Well, this caption is so strangely phrased because the very first Singer 321 came with a Spanish manual and with the knitting terms written on the machine in Spanish 😊 But both machines are in great shape and are workhorses no matter in what language their menu is.
I thoroughly cleaned this machine. I would like all my buyers to be aware that I only completely disassemble machines that are in very VERY rough shape or severely rusted.
Checked all needles, replaced sponge bar and tested how it knits tuck stitch, slip stitch, fair isle and stockinet. I did it on the whole bed to make sure all needles function properly. The machine is capable of patterning using the old-fashioned punch-card technology.
A little bit of history: Singer/Studio 321 machines were introduced in1972 and were the second earliest model capable of patterning with 24-stitch punch cards. It is a standard (4.5 mm) gauge machine with 200 needles. So, this machine is 50 years old!!
It is still beautiful and this particular model has barely any age-related discoloration.
The machine came with all accessories with couple of exceptions:
- Box to pack all the tools is missing. It did not come with this machine. I will pack all the tools in a sturdy bubble-enforced plastic bag. All other accessories are included.
- The carriage lock is unfortunately missing too. The lock secures the carriage on the metal bed during storage and transport. I will secure the carriage with zip ties to make sure it does not slide.
Pros and Cons of this particular machine:
- Typically, these machines have rubber end rails to keep the carriage from sliding from the bed and mis-patterning as a result. These end rails are made from rubber, which degrades with time (years). But not in this machine: you don’t have to worry about them. This machine has metal end-rails, which will stay forever.
- No built in leader. It is not a deal breaker for me – I calculate and keep track of all my patterns and forms myself.
- This model does not come with a lace carriage
The carriage does not have a release lever – if the carriage gets stuck during knitting, you will have to do remove the sinker plate and then move the carriage.
The rest of pros and cons is typical for all other singer/studio knitting machines with punch card mechanism, namely:
General Pros and Cons for Singer/Studio machine with punch card patterning mechanism:
- 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.
- 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. Aliexpress also sells them.
- 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 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.
- 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
Check out my freshly posted youtube video: https://youtu.be/te0sV0o78FI
This is what I knitted while I tested this machine: a two-in-one cowl/scarf and a head cover. I love multipurpose things.
This machine is a beauty despite some of its minor flaws (Like missing pieces). It has beautiful color combination and barely any discoloration of the plastic.