A Place for Knitting Machine Enthusiasts
This section is just a basic platform, giving you information about the most popular models in the PASSAP Knitting Machine line. There are basically 2 categories, the electronic - computerized models, E6000 and E8000, and a punch card model, Duomatic 80. There are other models within this line of knitting machine since they started production back in 1939, but I do not talk about them as information is scarce.
One thing about the PASSAP knitting machines that I found intriguing is that you no longer need to use weights while knitting your items, the knitting is pushed down automatically as you knit with what they call a "Stripper System". They say this eliminates any distortion in your final knitted item which means that all of your stitches are always equal and symmetrical and you do not get any of the variations that are so common with some knitting machines and when knitting by hand.
COST: PASSAP Knitting Machines can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 or more, depending on model, accessories and whether you choose a punch card knitting machine or a computerized knitting machine. I have seen these machines for as low as $400 on Craigslist from people who just want to sell the machine from an inheritance and do not know what to do with it, BUT take caution when buying on the internet.
This knitting machine is primarily used for knitting fabrics for "Cut and Sew" operations but can be used to knit anything you like. This is a popular machine with production knitting, so take that into account when purchasing as it can be well used. Since the PASSAP Knitting Machine is controlled by the Computer's software program * the brain*, the results I understand are quite unbelievable.
The E8000 can be a standard gauge or fine gauge knitting machine and this model is top of the line so the most expensive.
The central control and processing unit *the machine's brain* stores over 180 knitting techniques and 400 ready to use stitch patterns and you can expand the capabilities of this system with a computer. But, to take full advantage of the capabilities of the E8000 and create custom made patterns a computer is required and PASSAP's Creation Software version 6 or 8. Below is a picture of the E8000's computer module, detached and attached to the desktop computer.
The software and module allows creations of any design and size of pattern up to the full length of the knitting machine bed. One amazing feature is that one PC can be used to program several knitting machines since it is possible to detach the central control and processing unit from the machine body, like the Brother 970 knitting machine. Programming the Design Controller is by means of an easy-to-follow dialogue, in the language of your choice, on a large display. The control and processing unit executes and monitors all knitting functions on both beds.
The E8000 is an 8 gauge knitting machine available in two knitting widths - 35.5" for the Model 8809 and 47" for the Model 8812; and another fine knit gauge machine model. The modular structure steel needle beds are built for durability and high performance.
They say this unit can have a different pattern on each of the two beds, which I actually do not understand how this can be done, but that is the information out there. Other features include fabric take-down rollers that are electrically driven which are fully automatic, and an electronically controlled 4 colour yarn changer or manual one, you can also purchase a Rib Transfer Carriage, an Intarsia Carriage and additional stitch patterns that are in ".PCX" format. The possibility of selecting all needles on the front and rear beds simultaneously opens up a wide scope of patterning effects such as double sided patterns, which I find intriguing.
PRICING on the E8000: Brand new and fully equipped these knitting machines are sold at an astounding $10,000! I have not found many of these for sale, but I would assume that you could pay around $5,000 for a used model, at least I hope that you can.
While The Passap E6000 electronic knitting machine is one of the most versatile knitting machines available, it has quite a high learning curve because of the way the manuals were written and the options for finding information about how to use the machines are limited. BUT, this PASSAP knitting machine model seems to be the most popular machine out in the market today. In addition I have seen video tutorials that you can purchase in order to learn how to use the knitting machine and books/pamphlets have been written, after market, to help learn the machine.
The PASSAP E6000 has more than 660 patterns stored in its memory. Each one is illustrated in full colour in the knitting machine stitch pattern book. Choose any one and by combining it with different knitting techniques more than 40,000 patterns are at your disposal. In addition, a full alphabet and all figures from 1 to 0 are memorized. As mentioned before, it has an ingenious presser foot system that works without weights whether you knit with one or two beds, which means that your knitting is never distorted and you will always be able to achieve outstanding results.
This is a 5mm, standard guage knitting machine and has 32K of memory available to store patterns. You can also use punchcards with this machine, which also is a stand alone, detachable item that you can purchase separately. Besides the stored patterns you have the ability to draw your own design on a mylar pattern sheet and the PASSAP E6000 reads it and knits the design just as you have drawn it. What's more you can combine any of the stored patterns or knitting techniques with your own design and with one another.
The PASSAP E6000 "talks" you through it's dialog-computer and thanks to the latest electronics the PASSAP E6000 is not only more versatile but I hear it makes knitting easier than ever before, once you learn to use the machine. The E6000 will knit "precisely" what you tell it to knit with this computer console as it asks you a series of simple questions, and then the dialog-computer tells you step by step, in easy to follow instructions, what to do. Once you answer the questions, viola, you are ready to start knitting, in your selected stitch pattern design, BUT you need to have patience when learning to use this item. DO NOT JUST START HITTING BUTTONS!! You can damage the computer if you do this.
