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Knitmaster 4500 - a new trend

Knitmaster Super 4500

Knitmaster 4500 carriage with ribber

I have recently finished some work and have time on my hands and that usually means checking out my collection of books and magazines for inspiration - someone came on and asked me about the Knitmaster 6500, via Ravelry but by the time I opened up the site, the request was a good few months old, however, I responded quickly and then it was down to my shed to check this machine out - I have a few 4500 Knitmasters, one in good condition, so I decided to give it a go (any excuse) I cleaned and oiled it then tried it out, however, as usual I could not find the instruction manuals - after a bit of searching they were in the back of a deep draw, but it was too late - by that time, I had setup the machine, cast-on and knitted with it - after around 20 minutes, I was having problems, this machine does not operate with weights, but with plastic sinkers, casting on was difficult (only because I did not know how) and knitting even worse and that was just the plain stuff. If you look at the other patterns in the books, some are tuck, or loop or fairisle, there are wonderful lightweight woollen coats - so classic but I take my hat off to whomsoever, knitted them on that machine - it must have taken ages - on the coloured leaflet that I have (ie newspaper broadsheet size, it outlines the whole kit with prices, it shows in great detail the wonderful things one can knit, it illustrates a ribber and the price is low (though I have the feeling in those days even £10.00 was a lot of dosh).

August 2017 - update

Another update on these machines as they are becoming popular again. I thought I would look for one or two of the ones I can find. After reading a facebook post on this very machine I decided to do what you should not do with this machine and that’s take it to bits. Not the best idea in the world – I removed the nuts under the machine, which was a seriously onerous task (understatement of the year) and then replaced a couple of missing needles. So far so good, then I tried to get the bar back on and it’s a sprung bar and its also a nightmare to replace – anyway I did eventually succeed but it took forever and because I had to keep turning the machine up and down it was no fun.

Sinker replacement

Knitmaster 4500 with Jac

I also decided to replace a couple of the sinkers in one of the Knitmasters and in all due seriousness that is not a job for the fainthearted – it took me forever and again it was a bit of nightmare to put back together again. I also decided to put the sets of ribber plates onto the machines which again involved loads of undoing nuts and bolts etc etc – and it should have been easier because I had the tool. The ribbers were not in great condition I have to say, I got one working but it was not easy going to say the least.

One of the two worked smoothly but the other just would not work as it felt heavy and I believe its because the bar was not put on correctly – by the way I also replaced the string needle retainer in one as well.

If buying and they work, leave well alone!

My advice to anyone buying one of these is to ensure they are not rusty in any way, to ensure that they are later models that if a ribber is available it will fit, some of the older ones required something done at the factory if the ribber was purchased. Knitmaster 3500 and 4500 have the letter R in front of the serial number are ok for the Ribmaster attachment, neither of mine have this but one did come with a ribber. I know I have another one of these somewhere in the depth of this shed and I will find it one day!

Now for the instruction manuals – they are available on

The ribmaster manual is on there too,


Knitmaster 4500

I have no idea why these machines are so popular – they are hard work if they are not set properly although the needles are good quality – if they run smoothly – they can be a good machine, but if not, and they need taking apart, I would leave well alone. They are way too much hassle to repair and you have to take into account the age of these machines.


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