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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 2:57 am 
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An old Mattel Knit Magic suspended in the air, knitting like mad. Pictures and video.

Instructions in case you need them for a Knit Magic. They're for the later version with the Tube/Panel switch.

I want to figure out if the olde 1974 model I have can be finagled into doing panels. It'll make that Gryffindor scarf much easier to put together...

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"I am a machine. I am a weapon of war. I am a destroyer of life in the service of life, the sword and shield of my human creators." Bolo Invincibilus, Mark XXIII, Model B (Experimental) 0075-NKE "Nike".


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 11:43 pm 
Fantastic. Simply fantastic.

And making a Gryffindor scarf with a Knit *Magic* would be very nice as well.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 2:14 am 
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The Knit Magic, with or without the tube/panel switch, only has 16 needles. Thus its output is rather small.

Currently there are two round knitting machine toys with 20 needles. One sold under the Sew Easy name and one sold under the Singer name. The Sew Easy one looks like it's also sold in the UK under the GR8 Gear name.

Both the Sew Easy and GR8 Gear are vertical with a curved handle over the cylinder. Looks like it'd get in the way. They also have the same problem doing long projects like th eold Knit Magic does.

The Singer is a nearly horizontal machine with nothing obstructing the cylinder.

All the newer ones have a switch for doing tubes or panels.

Three long panels from one of the 20 needle machines, stitched together along their sides, should make a very nice scarf.

There's also a plastic flat knitting machine sold under the Singer name, but I've not found any positive reviews, or how many needles it has. Apparently the needles are plastic and the latch hooks tend to break.

What I'd really like to have is one of the big, flat machines with 100 or more needles. A friend of mine picked up a 50+ year old Brother machine for $15 at some thrift store. He's used it to make some Gryffindor scarves and some other items. I expect he'll be using it to make the undersuit parts for chainmail one of these days. ;)

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Fandemonium!
August 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 2014

"I am a machine. I am a weapon of war. I am a destroyer of life in the service of life, the sword and shield of my human creators." Bolo Invincibilus, Mark XXIII, Model B (Experimental) 0075-NKE "Nike".


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 5:47 am 
Too bad there isn't much information on the PDF on exactly what the thing is doing. (or a close up of it's action in the movie)

Depending on the complexity (or simplicity) of the motion required making one could be easy.

More research is indicated...


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2005 2:48 am 
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You can get some idea of how it works by clicking on that Instructions link.

The cylinder has a ring gear around its top, driven by a pinion directly connected to the side crank handle.

The needles ride up and down in slots in the cylinder. Each needle has a bump on it which rides in a track in the inner, stationary, cylinder. At the front, the track rises to a point then drops back, driving the needles up and down to catch the yarn.

From the pics I've seen online, all of the current versions (found yet another different model by RoseArt) have at least 20 needles VS the older Knit Magic's 16, but the shape of them and the shape of the top of the cylinder which is critical to forming the knitting, appears almost identical on all of the machines.

I have an original, (C) 1974, Patents Pending, Knit Magic. It's a bit worn and sloppy so I'm going to pry it apart and do something to take the slop out of the cylinder, provide tougher and slicker bearing surfaces and lube the rotating parts and the needle track with silicone grease.

I won't lube the vertical grooves the needles slide in. They slide fine and lube would collect yarn fuzz and make a big mess.

Yes, there will be a "Hacking the Mattel Knit Magic" web page. ;)

Edit: Got a reply from RoseArt, their machine has 20 needles, so all the current ones have 20. A pattern for one will work on any 20 needle machine.

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Fandemonium!
August 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 2014

"I am a machine. I am a weapon of war. I am a destroyer of life in the service of life, the sword and shield of my human creators." Bolo Invincibilus, Mark XXIII, Model B (Experimental) 0075-NKE "Nike".


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2005 11:38 pm 
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Just so you know, my Griffindor scarves were made 140 stitches wide and then folded and seamed up the side. So 70 stitches wide, double layer.

So if you manage to make panels on your Knit Magic, you'd have to make 9 panels to get about 70 stitches wide, double layer.

(Or we can set aside a day and I can teach you how to use my big machine, and let you borrow it. As long as you take good care of it.)

