Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Simpleframe

Ever seen a Simpleframe manual knitting machine? 

Simpleframe knitting machine
Unless you're reading this in the U.K., probably not. Manufactured and distributed by Frame Knitting Ltd., Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, the company appears to have gone out of business in 2009. Hers is a double bed with 48 needles on each bed. The frame is very well made and can comfortably sit lengthwise on your lap. 

According to blogger and researcher cleveroldstick, it was invented by Dr. Patrick J. Reilly in 1982 after watching his daughter using a Knitting Nancy--you know, those spool-like holders with 4 nails that you probably used to make cord when you were a kid. 

I was doing a lot of weaving and knitting and Kris was somewhat interested. After the Simpleframe was selected as a finalist in the “Prince of Wales Award Scheme for Industrial Innovation and Production" and featured on the BBC television program, Tomorrow's WorldI bought one for her.

A query to the Machine Knitting Monthly helpline, notes that when that magazine was launched, it included a Simpleframe supplement with two  patterns a month, hints and tips, news and letters. 
CAD drawing of Simpleframe yarn tensioning parts

I never knit on it and I'm pretty certain that Kris didn't either. The double-bed machine sat in its original bag with the original manual along with a supplement with lots of patterns. I wanted to share it with my knitting machine guild because no one had heard of such a thing. I borrowed it but when I pulled it out, it was missing a couple pieces and one was chewed up. Child, dog, or cat, no one knows.

First order of affairs was replacing the pieces. I found a Simpleframe for sale on eBay, but the bids were too high for  couple of pieces. I checked out 3D printers, but don't have a CAD program to draw to spec. Then I went to the Garden State Sheep and Wool Festival and found Metis Industries. The were using a small 3D printer to make drop spindles. (Full story, here.) Ari was confident he could make replacements. He did! 

Next: Assembling and knitting on it.

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