Knitting Machines

Silver Reed vs Brother Knitting Machines

  • September 12, 2023
In the heyday of knitting machines (1960-1990), 2 Japanese manufacturers produced the majority of the models designed for domestic knitting. They marketed the machines worldwide under different brand names.

Your Knit King machine may look and operate just like my Brother machine. Your Singer may look and operate exactly like a Studio machine.

For a comparison of the brand names worldwide, see the chart below

Silver Reed Models Available

Terms: Standard, Mid, Bulky

The current models of Silver Reed machines are generally stocked and available for immediate shipment.

Brother stopped producing machines in the late 1990's

Brother produced manual, punchcard and electronic knitting machines in a variety of Gauges .

The electronics were built into the machines (unlike Silver/Singer/Studio that had external devices).

Silver Reed Notes

Silver Reed machines select the needles to pattern as the row is being knit. There is no "preview" of what needles are going to pattern.

Electronic Machines:
Silver Reed machines use an external device for stitch patterns. Most commonly, knitters use a computer and DesignaKnit for stitch patterns. Using Cables, the computer sends the information to the knitting machine for selecting and de-selecting needles for stitch patterning. Another method is using a PE-1 Device for patterning.

Silver/Singer/Studio machines offered a lace carriage as an optional accessory.
Because of the way these machines select needles for patterning, only the lace carriage is used to create eyelets (lace). The stitches are transferred and the row is knit in the same pass of the carriage. (Unlike Brother machines that use 2 carriages to create lace).

Brother Notes

Brother machines pre-select needles.
For example: row 7 of the pattern selects every 3rd needle. After completing row 6, every 3rd needle is positioned to pattern on the NEXT row. This is as if you used a needle pusher and selected the patterning needles manually before knitting a row.

Electronic Machines:
Most of the Brother machines have the electronics built into the machine.

The last model made (1990's) was the KH970. It included a separate CB-1 box for stitch patterning and included a digital charting device and row counter.

Brother standard gauge machines often include lace carriages.
To form lace on a Brother machine takes 2 steps.
  1. Pass the lace carriage to transfer stitches to create eyelets
  2. Pass the K (main) carriage to knit the row(s) and complete the eyelets

Knitting machine brands worldwide

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