Still trying to find inspiration and found a pile of old knitting machine magazines in the depths of my filing cabinet (filed under Odds and Sods) -
Some great tips have been unearthed and may be of interest
Passap Form Computer
I have 3 of these lying around but no magnets unfortunately so if you do get one check you have the small magnets with them (I am sure I will find a work around).
This article came from a New Zealand Knitter and was published in the Knitting Machine Digest and the author was Lorraine Judd and was titled Kiwi Ingenuity.
In this article she promotes the use of the Passap Form Computer on other machines ie the Brothers etc etc. While each brand and model requires the brackets that are supplied to be bent at different angle, this can be done. The black bracket then needs to be cut to fit into the Knit Leader bracket of the Brothers to fit into the knitleader clip or lock on the case or in the case of Knitmaster it can be fitted uncut by sitting the case and sliding the bracket down at the back of the machine, the chrome bracket that actually holds the Computer is reversed and has to be bent to bring the computer to the correct position for the magnet to pass by. The magnet is attached to the top of the carriage by some means (she recommended blue tack) in its small black holders. The great thing about the form computer is the huge variety of patterns that are available. She reckoned some of them used it with the garter carriage...more patience than I have!
When I look at a form computer pattern I only look at the shape - then I make up a swatch and use that as the material. There are some amazing form computer patterns out there. I am certainly going to try this.
As far as these types of gadgets go - my favourite out of them all is the Knitmaster Knit Radar, I especially like the size and the fact it has a great selection of basic designs, really all one should be looking at are the shapes - and that includes the form computer programmes, the rest is up to you. They give you freedom of yarn choice so if you like the fabric you produce on your test square then you can after measuring correctly knit the garment illustrated.
Another handy thing to note ie gleaned again from old magazines is the following
Punchcard usage of different machines
The Knitmaster cards are 5 rows from the beginning Toyota and Brother are 7 rows from the beginning a Singer standard gauge are 4 rows
ie to use Knitmaster punchcards in a Brother machine you would have to lock on row 3 in order to select the first row