I purchased this machine, as all my others, with several other ones in a bit lot of various knitting machines. To learn punch card machine and knitting with a punch card pattern mechanism, I chose this particular machine because it was the most complete and best looking, I wanted to make sure I learned on a good machine so later on I can figure out problems with other, less ideal, machines.
If you want to see how it works, check out my youtube video.
Unlike other similar rescued machines, this had all accessories, including ravel cord and a small container with oil!! the lace carriage is not included though as it often sold separately.
Almost all accessories fit into the small compartment on the left-hand side of the carriage. The picture below shows this compartment but the majority of the accessories are working since I took this picture in the midle of knitting a garment
I tested this machine extensively – in action: I knitted a whole garment from the beginning to the end using a punch card number 12-A. I tested several other punch cards on tuck and slip settings. I did not try any lace patterns. I tested the knitleader buttons and knobs but I did not use it – I do my own calculations on decrease/increases.
Both needles and bed were in excellent shape – absolutely no rust. I removed all needles to make sure because sometimes when the sponge bar gets too old, it can corrode the needles.
Here is an overall picture of what is included :
This machine has a lot of excellent features.
- The patterning drums make it very easy to move the machine. They engage with the punch card mechanism very nicely without much noise.
- The manual is very well-written and I was able to follow the instructions with ease and to learn all the techniques.
- The other two brochures included with the setup up contain information on the settings for punch cards to achieve certain pattern as well as how to knit garments of various shapes. I know these are available online, but when one knits, it is always nice to have a hard, high-quality, copy handy. Needles are easy
- Easy-to find replacement needles since these models are relatively “newer” ones. I get mine on Aliexpress.
- The tools are pretty standard and are pretty interchangible with other models.
- Some might find having the built-in knit-leaders very handy: there is no need to have a separate long setup laying around – in this setup all fits into one carrier box
- Includes an optional lace carriage
- I found that putting this machine to storage and opening and closing is much easier than multiple brother machines I had a chance to struggle with. There is a very clear schematic on the cover with the order of how placing the parts together. I found this extremely helpful as putting these machines away is often a big frustrating struggle.
- The carriage has a release lever (earlier Studio/Singer models do not), which is very convenient when a carriage needs to be removed from the bed in the middle of knitting if it gets stuck. In earlier models without this lever, one needs to unscrew the sinker plate and then lift the top cover of the carriage to remove the carriage from the bed.
The cons are:
- no timing belt, which might make the carriage movements somewhat hard depending on your tension and knitting pattern and technique. It was not a problem for me at all but after 200 rows of knitting my garment my hands and arms were a bit soar. Well, I guess this is how I can substitute my work out now.
- The most significant flow in my mind is that the patterning drums often get stuck if not oiled regularly, especially when not used for a very long time or put into storage (I restored already two OTHER machines where the drums were simply shut… They needed soak in an oil bath and some heavy-duty disassembling). To avoid this problem, put some light oil regularly on the patterning drums. Lucky for me, this machine had the drums in excellent shape
- Unlike Brother punch card machines, lace carriage is in a separate box. So, just one more thing to keep track off.
- The row counter dial is at the end of the bed. Not too inconvenient but I personally prefer the row count to be right in front of me – not at the end of the bed.
Well, below is one more look at this wonderful machine. Sorry for so many pictures of this machine – I just could not get enough of it – it is so perfect!!! Alas, I want now to restore my other I want now to learn Brother punch card machines and then electronic ones.
The whole setup right now is for sale on my Etsy page.