I’d almost given up. Almost. Futile attempts to score a 1970s Barbie knitting machine on eBay — rumor had it the older machines were better made than the current crop of plastic versions — had me annoyed. And I was craving some Ana Voog-style tubes to play with, but didn’t have the time to knit them by hand.
Then I saw the Addi Express knitting machine at January TNNA (made by Skacel, the same people who bring you the fabulous Addi Turbo needles). I had to test it out.
Although I had a brief demo in their booth, I hadn’t set one up from scratch, so I was pleased to find a detailed instructional booklet in the box. However, my bilingualism definitely came in handy, as the German instructions are better than the English! You shouldn’t have any problems, though, the directions don’t reach Japanese-VCR-manual instructions by a long shot, and the quality of the product makes it all worthwhile.
(Partner in wool crime) Heather and I cranked out an entire skein of Lion Fisherman’s Wool — a full 465 yards — then dyed the tube in a progression of colors. We unraveled it, and pow! variegated yarn. Not the least labor-intensive method in the world, but something we’d been wanting to try.
Although the cranking gets tedious if you do it too long, and it helps to have someone to chase after the yarn ball, the Addi Express is my new favorite tool, second only to my i-cord maker (oh! I love my i-cord maker, you have no idea how much), but much easier to use.
If you’re making sleeves for very small sweaters, this’ll cut hours off your knitting time. I don’t think you could do adult-sized tubular sleeves without dropping some stitches to add width, though. That’s something I still need to test. You can also go back and forth to make swatches (shop owners in particular will love how fast a sample swatch comes out). Afghan people? Have at it! Tubular scarves like the one in AlterKnits? You could make one in less than an hour.
Highly recommended for adults and children alike — give the Addi Express a try!