I’ve just been offered a chunky knitting machine! It was one of three being thrown out by a school, along with all their hand-knitting needles, crochet hooks etc. Someone rescued them and offered them on Freecycle. Freecycle is great. Go join your local group! Give and receive!
It’s a Brother KH260, which is as rare as hens’ teeth. So rare that the only times I’ve seen them for sale they’ve either been £2-400, or they’re undervalued on ebay (still too much for me at £80) because people just don’t think to look for them anymore.
The others on offer were a Brother KH836, which I already have, and an Electroknit KH940 which I could have killed for, but I didn’t want to be greedy… Well, I did, but I was nice about it – it went elsewhere though. Repairs on the Electroknits can be difficult to impossible as they are, y’know, electronic – motherboards n stuff – so maybe it’s as well. They are even more difficult to source than the chunky machines – I can only recall seeing one, an earlier model, going for US$950 – eep!
What I don’t get is why none of the original manufacturers has spotted that these machines are all still really popular, still selling for around the original list price. Or indeed someone else with the knowhow who could supply the market with parts, and manufacture new ones. The only company still making knitting machines is Bond America, with the Incredible and Ultimate Sweater Machine (they do more than just make sweaters – I’ve done crochet-thread net curtains on my ISM), but being Bond AMERICA they’re not well represented in the UK. Loads of people are getting into knitting now, discovering machine-knitting, and tearing their hair out trying to get into it….
Must now try to figure out how to get to Longbridge with no transport, when I’m supposed to be getting packed to go to Plymouth tomorrow morning…