Saturday, 2 May 2020

First garment on my Passap Duo 80

It must be over 2 years ago that I bought my Passap Duo 80 from a lady in London, and brought it home full of enthusiasm.

I cleaned it thoroughly, and knitted a lot of swatches followed by scarves and cot blankets with no real difficulties. However, I didn't manage to knit a garment. Even if I got it all going OK, it all went horribly wrong as soon as I needed to do any shaping. I dropped stitches or - even if I was sure I hadn't - they seemed to bounce off the needles. There was just so much to remember, too. I know it would have been the same when I first started with my Brother, but that's so long ago now that it's all second-nature.

The March 2020 edition of Machine Knitting Monthly contained a very straightforward jumper in crepe, with step-by-step instructions. Normally I wouldn't follow a pattern for something this straightforward, using my Knitleader instead. But I decided to have one more attempt. It worked, and I attach the evidence!

Not having to think about anything other than the action of the machine meant I could concentrate on that. I discovered a few things that will make my next attempt more straightforward.

  • It's true you don't need weights for the majority of the knitting, but a light weight at the edge once you're into decreasing helps keep the stitches in the needles - I think mine were tending to bounce out.
  • It is quite a labour-intensive machine. Knitting over a few stitches (such as for a tension square) is relatively easy work - and I've tried knitting on different blocks of stitches to check that some aren't just a bit 'sticky', so it isn't that. But as soon as I'm using most of the needle-bed, I have to put quite a bit of "Oomph" into pushing the carriage.
  • The yarn mast isn't as forgiving as the Brother one of knots and lumps in the yarn. Obviously, these are not a good thing at any time, but I find small kinks tend to straighten out on my Brother whereas they get stuck on the Passap - leading to tight stitches and breaking yarn. I'm also not sure that the tension discs on the mast are doing their job properly - something to investigate.

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