Accessories for the PASSAP Knitting Machine includes an Electronic Shaper that makes sure your knitting is the correct size and shape, the PASSAP E6000 automatically calculates and tells you the number of stitches you have to increase or decrease and how many rows you have to knit, etc. You can even knit automatically a shaped skirt by merely calling the corresponding programme from the Dialog-Computer. There is a Manual and Automatic Yarn Color Changer available, a Rib Transfer Carriage and an optional Motor Unit.
PRICING on the E6000: I have found pricing this item a little difficult since it is all over the place. I have seen prices on these for as low as $1,200 and as high as $5,500. With upper price points an electric motor is always included. The average price of this machine seems to be around $1,800, - $3,800 used, with a motor, stand, 32mb memory and color changer. Also, there are a lot more of these in the market than the E8000, so it seems to be the most popular model in this line.
PASSAP Duomatic 80 - Punch Card Knitting Machine (DM80)
This is a stand alone, 5mm, 180 needle modular system that you can add on to as you wish. So, you can start with just the knitting bed and then add the punch card system and other items as either your budget or interest permits. This machine is known as the Rolls Royce of domestic knitting machines. I understand that it is not the easiest machine in the world to understand but once you do understand how it works it can do just about anything.
The PASSAP Duomatic 80 is a double bed 40 stitch punchcard machine -as per usual with this line of knitting machine it has a variety of stitches and textures and like the E6000 can knit automatically up to 4 colours with its shuttle system. With this machine comes an optional Form Computer, which once you knit a tension square/swatch and key in the appropriate numbers for the designated pattern (the computer will ask you for the numbers), it allows you to use any yarn as long as it knits within the needle gauge of the bed and you can knit interactively, like with DAK. It tells you how many stitches to cast on, when to increase and decrease, how many stitches to increase or decrease, etc... The amazing thing about this device, if you like the sweater pattern that you have knitted and want to use a different stitch pattern and yarn, just knit up a test swatch, input the information and it will recalculate for you the specifics so you can knit the same shape of the sweater with your different stitch design and yarn. Now that is pretty nifty if you ask me.
The two color yarn changer is a standard accessory that comes with the Duomatic 80 and you can purchase a 4 color yarn changer, a manual or automatic. There is an item called a U-80 Transfer Lock that knits garter stitch, lace and other different stitch patterns. The U-70 is a rib transfer carraige that transfers your stitches from the ribber to the main bed and visa versa, which is another option you can purchase separately.
There is a motor drive unit, the Electra 3000, also available for the Duomatic 80 Punch Card Knitting Machine. It has a catch switch that stops the motor automatically for knots, if you should run out of yarn or if the yarn breaks. A programmable stop row counter allows you to program how many rows you want the knitting machine to knit and then it automatically stops, after it has knitted the amount of rows that you programmed into it, and you can automatically swap out 2 different yarns with this knitting machine.
PRICING on the DuMATIC: Low end is around $1,000 to an upper cost of $2,300 for a new one.
Here is a list of accessories that you can purchase for these knitting machines, please check with your PASSAP Dealer as to prices and compatibility.
-Shaping and Patterning Device
-2 Color Yarn Changer
-4 Color Yarn Changer, auto or manual
-Bind Off/Cast On Device (tricot)
-PICTO Intarsia Carriage
-Knitting Machine Stand
-PASSAP Alinea (help with pattern knitting)
-Software, Creation 6 or 8 and you can also use DAK
-Motor Drive Unit; this item greatly increases the price of a PASSAP knitting machine as they cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,800
A Word on the PASSAP Plastic Bed Knitting Machines
There are two plastic bed knitting machine in the PASSAP line that I know of. These are single bed plastic knitting machines and all patterning is hand manipulated. There is a 5mm/10mm standard/bulky convertible gauge knitting machine with 209 needles - "The Vario". "The Vario - Big" a 5mm/10mm standard/bulky gauge convertible knitting machine with 259 needles, it is 50 needles longer.
These can be great starter machines as they are less expensive than the full metal knitting machines, easier to ship hence no damage in transit and they give you the option to use fine yarn, all the way up to bulky weight yarn, on ONE machine, since they are dual gauge hobby machines. This is a great opportunity to try before you buy and to decide what type of yarn you will mainly use, which in turn dictates what gauge machine you will need to buy.
When you are not sure about what you want and need, trying the hobby knitting machines in any knitting machine line is the safest and least expensive approach to take. As far as I know there are no accessories for these Plastic Bed Knitting Machines. Price for this item used is around $300 to $400, if you are lucky a little less.
PASSAP Knitting Machine Models