Friday, January 29, 2016

Getting my fiber groove back

Passap Duomatic 80

Where reclamation is the byword

Slowly, I'm reclaiming my fiber tools. After leaving them to stand idle for a number of years, I want them back, both in terms of working order and management. And I also want to reclaim the knowledge and know-how to use them all.

A friend kindly told me it took her several years to get her fiber groove back. The news was disappointing, but reassuring. 

My marudai and table-top weaving loom have made the transition. Today I'm tackling the next to last piece of major equipment--my knitting machine. 

As mentioned in my last blog, there are few knitting machine manufacturers today. The manufacturer of my machine, Swiss-based Passap, ceased manufacturing 15 years ago. That makes me even more careful about care as parts will be far more difficult to acquire. And the needle spacing (5 mm) is different from the Japanese machines so even stitch transfer tools aren't interchangeable.

The refresher course from Susan Guagliumi at Vogue Knitting Live earlier this month was a catalyst.  My Passap Duomatic 80, a double-bed marvel, has not seen action in years. The good news, for which I'm grateful, is that it's been stored properly--covered and in the house. It looks pretty good, but I still need to clean off small amounts of oily residue on the beds.

The manuals that accompanied the machine (Yes, I have them all!) have only a cursory overview of maintenance. I wanted to better understand the process before embarking on the restoration process. Thanks to online resources, especially The Virtual Online Knitting Machine Museum. The site offers a wealth of information on multiple brands and models, including mine. And it hosts a 19 page pdf, complete with photos, of how to clean my machine. 

As I researched, I kept finding recommendations for Michael Becker's "Be Your Own Passap Paramedic." A 'must-have,' they said. I ordered it and as I waited for it to arrive, began to assemble the recommended tools and cleaners. 

I'm now ready. Today is the day I tackle the friendly beast.

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