Knitting machines with the advent of electronics, and perhaps coupled with Designaknit and other software, began to appeal to a wider market - making it easier to produce individually designed knitwear, We now appreciated fitting, and shape, this coupled with a great choice of quality yarns and easier patterning methods, helped even the less skilled come up with an individual knit.
In contrast, take a look at the early books produced by Knitmaster. In those days, the patterns were very sophisticated and knitted on the most basic machines. Beautiful coat, suit and dress patterns were printed, and they were all fitted and were often patterned - remember in the 50's and 60's there was not such a wide choice of yarns and even these were very expensive and machines had no easy automatic patterning devices. I take my hat off to these early designers and especially to those who actually produced, it must have taken patience and skill to knit these classical designs on such basic machines such as the Knitmaster 3500.
I note that a lot of these old classical 1950’s 60’s designs are still fashionable today and to my mind, nothing looks better than a well fitted sweater, jacket or coat.
During the later years, more importance seemed to be put on the colours, or the stitch designs (usually electronic), rather than the fit or look of the piece. We suffered the dreadful shapeless drop shoulder fashion for years, and we knitted them because they were easy, and with the advent of simpler patterning systems on knitting machines this seems to be what most knitting machine magazines were concentrating on. I still shudder when I look at the designs from that era. It’s no wonder that the knitting machine industry began to decline in the early 90’s. Lets face it, no matter how wonderful the fabric – designs that even when displayed on models looks dreadful, why would anyone buy a knitting machine at the price they were being sold at to produce these awful fashions.