Wednesday, 31 May 2017

My earliest knitting machine

The previous post shows the advert for a machine of this type. I was away when preparing that post and have now got the machine out of store and revelled in  its simplicity  and the ingenuity of its design. I just love it. 
The machine in its original box

I have hoovered it thoroughly, gently wiped the wonderful green enamel and put ballistol oil on the knitting mechanism
The machine bed. 
Note the ends- the numbers represent the tension, a simple 'blob in a dent' system which works amazingly well. 
Very simply the machine works by enabling  the 'gate pegs' to come out by  moving the inner slider to the opposite end of the carriage, the yarn is placed in the resulting horizontal groove, the other slider is moved along and the yarn is pulled towards the needle bed. The stitch formation action is completed by moving the front lower section around in a specified circuit ( towards you and round away from you ) and then you are ready to begin again. 

I was very lucky in that I had in the box, 2 cast on combs and a bristle brush; clear instructions accompanied by photographs on how to work the machine ; instructions on knitting garments ; a supplement of fancy stitches and a superb double sided advert describing clientele suited for using the machine - including 'war wounded men'! 
I have knitted samples on the machine but not an item yet! 
I have owned it for several years (35?) - it was bought at a local auction . One has just been for sale on eBay for £300- which is a LOT more than this cost ! ( I don't know if it was sold for that!) 

The interesting thing to me is finding out more about the machine. Further research of my  own and help from a lady in the Vintage Knitting Machine FB group has established:

The machine was made in Italy. 
The first  model came out in 1938, it seems without the end tension dials
The model I have went by many other names' the miniknitter' being a common one, it seems to be model 2 - having the end tension dials. 
It was made between 1949 and 1959, so it looks as if my machine is about the same age as me! 

The lady (Pia) who has provided some of the extra information is the proud owner of one of these machines as well as a Passap ST120. She believes that the Passap is older still as it has some wood contained in the machine. The sliders in the Lanofix  are clearly made  from early 'plastic'. 

Again if you know more about a Lanofix Miniknitter machine then do get in touch. 

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