Thursday, 14 November 2013

November 2013

Joan provided a demonstration and talk about machine maintenance. She recommended the following publication, long out of print but might be found at machine knitting shows in amongst patterns and books with people like Wendy Piper or at Metropolitan.

Next Joan removed the carriage,  turned over and with a clean paintbrush, brushed the underneath and cleaned out accumulated dust, fibres and dirt. She also spoke about removing all trapped fibres around the wheels and brushes some of which can be removed for easier cleaning. The paintbrush should be washed and dried after each use. With a clean cloth she made a ridge and slotted it into the rail gap on the carriage and swiped along a few times to clean. When the carriage was cleaned she wiped again with a clean cloth lightly oiled with a good brand of gun oil like Ballistol.

Moving on to the bed, Joan pulled out all the needles and brushed away from the machine across the whole bed. It is possible to vacuum clean but only recommended for punchcard and basic machines not electronics as they had magnets and bits inside more fragile than the basic models and needed careful handling so as not to inadvertantly break some precious mechanisms that are hard to find engineers to fix. That was the 'day to day, after each garment' cleaning done and was followed by a light oiling all along the bed rails and needles with gun oil.

For the deeper clean approach, and after pushing the needles back to NWP Joan removed the sponge bar and talked about types available for replacement and warned people to avoid cheap sponge stick-ons seen on the internet as they could come loose and cause havoc inside the machine bed. Joan recommended getting one from a reputable dealer like Metropolitan or  suppliers on the Guild website. Another tip was not to purchase multiples as they all deteriorate with time before they usually can be used and prove a waste of money. For Brother machines a Silver Reed sponge bar still being made, could be used but are a bit longer then Brother makes, so will stick out a bit.

Now came the long handled thin spiral brush that Joan very gently pushed into one end and turned it continuallywhile pushing in until it reached the other end full of fluff and fibres. She removed these and would have pulled it out from that end but it had a small round end used for hanging up as she was using club demo equipment. On her own one she had pinched it together with pliers so it could just continue out the same direction. In this instance she carefully pulled it back through the machine and retrieved it, which of course can be done on others but with some extra care.

Long Thin Spiral Brush
Next Joan talked about removal of needles with latches closed and soaked in jars with liquid made from 1 pint surgical spirit to 1 tablespoon  gun oil. Do not use white spirit or methylated spirits, they are totally unsuitable as they involve abrasive residues and water once the spirits parts evaporate, that rust parts. Once needles have had time to soak overnight and are rubbed dry with a clean cloth they can be put back into the machine and the sponge bar is also put back in. Joan pointed out not to forget to hold down the needles that are in NWP so that the sponge bar can fit back.
Once the deeper clean is done give a light gun oiling with a clean cloth. Always make sure your machine is covered with  lint free cover such as sold by Anne Smith at MKM knitting shows Bournemouth etc or seen on ebay ready made. You can very easily make one from suitable material sourced from places like Abakhan online. This is some below that a club member recently purchased for less than £3 per metre. Its light and easy to sew into a simple cover or can be cut to size, hemmed and just thrown over.

It was also the last month for the competition where all the monthly points are totalled and winners for each of the beginners and advanced groups are announced. There was a last minute flurry of entries for this final month. So first are these results.

Jenny was the winner for this months beginners entry a V neck sweater  based on a Marion Nelson pattern.

The advanced had a number of entries:
Laptop cover
3 Babies outfits
Grigna lightweight summer cardigan from Clair Crowston pattern
Red and Black fair isle jacket that was also lined
Joint winners Phyllis and Sue for the Jacket and Cardigan

The results for the whole year
2nd Jennifer
1st Stephanie

Well done! the year has seen beginners improve with confidence and in the production of items.

2nd Valerie
1st Phyllis

Well done to Phyllis and Valerie and all our members. It has been a close competition with  the last month being the deciding points.

There will not be a club meeting in the usual place in December, the group will be meeting up for the Christmas Meal.
The January meeting is the AGM, where we look back at achievements and finances and plan for the 2014 meetings and speakers. Currently February will be covering the Knit Leader and Knit Radar. Plus there are plans for an Ann Brown weekend 2/3 February so contact Sandra with interest about this and the club.


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