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Knitting Machine

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Knitting machines were once relatively common, but have not been sold commercially into the home market for decades, so most people have never heard of them, let alone seen them. They use latched hooks to make a knitted fabric instead of needles, using the hooks to pull loops through loops.

There are specialty knitting machines just for knitting socks.  These are cylindrical with a hand crank, and the needles slide up and down on the edge of the cylinder.

Most knitting machines have flat beds of needles with a carriage that rides on rails over the bed. Some have a single bed and generally only make flat fabric, though there are some attachments which will allow more complex things to be knit. Others have two beds of needles, and can make ribbed fabric and tubes. When using both beds they are generally positioned at right angles to each other and then tilted so the needles on both beds are going up, rather than having one bed horizontal and the other vertical.

Some knitting machines can read pattern cards, either mechanically or using small onboard computers. These allow complex color or lace patterns to be knit.

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