Knittax/Knitking AM3 Knitting Machine
Knittax or Knitking AM3 Knitting Machine
I have written about this machine in one of my previous posts but never got the chance to explore further - this machine has surprised me given its age. I am again fortunate in that I managed to buy 2 of this model with the second one bought for spares as it was incomplete ie no pattern wheels or tools, but never the less a handy buy as it had the ribber plus its carriages. Its a lightweight machine with some seriously unusual facilities and it resembles the old knitmaster 4500 range except for its colouring which in my case it has a blue carriage. The casting on is via ewrap around the sinkers but it also offers a simple cast on for playing around. To start with it was a bit tight, however after cleaning and oiling plus running the carriage across around 100 times it loosened up considerably. This is without doubt one of the best when it comes to vintage machines and it actually does the job ie knitting garments with ease. I researched a bit on youtube and found a couple of very interesting videos and the links are at the bottom of this page, I have also highlighted where the instruction manuals can be found along with loads of pattern books. The machine is weightless and operates with sinkers on both the main and ribber beds. My main bugbear was when you messed up and I did on numerous occasuin trying to remove the test piece from the between the main bed and the ribber bed was no fun - in the end I just removed the ribber carriage and disconnected the ribber bed.
Once you have cast on on the main bed its time to play, and there are a number of pattern wheels which click into the bottom of the carriage that give you needle selections - no need for separate needle selector carriages on this baby! I have attached a few pics to show the quality of the knits and some of the patterns obtained by this simple format. You can also use it for fairisle but I feel it would be a bit tedious for those of us with the attention span of a gnat like me. The yarn is laid across on the selected needles to do this. There are 2 buttons on the top of the carriage that bring the needles back into working position - the great thing is that once you have selected the needles, you simple knit the number of say tuck stitches for instance, ie 3 rows and then press the button on the right hand side of the carriage and it brings all needles back into play. The pattern wheels offer a number of selections and I have discovered a video that some lucky person who had bought one as per new, complete with tons of pattern wheels and gadgets plus a motor of all things, this gave me the idea that it must be a sturdy machine to be able to be attached with a motor, however, they would have had to have a method of affixing it to the bed for this to operate. My way to tackle this problem was to affix 2 brackets to the outside of the rubber stoppers to prevent the machine from moving around too much.
I was astonished at the ease of knitting on the ribber although the cast on was a bit of a hassle, ie ewrap on main bed and alternate ewrap on the ribber bed, but once you have the cast on mastered - the actual knitting was easy. I tried knitting fisherman’s rib and it took no time at all, Perhaps the biggest bug bear is ensuring you do not run out of yarn as it it held in a container that attaches to the carriage. The ribber is so easy to connect, the carriage connects with a metal rod and the ribber just pushes into holes in the main bedm so easy to install and remove, the easiest ribber I have come across.
When it comes to gadgets - well the books outline them well, there was a knitleader, a needle selector, which I have, and some sort of pattern chart which looks from the pics complicated. Now I could go on but I am sure there is enough here and on the video links below to wet your appetite, my conclusion is that this is a must have machine.
This link leads to a wonderful video by the famous Answer Lady and its well worth a watch. The second link is to another favourite site of mine for free manual downloads and this links to the Knittax AM3 manual. A search of this site will also lead to magazines under the monika if Knitking but you must ensure they are the earlier versions.