Thursday, May 31, 2007

Welcome to the Machine

Some folks have asked about my humble knitting machine, so I've taken a few pictures. There are more pictures here, and if you click on the pictures in this post you can read notes about the various parts of the machine.

Knitting Machine

This is a Bond Sweater Machine. (A very old one, I might add. I bought it probably ten years ago.) It's the simplest, most basic type of knitting machine, with only one bed and a manual carriage. The single-bed part means that it can only do knit-based stitches, no purling. This machine has a 30-needle expansion bed on it, which means it can knit up to 130 stitches at a time. It takes something like four feet of machine to create two feet of knitting, so yeah, it needs a lot of space.

Knitting Machine

Here's a picture of The Machine In Action. You can see here why the darn thing has to be so long, because the knitting needs to be under a lot of downward tension to make it hang from the working needles and not just pop off. The scarf in this picture is 70 stitches wide, a little more than half the total capacity of the machine. This is about 90 rows of knitting, and took about 10-15 minutes. When I get a good rhythm going, I can average an easy 10 rows a minute.

Knitting Machine

A look at the machine mid-row. I took the pictures on a color-change row so you could see how the new, yellow yarn is working into the old red yarn.

Knitting Machine

The nitty-gritty insides of the carriage. In this picture, the carriage is moving from left to right, and you can see how the ridges of the template are pushing the needles back and forth. As each needle moves forward, the old loop of yarn is pushed back over the latch, opening the latch and leaving the hook ready for the new yarn. As the needle is pushed back, it carries the new yarn, and the whole hook is pulled through the old loop, leaving the new loop of yarn resting in the hook ready for the next row.

Knitting Machine

A closer look at the knitting, and the latch construction on the needles.

Well, there it is, the knitting machine in all its glory. :)



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