The Swiss made Turmix Unic knitting machine, purchased from the UK from EBay for very little money and collected had been languishing in the Shed for way too long, and as I now have the manual, (which I may add is essential if you are lucky enough to own this machine), I decided to give it a fresh trial and update. The machine is in wonderful condition and looks as though it has never been used, but I know it has because there are missing needles from the edges, and this is one of the worse points of the Unic, ie the needle springs. If you have to change a needle, this is easy as per the norm in fact, but and it’s a big but, each needle has a tiny spring under and they are so fragile, in fact I damaged three of them trying to insert one into a needle (middle of the bed as luck would have it.) I now realise that this machine has to be tested, cleaned and stored as the more use it has the more chance I am going to run out of these springs and apart from getting hold of a second one for spares, (my usual tactic) the chances of replacing these springs is non existent.
Knitting Machine Collector Hint
Be warned if you are going to collect knitting machines you will need to collect preferably two of the same kind (for spares) and speaking from experience, they take up lots of room. (Half the time, I can never remember where have stored some of my spare machines).
Now back to business, as I take this machine out of its gorgeous soft cardboard box, I am amazed by how colourful it is, soft stove enameled green and gold are the primary colours, and its all complete – superb selection of ribber combs all in stainless steel, and 2 hooked combs which are used with the knitting loom type pins to turn the stitches over to achieve plain and purl stitches ie rib. The purl stitches are knitted on the main bed on this machine and the plain ones on the pins, as it is easier to turn. The pins when knitting stockinet act as a sort of pusher to ensure the stitches knit off cleanly. I am always amazed at the workmanship poured into inventing, to say nothing of the cost of manufacturing these vintage machines and some of the features of this Swiss one are similar to today’s Superba machines. (ie row counter, yarn support etc etc).
One thing that comes to mind with practically all vintage machines is the lack of attention to detail of one of the most important things ie upper tension and yarn feed, and this one is no exception, it has the most terrible upper yarn tensioner/feeder and it needs constant hand– tensioning.