Here are some photos of my 8 Gauge Dubied model MM from the 1930's. The pictures don't really do it justice. Somehow they impart a worn quality, whereas in person it has a charming patina and character to it. Notice the wooden handles. I picked up this machine through a newspaper ad a little over 2 years ago hardly knowing what it was. I brought it home and appealed to my father to help me bath it in gasoline, eliminate rust and oil it back to a happy serviced state.
Once we had it serviced, I began to muddle through the disintegrating Italian manual. Its home knitting machine cousin might be the Passap Duomatic or perhaps the Superba. Both share the V-bed and dual carriage. This machine however knits a very fine gauge and because of the high grade tooling of all the parts it sort of glides back and forth in a very satisfying way. You can use quite a wide range of yarns from a sport weight all the way down to a very fine lace weight. You can make tubes, you can make socks, patterns and just...all sorts of wonderful, fantastic knitting.
I am using my machine to develop knit yardage for winter in bold stripes. The fineness of the stitch imparts a retro 40/50's feel to the knitted goods. Soon another machine in a finer gauge called a "Santagostino" will be coming from England so I can continue my explorations. For now I will work on my Dubied.
Here is a great resource for understanding the history of semi-industrial hand flat and industrial knitting machines:
It really helps you understand just how varied and complex knitting machines are and how long they have been around for. Whole economies and industries have been built around the drive to develop something as simple as a woolen sock. Enjoy.
Anna is a Hamilton based knitwear and textile practitioner blogging about her collection development as well as pre-1950's knitwear technology.
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