Friday, October 29, 2021

Using the Addi Express (Two Sizes) by Spazzy Crafter

Image: A round, black, plastic machine with red pegs (except for two white near the shuttle). There are a few rows of blue yarn on the pegs, and the yarn ball sits a few inches away. The background is a tile floor.
If you like to loom knit and are looking for a way to do it more independently, then the Addi Express (with 22 needles) and the Addi Express King Size (with 46 needles) are for you. They are a series of hand-crank knitting machines from Germany.
We should now talk about the price. The Addi Express and the Addi Express King Size price varies depending on where you get them and if you want them as a bundle. They can run anywhere between $170 to $430 USD.

Yarns that work:

It takes a lot of trial and error, but medium weight yarns are generally recommended. Since the machine is made in Germany, DK (double-knit yarn) might be the best; the US equivalents are gauges seven, eight, and nine. If you use thicker/thinner yarn, the machines will drop stitches. Performance can also vary between yarn brands and amount of tension.

What comes with:

Extra needles in case they break, one tapestry needle (per machine), stoppers (these are included with some machines), instructions, and the machines themselves. There is a row counter on the machine.

Using the Addi:

Cast on the yarn by starting at the first black peg on the right. All the pegs have a hooked top. Put the yarn in the hooked part, then put the yarn behind the next peg, and continue alternating going in front and behind the pegs until you make it all the way around the loom. Place the yarn strand in the shuttle and close the little door. Rotate the handle to cast on all the pegs and keep rotating until you get the desired number of rows. The tapestry needle is used to collect the stitches from the pegs when you’re ready to finish the project.

Pros and cons of the Addi Express:

The major pro for me to the Addi Express is that I only need help with the casting on and the binding off. It takes about a half hour to make a hat. It can also make panels for things like baby blankets; there is a switch for round or panel knitting.

The major con is the price. It can drop stitches because it doesn't come with a tensioner.

Extras for separate purchase:

A tensioner makes one-handed use easier
Suction cups for the legs (I haven’t tried them yet)
Clip weights might also help with dropping stitches
Image: The left side has a smaller machine with white yarn cast on and a ball of yarn nearby. The background is a quilt of varied colors with rounded shapes separated by small, checked squares. The right side of the image is the finished product... a white hat.
There are cheaper knitting machines out there (like the Sentro), but I haven’t tried them. Some come with a tensioner built in. 

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