Review: PRYM Knitting MillPosted: March 6, 2013
I just bought myself a present, a knitting mill.
As my collection of yarns is growing, sometimes in leaps (Finland), I have way more meters of wool, acrylic and cotton than I can process manually. Therefore I considered buying a knitting mill.
So, my choice is PRYM, which offers similar machines way cheaper, they look to be quite ok quality-wise and can be found on YT to check how they work (in some countries distributed as “Innovations”).
Now PRYM has a Maxi model and just-a-mill model. The first one is like Addi bigger option, makes either flat panels or tubes (40 stitches wide and 44 stitches around, respectively), the second however produces a narrow, 4-stitches tubes.
As a rationale for the first one may be “it will do the same as I, but faster”, and is not exactly a powerful justification for 50 Euro expense, the second one makes something that is painful to get manually, so I bought it with much easier conscience. Also, it’s cheaper. Almost 3 times cheaper. So. I ordered it last week, it arrived on Monday (hail my delivery lady, she calls my mobile to ask when I’ll be at home) and I’ve already tried it out.
I’ve never used a mill like this before. I’ve tried using a “french knitting doll”, but the process was about as fast as manual knitting, so the only gain was that it produced a narrow tube. Still, not satisfactory.
The mill you have to just unpack, put the handle in, take your yarn, cast it on two opposite pins, weight so that it properly progressed through the mill and… start knitting. The yarn will get “knitted” by the mill’s pins and the final product will be soon visible coming out of the base of the mill. This means that the whole thing has to be done with the mill in the air, unless you create an elaborate construction supporting it with an appropriate hole in the middle.
Work goes quickly and can be done more or less mindlessly, so can be a great thing to do when watching TV or reading, as long as you pay attention to the slack in the yarn and the weight on the end of the tube.
Mill doesn’t get stuck, doesn’t seem to be easily breakable (of course if you try smashing it on the table, it will give up) and is a very simple construction all in all. 4 pins moving up and down with closing/opening latches to keep yarn in or out, the mill body and a handle.
1. Don’t use wool that is easy to pull apart. Mill will do it and nothing can stop it. Thus breaking the yarn and spoiling work.
2. Aim for yarns that have a good, stable structure with no fuzz and small risk of parting in the middle (mill’s hooks will catch half and either see point 1 or you’ll get a clog).
3. Thinner yarns (very thin, like 400/100), or slippery threads don’t work well with the original weight supplied with the mill. The stitches get very long (“tall”) and tube looks ugly. I used multiple big safety pins to get the right pull and make the tube actually go down the mill, but not make the stitches overly stretched.
4. Always make sure there is a lot of slack in the incoming thread (pull lots from the ball in advance), there are no knots (push them through manually) and that whatever weight you apply is not already flat on the floor.
5. Keep your weighted tube far away from the incoming yarn. If you don’t, you will get a big knot of both tangled together, as the outcoming tube spins all the time.
6. To manage the outcoming tube better, you can roll it around the weight into a ball and pin with a safety pin.
7. Before you get half of your yarn collection through the mill for the sheer pleasure of getting a nifty outcome, stop and think how you’re going to use these tubes. Knitted yarn uses up more space than yarn in balls/hanks.