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singer_knit_machine

About the machine

The knitting machine is a Singer Magic Memory KE-1200. Do not be put off by the weird pink colour… this machine is fun and a bit complicated!

It has a standard needle bed with 200 needles. 2-colour patterns etc can be obtained using the punched cards or using the buttons below where the punched cards are fed in. Patterns can be a maximum of a 12-stitch wide repeat.

If you want to try out the machine

The machine is not yet working perfectly OK. It is working well enough to knit something in a plain colour, or stripes (so long as you have the right tension settings for your yarn). It is not yet working properly when knitting patterns using the punched cards or buttons.

All of the following yarns are in the drawer of knitting machine accessories (3rd drawer down under the Wera screwdrivers):

  • Red yarn (probably DK weight, from West Yorkshire Spinners '100% Wensleydale Gems'): Set tension dial to max (above 10) and yarn feed dial to 3. This produces a gauge of 22 stitches and 32 rows over 10cm.
  • Off-white (not fluffy) yarn: Set tension dial to 9.1 yarn feed dial to 3. Gauge not measured. Works ok as second colour to red yarn above.
  • White brushed thermal (slightly fluffy) DK weight: Same settings as red yarn above. Gauge not measured.
  • Self-striping rainbow yarn (this is West Yorkshire Spinners 4-ply): Cast on successfully with tension dial on 5, but became a bit tight 12 rows later, so changed up to 8, which was fine. Yarn feed dial was set to 5 the whole time. This produces a gauge of about 28 stitches and 37 rows over 10cm.
  • Purple and acid yellow cottons (probably DK weight, Katia Panama brand): Set tension dial to max and yarn feed dial to 3. This produces a gauge of 26 stitches and 30 rows over 10cm. Is prone to not fully completing the knit on a couple of needles at either side of the work on the first few rows, so you may need to manually check and rectify. This is probably because the tension is still a bit too high even on the lowest setting.

Further debugging

There are still errors in needle selection occurring when using either punched card or selection buttons. When moving pins by hand on the bed, errors do not occur (i.e. it's not the carriage at fault). The solenoids engage correctly so it's not likely to be them either. Most likely is the the 12 plates that run along the back of the needle bed (that push pins forward via a raised tab) are sticking together when they lift up and push the pins forward. Some lubricant has been applied to see if this will help prevent the sticking. Failing that it might be a question of disassembling this part of the machine and cleaning it.

Also the sponge bar will need glued down at some point.

Future hacking

It would be nice to be rid of the 12 stitch repeat constraint and instead have every needle individually controllable. This would require hacking, perhaps (servos, cams?). Ideas are welcome. It is possible to buy electronic knitting machines that bypass this constraint and are known to be hackable, but these are 100s of £££ (although if people fancied a pledge…).

singer_knit_machine.txt · Last modified: 2020-01-02 10:11 by cicelyp