Minitex Deluxe Knitting Machine
A wonderful gold bullet shaped knitting machine or strictly speaking a knitting loom.
This was not a cheap knitting machine in its day – it was produced by the Paramount Knitting Company Limited.and was advertised as a home hand knitting machine. I have just finished testing out my latest acquisition, the Regina 2 hand knitting machine and to be honest it is a lot less complex that the Minitex.
I sat for around 4 days trying to get this machine to cast on without any success although I note within my notes of April 2005 that the machine was working fine, fully operational and was easy to knit with. No comment!
Hand Cast on
Eventually I decided to cast on by hand via ewrap – the instructions are terrible and not at all clear however I did it! Took me forever, then I cast on the normal way as per the manual successfully. It was a serious hassle – however I have got the damn thing to knit at last. How anyone in those days operated these machines is beyond me – they are basically a fixed needle loom that once you cast on and successfully attach the comb you then use this comb to lift the stitches over the fixed latch needles then with the Minitex, you turn the comb in the fixed side slots to lift it off the sinker posts.
Patterning - no chance!
Patterning, you have to be joking! You would need the patience of a saint. This machine was one of my first vintage machines and it looks so gorgeous – its bullet shaped and painted in gold with soft gold highlights. Probably one of the prettiest vintage machines I own and by the way – I would not part with this – its so unusual, but it just goes to show how much choice there was in those days and these machines were not cheap, it was make or break time for a potential machine knitter, and this one looks unused, not surprising given that it is one of the most difficult machines I have ever encountered to just cast on, and I do not class myself as a beginner.
Many more hands make light work
By the way, this is also one of the most awkward machines to use, you need more than 2 hands, one to hold the stitch comb, and at least another 2 to turn the fixed needle comb in in slots and woe betide if you move it the wrong way, the knitting goes to pot. I used a Passap yarn stand – without some sort of yarn tensioner, it would have been impossible to use. It comes with one of those yarn holders that attach to the slide, however, that was missing when I got it.
My grateful thanks to Neil Spears of Pitlochry for this one given so many years ago and to Frank Dineen for sending me the instructions without which I would never have operated it!