Passap F200 Knitting Machine
This is a standard gauge machine, which is unusual for the Passap range, and the one I have is a single bed – I do not have the ribber if there was one. A recent Facebook post set me thinking about this machine as its been lying for years in the box so I decided to take it out and have a fresh look.
Its cardboard box is eye-catching to say the least – the F200 that I own is in good and almost unused condition. Its an odd machine to say the least and looks as though it probably cost a fortune to produce, nice steel bed with pink and cream carriage. What is unusual is that it has metal sinkers that knit the stitches off. The carriage has 2 yarn feeders and a couple of hooks that you can add more colours with.
I have not used this machine for a few years and soon realised it needed a new needle retainer bar. The needles flopped about all over the place – there are 5 needle positions and it is the easiest of machines to cast on with, the other feature is it does not require weight to knit. The book states that it selects automatically – however in my book I would say its semi-automatic, ie you need to select the first few needles and then it follows a pattern and you must do this every row.
Passap F200 Pattern Master
There is a pattern card holder that once the card is in, gives you the correct selection switches to press then as you knit it jumps up the appropriate row or rows, and this tells you which colour to select and which needles that you have to set to knit the pattern. You have to switch yarns in the carriage to do 2 colour knitting so as its only knitting in one colour at a time, it’s more like jacquard as opposed to fairisle.
Changing the needle retaining bar
Changing this was a simple enough operation, and required the removal of 4 tiny screws – 2 each at either end of the bed. The whole bed lifts out of its case – I then turned it upside down ensuring the sinkers did not fall out. This allowed me to see the needle strip and also the sinker retainer strip (I did not change this). After sliding out the needle retainer strip, which is encased in a plastic case, it was an easy task to just use the screwdriver blade to scrape out the old sponge – I then vacuumed the rest of the dross out of the case. I had some B and Q draught excluder sponge, ie the very narrow stuff, and pressed this into place then placed another strip on top of this and that was it, slid it back into where it came from and replaced the bed back in its case. Took about 10 minutes and when I again cast on this time the needles behaved themselves.
Coloured Nunber Needle Strip
The rear of the bed has a coloured strip that denotes the needle numbers that you need to select to attain the pattern; odd thing is though there is no needle number strip that tells you how many needles to select and where the centre of the bed is, not so handy.
If you are knitting plain, it has a lovely feel to the carriage, extremely smooth to operate in fact it purrs, however, if you want to pattern prepare for the long haul. I would buy this machine instead of the plastic bed efforts – it knits so smoothly and I have seen it at sold for so little money.
Working a pattern on the F200
I always maintain that new vintage knitting machines are well preserved for a reason, and I guess this one comes into that category, great to own as a collectors piece but not for the actual ease of knitting patterns etc but all in all unusually this machine is a good wee workhorse for those who like to do their own thing.