June 22, 2013

Models of Brother Knitting Machines

Knitting machines- Models of Brother Knitting Machines

 

This blog is to help fellow knitters understand the range of Brother Knitting Machines available on the market.  I will try to give as much information as possible about a model which will include there approximate age, features, there complexity, accessories/attachments and In some cases my personal experience. I happen to use most of the models available in UK but I also have used some models available in North America and Europe. In this blog I will lay references to models in other countries as well.

I have been a machine knitter from last 15 years. But this was not something which I was always interested in. But I think it was in my blood, my mother is a very keen hand knitter. When I was young she would make us scarf’s, jumpers etc

But as I grew up those scarfs, jumpers started coming as Christmas presents and they were only worn once or twice and then put away nicely in a cupboard. But during the birth of my first child I was looking for ways to spend my time at home productively. I am an electrical engineer by profession but I needed some relaxing time away electrical circuits. One day I saw my mother hand knitting and asked her if she can show me how to do it and that was the start. I did hand knitting for few months and then I bought my very first knitting machine from a charity shop. A brother kh 710 only for £5 but it was £5 well spent. I used that machine for a while and then upgraded to a punch card machine kh 836. This process of upgrading continued until the reached brothers most advance knitting machine kh 970. I will write a separate blog about that but now we need to concentrate on this blog.

Brother made3 progresses in there knitting machine manufacturing. They first came with very basic non punch card knitting machines followed by punch card models and along with that came more advanced electronic knitting machine models.

Non punch card machines:

These machines are very rare and not many accessories or attachments are available for these machines.

Kh 588

This is a very basic knitting machine with push button knitting mechanism. It is a standard gauge knitting machine. A very few number of these machines are still available on the market but please make sure that they are in good condition as these machines are over 25 years old and there may be some signs of rusting. But I have seen very well looked after machines which are still doing great knitting. There were no ribbers for this machine and you cannot use any garter carriage on it.

Kh 710

This is a standard gauge knitting machine which uses push button mechanism.  This came with an added feature of kr 710 ribber. Around 25 years old but a fair few number of these machines and attachments are available on the market in good condition. You can still get replacement needles for these machines. Unfortunately, you cannot use any garter carriage on these machines.

Punch card machines:

These machines are readily available on the market. There are lots of accessories/attachments available for these machines. There are a lot of dealers who are selling replacement needles and tools for these machines. You can also get pre-punched cards or blank cards to make your own designs for these machines.

Kh 830

The very first of the pre-punched machines. This is a standard gauge knitting machine and the needle pitch is 4.5mm. It uses 24 stitch pattern over a 200 needle bed. So realistically speaking you can have 8 repeated full 24 stitch patterns over the whole needle bed. You can make this a double bed knitter by using a Brother knitting ribber kr 830. This machine also has the capability of doing lace knitting with the help of Lace carriage which comes included in the machine. Some of these machines, not all can use a garter carriage KG 88 or KG88II. But you will have to use the rails provided with the garter carriage.

Kh 836

This is a later version of knitting machine kh 830. This version was much smoother to run. It used same 24 stitch punch card mechanism. A standard gauge machine with 4.5mm needle pitch. You can use Brother knitting ribber kr 830, kr 850 and kr 900(only available in North America). You can also use Brother Garter carriage KG88 & KG 88II on this machine. But you will have to use the rails provided with the garter carriage. Can do lace knitting with Lace carriage included.

Kh 840

A standard gauge knitting machine with 24 stitches punch card mechanism. Needle pitch is 4.5mm. You can use Brother knitting ribber kr 830, kr 850 and kr 900(only available in North America).  You can also use Brother Garter carriage KG88 & KG 88II on this machine. But you will have to use the rails provided with the garter carriage. Lace carriage is included.

Kh 860

A very good machine with lots of specification and a lace carriage. A standard gauge knitting machine with 24 stitches punch card mechanism. Needle pitch is 4.5mm. You can use Brother knitting ribber kr 830, kr 850 and kr 900(only available in North America).  You can also use Brother Garter carriage KG88 & KG 88II on this machine. But you will have to use the rails provided with the garter carriage.

