An Email conversation which may be of help to buyers:
I'm thinking about buying a brother knitting machine on ebay, the model kx395, but I'm having difficulties trying to find info about this model, how old it is, if it's manual or punchcard, etc. Would you be so kind to help me?
Thanks in advance,
The KX-395 Convertible is a very basic lightweight plastic machine on which gives you the choice of using standard knitting needles (for 4 ply yarns) or you can slot the gate pegs (sections) on to these needles which stop the use of every other needle to convert it into a chunky machine for using thicker yarns.
Any patterns are made by selecting the needles by hand, which, of course, is time consuming.
You cannot add any accessories to the machine & it does not use a ribbing attachment therefore any ribs would need to be knitted by hand.
There are no pattern books for Convertibles.
I suggest that any `first` knitting machine that you buy should be either a punchcard or an electronic machine, both of which will give you the choice of using patterns with ease and also give you the choice of buying a ribbing attachment. These machines are solid and heavyweight unlike the Convertibles and use many accessories. You will find pattern books in abundance for these machines.
Really thanks for the quick and good answer. My only problem is that I live on Spain, and here nobody sells knitting machines, so I`m forced to buy it on other countries, and shipping costs seems to be really expensive for the punch and electronic machines. Yes, it seems that I have a problem...
Anyway, thanks a lot.
I did notice at one time on www.Ebay.co.uk that there are courier services which are as cheap for Europe as they are in the UK. If I recall right, a knitting machine weighs approximately 22 kg's & measure 36 inches long x 7 x 10 inches & falls in with the weight allowance. The main bed & ribber cannot ever be shipped together in 1 parcel & always has to be shipped in 2 parcels.
Have you looked in any of the classifieds below?
When we were in Spain I noticed that there were a few clubs for crafts in the towns (Calpe, Javea, Altea, Moraira) and that many of the older women were selling their machines & making enquiries there could be helpful. You may also find one at the car boot sales.
Thanks again, I've just spoken with the lady that sells the kh881, she says it's in good condition, but it's for pickup only, so now I'll have to find someone that can go there, because she lives really far away from me, but there's hope!
I've seen on your web that this model seems rather good, what I have to look for on it to see if it's in good condition?
If the seller says that the machine is in good working order, then assume that it is. The main problem can only be that the pattern reader/needle selector for the punchcards is faulty, so make sure that she says that it is ok.
It may be an idea for you to look for a courier parcel service. Over here we use the Ebay courier services which are usually half the price of using the Royal Mail Parcelforce (even though the same people collect & deliver the parcels!) There surely should be a parcel service in Spain.
Ask her if she still has the packaging boxes for the machines and if she minds wrapping them up for a courier to collect. Tell her to make sure that nothing rattles in the boxes as if the weights are loose they can damage other parts of the machine. She cannot send both the main bed & ribbing attachment in one parcel.
The main bed will weigh approx 22kg & needs to be packed inside a long box which will increase the weight. The ribber bed weighs a little less. The length of each parcel is 36 inches, x 7 x 10 inches.
Use LOTS of parcel tape. Do NOT use string.
I think it is wonderful that you have found a machine so quickly and I suggest that you send the lady a deposit so that she cannot sell it to anyone else.
p.s. where do you live?
This is what the seller has told me:
In addition to the information I gave you earlier I will add the price is 89 euros for machine,ribber and lace carriage, There is no garter carriage.
I am selling as I am using other machines and it's a shame for it to stand here unused. The machine is in a perfect mechanical order and has a new Sponge bar as of today. The sponge bar cost over 18 euros + postage from the UK.
The machine has all original manuals on how to use the machine.
There are many extras:-
- Spare needles for main bed
- Over 120 punchards (many children's designs)+ blanks
- Machine for punching holes
- Machine for winding wool
- 1 extra Knit leader chart
- Pack of Toyota shapes to trace for Knitleader
- Book of patterns
- CD rom with Brother Vol 4 punchard designs
- adjustable 7 prong transfer tool
So it seems in good condition, but I'll ask for the pattern reader/needle selector as you suggest. The problem is the shipping, she completely refuses to pack it and only accepts local pick up, and that's a big problem for me, because I live on Madrid (roughly a 6 hour car trip to Torrevieja) and I have two very little babies that I cannot put on a car for so long, neither leave for a day (breastfeeding). She offered a friend of her to bring it to Madrid, but I have to pay before, so I'm a little concerned with this solution (what if the man never calls me after paying?, it's not the same with a courier, where I could see if she has given the parcels to them). Right now I'm searching for solutions, but I'm worried, because I've seen packaging the machine is crucial for its later function, and if she refuses to pack... how it will arrive in good condition to Madrid?
