Actually it all started when a knitting/spinning buddy went to an estate sale, and an old Brother knitting machine came with an odd lot that she bought. She casually asked if any of us were interested in a knitting machine, warning us that she had no clue if it would work or not. I said, sure why not and took it.
That was last Dec. I knew nothing about knitting machines, so I went to the standard source of information, Ebay (laughter). After looking at many pictures, I did come to the conclusion that what came home with me was missing many pieces. But the bug had bitten me, and as I searched Ebay, I was starting to pay attention to prices.
I finally found one that I thought was an amazing good deal. Probably what hit me first was that it at least had a case of very similiar color to the one I already had. And there were pictures of many more parts with the one on Ebay. So I bid and won, and ended up buying a Brother KH 601 knitting machine, from of all places, the Tacoma Goodwill!
It arrived mid Feb, and I found a place about 2 hours from me that still serviced Brother machines. I took it up there March 9th (I know the date for sure, it was my hubby's birthday). Tues this week I got the call that it was ready to be picked up. Since I was off from work on Weds, I drove the two hour trip again to pick it up.
The owner of the shop was fantastic and gave me a three hour lesson on it. Along about the 2 1/2 hour mark, I think my brain exploded :) But I had a nice sample swatch knitted, and along with the manual and the yahoogroups that I had by now joined, I can say I now can knit on it.
I have been ebay shopping for some pattern books and general machine knitting books. I bought a couple years worth of Machine Knitters Source magazines. They are from the early 90's but I still think it will help me learn. I am doing what I always do, when learning a new skill, read, read, and more reading. Right now, in many ways it is like trying to read a foriegn language I just barely understand. But if I become too frustrated, I can go and just knit on it as there are lots of things that can just be created from straight knitted squares. Right now I am just walking through each page of the manual and making sure I understand the basics.
Fusion Knitting has a blog that I read all the time. She is very machine knitting oriented and a constant source of information and inspiration. Her recent post, making a tank top in just two hours has me sure that I have made a great investment by buying this machine. Not just investment moneywise, but time.
Oh, and a final serendipity of it all. These Brother machines have not been manufactured for awhile. Parts for them, including the precious needles are hard to find. So even though the freebie machine handed to me by my friend had no real parts to it, what it did have was 200 needles, and they are an exact match for this new machine of mine. That is like finding a treasure chest of gold. The old freebie also included a stand, and that is another wonderful thing. It sets the machine up to a comfortable, sit on a chair level. I grin everytime I walk past the set up now. Thank you knitting goddess, you have set me on a new path.