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Designaknit magnetic link etc

A mix of stuff from the knitting shed!

New purchases – a non working Brother 930, Brother KX395

The horrible European hornets have left my shed thank God, they may be docile etc etc but as far as I am concerned they are way too big for comfort although now having been stung ie my fault I put my hand on top of one, they are not as painful as a bee sting.

Its now November in Brittany – been a wet summer and as such mushrooms are everywhere. No more newer vintage machines unfortunately so I decided to buy a couple of machines that were probably destined for the skip – at a very good price about 20 euros for both – one a Brother Convertible and the other a non working Brother 930. The lady then brought an added bonus, a Brother 850 ribber.

Brother 930 Electronic

New purchases – a non working Brother 930, Brother KX395

I repaired the Brother 930 thanks to an excellent tutorial by - have tried to solder before but not successfully however the instructions in this case were excellent and don’t ask me how, but the machine is now working again and its really in excellent condition. Knitting machines in France are usually cheap but getting them is no fun. First you have to persuade the advertiser to respond to their ad – then the fun begins. However I have made several wonderful purchases and some machines have been donated – I hate to see machines going to the skip.

Pretty Pink 930 Electronic

A full pattern knitted via Designaknit 9

Along the way I found a couple of interesting points about the Brother 930 (I have another but have never used it that much) one of them is that although it has a smaller memory than the 940 – it still downloads easily from Designaknit 9. I keyed in one of my very favourite patterns from the Rowan/Brother Designer machine book – this is a full sized fairisle pattern and it’s a wonderful design that is so easy to knit once you have the pattern insitu in designaknit - you can either scan it in or do as I did just enter it by hand (did this years ago). I had some old Shetland cones lying around – most of my yarn is old stuff but it still knits beautifully and washes and wears well. The whole front pattern downloaded in one go via DK but if I had wanted to do the sleeves etc it would have taken 2 downloads.

Brother Fairisle

Fairisle full front pattern

This machine actually highlighted the fact that my old Brother 940 aint too hot nowadays – it takes me a while to get anything into the memory of this well loved and used machine. I notice most folks in France who use Brothers seem to use them for the garter carriage ie my 970 for instance was brand new and only used for this purpose. I used my Brother serial cable to download the pattern. It’s a wonderful feeling when a machine springs back into life.

So in short a very good buy, and this one will probably replace my old 940 for further projects.

Brother Convertible

Brother KX395

The other machine was the KX395 Brother convertible – this machine needed a deep clean – it had been stored in an old knitting table (like most of the machines in France) but the lady concerned had passed away and now they were selling off her stuff. The ad was there a couple of weeks before I responded. Very handy hobby machine that knits beautifully and this one has the intarsia option.

Slightly heavier Double Knitting Yarn

I had bought some yarn from a lady in a car boot sale here in Brittany – all double knitting yarn in some very nice colours and about 500 gram balls – I rarely use double knitting as I prefer 4 ply and industrials but it was going for a song so I took home a bag full – some will be used on my sock machine but the rest, I tried various machines and then thought about my Knitmaster 155 and ribber, the only chunky machine I own. What a beast of a machine, it weighs a ton but knits like a pussy cat. Talk about smooth. I actually managed to buy some of the famous Ballistol oil every one recommends – this being hunting country I thought it would be easy – not so in the past, but I spotted a spray can in the local gun shop. Once the 155 was eventually set up, I did a couple of swatches, then took a basic saddle shoulder design from Designaknit and altered it to suit. Love mucking about with Designaknit and thanks to Sheila West’s wonderful videos I have a great time playing around with it again.

Knitmaster 155 carriage

Knitmaster 155 and an old Passap Designaknit cable trick

I knitted the jersey in two colours as there was not enough of one it meant changing every 4 rows, but overall I loved the look, this yarn was obviously expensive and this was a good way of using it up – it would have been too thick to use as fairisle. The Knitmaster 155 is a 12 stitch punchcard however as far as I am concerned – this gauge is way too heavy for fairisle but its good news for any other variation of stitch and it does a wonderful lacey look using a thicker and a thinner yarn using the punch lace technique. Having the ribber is an added bonus and like most Knitmaster ribbers it knits easily once you know how.

Worse thing was the 50 gram balls - just hated having to cone them so I decided to take the centre out of the yarn and run it from there and hey presto - it worked! Am I bone idle or what.

Very happy with the outcome, and oh so glad I was able to keep this model now I can see other possibilities especially for Aran yarns. Absolutely hate chunky yarns and they are so expensive. Another good thing I discovered re this punchcard machine – most of us electronic users usually have a punch card or two, my years ago purchase of a Singer 9000 came with a Passap cable and an old copy of DK6 on disk – no relation to the Singer but its funny what comes with a package of machines – this one was bought from a lady who lived in the South of France and we had a wonderful trip collecting it, oh France is a beautiful country. Well now back to this particular cable, it had an old serial connection but it was a Passap one, so it knitted via the magnetic link type – ok so it also connects to the E6000 box but in this case – all I wanted was the magnetic link. Matthew Bragg sold me a connecter from the old serial cable to the newer small connector and this I attached to my serial connection on my computer then I attached the magnetic link to the back of the Knitmaster 155 and the other magnet to the top of my carriage, and volia – I had a connection to my DK interactive knitting, seriously handy in this case as when knitting the sleeve I had to increase and also change colours so I set it up and just listened to the voice to tell me when I had to increase. Very easy!

Pictured below is the first Brother design knitted in Shetland and its well felted now, note the different necklines of the two, one is a polo for thon cold Breton winters. The polo was knitted on my Passap E6000 - so much easier.

Different necklines

Full Pattern

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Nov 08, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

lovely to see machines being saved from the skip and the beautiful work they can still produce. You have given me hope :)

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