Review: The Sentro Knitting Machine
Updated: Aug 25, 2022
The sentro is a circular knitting machine, popular for making quick items such as beanies and scarves. It comes in many sizes, with the 48 needle machine being the largest and most popular.
I was so excited to be getting the sentro knitting machine! As someone who has too many WIPs (works in progress), I was looking forward to be able to start an item and finish it in one sitting. Since I love to make baby hats by hand, I wanted to get the sentro which would help me knit adult hats so I went with the 48 needle machine.
Although there were many websites selling the sentro, for a bit of security I ordered it off Amazon. It took about 3 weeks to arrive to Ireland from China. The box was a little worse for wear as you can see below but the contents inside were just fine.
Setting it up
- Box contents
Suckers for bottom of legs
Screws for attaching the legs
4 small balls of yarn
Plastic crochet hook
3 plastic darning needles
The machine arrived pretty much in one piece. The tension part and four legs needed to be attached but the main body itself was already assembled which was great. It didn't take long to screw on the legs and a magnetic screwdriver was included in the box which was handy!
Trying it out
Casting on was simple enough but I do recommend a few practice tries with the yarn included in the pack. You need to make sure the yarn is catching on the correct hooks and that you're not winding too fast, it's recommended to go slowly for the first 4-5 rows. For cast on and cast off there is links to a video with the instructions.
Waste Yarn Cast-On/Cast-Off Method
I watched a few YouTube videos and saw people were using a 'waste yarn' method. This method essentially uses waste yarn to cast on and off the first and last 5-10 rows. When finishing the item, you sew up the ends of the actual yarn you are using and then remove the waste yarn. This gives a cleaner edge to the item. When casting on using just your main yarn, the first few rows always end up being a looser tension so starting off with waste yarn means your main knitting will have the same tension throughout the item. For casting off, I find it a bit tedious having to sew up each stitch straight off the machine, so casting off with waste yarn and then sewing the stitches from the main yarn together suits me much better. After trying this out, I have to say that I will only be using the waste yarn method from now on. Check out some tutorials on YouTube for yourself and see what you think.
After mastering the cast on and cast off stage, there was nothing else to do but to start my first project. Whilst you can use any yarn from Double Knit to Chunky (although chunky comes highly not recommended), I used an aran weight yarn that I know is soft and would hopefully run through the machine easily enough.
The recommended yarn is either Double Knit or Aran weight. After trying a few yarn sizes and types I could see why.
Stylecraft Special Aran
Stylecraft Special is my go to yarn for most projects.
Red Heart Supersaver Retro Stripes
I love this yarn colour and when I realised I could get it shipped to Ireland, I jumped at the chance!
I have seen the videos and pictures of the 'Tik Tok Hat' and really wanted to try it for myself. After watching so many videos, I just expected to load the yarn onto the sentro and off I go. But, boy was I wrong.
In many videos I saw people using an attachment with an electric screwdriver to crank the machine quicker than by hand. It looked really timesaving so of course I ordered myself the drill attachment. To say I was like a child at Christmas was an understatement. I had a hat completed before I even realised it. After a while of using the drill attachment, I did notice some plastic shavings coming off the handle at the point where it meets the body of the machine. The machine isn't designed for the drill attachment so the plastic wears down from the speed and the fact that you are pressing in on the handle when it's turning. Just something to keep an eye on!
My row counter did start to fail on me after a while, with the numbers only turning half way and not being readable. Since I want to make different sized hats, I need be able to count how many rows have been knitted. I invested in a magnetic digital row counter, which attaches to the main body and the rotating part.
Easy for beginners
Quicker than handknitting
Hard on your arm muscles
Only handles certain yarn sizes and types
Row counter not reliable at times
For a knitting machine on the cheaper end of the scale, I was quite impressed.
I was getting impatient having to hand crank so I definitely suggest the drill attachment if you plan on using this machine often.
#knitting #knittingmachine #sentro #handmadewithlove #handmade #yarnaddict