The making process
Universal is the brand of our machine. It was an German company who used to make hand operated industrial knitting machines. Other brands you might hear of are Dubied (Swiss) and Protti (Italian).
The 4gg refers to the gauge of the machine. This means that for our machine, there are 4 needles per inch on the needle bed. When the gauge number is this low, it means that the needles are very thick and there are plenty of space between, meaning you create a chunky piece of knitting. If you wanted to create a fine piece of knitting, you would use a machine with a high gauge, such as a 12gg.
This machine is fully mechanical and works by manually moving the carriage containing the yarn across the needle bed. As the carriage passes over each individual needle, the needle is pulled up and creates a loop from the yarn.
As you progress, the knitted fabric appears below the needle beds. By changing the colour and type of yarn, transferring stitches, and selecting different knobs and bolts on the carriage, you can create a myriad of different stitches. By experimenting and combining different stitches and techniques together, an endless number of design possibilities can be created.
This machine was originally made 50-100 years ago and when I bought it back in 2009, I renovated it myself before using it. It is a very special piece of equipment as Knitting machines are not really made in this way any more, so old ones like this are becoming more and more rare.
Previously hand operated knitting machines were used everywhere in the knitting industry. However due to technological developments, the industry now uses larger digital versions of these machines to increase production output.
The companies who design and make industrial knitting machines today only create electronic machines. With the exception of one or two bigger fashion houses who use the old hand flats to sample on, most hand operated knitting machines are now only used in art colleges and universities as well a small, independent brands who don’t create mass produced collections.
Strictly knit would like to leave a green imprint on the world by not emitting C02 in the production.