Kh 881

A standard gauge knitting machine with 24 stitches punch card mechanism. This was arguably one of the best standard gauge knitting machines brother made. It comes with a built in knitleader which helps you shape your garments. Needle pitch is 4.5mm. You can use Brother knitting ribber kr 830, kr 850 and kr 900(only available in North America).  You can also use Brother Garter carriage KG88 & KG 88II on this machine. But you will have to use the rails provided with the garter carriage.

Kh 891

A standard gauge knitting machine with 24 stitches punch card mechanism. This is a later version of Kh 881 knitting machine. It also came with a built in knitleader. This machine was upgraded to have a built in garter carriage rail expanding the numbers of garter carriages that can be used on this machine. You can use brother garter carriage on this machine KG 88, KG 88II, KG 89, KG 89II, KG93 and KG 95. One of the very best punch card machines. Comes with a lace carriage. Needle pitch is 4.5mm. You can use Brother knitting ribber kr 830, kr 850 and kr 900(only available in North America). 

Kh 890

A standard gauge knitting machine with 24 stitches punch card mechanism. This is a later version of Kh 860 knitting machine. Comes with a lace carriage. This machine was upgraded from Kh 860 to include garter carriage rail. So you can use brother garter carriage on this machine KG 89, KG 89II, KG93 and KG 95. Needle pitch is 4.5mm. You can use Brother knitting ribber kr 830, kr 850 and kr 900(only available in North America). 

Kh 864

This was probably the last standard gauge punch card knitting machine made by Brother. It is very similar to Kh 890 but does not come with a lace carriage. It has built in Garter carriage rails, so you can use brother garter carriage on this machine KG 89, KG 89II, KG93 and KG95. Needle pitch is 4.5mm. You can use Brother knitting ribber kr 830, kr 850 and kr 900(only available in North America). 

Chunky knitting machines:

Kh 230

This is first chunky knitting machine made by brother. This is fairly basic machine which could only do plain knitting. There is no built in patterning mechanism. You can use a Brother chunky ribber kr 230 specifically made for this machine.

 

Kh 260

This is a chunky gauge knitting machine with 24 stitch pattern mechanism.  Needle pitch is 9mm. It is a very robust knitting machine and can handle double knit & chunky yarns. You can make this machine a double bed knitter by adding Kr 260 ribber. All the brother chunky machines do not come with lace carriage nor there was any garter carriage made by Brother to work on these machines.

 

Electronic Knitting Machines

 

Kh 910

This is a standard gauge knitting machine with 60 stitch pattern mechanism over 200 needle bed.  This was the first electronic knitting machine made by Brother so there were few faults with this machine. Major one being the electronic short circuiting. These machines came with mylar sheet reading mechanism which was not very effective at most times. It came with a lace carriage. You can also use KG88 and KG88II garter carriages on this machine. You have to use rails provided with these garter carriages. You will find some of these machines upgraded to Kh950/Kh950i

Kh 950

This is a standard gauge knitting machine with 200 stitch repeat pattern mechanism. It is an upgraded version of kh 910 knitting machine. It also has the same mylar sheet reading mechanism where you could design your own pattern and store in the machines memory. This machine came with 555 built in patterns and more can be added to its memory with the use of mylar sheets. This was also the first machine which came with capabilities to play with your patterns like turning the pattern upside down, doubling the width, height, reversing, mirror reflection and negative image. This machine comes with a very detailed instruction manual and a stitch world pattern book. Pattern book has coloured pictorial layout of all the patterns stored in the memory with specific number for each pattern. You can retrieve these patterns by following very simple illustrated instructions. This machine came with a lace carriage and in 555 patterns you have few lace patterns. You can use KG88, KG88II, KG89, KG 89II, KG93 & KG95 garter carriages on this machine. There are few patterns in the machine memory in order for you to use the garter carriage. Needle pitch is 4.5mm. You can use Brother knitting ribber kr 830, kr 850 and kr 900(only available in North America). 

