I once had a Singer fine gauge knitting machine. I hated it because I could only use very fine yarns on it. I sold it with the intention of buying a mid-gauge machine some day along the lines. Years passed by and between hand knitting , weaving, spinning I never thought of it again.
DH has been complaining of very cold feet for ages, I once knit him a couple of pairs of socks but he is shoe size 11 and that is a LOT of knitting. Every time I hear the "cold feet" story I think: alpaca socks will take care of that. But never did quite get around knitting some.....
Then I thought I should get a circular sock machine but quickly discarded the idea because I knew you can knit circular on a flat bed machine even if you don't have a ribber. Plus a flat bed machine can be used for tons of other things like dying stripped yarn and quickly getting gifts out of the way, specially true when DH has 8 grandkids, 3 daughters and matching in laws.
After reading all over the internet about different types of machines available I came across a really good deal for a LK-150. This is a mid-gauge 6.5 mms machine. Plastic bed but according to multiple reviews and now verified by me, it performs amazingly well. The machine will knit sports weight up to worsted weight yarns and you can do loads of things by hand manipulating stitches. As with almost everything else there are tutorials out there with instructions and fun things to make. Some people really get into it and make amazing garments almost in the blink of an eye!
Here are my first socks after fulled in the washer:
Yarn: alpaca wool blend
Worsted weight knit with two strands
Cast on 21 stitches
Short row 7-7-7 for toe and heel
Use Seam as you go technique for foot and leg.
Ribbing is hand knit with magic loop on circular needles.
Time: 40 minutes per sock
Plaited Hat also after fulling:
One strand on each yarn leader.
The fabric shows one strand of yarn on each side the resulting fabric looks almost like twined knitting.
Time: one hour including the time I spent making a gauge swatch and figuring out how to use the mystery Japanese gauge ruler.
This is great! I can make stuff I don't like to hand knit quickly and get it out of the way. Plus it is a very fast way of getting stash knit up!
Second pair in progress: