Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Brother KX-350

I decided that I needed a knitting machine that is not a standard that is very portable.  I have a standard Brother KH-341.  It is a little fold up carry with you machine.  It is  pretty neat but being a standard it won't take the larger yarns.

I don't know if they ever made the bulky Brother machines in a portable machine, except for the convertible ones. The problem with the convertible machines is you loose bed size for the bulky when you change the gate pegs and it converts from bulky to standard. That is not want I want to have happen and I already have that portable standard. So I checked out getting one of the Brother KX350 mid-gauged machines.

I saw several of these for sell on e-bay but most went for a price higher then I wanted to pay for a machine that is old and not tested. Then recently there was one that I managed to purchase for not too high a cost. I got the auction at $54.97 plus $15 shipping. So not too bad a price.

Then someone on groups mentioned that this machine you could add to and so make a longer bed for knitting. I figured that someday I might consider purchasing another for that purpose. Then I started looking at some other auctions for this same machine for a friend who wanted to purchase one. I found several and sent the links to her.

This friend has a bond machine but has been having trouble doing some fair isle patterns she likes to do. She is hoping that this 350 machine will work better and not drop stitches as much as the bond. She is also the one who gave me the Brother KH-930 machine I am currently using.

So back the the auctions. She watched one but says it went higher then she could afford. Then she bid on another but was outbid. While she was bidding on that one, I asked her about another that I had in my watch list at ebay. She said that was not the one she was bidding on so I figured, well if it didn't go to high I would give it a go. I won that one also. So now I am waiting for another machine to get here.

My friend did not win the auction for the 350 she was bidding on but she later found one at a reasonable buy it now option and she purchased that one. So now we will both have the same machine. It is too bad that we live the entire country, well almost, a part. We will both be learning a new machine but emails will do to pass on to each other what we learn. Oh yes, I know the machine will need a new sponge strip, I haven't ordered but will soon. I have been looking for a good replacement site to get a sponge strip, and have been told that there is one for another brand of machine that others have used. At this point where I have found the strips are the same places that sell the sponge bars and the price runs the same as a bar. I just cannot see paying the same price for a sponge strip as a sponge bar.

The first machine I won has a video with it, but they said no instruction book. I went to the online brother site that has many manuals and downloaded the one for this machine to look over. The second machine they said has the book but no video. So I will have both anyway. Both sellers say that all the tools and other parts are there, so that at least is a good thing. I need to find a source of needles, but those I have seen come up on ebay from time to time. So I will watch there and a couple other places. As it is for now, I will only be using one machine and the other can be a source of needles if need be.

According to group members, the KX350 will knit sports to worsted weight yarns. It is light in weight so that I can move it easily and it will be a machine that I hope to take to the yard with me. I am not a stick in the house during the spring and summer months. If I can be outside, that is where I will often be. I do have my knitting looms, needles, and my crochet and they go outside with me a lot, but a machine will be nice also.


Blogger Susan said...

hi there, just stumbled upon your sire. I have a kx350 also that I was gifted by someone who found it in a house she bought. Anyway, do you have any idea where to get replacement needles?

As for the strip......mine was pretty much falling apart. I went to the upholstery shop where an older gentleman just cut me a piece of the fabric that they use to line the ceiling in automobiles. It's fabric on one side with a little spongy material on the back and it worked like a charm. Since I only asked for a very long piece that was about 1/2" wide, I didn't even have to pay anything as they have scraps of that stuff all the time. So if you haven't fixed yours yet, that might be something to look into. Would be so thankful though for help in replacement needles as some of these were bent :(

8:56 PM  
Blogger Amoonsinger said...

Hi Susan,

I got my needles from an online place called Needle Tek. They did not have my needles listed on their site but they do say they have more then what is listed. I called them and had my needles within a few days.

Here is the link to their site Needle Tek They are excellent people to deal with.

I have bought from them a few times now and the price for the needles was pretty good.

I replaced the sponge in both of my 350 machines with ones I also bought from Needle Tek. They were the most reasonable source for these sponges that I could find.

I have heard from online groups that the ceiling fabric used on automobiles is usable for the machines (that some people have used it), but I had already replaced my sponge when I read this.

Thanks for the info.


7:07 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Just before Christmas I was doing a little shopping at our local used clothing and etc. store and found a knitting machine a Brother KX350. It was priced at $34.99 and since I had a $10 coupon I purchased it for $24.99. Good Deal!.... still in original packagine and mint like new condition all parts and acc and manual included. Since Christmas I have made 3 sweaters and many scarfs. I Love this machine. I feel I am addicted to it. It works great and alot of fun!

10:42 AM  
Blogger Amoonsinger said...

That was a very good price for that machine. I know the 350 is an all manual machine but it knits very nicely. I bought some garter bars from Kris Krafter
So that I can do other things with the machine and make it better to use.

3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can only crochet but just purchased a brother kx350 for 26.00 including tax! I am so excited to learn this new craft!
I have read your posts and feel helped already, i am planning to change the sponge with weather stripping. But after purchasing some i am sure what is on the bed is fine...I might however find out the hard way,that I just had a bad case of wishful thinking.
Thanks & take care

3:33 PM  
Blogger Amoonsinger said...

Anonymous, I hope you enjoy that machine. I will say that 26 is an excellent price. It is a nice machine. I do love mine. I have not used machines for awhile now. I have been so busy getting crocheted afghans done that I haven't had time to machine knit. Finished the last baby afghan today. Machine time soon.

Oh I buy my sponges for the 350 from Needle tek. They are not expensive and are the proper ones for the machine.

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi again, I have replaced the sponge twice now thinking that the weather stripping was not a good fit and so I tried again. Still not up and working, in all of this I have notice some of the needles are bent so I used the spare ones then started taking the ones off the ends to replace the bent needles in the centre. I never have great luck, so I should have expected problems.
Thought it would be so cool to make a new scarf, before winter ended. Maybe for next winter. LOL
Hopefully I will have a success next post!

3:59 PM  
Blogger Amoonsinger said...

It only costs me a few dollars to buy a sponge strip from Needle Tek, then I know I have the proper size.

Check all the needles, and their latches to make sure they are not bent and the latches work well.

Check the carriage to make sure all parts are working properly and that the right parts are oiled.

Make sure there is not a static build up from yarn, condition of air in the room, static is a common source of problems.

Make sure the tension is not too tight or too loose.

Most of all make sure the yarn you are using has the proper tension dial and yarn mast setting for it. Some yarns as worsted weight are too thick for this machine. I can knit with some red heart worsted and others will not knit as they are too thick.

Never move carriage too far past the knitting as this can cause problems but in case of having done that too far hold the yarn strand up as you move back taking up any slack.

Do be sure when checking the machine bed that you remove needles and clean the slots where they sit. This is a major area for build up of fuzz from yarns.

Hopefully you can figure it out. Also you might try youtube for any videos on the plastic bed machines.

7:09 PM  

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