Kh 950i/950E

This is a standard gauge knitting machine with 200 stitch repeat pattern mechanism. It is an upgraded version of kh 950 knitting machine.  This has an extra inclusion of FB100 port which allows you to transfer your patterns to the machine memory via FB100 or P.P.D(pattern programming device 110,120). This was the first machine which could be connected to your PC or laptop via the same port. You can connect this machine to your laptop or PC using Brother link cable and Designaknit software. It also has the same mylar sheet reading mechanism where you could design your own pattern and store in the machines memory. This machine came with 555 built in patterns and more can be added to its memory with the use of mylar sheets. You can still play with your patterns like turning the pattern upside down, doubling the width, height, reversing, mirror reflection and negative image. This machine comes with a very detailed instruction manual and a stitch world pattern book. Pattern book has coloured pictorial layout of all the patterns stored in the memory with specific number for each pattern. You can retrieve these patterns by following very simple illustrated instructions. This machine came with a lace carriage and in 555 patterns you have few lace patterns. You can use KG 88, KG 88II, KG89, KG 89II, KG93 & KG95 garter carriages on this machine. There are few patterns in the machine memory in order for you to use the garter carriage. Needle pitch is 4.5mm. You can use Brother knitting ribber kr 830, kr 850 and kr 900(only available in North America). Its similar to 950E sold in USA.  Main carriage of this machine came with in built intarsia carriage. All in all it is a very good machine and if you can get your hands on a good quality serviced machine then you are in for a treat and many years of happy knitting.

Kh 940/930

This is a standard gauge knitting machine with 200 stitch repeat pattern mechanism. It is an upgraded version of kh 950i knitting machine.  This also has FB100 port which allows you to transfer your patterns to the machine memory via FB100 or P.P.D(pattern programming device 110,120). You can connect this machine to your laptop or PC using Brother link cable and Designaknit software. This machine did not come with mylar sheet capabilities instead you can add your own pattern using the buttons provided on the machine.  This machine came with 555 built in patterns. You can still play with your patterns like turning the pattern upside down, doubling the width, height, reversing, mirror reflection and negative image. This machine comes with a very detailed instruction manual and a stitch world pattern book. Pattern book has coloured pictorial layout of all the patterns stored in the memory with specific number for each pattern. You can retrieve these patterns by following very simple illustrated instructions. This machine came with a lace carriage and in 555 patterns you have few lace patterns. You can use KG 88, KG 88II,KG89, KG 89II, KG93 & KG95 garter carriages on this machine. There are few patterns in the machine memory in order for you to use the garter carriage. Needle pitch is 4.5mm. You can use Brother knitting ribber kr 830, kr 850 and kr 900(only available in North America). Its similar to 930 sold in USA and Europe.  Main carriage of this machine came with in built intarsia carriage. All in all it is a very good machine and if you can get your hands on a good quality serviced machine then you are in for a treat and many years of happy knitting.

Kh 965

This is a standard gauge knitting machine with 200 stitch repeat pattern mechanism. It is an upgraded version of kh 940/kh 930 knitting machine.  It comes with 615 stored patterns. There is no mylar sheet but has an added feature of pattern cartridge port thus increasing the number of patterns. You should get an instruction manual and 2 pattern books with this machine. Stitch world I & II. This machine has an added feature of Memory button which helps you come back to correct row once you have divided your knitting for neck shaping. You can store 254,000 stitches or 98 of your own patterns on machine memory. Also this machine allows you not only to play with your patterns like turning the pattern upside down, doubling the width, height, reversing, mirror reflection and negative image but you can do all these features on a single width of knitting. It also allows 3 colour split in a row. Just have to enter the pattern as fairisle and the machine will split it out for you. Another feature of MC rib button allows your fairisle knitting to be separated for jacquard knitting. This came with a lace carriage. You can use KG 88, KG 88II,KG89, KG 89II, KG93 & KG95 garter carriages on this machine. There are few patterns in the machine memory in order for you to use the garter carriage. Needle pitch is 4.5mm. You can use Brother knitting ribber kr 830, kr 850 and kr 900(only available in North America).  You can connect this machine to your laptop or PC using Brother link cable and Designaknit software.

