Singer Memomatic 2600
Works well once loosened up - lace carriage is very smooth and works on selected needle principle - however lace cards are few and I have a feeling it does not do fashion lace. The pattern selector sits on the carriage - the carriage still runs smoothly - it was hard to settle the carriage on the bed until you know how, it has odd pattern placement wheels at the back and they are a pain to get right and mainly used for motives. I would leave well alone.
I had great problems with mine simply casting on, ie tried the weaving brush method and the ewrap and the cord method but still not a lot of joy, however when you do succeed it knits fine. You must remember with my machines they do not get anywhere as much use as is necessary to keep them running easily. Oh and another point is that the stitch size slider at the front of the carriage proved to be a pain for me, ie 10 minutes of trying to move it, and decided to look at the instruction manual ie last resort, and discovered that you have to turn a dial to stitch size then the slider moves easily, well these things are sent to try us.
The extensions for the lace carriage are superb and easy to place actually I have to say perhaps one of the easiest and best fitting of any lace carriage extension. This machine must have cost a fortune to produce. The brackets for the machine are attached to the base, very handy!
One thing I do notice is that the Singers 2400, 2500 and the 2600 have the same standard lace patterns – I have to say the lace carriage is very easy to operate but the patterns are so boring.
It’s a noisy beast though, so make sure you have it set up away from the main living area. It sounds like a train when you are knitting. The machine is also fragile, ie the carriage and cams if not well packed could become damaged very easily as in the last 2 models the patterning wheels protrude and setting them up on the rail properly aint too funny. The books that come with these machines are excellent, the latest machine I have which is the 2600 came well packed and included a knitleader attachment (I do not have this but it was included with the new machine).
Not a bad machine overall - but like most of its ilk, its a dull colour thanks to the usual problems with knitting machine plastics that have fire retardents ie it aint pretty, The 2400 was an attractive green colour and perhaps my favourite for ease of use. The photos I took a couple of years ago when the machines were a lovely ivory colour and now they look the dreadful nicotine yellow colour - have managed to get some Hydrogen Peroxide Cream, ie no easy task in France but now I read that once whitened it only lasts a couple of years. All that work for 2 years!
Would be a good workhorse for someone who wants to actually produce knitwear - in my opinion its a basic standard gauge punchcard and like most of its ilk, works well. I have the ribber and its of good quality, I also own a very basic 4 colur changer.