Regina 2

Regina II Hand Knitting Machine

Another wonderful vintage machine, which belonged to Ethel Rose Smith and was kindly, donated by her nephew Ian Smith.

Regina II Hand Knitting Machine

Regina II Hand Knitting Machine

I love these vintage machines and this particular one I must admit I had never heard of – by the way that is not unusual as there are still hundreds of vintage machines out there that were popular in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s.

This beautiful machine is reminiscent of the Minitex machine by Paramount and is shaped like a bullet, coloured in a wonderful green stove enamel. The comb is made of aluminum and the pins are stainless steel. This machine has the unusual specialty of promoting garter stitch – it’s the easiest knit to do, it does stocking stitch and basic fairisle with a comb accessory.

Regina II - casting on

Casting On - not so easy!

The casting on is not easy, as it requires a good tension to ensure that it will behave itself. To start with, I did a loose chain stitch to get it on to the bed then proceeded with the instructions as per the manual

Garter Stitch

Garter Stitch

The garter stitch lies on top of the comb and the comb is reversed every row – still much quicker than hand knitting and perhaps even quicker than our wonderful automatic garter carriages. Difference is that the garter carriages do patterning. Again the whole bed of needles – well that’s another story.

Regina II Garter Stitch Patterns

Stocking Stitch - now that's another ball game

Now stocking stitch, this is surely the easiest stitch to do on most knitting machines but on this loom it would not be the first choice – casting on is the same however, you do not turn the comb – you get a special comb that has hooked pins that fit into the groove on the comb and you slide the comb up to catch the loops below the stitches then you have to lift it over the top, no mean feat.

Regina II - 2 Carriage/Slides

Carriage/Slides - 2 in number

The machine has 2 small slider carriages – you use one for garter stitch but use 2 for stocking stitch. There are loads of patterns in the book for garter stitch and also stocking stitch stuff such as lace. There are a two special combs for stocking stitch and patterning and these have a wire that releases the needles so you can select the pattern stitches.

Regina Manual

Knit 2 pieces at once (advice from the instruction manual)

The instruction manual says that you should take advantage of the width of the machine, and knit 2 pieces at once using 2 separate balls of yarn - in the case of 2 sleeves of a jersey.

The price of this machine was similar to those of its ilk in the 1950’s – the ad states that stocking and garter stitch worked on the same comb – no plastic parts (apart from the handles on the slide) – all for 23 UK pounds - lot of dosh in those days!

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