Me, my knitting my knitmaster knitting machines Part 1
Me, my knitting my knitmaster knitting machines
People often ask me why I opened a knitting webstore, well the answer is simple I love to knit !
I started knitting when I was a child, loved it so much I continued , but I seem to have less and less time and eventually stopped knitting, however about a year ago I was given a 323 knitmaster knitting machine from a relative it dates from around 1972 and was in OK condition apart from some rusty needles and saggy sponge bar, so it sat on my dining table for a couple of months until my partner said OK I will take it to bits and see if we can get it into working condition.
Getting the knitting machine into working condition was luckily straight forward for my partner, he took the needles out and cleaned them up that took him about two days, each one looked “sparkly new”, the biggest issue he had was the sponge bar we could not buy one anywhere, as I had worked in the rubber / sponge industry for the past 20 years I investigated the sponge and eventually was able to obtain the correct sponge for the bar, this was a kind of a eureka moment too, if we can do this why don’t we help other people save money and sell the sponge for sponge bars, this is another story will come back to this later. Anyway he got the machine working, all seemed ok, managed to cast on but for some reason could not get past 3 rows without dropping stitches.
After a few days of stitches dropping and not knowing why, the machine sat on my dining table looking a bit sorry for itself AGAIN! My partner decided much against my advice to start taking the carriage to bits, I couldn’t watch bits everywhere I had visions of never being able to use the machine again. Two or three days later he put it back together and we tested it on the machine, like magic it worked and didn’t drop a single stitch yayyyy, what was wrong with it? A really small spring had rusted and just needed a little oil, so simple, but I think he enjoyed taking the machine and carriage to bits.
Now I had a working machine I just needed to figure out how to use it properly, the book which originally came with the machine was OK for some of the basic instructions but terrible for anything more advanced, it was written in what I think is poorly translated English possibly from a Japanese manual. So most of what I picked up was either by trial and error or using google.
The very first item I knitted was a square lol, I would recommend until you know how to use machine use old wool it can be used over and over again, a must though is a wool winder without one you won’t get very far with using a knitting machine unless of course you use wool on a cone, but coned wool is limited and some are of dubious quality, plus you are paying for the weight of the cone when you buy it.
Ooops I am rambling. Back to knitting, as I got more confident I started experimenting with different designs, I made quite a few designs myself 🙂 and different yarns, don’t believe the manual, I have made many lovely items with lace weight yarn and some pretty chunky wools on this standard gauge machine which the manual says you can’t use! Just don’t go too fast.
It is amazing how the same weight yarn can give very different end results to sizing because it is made from a different wool! Anyway I have made loads of different items so far and have made some amazing designs.
As time went on I really caught the knitting machine bug, I wanted another machine and a ribber, OMG was I sane?
My partner spotted a 323 knitmaster knitting machine and a ribber on ebay, he emailed the guy and asked if it was in good working order, the guy said yes, so we placed a bid and guess what we won the item and we were the only bid! Strange, maybe – maybe not. Well it turned out it was strange. A couple of days after winning the item it arrived boxed up extremely well with old dirty cushions wrapped around it, ok not an issue we filled the wheely bin with cushions !
As we unwrapped the knitmaster knitting machine and ribber we started to realise why no-one else had placed a bid, it was extremely dirty thick dust and oil residue all over the machine and ribber, both sponge bars were well the sponge was rotten, the needles heavily rusted, the carriages stuffed with oily wool from years of use and abuse, these machines had never been serviced or cleaned! Be warned be very careful when buying used machines, there was no way this machine was in working order.
My partner said he would strip both machines down and clean / repair them, as he had a little experience with the first machine he said he felt confident he could repair it. Well with a lot of swearing, banging head on the machines he eventually fixed them both, OMG they almost look new, I now had a second machine with a ribber yayyyy 🙂
To buy knit master knitting machine needles click here