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Knitmaster 302 & Ribber

Knitmaster 302 with ribber

So many thanks to Bee, her sister and her dad, for this wonderful addition - this was gifted along with the rare ribber. The history of this particular machine is outlined below, take a look as it makes very interesting reading. This model was the first knitting machine I owned way back when I was about 20 and believe me that is a long time ago. I remember buying it on HP from a shop in Dundee and I thought it was the greatest wee machine. Unfortunately it did not have the ribber.

I knitted so much for the family’s kids along with my Sister in Law Anne who has now sadly passed.We had such fun on this model.

I swopped a 321 punch card for the one that I now owned way back in the 80’s and I remember that the pattern cards for this machine were missing – I managed to buy a set from David Drummond of Edinburgh and they cost me a fortune,

My latest 302 belonged to the ladies mother and it was in fine condition. I have been looking for the ribber for a while and the wait was worth it. The 302 is lightweight machine compared to the punch card models but it still has the same gauge and number of needles (200). Also included were the original instruction manuals and cards plus the ribber manual along with a good few magazines. Packaged along with the books etc came an interesting poster of the knitmaster 302 and attachments - so very informative.

My new place is a bit chaotic right now, I had hoped to get it finished before winter, but what a year this has been, missing my beloved husband's help - I had to do the heavy work of lifting machines and motors up a set of steep stairs – it took some doing but I am getting there.

Now back the 302, a clean and oil plus a quick change of sponge bar and she was up and running like a pussycat. I then proceeded to the ribber. What a lovely bit of machinery, so well made and one you get the gist, it’s easy to operate. Like most of its ilk of this era, it operates the ribber carriage separately from the main carriage, but once you get into the swing of it, (you get into a rhythm) off you go.

So very thrilled with this machine and my grateful thanks to the lady who donated it. Rest assured it will be looked after. The poster is pictured below and shows the incredible variations that can be achieved with this machine

History of this knitmaster 302 and ribber.

A little bit of the history of this wonderful machine which was donated by Bee and her sister - it was their mum's machine and the history of the travels of this machine make for interesting reading.

"My sister and I have put our heads together on some dates and it's moves during it's lifetime with us. My Mum's name is Mary and Dad is Alan. My Dad was in the Army, Royal Artillery, for 37 years. My Dad bought the knitmaster in the late 60s, as clothing 4 girls during that time was an expensive business on a Sergeants pay! Mum had always been very skilled with her hands, through her love of art, flower arranging, sewing, gardening and knitting and even a spot of wood work!

Looking through the family albums we can see and remember jumpers (same pattern but in different colours!) cardigans, bonnets, dresses and even socks made for us all. In fact Dad also used the knitting machine and he made 100% purewool socks for himself, which he wore on exercise on Salisbury Plain in the middle of winter! Alas, after the late 70's the knitmaster retired and followed us around as we moved every 2 to 3 years. I have tried to use it myself but obviously I haven't inherited my mother's skills!

I hope this gives you some insight to this particular knitmaster, it's been with us for 60 years and has travelled to Germany, many times, Bavaria, Belgium and all over England. My Dad retired in 1996 as Lt Col and Mum passed away in 2001. It's lovely to know the knitmaster continues its travels and is being cared for and used again. I hope that helps a little.

I have told Dad where it's gone and that it is being used and cared for again. He was very keen to know how we got it to you and what you have done to it, ie clean and repair etc. He's happy as are we are"

Well Bee I can rest assure you, your sister and your dad, that your machine will be well looked after, co-incidentally, my husband was in National Service and he was assigned to the Royal Artillery and travelled to Cyprus during his service. As you know, you transported it to Scotland where it was kept at my daughter's house in Aberfeldy, then after the COVID restrictions were a little less onerous, they drove across to my place in Brittany and brought it with them. Since then I have thoroughly cleaned and oiled and knitted with it, both beds were in excellent condition and I am so grateful for the extra books and bits that you sent along with it.


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