It’s time. I have this Studio 328 knitting machine that I got off freecycle. I’ve been using it for years. Everything on it works except the knit contour, and that really hasn’t been a problem–until I learned that knit contours are freakin’ fantastic. This is my only punchcard machine, and sometimes I just want to do simple punchcard stuff, not electronic patterning. It’s my baby. My first. And like all knitting machines, it came with an addiction to having more knitting machines. No joke. But that’s another story. Now that I’m using Garment Designer by Cochenille (excellent software) to make paper patterns that will work in any machine with a knit contour (a.k.a. knit radar), I want to use one of those patterns in this machine. Now.
Months ago I bought a repair manual for the 328 and 560, from Great Britain, on CD. You know, just in case. 🙂 I plug that baby into my computer and search through it on how to fix my knit contour. The row scale dial is frozen up on number 40; that’s the leftmost dial of the three dials on top. If all my patterns require 40 rows per 4″, I’m set, but I already know that’s not the case. I need that unfrozen. A quick test reveals that, even if I get it moving, I will have to recalibrate the whole thing. Suddenly it’s not sounding so fun. But I have already begun, so I keep going because there is one more option.
In my search for a perfect Singer 560 (electronic) a couple years ago, I acquired an extra 560 machine bed. With–ta da!–a built-in knit contour that isn’t getting used. Hmmm. Being the curious, inventive, adaptable person that I am, I wonder if I can swap the knit contour from the 560 into the 328.
The short answer is … yes! The long answer is, yes, but it isn’t a straight out swap. The 560 knit contour fits into the 328 body just fine, until I try to put on the cover panel. Hm, I see the row counter is mounted differently. A little experimentation, and I swap the original 328 row counter back into the 328, screwing it onto the knit contour without any difficulty. Now the cover panel fits, but the leftmost dial won’t turn easily, and it worked easily in the other machine. A little more experimentation and I discover a plastic pin on the underside of the panel cover that is fitting into the gears on the inside and preventing movement. I’m about to snap it off with pliers, when my husband wisely suggests sawing it off. Huh. That wouldn’t have occured to me in, oh, a million years. Thankfully he takes it, finds a tiny saw blade, and does the deed. Good thing, too, because this old plastic can be brittle. So I screw on the cover panel (minus one plastic pin), put everything back together, and voila!–my original machine with a frozen knit contour is now my baby with everything working.
I still have a leftover 560 machine bed for parts. Am I ever throwing it away? Hell no. I have, in the past, offered it online to people looking for parts. They never took me up on it. Thank you, whoever you are.