Brother Profile KH500 knitting machine is a simple metal flat-bed machine without any automatic needle selection capabilities.
I cannot find information in which year this machine was introduced to the market. It looks very similar to earlier 4-push button machines but the row-counter is a bit more modern than the more vintage row counter which typically comes with the KH551 knitting machines I refurbished. So, it might be earlier 1970-ies when this machine was manufactured (but before the punch-card machines were introduced to the market). Other indicators that this machine was introduced to the market after the standard push button machines is that 1) the toolbox has a ratchet tool place (the ratchet tool is used in push button machines), and 2) there are slots for the extension rails (present in 8-push button machines equipped with a lace carriage). I suspect that it was a lightweight alternative to the push-button machines.
Like most standard knitting machines (with the gauge, or distance between needles, of 4.5 mm), it has 200 needles. With manual needle selection, this machine can knit sli-, tuck- and fair-isle type patterns. In my video, I showed some of these patterns on couple of swatches. After the corresponding needles are selected, pushing the buttons on the carriage (two left ones for tuck and two right ones for slip) allows knitting with texture/pattern.
This machine is simple but offers tremendous potential for those who want to continue to feel the satisfaction of knitting manually. This machine is excellent for those transitioning from hand-knitting to machine knitting, for those who are not quite ready to give up control over stitch manipulations to the machine, for those who like simple knits but can’t quite get the stitches even, and for fiber artists.
The standard setup comes with cast-on combs, a tool box to store all minor assesories, a tension mast, a row counter, a carriage, and a sinker plate.
The main bed has slots for the extension rails but the rails are not included with the standard setup. Lace carriage is NOT included.
The machine is lightweight, potentially because the bed is narrower than later knitting machines and also because the KH500 setup does not include the lid. In a way, no lid is another advantage – those lids are sometimes so hard to close, especially if they are a bit bend (these machines are old and who knows what happened to them during all those years of storage and transport from place to place) or if the parts inside the lid (often it is recommended in later models with lids to fit the sinker plate, cast-on combs and tension mast inside the lid) are shifted or mounted incorrectly. The bottom line: I struggle so often with the lid closing in other machines that I was kind of relieved that this model does not have a lid.
About this particular machine:
A hard copy of the manual will not be provided. But an electronic copy can be accessed online for free.
The machine comes with all assesories. It will come with the original cardboard box (although it is somewhat beat up). The cast-on combs, brand-new looking from old stock, like never being used, will be included as well. The small claw weights are, for some reason, are not mentioned in the manual. They are pretty important – so I included them.
There are some minor rust spots on the sinker plate.
The name tag on the carriage fell off. (If I find it – I will ship it to whoever buys this machine. But I suspect the name tag was not included and simply got lost). The two left-hand side buttons are tuck, the middle button is reset/stockinet and the two right-hand side buttons are part/slip.
The yarn tension dial is a bit chipped off. The carriage worked well regardless. The chipped area does not have any cracks and the dial moves freely.
The two round pillars to screw the handle onto the carriage are a bit discolored. I decided not to polish it not to remove even more of a protective coating. The handle still crews on without problems.
All these flaws are very minor and did not affect the working of the machine. I hope you will consider purchasing it and if not, I hope you enjoyed reading this article about this wonderful machine.