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2005 11:40 am 
I had already looked at the instructions, they were helpful.

As I've got very little pre-existing knowledge of knitting the Wikipedia entry on knitting was also useful.

Here is a zoomable photo (regrettably they used really hairy yarn) of a Singer toy knitter.

If the needles simply move up and down then it appears that there must be another mechanism hidden behind all that hairy yarn that pulls the yarn out of the hook and then allows it to drop behind the needle once the needle reaches the bottom of its travel.

How does the yarn get out of the needle's hook? (Does the Knit Magic handle that potential problem in some simple/clever manner?)


Edit: I think I've figured it out. The bit of yarn that's still in the needle's hook on the leftmost needle may be the key. It appears that as the needle descends the gap in the slot the needle is dropping through is tight enough that the yarn (which has been pushed outward by the "belly" of the needle) is trapped outside of the hook as the needle descends.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2005 11:49 pm 
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I ran a couple turns of yarn around mine so you can see better how it works.

The shapes of the hooks and the top of the drum are quite ingenious. From what I've seen of the others, they're a perfect clone except for having more hooks.

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Fandemonium!
August 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 2014

"I am a machine. I am a weapon of war. I am a destroyer of life in the service of life, the sword and shield of my human creators." Bolo Invincibilus, Mark XXIII, Model B (Experimental) 0075-NKE "Nike".


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 1:18 am 
Interesting pictures, although somewhat more interesting if you stopped linking to the place on your HDD, and started linking to the place you have them online. (this assumes you put them up online....)


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 2:28 am 
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Stupid pocking #$#^ing Net-bleep-scape Com-pocking-poser!

It's fixed now.

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Fandemonium!
August 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 2014

"I am a machine. I am a weapon of war. I am a destroyer of life in the service of life, the sword and shield of my human creators." Bolo Invincibilus, Mark XXIII, Model B (Experimental) 0075-NKE "Nike".


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 7:50 pm 
Do you do much macro photography of low-contrast objects?

That third one is a fantastic photo of the needles.

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2005 4:53 am 
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The camera used is a Sony Mavica MVC-CD250. One of their best. I've taken pics in a completely lightless basement that look like they're done in full daylight. *Extremely* good flash on that camera. :)

The third image had the help of a high-tech piece of equipment. A Post-It blackened with a Sharpie. ;)

_________________
Fandemonium!
August 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 2014

"I am a machine. I am a weapon of war. I am a destroyer of life in the service of life, the sword and shield of my human creators." Bolo Invincibilus, Mark XXIII, Model B (Experimental) 0075-NKE "Nike".


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 9:17 pm 
We've got a few older Mavicas at work. They are really good cameras, and it just happens that the base of my loupe *exactly* fits the lens. The depth of field is just about zero but we can take some very nice macro pictures.

More knitting tools

The knitting nancy is highly interesting for my nefarious purposes as it raises the possibility of only using one needle. (That really should have been obvious to me from the start, as all of my "designs" so far have only focused on one needle at a time.)

One thing that occurs to me is that all of these are even numbered knits. I'll have to try three or five just to see if it works.

EDIT: A quick five sided nancy and the knitted thingy it produces. I'm not sure if the loosenes of the product is a result of the odd number of sides or from my own inexperience.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2005 2:09 am 
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I can see why the Real Knitting Machine didn't drop any stitches. The pegs the yarn is pulled over, on either side of each hook, are much taller than on other versions.

22 hooks VS 20 on all the others currently in production. More is always better. Panels 6 inches wide, sew two together would make a decent scarf.

Edit: I tried to find some place selling that machine, then tried finding the company website. I did manage to finally get Yahoo Maps to admit the address and company do exist.

Naming your product "The Real Knitting Machine"? $0

Naming your line of toys "Kids Stuff"? $0

Naming your company "EXCITE"? $0

Not plugging any of them into a web search engine to find they generate 50,000 hits? INCREDIBLY STUPID (Same goes for apparently not actually having a company website.)

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Fandemonium!
August 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 2014

"I am a machine. I am a weapon of war. I am a destroyer of life in the service of life, the sword and shield of my human creators." Bolo Invincibilus, Mark XXIII, Model B (Experimental) 0075-NKE "Nike".


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