Brother Knitting Machines

Electronic Brother Knitting Machines

Welcome to our guide comparing Brother knitting machines! Whether you’re a pro or new to knitting, knowing the difference between punch card and electronic models is key. Let’s break down the features, pros, and cons of each type to help you pick the right machine.

Feature Comparison Brother punchcard knitting machines:

Feature / ModelKH 588KH 710KH 830KH 836KH 840KH 860KH 881KH 891KH 890KH 864KH 230KH 260
MechanismPush ButtonPush ButtonPunch CardPunch CardPunch CardPunch CardPunch CardPunch CardPunch CardPunch CardPush ButtonPunch Card
Pattern WidthN/AN/A24 stitches24 stitches24 stitches24 stitches24 stitches24 stitches24 stitches24 stitchesN/A24 stitches
Ribber CompatibilityKR 587KR 710KR 830KR 830, 850, 900KR 830, 850, 900KR 830, 850, 900KR 830, 850, 900KR 830, 850, 900KR 830, 850, 900KR 830, 850, 900KR 230KR 260
Garter Carriage CompatibilityNoNoKG 88/II (Some)KG 88/IIKG 88/IIKG 88/IIKG 88/IIKG SeriesKG SeriesKG SeriesNoNo
Lace Carriage IncludedNoNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoNoNo
Needle Pitch4.5mm4.5mm4.5mm4.5mm4.5mm4.5mm4.5mm4.5mm4.5mm4.5mm9mm9mm
Built-in KnitleaderNoNoNoNoNoNoYesYesNoNoNoNo

Electronic Brother Knitting Machines: These machines are offering tons of pattern options that beat punch card models. With electronic ones, you can get super creative with your designs. But there’s a downside: they still use old 80s tech for putting in patterns.

Feature Comparison Brother electronic knitting machines:

Feature / ModelKH 910KH 950/EKH 940/930KH 965/iKH 900KH 970KH 270
Estimated Sale DatesEarly 1980sMid-1980sLate 1980sEarly to mid-1990sLate 1980s to early 1990sLate 1990s1990s
FB100 Port✓ (950E)
Lace Carriage
KG TypesKG88, KG88IIKG88, KG88II, KG89, KG89II, KG93, KG95KG88, KG88II, KG89, KG89II, KG93, KG95KG88, KG88II, KG89, KG89II, KG93, KG95KG88, KG88II, KG89, KG89II, KG93, KG95KG88, KG88II, KG89, KG89II, KG93, KG95
Patterns stored within the machine55555561550665288
Needle Pitch4.5mm4.5mm4.5mm4.5mm4.5mm4.5mm9mm
Compatible RibberKR 830, KR 850, KR 900KR 830, KR 850, KR 900KR 830, KR 850, KR 900KR 830, KR 850, KR 900KR 830, KR 850, KR 900KR 830, KR 850, KR 900KR 260
Other PortsMylar sheet readerMylar sheet reader, FB100 for 950EFB100FB100, Pattern Cartridge PortFB100, Pattern Cartridge PortPattern Cartridge Port
Shaping and Sizing Capabilities
Major New Feature(s) IntroducedElectronic pattern reading via mylar sheetsEnhanced pattern memory and FB100 port (950E)Direct pattern input and expanded connectivityIncreased patterns and pattern cartridge port (KH 965i)Streamlined features focusing on basic electronic capabilitiesAdvanced pattern management with LCD display and unique garment shaping and sizingThe only chunky gauge electronic machine
possible upgrade to newer technology, eKnitter in 2024planned

Evolution of Pattern Input

for electronic knitting machines

Using mylar sheets for pattern input on Brother electronic knitting machines, like the KH-910, has its drawbacks, especially in today’s tech-driven world:

  1. Manual Input Process: Creating patterns on mylar sheets requires drawing or tracing them by hand, which is time-consuming and less precise than digital methods.
  2. Limited Editing Capabilities: Once a pattern is on a mylar sheet, making changes or corrections is difficult. Digital editing offers more flexibility and accuracy.
  3. Durability Concerns: Mylar sheets can degrade over time and are susceptible to damage from light, heat, or moisture, making stored patterns less reliable.

Mylar reader


Using the FB100 Disk Drive with Brother electronic knitting machines has some problems when it comes to today’s technology:

  1. Outdated Storage: The FB100 uses floppy disks, which are old-fashioned. This makes it difficult to connect with newer computers and devices that don’t have floppy disk drives anymore.
  2. Limited Storage Space: Floppy disks can only hold a small amount of data. This means you can’t save or transfer many knitting patterns.
  3. Compatibility Issues: It’s hard to find the right hardware or adapters to connect the FB100 to modern computers.
  4. Slow Data Transfer: Sending patterns through the FB100 and floppy disks takes a long time compared to today’s standards.

Using a Pattern Cartridge port, as seen in models like the KH-965i, has its benefits for managing patterns in Brother electronic knitting machines. However, it also presents challenges, particularly in today’s tech-driven world.

  1. Limited Cartridge Availability: Pattern cartridges are difficult to find because they’re no longer made or are very expensive.
  2. Fixed Patterns: Once a pattern is on a cartridge, you can’t easily change or customize it.
  3. Compatibility Issues: The cartridge system doesn’t work well with modern digital tools and platforms. This might limit your ability to use current design software or share patterns online.
  4. Cost: Buying additional cartridges to expand your pattern collection can be costly since they’re hard to find and may be expensive.

Pattern Cartridge

Direct pattern input on Brother electronic knitting machines, such as the KH 930 and KH 940, allows manual entry of knitting patterns, stitch by stitch and row by row, without extra gadgets. However, unlike newer technology, you won’t see the pattern on a screen; instead, you input each row and field manually. This approach has benefits but also drawbacks to consider.

  1. Time-Consuming: Typing in complex patterns row by row and field by field takes a significant amount of time, especially for intricate designs with many rows.
  2. Prone to Mistakes: Given the manual input process, it’s easy to make errors. Sometimes, mistakes may go unnoticed until you’ve started knitting or even finished a section, requiring you to redo parts of your work.
  3. Limited Fixing Options: Making changes or corrections to a pattern can be challenging. Resizing or fixing mistakes often involves re-typing large sections of the pattern again.

Inputting patterns into the PPD involves navigating menus and entering pattern data using a keypad. This method offers precise control but requires familiarity with the device’s interface and pattern entry syntax.

Challenges include:

  1. Complexity for Beginners: Learning to use the PPD can be tough for newcomers to machine knitting or those less tech-savvy, as it involves older technology.
  2. Time-Consuming Data Entry: Entering complex patterns manually, stitch by stitch and row by row, is time-consuming and can lead to fatigue and errors.
  3. Compatibility and Cabling: Connecting the PPD to a TV with compatible ports can be tricky, especially with modern TVs. Users may need specific cables or adapters that are hard to find.


In the video I use the KnittingChart APP available on Apple devices

Switching from older methods like the PPD to newer technologies like eKnitter brings several key benefits that make knitting more enjoyable and less of a hassle:

Use Any Design Tool: Create patterns on any computer or tablet using your favorite design software, then easily export them as PNG files.

More Design Freedom: Adjust and perfect your patterns on-screen, giving you total control over every detail.

Easy Sharing: Send and receive patterns with friends or online communities with just a few clicks, no need for physical copies or complicated setups.

Save Time: Cut down on the manual work of entering patterns stitch by stitch, making the whole process quicker and reducing errors.