WONDERFUL NEWS - A NEW ALL ELECTRONIC, COMPUTER CONTROLLED KNITTING MACHINE This is the reason that this issue of the magazine has been delayed in publication. We have been awaiting the go-ahead on releasing details of the amazing new all electronic knitting machine from the Superba System stable. It is to be marketed in the U.K. by SDL (Consumer Products) Ltd., the same company that brings you the Singer knitting machines. The new machine is to be called the SYSTEM 9000 This is THE machine for the 1990's and way beyond. It also works on an entirely new system. Having said the system is new, the beds and carriages are very similar to the current models. A different colour of course, charcoal grey and silver, but all the controls on the carriages are the same. So there is absolutely nothing new to learn here (What a sensible idea to make So much of it in such a way that there is a minimum of learning to do). The big difference is in the electronic controls. No longer is the box attached to the machine. It now come complete with it's own wheeled stand that also houses all the books an instruction manuals. The "Controller", for that is what the new box called, is triangular in shape and sits snugly on the top of the stand. It connects to the machine by just a simple electronic cable. But that's not all. You don't need connect it to the machine when you are designing patterns or garments. It can operate entirely separately, so you can sit in your favourite armchair and make designs in comfort. The display for the Controller is via a colour TV monitor and the cable will plug into the back of your own TV set at home via a Peritel, (Scart), sockets. Most modern TV sets have this these days. There are no longer any plastic or paper cards to contend with. All the designing is completely electronic and displayed if full colour on the screen. Apart from the hundreds of memory patterns, designing your own is so simple. No need to programme single squares. You can draw straight or curved lines, large and small blocks etc., using the "mouse" that comes with the machine. This is a little electronic tool that sits on the top of the Controller. As you move it around, the movement is copied to the screen, drawing shapes etc. You don't even need to be able to draw. A few squiggles on part of the design area can be mirrored vertically and horizontally with one click of a button and then repeated all over the design card, in all directions. No more need to worry about repeats and if they fit, They always will, and repeats can be anything from 2 to 180 stitches wide, geometric or decorafive. This means that all stitch card - designs from all other knitting machines will work on the System 9000.
A really big plus is that when you make the design, or choose a memory pattern, you can display it in full colour that will match the yarn you are using. This is done with the "Palette" facility that enables you to match screen colours to the yarn in your hand. So when your design is completed, you can see what it will actually look like when knitted!
All the memory patterns can be varied and adapted too, so the stitch possibilities are almost limitless. Single motifs, picture knitting, tuck, lace, slip, weaving etc., are made so easy. The System 9000 even charts intarsia for you in full colour and tells you which needles should be in what colour, and where to change yarns. No more graph paper and rulers. Intarsia has at last become easy.
Shaping too has been thought of. The "Shapes Programme" contains thousands of different shapes to knit all sorts of garments, in thousands of sizes. Even things like gloves, and the shape is displayed on the monitor, just like a paper charting device, but with your design in full colour within' the shape. You can then move the design to centre it or make seams match. Also, all the instructions are displayed for you in text, so no guesswork as how many to decrease and where any more. This combines the visual advantages of the charting devices, with the ease of the Knitting Computer. The shape programmes are easy too. Just two figures from the illustrated shapes book will put in a shape and the size. No columns of figures any more. There is such a lot to tell about this new machine, that space will just not allow, but I have to say that the System 9000 machine comes complete with what so many of our readers have been wanting for so long. A FOUR COLOUR CHANGER.
This new electronic wonder has really to be seen to be believed. Everything is so simple to operate. Even absolute novices can make a design, repeat it over the design area, place it on a shape and tell the machine you are ready to knit, in less than 5 minutes. Once you have become used to the controls, this can all be done in two minutes. Memory patterns even less.
Why not come along and see the System 9000 machine for yourself at the Sandown Knitting Exhibition, Esher. Surrey, on the 18th to 21st January 1990. This will be the first ever public showing of the machine, so be one of the first in on a new way of knitting!. Then you can see for yourself how amazing the machine is and see all that there knot space here to tell you about. The machine will be on almost continuous demonstration on the Singer stand, run by Singer Sewing Machines of Croydon, and George le Ware will be demonstrating. See you there! ELECTRONNE MAGAZINE Volume 3, Number 11