By the way, I have another question, being a newby in knitting machines, I don't quite understand how they work, I want one to make afghans and baby blankets, but with my own designs, and my designs are not 'regular' across the row, so I need to know if I can change the punchcard on one row many times, in order to, for example, make a motif only on one corner of the afghan, is this possible with a punchcard machine or with other type of machine?
A really big THANKS for your help,
The main problem with a punchcard machine for knitting motifs is that you can only knit a motif which is 24 stitches wide which is very limiting for using your own designs & impossible to knit most names as well.
If you are wanting to knit larger motifs, then you need to buy an electronic knitting machine - the easiest machine for making and using your own designs will be a machine which uses Mylar sheets, which are plastic A4 pages and are drawn on with oil based pencils (both of these can be bought from an Ebay shop).
The machines which use Mylar sheets are the Brother KH-910 (which will knit 60 stitches wide) & KH-950 & KH-950i (which you can make designs for which are 200 stitches wide - which is what I have been messing around at with cat designs).
The other Brother electronic machines, KH-930, KH-940 & KH-965, would need you to enter the pattern manually which takes forever, or you buy a PPD which has a cartridge & you design your pattern with the PPD (which is linked to your tv set so you see the pattern on the screen) (and it takes forever to put your pattern into the PPD)which saves it on the cartridge, and then you load the cartridge on to the knitting machin. Or you go to the expense of buying Designaknit software which would cost more than the knitting machine!!
On all these machines you can position the motifs wherever you wish to.
Yes, I would certainly be worried that this lady has asked for the full payment & delivery payment up front. And I would also be concerned that she is not willing to box up the items.
You do not need a Knitleader. When you knit an afghan or blanket you will be knitting rectangular shapes - you don't need guidelines for that! If you are intending on knitting rectangles with shaped corners, you will want to knit both left & right hand corners the same, so you will work that out without a Knitleader. I have no idea why anyone would want a Knitleader anyway since basic shapes and sizes are out of date and the huge amount of pattern books available do away with needing a Knitleader.
So - my opinion of this woman in Torrevieja is that unless you find someone who is willing to go there to have a look at the machine, then forget it and look elsewhere. Or tell her that you are happy to have the machine delivered to you on the Cash-on-Delivery terms with the understanding that the machine will need to be tested before payment is made.
This is one reason why I like to pay for items through Paypal - because if the item is faulty Paypal will make the seller refund the money.
If she doesn't accept these terms, and really expects you to blindly send your precious money to her on trust, then so be it, no sale.
We will continue to search for another machine ....
If you look on Ebay.co.uk you will see that there are courier services for sending machines from the UK to Spain. So I guess it may be an idea for you to seek one there, especially if you have a Paypal account because then you have payment protection.
Thanks again for you advice, I think you're right about this lady, and so I'm not going to buy her machine only because is cheap. I'll search an electronic knitting machine then, kh950 or kh950i. I'll also check the courier services and yes, I have a Paypal account for the very reason you've said, I feel that somehow it protects you when buying from the internet.
Many thanks again and best regards,
Within the UK, the lowest cost for sending a knitting machine through the post is by buying a 30kg listing from one of the Ebay courier services.
· This usually costs less than £20 if sending the package within the UK.
· If the couriers use ParcelForce as their courier service, then your item will be tracked & insured for loss or damage. Make sure you put the right value for the item you are sending - if someone buys it for only £10 that does not mean the item is only worth £10.
· You cannot send both the main bed & ribbing attachment in one parcel as this will exceed the weight therefore you would need to adjust the courier service order.
· The main bed will weigh approx 22kg & needs to be packed inside a long box which will increase the weight.
· If you are able to securely pack your machine inside hard polystyrene (though the outer wrapping will need to be polythene or paper) and not use a box, then your weight may well be below 25kg (if a 25kg courier service is cheaper than 30kg that week - they vary).
· You have plenty of extra weight quota left (up to 30kg) to pack the machine with padding & foam & newspaper to keep it secure inside the box. You will know if your parcel is securely packaged if, when you have finished, nothing loudly rattles when you shake it. Remember - the postman will be throwing your parcel around inside the truck.
· Use LOTS of parcel tape. Do NOT use string.
· If your machine is not packed securely & is damaged in transit your claim for compensation will not be upheld. This means that your customer can make a claim against YOU for the damage costs.
· Do NOT buy a courier service listing before the item is sold or before you have the address as your customer might live in a remote area which costs more.
· There is no reason why the customer cannot buy the courier service listing themselves.
Overseas buyers continue to request the shipping costs on heavy items. If they live within the European Union you may be able to find an Ebay courier at a good rate. If they live ANYWHERE else then the cost of shipping is too expensive and will be in the region of £100 per item.