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Pingouin TP2 Garter Stitch Knitting Machine

Pingouin TP2 Garter Stitch Knitting Machine

The second look!

Pingouin TP2 Garter Stitch Knitting Machine Carriage
Pingouin TP2 Garter Stitch Knitting Machine Carriage

I have 3 of these models, however the carriage on one is damaged and I suppose I could repair but I have enough with 2 and keep the third for spares. When the carriage is damaged so are the needles and I do not have as many of these as I have for the TP3. When you buy one of these older models and it is your only one, you should check the serial numbers, obviously the older serial numbers are less likely to operate especially if they have been well used and my experience here in France is that unlike most vintage machines, this machine is most likely to have been well used as they are a good transition from hand knit to machine knit, they are a 5 mm gauge machine, with 160 needles. Also it is important to check if they have the double latched needles as they are like gold dust and remember they have to fit the model of machine.

Pingouin TP2 Garter Stitch Knitting Machine Lift up mechanism
Pingouin TP2 Garter Stitch Knitting Machine

To set the machine up you use an unusual set of clamps that when fixed to the table allow you to tip the machine to check progress of your nitting, clever idea. There is no tension mast and the tension is set via a left and right knob on the carriage, which screws left or right to set the tension, the knobs also pull out so one side or the other slip. To cast on easily, I set up the way it advises in the manual, one by one rib, then pull out the knob on the side the last needle protrudes on the opposite end of the bed, and simply knit, That is after of course you set your needles into the bed, rub loads of paraffin wax over the needles, put the elastic through the comb, then slip the needles through the comb and attach weights and then you are off! (Theoretically anyway, the number of times I forgot to do something, well I have lost count!)

Pingouin TP2 Garter Stitch Knitting Machine Accessory Box with weights and rules etc
Pingouin TP2 Garter Stitch Knitting Machine accessory box

The needle latch opener plates on the carriage in the earlier models was flat but the slightly later models are curved and this works so much better. My oldest machine came in a very heavy suitcase that must have cost a fortune to make. Perhaps with mine, I wonder if the suitcase was adapted to suit the machine, who knows and it weighs a ton. The later models though came in a large cardboard box and were extremely well packed and came with a heavy iron bar stretching the length of the box and I suppose this was to help ensure the machine arrived undamaged. The serial numbers of mine were, 2562, 5170 (flat latch plate) and 5899 with the curved plate, the machine comes with a cleverly boxed set of weights and 2 combs, a bar of wax, a large heavy cast iron carriage with built in row counter and a separate handle that you thread the yarn through.

Pingouin TP2 Garter Stitch Knitting Machine Carriage
Pingouin TP2 Garter Stitch Knitting Machine Carriage

Casting on with these machines should be easy, and if your needles are in good condition and your bed and carriage are well greased and polished with paraffin wax then it should be OK, however my machines had not been used in donkeys years and therefore needed a lot of TLC. Once the cast on was complete then it was all systems go however, these machines work with very heavy combs and weights and you need to keep an eye on the operation by moving them up and attaching rather clunky side weights because as soon as the weight disappears the stitches do not knit and this is not an easy machine to attend to errors and that is an understatement.

Pingouin TP2 Garter Stitch Knitting Machine Sample showing garter stitch
Pingouin TP2 Garter Stitch Knitting Machine Stitch Sample

Once cast on and with weights in place it knits easily enough although there is no stitch selection on this machine, it is done with a ruler. With all ribs it is simply a matter of casting on and moving the carriage from left to right but you must keep a tension on the yarn manually until it hits the first needle. The machine threads up via a removeable carriage handle and then hangs over the back of the table the machine has been attached to. Like all knitting machines the more you use them the easier they get.

Now would I buy this machine if it was my one and only and I wanted to produce then no, it really is a machine for collectors, the TP3 though is a different ball game, and oh so much more sophisticated with built in table and of course it knits easily. You still find this TP2 model in France but its getting rarer. Personally I love all my Pingouins and would never part with them simple because they are so unique.


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