Addi Express knitting machine is a plastic circular knitting machine with 22 needles manufactured in Germany. This post focuses on the black-and-red model and not on the white-and-red one.
There are other similar, smaller-diameter, knitting machines (manufactured by Sentro and other companies) but Addi Express machines are by far the best. It has the sturdiest plastic and a very well-thought-through design. However, this reliability, robustness, and engineering are clearly reflected in the price: these are probably the priciest among similar knitting machines. However, if you decide that this machine is not for you or that machine knitting is not your craft, the resell value of Addi machines is pretty good.
Addi Express, similar to its bigger sister Addi KingSize, can work with a large variety of yarns. I successfully knitted items using fishy yarn (both cotton and polyester), eyelash yarn, red heart super saver (with lots of tension), sport yarn, and boucle yarn, just to name a few. Some more challenging yarns simply need a bit more tension to form proper stitches.
The first design of black-and-red Addi machines was with a digital row counter. However, the static electricity formed (especially pronounced when using 100% acrylic yarns) might zero the digital screen of the first-generation row counter. So, the second model was fitted with a mechanical row counter. this is one of those cases where old technology won.
This small Addi can knit tubes and flat panels. However, they are pretty small in size. I knitted narrow scarves for children and hats for premature babies. The narrow tubes can also be converted to headbands. It can also be useful creatively to make stuffed animals.
One thing this machine is amazing for is to make pompoms. With the right choice of yarns (like eyelash or other fuzzy fiber), you can create a pom pom in just 5 minutes. No more crazy winding of the yarn around the cardboard mold and dealing with unruly cut pieces of yarn.
I created a lot of knitted projects with the small Addi Express so I first hand can judge its pros and cons. So here they are:
- 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
- limit on the width of the tube diameter (only 22 stitches after all)
- 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 Express is a great starter knitting machine, especially for children to create fast projects and make a lot of various toys and clothes for dolls.
Addi also manufactures Addi Egg (6 needles) and Add KingSize (46 needles).