Kh 965i

This is a standard gauge knitting machine with 200 stitch repeat pattern mechanism. It is an upgraded version of kh 965 knitting machine.  It comes with 615 stored patterns.There is no mylar sheet but has an added feature of pattern cartridge port thus increasing the number of patterns. There is an added feature of FB 100 port in this model. Which allows patterns to transfer via FB 100 drive. You should get an instruction manual and 2 pattern books with this machine. Stitch world I & II. This machine has an added feature of Memory button which helps you come back to correct row once you have divided your knitting for neck shaping. You can store 254,000 stitches or 98 of your own patterns on machine memory. Also this machine allows you not only to play with your patterns like turning the pattern upside down, doubling the width, height, reversing, mirror reflection and negative image but you can do all these features on a single width of knitting. It also allows 3 colour split in a row. Just have to enter the pattern as fairisle and the machine will split it out for you. Another feature of MC rib button allows your fairisle knitting to be separated for jacquard knitting. This came with a lace carriage. You can use KG 88, KG 88II,KG89, KG 89II, KG93 & KG95 garter carriages on this machine. There are few patterns in the machine memory in order for you to use the garter carriage. Needle pitch is 4.5mm. You can use Brother knitting ribber kr 830, kr 850 and kr 900(only available in North America). You can connect this machine to your laptop or PC using Brother link cable and Designaknit software.

Kh 900

This is only electronic standard gauge knitting machine with 24 stitch pattern mechanism. It is very similar to kh 965 machine but very limited capabilities. It does not comes with a lace carriage but will take any electronic lace carriage. It only came with 50 built in patterns. You can use KG 88, KG 88II,KG89, KG 89II, KG93 & KG95 garter carriages on this machine. There are few patterns in the machine memory in order for you to use the garter carriage. Needle pitch is 4.5mm. You can use Brother knitting ribber kr 830, kr 850 and kr 900(only available in North America).

Kh 970

This is a last and in my opinion the best standard gauge electronic knitting machine produced by brother. It is a complete computerized machine with 665 built in patterns. There is no mylar sheet but has an added feature of pattern cartridge port thus increasing the number of patterns. There is an added feature of FB 100 port in this model. Which allows patterns to transfer via FB 100 drive. You should get an instruction manual and 1 pattern books with this machine. Stitch world III. This machine allows you up to 9 variations and not only to play with your patterns like turning the pattern upside down, doubling the width, height, reversing, mirror reflection and negative image but you can do all these features on a single width of knitting. It electronically count the rows for you and all this including the pattern is displayed on the LCD screen of the CB-1 controller of the machine. This can be detached from the machine if you want to work on your pattern. This is the only machine which allows you to shape and size your garment on its LCD display. . Needle pitch is 4.5mm. You can use Brother knitting ribber kr 830, kr 850 and kr 900(only available in North America). You can connect this machine to your laptop or PC using Brother link cable and Designaknit software.  This came with a lace carriage. You can use KG 88, KG 88II,KG89, KG 89II, KG93 & KG95 garter carriages on this machine. But make sure you connect a special sensor which comes with the machine to your garter carriage before using it otherwise you can damage your machine sensors. There are few patterns in the machine memory in order for you to use the garter carriage. There is also a special automatic  colour changer KRC1000E made for this machine which allows upto 6 colours knitting.

Kh 270

This is updated version of Brother chunky knitting machine kh 260. This is the only electronic chunky machine made by brother. It comes with 288 stored patterns and a capability to add more patterns to its memory. Also you can connect a pattern cartridge to this machine which increases the number of patterns you can knit on this machine. Again it is only 24 stitch pattern mechanism. Needle pitch is 9mm. You can use a Brother knitting ribber Kr 260. All the brother chunky machines do not come with lace carriage nor there was any garter carriage made by Brother to work on these machines.