Sunday, June 3, 2012

Picking a fight with a machine!

A few months ago, I cleaned my two knitting machines. I didn't take them apart to do a complete clean up, I just removed the needles (and pushers on the Passap), vacuumed everything I could reach, oiled them a bit, replaced the sponge bars on the LK 120 and ribber and called it a day, thinking everything was all right.

Well, it turns out I was wrong! Both machines behaved themselves for a few months, allowing me to knit many afghans, sweaters, scarves etc... But today, out of the blue, one of them went berserk!

Since it was raining, cold and dull, I decided to knit myself a pretty shrug (to go with a new summer dress) on my trusty Passap Pinky.

All went well for the first 10 minutes, I cast on, did a few inches in 1/1 rib, transferred the stitches to knit jersey and went on for 200 rows, increasing every 20 rows. Then, out of nowhere, without any reason, the yarn holder flew out of the lock in the middle of a row! Now, I've been knitting on that machine for nearly 20 years and this is the first time this has happened! I still don't understand how this could even be possible!!!

Since this had caused part of the knitting to fall to the floor and this is a very fine cotton/rayon mix which would take longer to rehang than to reknit, I dusted myself off and cast on once again. That time, the needles (which, as I just told you, had been knitting perfectly for the last 10 minutes) started to drop stitches! I took off the rag my knitting had become, decided to add a few light weights and cast on one more time. I had about half of the shrug done when the yarn got caught in one of the black strippers (another first) and snapped. Once again, everything fell to the floor. In case you wonder, the tension was always the same, the yarn unravelled easily from the cone, everything was exactly the same.

I got up, disgusted, gave the machine a really dirty look and left.

I've been giving this a lot of thought and the only logical explanation I can come up with, is that my machine is still very dirty and maybe slightly misaligned. I have moved it around a lot!

Tomorrow, that bad, bad temperamental Passap is getting a complete spring cleaning! It's going to be taken apart, thoroughly cleaned and readjusted. That should, at least, make me feel a whole lot better! ;-)

Boy, am I ever glad I have Michael Becker's Passap Paramedic book!


  1. Oh I have had days like that!!! That's when I get up and leave the machines for a good bit. Have you had luck after the spring cleaning?

    Last night I made socks. The first one smooth and easy. Second one I was not paying attention when I noticed a knot, two rounds down as I was doing circular knitting. So, I ripped it back and in doing so the end stitch on the MB dropped.

    Oh I was so smart, caught it and latched it up. The rest of the sock went fine. When I got the sock off the machine I missed one of the ladders of the dropped stitch. I am leaving it. It is a patterned yarn and for me anyway, just don't want to rip it all out and rewind.

  2. I'm still cleaning it. It's been very hot these past days and since my machines are in the attic, I can't stay there very long...
    I also think a little time off will do us both a lot of good! ;-)