Hi, welcome to machine knitting.
Look at the replies from possumlj and in particular Cobracastle. Do make the effort to go to the shop in Whitley Bay to speak to someone there. On your own it is fairly daunting learning the techniques, and a little soul destroying when everything goes wrong, as it does for everyone once in a while. You need someone on the end of the phone to help, in the initial stages at least. Good luck!
I am familiar with the 360 and 700 and the ribber that fits both (as others have mentioned). My worry about keeping the 700 rather than the 360 is that they have a different set of stich scales for the radar. When I bought the 700 on ebay it turned out to be in excellent condition but the stich scales were missing. I have found it impossible to get replacements. They, and the space they fit into are twice the length of those for the 360, so those scales won't fit. The 360 scales are much more readily available. If you did get the scales for the 700 fine, but if not you could have a problem. I don't know much about the other machines mentioned. Good luck!
You are not alone! I had the same problem a few weeks back, and cursed myself for not noting which way round as I took the old one out! Stupid!
Thank you all for your replies. I was reluctant to keep trying higher and higher settings, but of course I should have thought of undoing the earlier ones. Your reply about hand knitting yarn being thicker makes sense, as it was what I felt was the case. Thank you for confirming this. I shall go up to 8 or 9 now without any qualms, and will be wiser in future. Thank you.
I bought some yarn at Hobbycraft, Women's Institute Soft and Silky 4ply. It feels beautifully soft, and I intend knitting a child's sweater on my ancient 360. My problem is with tension. I've tried 5, 6 and 7 on the dial, but the latter only gives me 31stiches and 42 rows. It feels quite stiff to the touch. I'd like to know if anyone else has used this acrylic yarn, and how they've got on with it. I fear running out of yarn doing so many test squares!!!
People often use foam draught excluder to refurbish their old sponge bar. I have done this for a Zippy 90 quite successfully. You need to see what they have at your hardware store, they may have different widths or firmness, and most are glued on one side ready to press onto the clean bar. However if you can locate a new sponge bar all the better.
As several people have said undo the work until you are back to the part which is correct. Then mark that row with a thread or marker, and attach a marker or safety pin to what you believe to be the front of the work. Knit a few rows to see if things are correct, if not you undo until you hit your marker, change rows by 2 and try again. I think the knitting looks very nice I must say!
Should I buy a ribber? Absolutely. Not only will it enable you to do proper welts on jumpers etc but the number of fancy stiches available is increased enormously (e.g. variants on fisherman's rib). Your set-up is not complete without a ribber. Go ahead!
I would agree with Susieknitter! I'm in the UK too and would advise a standard gauge machine. There are plenty of them on ebay, and from experience I would seriously consider something like a Knitmaster 360 with (or possibly without) a ribber. They usually sell for £100 or so, and would be very suitable for you to see how you get on with machine knitting - it is not to everyone's taste, witness the vast numbers for sale after being left under the bed or in the attic for 30 years! Chunky machines with punchcards sell for silly prices these days - far more than they cost new 20 years ago (£965 for a Brother last week on ebay).
The double bed machines (Passap, Superba, Singer) are great, but far more complicated to get to grips with in the first instance. You can always upgrade later!
Good luck with your search!
There are very many copies of Machine Knitting Monthly and Machine Knitting News on ebayUK. I've just recently been able to get a copy I was missing. You might have to trawl through loads of possibilities to find the exact one you want, but don't give up!
Hi, the easiest way to find parts for a Superba is to look for those for Singer double bed machines. They crop up frequently on ebay UK. The Passap machines are totally different except for the needle spacing, 5mm instead of the standard of 4.5 on Knitmasters, Brothers and some single-bed Singers. So needle pushers and the tools for moving stiches work for both, but nothing else.
Have you looked on Ravelry.com? There is a Superba group there with an amazing amount of information.