26 February, 2015

Kay and her amazing knitting machine

Kay the Sewing Lawyer and I enjoyed an afternoon together this week chez elle (thank you, Kay), and I came away just blown away by her new toy, the Passat knitting machine.

Being a total sci and tech nerd, I love to see excellent engineering in action.  The inventiveness and engineering that goes into the idea of knitting by machine, and then getting this idea translated into a piece of technology suitable for a home environment footprint is pretty staggering.  My hat off to the Swiss that made this toy, and, I found out once I got home, are STILL making it, now computerized as are so many of our everyday use items:  sewing machines... sergers....

Kay's machine dates from the 1980s, so it's strictly manual, and not even electric.  As I understand it, all stitch and tension changes are done by  turning just four dials on the two green panels of the travelling head, and all knitting is done by pushing the head, using the handle on the front panel, back and forth across the bed.

In an eyeblink - a minute, no more - Kay knitted up a "little" example of about 40 x 4 cm for me, in a thick double stitch.  Pretty amazing, I thought - but then she showed me this swatch:

This was done using two very thin yarns, but in all cases except the very top and bottom bands, the stitching oops my slip is showing, knitting, is so complex that you get a very lofty, thick, doubleknit, in gorgeous patterns.  I love the idea of a thick knit using thin yarn, because it results in such a springy, air-trapping, warm cloth.

Way to go, Kay - methinks it's time to rename yourself as the "Knitting and Sewing Lawyer"?


  1. Another blogger Rachelle of Smoking Needles also has a knitting machine which I think is so cool. I'd love to have one too.

  2. Yea, she's amazing. The machine is really interesting. I remember the 80's when they were all the rage. I haven never used one though.

  3. Gosh I am so behind on my blog reading that I only just now saw this! Thanks DIGS! See you again soon.

  4. I have always wanted a knitting machine...the price is usually so prohibitive though