What kind of knitting machine do you advise me to buy or what can I do with this machine as it does not work! I decided to write this because of the many inquiries I receive asking for advice on what to look for when buying a knitting machine or perhaps advice regarding the recent purchase of a knitting machine.
Knitting machines are still easily available and most are still good workhorses. One of the very first things I do when I have purchased a knitting machine (usually a vintage model in my case) is to give it a good clean. I use 9 parts surgical spirit and one part of preferably Bellodor oil (ie a mineral oil especially for Passap knitting machines). I strip the needles out of the machine and soak them in a jam jar filled with the above mix. Give it a good shake and you will be surprised how much dirt appears. Some machines are seized up because of emulsified oil ie a mix of oil and damp. By the way when buying a machine please do examine it closely, it should always have an instruction manual which should give a run down of what ought to be included. I am not going to go into this because there are so many variations of what should be there. I will concentrate on the most popular Japanese standard gauge machines.
Expensive but necessary needle retainer bars
If you have bought a standard gauge or chunky machine, they will probably have a sponge bar ie a needle retaining bar, and almost always you will pull this out to examine it and find it completely flat - it is without doubt the most usual reason why a knitting machine will not knit. This metal bar should have a good depth of sponge to do what it is made to do ie retain the needles. Now you can buy these bars for your machine quite easily but I notice they are becoming more and more expensive, personally I use draught excluder strip and use Scotch tape to ensure it is held on firmly at the ends of the sponge bar. I buy the draught excluder in rolls from the likes of B & Q ie or Hom