Notes on a Pingouin TP2 Knitting Machine (number 2)
The gauge is 6 mm and it takes 4 ply with ease and possibly light DK. It’s an easy machine to operate with weights that are specialized to fit into a comb that is held in place by elastic – a clever and innovative design. The Pingouin does plain and purl in a single row and is fascinating to watch – first time I ran the carriage across I could have swore it was going to drop the lot and holes appeared to be forming but you have to remember this machine knits both sides of the carriage at once and is of course one of the rare garter stitch machines.
Pingouin Garter Needles
I have been very lucky as today I managed to acquire a second model of the same machine I already own – a Pingouin TP2. The added bonus of this machine is that it came with a box of much needed garter stitch needles. The last one had the bare minimum of needles and it has cost me dearly to supplement them however, now I have plenty and if I take extra care they should last.
Pingouin Knitting Machine
After giving the machine a good clean and polish with the recommended paraffin wax (oil will not do) I put it together to cast on, all was present within the box and I am one happy lady. Even the original elastic was present – so I was able to see just what they used in the day – I just use lycra elastic now as it cheap and easily obtained – best of all, the original instruction manuals and pattern book were still there, good as new in old brown envelopes, albeit in French. The cast on combs have a threader wire and you simply thread the elastic through the comb and place it over the needles and simply drop the comb. Once the comb has been dropped you place the weights into the comb and that is about it – you are ready to knit.
It comes supplied with 2 combs, one full length and one 100 needle length.
You thread the carriage and hang the yarn over the back and push the slide in the carriage to the left going right to left and off you go. To knit plain you just use a ruler to push the needles up to a ridge on the side you want to knit, if you want to knit one by one you again push the needles in a one by one formation, if you want to knit garter stitch, you push the needles on one bed up to the ridge and knit one row, then push the needles on the opposite bed and again knit a row and so forth. I started the sample by casting on, knitting a few rows plain, then decided to do a bit of one by one, then few more rows plain then knitted a 4 by 4 garter stitch pattern, then a few rows of garter stitch then a few rows plain. It must be the simplest form of knitting garter stitch unless you own a later model of the Pingouin.
French Instruction Manual
The Pingouin has an unusual setup and you can tilt the bed to see how your knitting is – the bed is a white plastic or possibly Bakelite and the carriage is a pale green cast iron (very heavy).
This one was well used by its owner; testament to this was the number of missing and broken needles. You have to be gentle with this machine now as the needles are so expensive and that is if you can find them. In the day of its previous owner they were probably cheap enough to buy in the boxes of 160 needles.
All stitches - so easily selected.
I have not yet knitted a garment on this machine but I think in this case I may try, as it’s reasonably easy to knit with. Just love this machine tricoter. The illustrated sample is just 20 stitches wide beginning with stocking stitch then one by one rib (too loose) then a few rows purl followed by a few row plain then a couple of rows of garter stitch followed by a garter stitch pattern. It looks like hand knitting.
In original packaging
It also came with an odd piece of equipment that looks home made - wonder if its a yarn holder - who knows! The old soft cardboard box is original and has an iron bar that prevent the machine damage during transport.
So lucky, lucky me – a second Pingouin joins the knitting machine museum stable.