Addi Express KingSize knitting machine is still being actively manufactured by a German company. It features 46 needles. This post focuses on the black-and-red model and not on white-and-red one.
Addi Kingsize is the largest (most needle) circular plastic knitting machine. It is also the most reliable and robust currently on the market. The price reflects this quality: it is also the most expensive. So, if your budget allows you, buy it without hesitation. If you decide it is not for you, it has a good resell value (assuming nothing is broken but these machines are so robust that it will take quite a might to break something on it).
Addi KingSize can knit a large variety of yarns. I used with Addi red heart super saver yarns, boucle yarns, dishy yarn, eyelash yarn and many more. With the right tension, this mighty machine can handle almost any fiber (but not too thick one).
The first design of black-and-red Addi was released to the market with the digital row counter. However, as the knitters later discovered, the static created by the knitting and circular motion of the knitted panel (which is especially pronounced when using 100% acrylic yarns), often zeroes the digital screen of the first-generation row counter. So, the second model was fitted with a mechanical row counter (I know – backward).
Tubes made on Addi Kingsize can be easily converted to hats for adults and children (the size is determined by the number of rows). I knitted numerous hats with the large Addi as well as scarves and I had a lot of fun doing it.
I’ve also created patterns where a combination of circular knitting and a flat panel knitting will create a hat with flaps or a neck warmer with shoulder flaps. Some were finished with some hand-knitting and some with crocheted edges.
Addi machines can knit circular and flat panels but of course, the width of the flat panels is limited. Without any add-ons (but with just some additional stitching), you can make slippers, pads, blankets from the flat panels. With some hand-knitted add-on, I knitted sweaters: I made several flat panels and connected them through hand-knitted inserts (knitted with the cable structure for better/more- invisible seaming).
This machine is so popular that crafters all over the world came up with a bunch of custom-made (3D printed or molded) add-ons, such as magnetic row counter, tension guide, handle for automatic rotation (with the help of the drill), custom-tables, etc.
Since I own Addi KindSize and I knitted on some other plastic circular knitting machines, I have first-hand experience judging the pros and cons of this wonderful machine.
- excellent engineering
- sturdy plastic
- easy-to-purchase replacement parts (these machines are still manufactured)
- ability to knit circular and flat panels (just turn the appropriate lever up or down)
- automatic row counting
- availability of custom-made add-ons (row counters, tension forks, attachments for power-knitting with a drill)
- largest diameter circular plastic knitting machine
- can take lots of various yarns, including boucle, thick bulky yarns, textured yarns, etc.
- three black needles to mark the end of the loop
- plenty of resources online on various craft projects
- strong resell value
- easy to setup (legs screw on and unscrew very easily) and store (in a sturdy box)
- screw-on table clamps: they attach first to the legs of the machine and then are attached to the table. Other machines either do not have them or only have suction cups.
- needles might still break is pulling or pushing on them too hard
- thick yarns or insufficient tension might create tucked (uneven) stitches
- static might zero the electronic row counter
- can only knit stockinet stitch unless there are manual manipulation of stitches
- limit on the width of the flat panel
- steep learning curve on how to knit flat panel
- more expensive than similar circular knitting machines
- does not come with its own tension guide (but it can be purchased separately from crafters).
Beware of a lot of knock-offs: there are similar machines with the same black-red color combo.
Overall, Addi KnitSize is a great starter knitting machine. It is great for those hand-knitters who want to go through their yarn stash faster (of course, to free up space to buy more exciting yarns). It is also great for quick projects – my son lost a hat and in 30 min I made him another one.
Addi also manufactures Addi Egg (6 needles) and Add Express (22 needles).