Brother KL113 knit leader

If you do not own a knitting machine with a built-in knit leader, like Brother KH881, KH891, and KH893, and you knit (or would like to) a lot of sweaters and shaped panels, you probably need to consider a knit leader.

Brother KL113 is one of the stand-alone models of charting devices, helping you to create shaped knitted panels.

Sheets for KL113 knit leaders are wider than the sheets for the built-in knit leaders with the zero-line being in the center.

A typical setup should come with a mylar sheet, stitch measure scale, cylindrical sheet case (which also holds the stitch scales and all other narrow assesories), pen, setting plates, sheet guides and a ruler.

Mylar sheet is pretty sturdy and even the sheets that came with the original knitleaders are still in pretty good shape.

Brother KL113 knit leader is compatible with most standard-gauge knitting machines (the setting plate grooves are positioned at the same width as the nests on the main bed – read the manual, you’ll know what I mean). I inserted KL113 knit leader onto my electronic Brother knitting machine and tested if the carriage triggers the connecting lever and it did.

Brother KL113 knit leader can also be fitted into the more vintage knitting machines, like push-button KH585 and KH588 (read the manual) as well as early punchcard models, KH800 and KH801. To do that, KL113 comes with a set of additional assesories, like a stand (marked as number 10 in the photograph above) and a special feeding lever (it is almost like an extension of the built-in feeding lever). Below is a glimpse at these assesories.

An earlier counterpart to KL113, KL111, is also compatible with the pushbutton models, KH588 and KH585. I guess KL113 was introduced to the market to fit a wider variety of models.

Since Brother KH800 has its own connecting lever (which also moves the punchcard reading mechanism), the feeding lever on the KL113 needs to be removed completely to fit it onto the KH800 and KH801 machine.

Below is the picture from my own setup.

There is a big chance that you are buying a used knit leader. Thus, the black pen will very likely be either missing or being so old that it does not make any more. There are some substitutes (check out the FaceBook group dedicated to charting devices specifically what they recommend) but regardless, test a pen on the side of your sheet (as well as test how erasable it is) before use. It also needs to stay for the duration of your knitting project.

Metric ruler is often missing too but any ruler will work.

Brother KL113 is almost the same as Brother KL115 knitleader (“almost” because even though I cannot find any differences between them, the model number is still different). Brother KL113 is somewhat different from Brother KL116 and Brother KL117 knit leaders. Besides missing the components for more vintage push button machines, KL116 and KL117 also have a feeding lever positioned in the middle of the knit leader rather than more towards the left-hand side.

I will post more differences as I learn of them. In the meantime, enjoy your knit-leading adventure!

Don’t forget to check out the fun and beginner-friendly projects that can be done easily on any machine.


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