I had forgotten about the Knit-O-Matic long ago. But then I came across a pile of craft magazines from the early 1970s at the first church rummage sale of the season.
It was a bag sale and I have this thing for vintage craft magazines, so I came home with nine magazines circa 1970-74.
And there it was. Well, not exactly the Knit-O-Matic, but several adult versions of it, including:
Genie "the magic knitter."
Swiss Magic Knitting Machine and the Tricoss Supermatic Knitting Machine.
And last but not least, the "world's finest automatic knitter," the Knitking. (Yeah, I know, I'm wondering about that model too.)
All of which got me to thinking about the child-size version of those machines, the Knit-O-Matic, which was manufactured by Kenner. I got mine as a Christmas present in the late 1960s. I have no idea what happened to it although my mom might have buried it in the back yard under a full moon, considering our experience with it. Here's a photo of it, courtesy of Robyn, who had one in her Etsy shop, sirkus, last summer.
I'll get right to the point: The Knit-O-Matic was the toy from hell. Threading the yarn through it was just about impossible, and if you could somehow accomplish that, stitches would be dropped every time the carriage was slid over the needles. I think it took hours to knit 1 inch.
Further lowering my adolescent self-esteem was that the 6-year-old on the box was happily knitting "a row a second." Why, I whined, could she make "sweaters, scarfs, mittens hats and bags," plus "doll clothes, dog sweaters and all kinds of knitted goods" when all I could do was drop stitches?
Fortunately, my frustration never drove me to take up crocheting. Otherwise, I would have pictures of myself wearing some of these fashions. By the way, what does one wear under something like this?
But the newly acquired craft magazines aren't entirely useless. I'm actually a little intrigued by some ads for sequined fruit and eggs. Admittedly, they are a little on the tacky side but I don't have the mental mind block with these that I have with the damn Knit-O-Matic. I may have to try making some of these as soon as I find the mother load of sequins.