitting” is the detailed pattern book included with the set, which contains many different knitting and crocheting techniques.
Made in Germany, you can trust the machine is made to the highest standards and using only the best quality materials.
By simply turning the lever, the machine will begin to turn. The 46 needles will work to create larger knitted items than before. The pins all have a number which can be changed, allowing the knitting to be accelerated and decelerated.
The Pros and Cons of the Addi Express Knitting Machine
The Addi Express Knitting Machine has both pros and cons. Understanding the benefits and downfalls of the machine will let you know if it is worth buying. It is always worth knowing exactly what you are buying, to save you any disappointment down the line.
Here they are:
Portable and Space Saving
In relation to a full double bed knitting machine, the Addi Express Knitting machine is really portable. It is lightweight and saves a lot of space when being stored. There are no special tables needed when setting up the machine, and the machine sets up quickly and easily. It only needs to be set and secured on a flat surface with clamps and you are ready to get going. The machine being small also saves storage and shelf space when not in use.
The Addi Express Knitting Machine is considerably more affordable than usual flat bed knitting machines. Normal knitting machines that are able to knit in the round are also more expensive than those that can’t. However, it is important to remember that the Addi machine isn’t capable of all the functions of a full knitting machine, which is also why it is priced lower.
Stable and Sturdy
The Addi Express Machine is made in Germany and performs with excellent quality due to its sturdy and stable construction. While it is made from plastic, the plastic used is very durable and withstands extended use with little wearing.
Easy Cast On
Compared to other machines, the Addi Machine is easy to set up and to cast on. After some practice, setting up and casting on can be done in a few minutes without the use of special attachments. This cuts down the time taken to knit items.
After set up is done, the Addi is a really fast device. You will be able to create many different items in one evening if the urge strikes. This is a huge bonus for those who knit for profit or charity, as they can complete many projects quickly.
Flat and Circular Knitting Combined
Both flat and circular knitting functions are combined in the Addi Machine. This is great for knitters who want to create designs that require flat pieces. The machine comes with knitting stoppers which help to block needles that you don’t want to knit with.
No Tension Control Mechanism
When using the Addi Machine, the only thing that determines the stitch size is the yarn that you use. You cannot mechanically adjust the tension on the machine to make the stitch larger or smaller. So, in order to achieve a tighter or looser stitch, you will need to use a different yarn, experimenting until you find the correct tension.
The other problem with this is that there are often inconsistencies with the tension of the piece, this is dependent on how smoothly the yarn is fed into the machine, or how loosely the yarn is wound.
Most knitting machines tend to drop stitches but may compensate for this by having a weight system to help keep the stitches firmly in place. The Addi, however, does not have a weighting function, which can cause some trouble for a beginner knitters. You will need to purchase these weights separately to combat this problem, but these weights are not available from the supplier.
No Hold Position Across Needles
You can block off a singular section on the Addi Machine with stitch stoppers, but there is no hold position for knitting across multiple needles. This means that there is nothing to keep the idle needles from moving, making it almost impossible to perform an automated knitting pattern on the unit.
The digital row counter on the Addi Machine is unreliable, it often skips forwards and adds extra numbers to the count. This problem doesn’t seem to go away with a physical reset or a change of batteries. You will most probably have to rely on an independent and separate row counter to keep track of your knitted rows.
Fixed Limit on Circular Knitting
Depending on the size of the Addi machine, either the large or small, you cannot knit anything other than 46 stitches on the large and 22 on the small machine. This does restrict the different types and sizes of patterns you can create using the machine.
While it is advertised that the Addi Machine can take all types of yarns, the machine does play up with certain types. You will need to experiment with different yarns to in order to find out which are most compatible with the machine. It is best to avoid fancy or bulky yarns as these seem to cause the most problems.
Casting off using the Addi Machine is not as simple as casting on. The last bit is hand worked and it can be difficult to remove the last row on the machine without dropping any stitches. Many knitters tend to cast off onto waste yarn and then continue to cast off using circular hand needles.
After Market Support
The machine is mostly sold by third-party sellers, and there isn’t much support locally for the machine. As it is made in Germany, most of the forums and troubleshooting are in German. However, there are more and more English support groups being created which does help if any problems arise.
Sloppy Flat Edges
Flat edges produced using the machine often turn out sloppy, and this is often aggravated by the tension created by the yarn you choose to use. It does say that you can adjust the hand tension to improve the edges, but this isn’t always reliable.
The Addi Machine does come with a large range of pattern and instruction books, but these have been translated from German to English and often words get lost in translation. This makes some of the patterns and instructions difficult to read and understand.
Summary Review of the Addi Express
Even though it does have a couple of cons, it is still a great machine for household use. It is capable of creating some wonderful pieces in the round in almost no time at all. The machine is fairly easy to use and it will be a great addition to your knitting collection. Simply spend the time you need researching on whether or not it is the best machine for you and your knitting needs.
You will be able to create larger knitted items than by using the smaller version and can do so with ease. The Addi Express Knitting Machine is the cheaper option of the larger flatbed machines, but still packs a punch when it comes to creating designs.
Sometimes you need something a little simpler, staying away from over-complicated machines that are difficult to use.
Remember that the Addi Express Knitting Machine creates circular pieces, and does have the ability to create flat pieces, but not to the same quality as that of a flat bed knitting machine.
While this does limit you to what you can create, it is all based on your preference.
It might be a bit of an investment at first, but it is a machine that you will use time and time again, spreading your knitted love to everyone lucky enough to receive one of your creations!