The Record Knitting Machine Circa 1955
Wonderful addition to the museum portfolio – a donation of another vintage garter stitch machine – the Record Knitting Machine. Shaped in the bullet style, this is a light machine compared to some.It comes is stove enamelled green colour with stainless steel ends and feet that incorporate the stitch gauge.
This lovely machine was donated by Valerie Webster – she bought it many years ago and it was stored in her loft. Its always a lovely surprise to receive these wonderful vintage models.
I have 3 of the bullet shaped machines, the Minitex, and 2 now of the garter stitch models and that is the Regina II and now the Record. The other 2 dedicated garter stitch machines are my two Pingouin Machines.
The advertising leaflets say the following:
“The only home knitter of its class – it produces both stocking and garter stitch, thus permitting the greatest variation of pattern designs.”
The postage stamp on the soft wax box it has been stored in states a date of 8th November, 1955. It has been well looked after and practically unused. The 2 stitch combs are stored in their original boxes and the original crochet hook tool is still there.
After oiling it, I decided to try the stocking stitch method first.
Casting this machine on is relatively easy (or perhaps I am getting used the method) you simple ewrap the needles required and operate the 2 sliders – one white and one black. When doing garter stitch you only operate the black slider. I can imagine given just stocking stitch or plain garter stitch you could produce fairly quickly using this machine.
Now to the methology, stocking stitch first, you ewrap the stitches on the stocking stitch comb but turn it with the red dot facing the machine – you must set the comb in a holder in the front of the machine to do this. The stitch size regulator is on the feet of the machine and its simply a screw that pulls the feet out or in with stitch numbers on it, ie the further out the feet thus the comb is further out from the knitting pins on the machine the larger the stitch size.
Once you cast on you then turn the comb around with the red dot facing you. This comb features a bar that allows you to release the stitches and as it is fixed it is a bit easier than the ones on the Minitex etc. Once you have the comb set into place, ensuring that both the sliders are at the extreme left of the machine you simply slide the black knob to the extreme right of the machine and place your yarn in the channel formed then slide the white slider across and the wool will be in a zig -zag position. The hinged flap of the comb is then lifted up and over the stitches then back into its original position, you then lift the comb from the right side to lift the stitches whilst pulling the knitting down at the same time. Now I aint saying this is easy and I know from experience the hassle I had with understanding the why’s and wherefore’s of this technique but having been there and done this I now get the gist. The longer the knitting piece the easier it gets as you have something to grip onto.
Now to the garter stitch and comb, again according to the leaflets this is the way you can pattern on this machine. So again you cast on via ewrap The white knob is not used and pushed to the extreme left of the machine. You now place the comb into the groove nearest the machine and slide the black knob to the extreme right and starting from right to left you place the yarn into the channel between the pins and comb pins. You then slide the black knob to the extreme left so the yarn is in a zig zag position – you then have to lift the stitches over the comb pins using the crochet hook – the first stitch one on one then from then on over 2 pins. Now you have to turn the comb around and replace on the holders – slide the knob to the extreme right and place the yarn between the pins and the comb pins as before and slide the knob to the extreme left and lift the stitches over – again once you get something to lift with it gets easier. The main difference between stocking stitch and the garter stitch is that you have to change the comb around everytime with garter stitch.
I have not tried the patterning facility – it requires a lot of manual work, and to my mind folk would not do this normally unless they are familiar with hand knitting.
Once again my grateful thanks to Valerie for taking the trouble to send me this machine all the way from Scotland.
The instruction manual and advertising literature for this machine is available from my favourite site www.machineknittingetc.com. Well worth taking a look especially if vintage is your bag.