Thursday, September 1

It's alright, baby's coming back

Well, I bloody hope so, anyway. The SK860 mid gauge carriage is all packed and ready to go back to the seller tomorrow. It doesn't want to talk to the EC1, and I've tried everything to make it happen, but have failed. I DID manage to get fairisle out of it - once, a few weeks back - but it took a few attempts. I put that down to my own inexperience with this machine. But, two extra side levers and a slightly rearranged cam layout isn't exactly a big technological jump from the SK840 std gauge.

Tuesday night I had some free time and thought I'd try a tuck lace scarf, and because it involves non-working needles I needed to run the carriage without knitting to figure out which needles to lose. But as soon as the "set up" rows were done - the carriage is passed past two magnets twice, to tell it the width of the knitting - the EC1 refused to respond, almost as if the carriage wasn't connected. Swapping cables and magnets made no difference. Made a few 'phonecalls the next day, and a suggestion was to clean the sensors with surgical spirit, which I did - got quite a lot of black, which is surprising when it's only been used in the last six weeks or so. Tried again - and now the EC1 will read the first row (so that's a slight improvement) but then it will not feed down on the next pass - so the EC1 can "see" the carriage, but it can't tell if it's changed direction. So - great if I want vertical stripes, but a bit crap for anything else.

I compared its underside to the SK840 (which has no such problems with the EC1, despite the advanced age of both pieces of kit) and I cannot see anything amiss. I think the SK860 build isn't quite as good - some of the magnets aren't quite square, and the directional magnet on one side appears to sit slightly further out than its neighbour - but these are VERY minor details and I'm only nit-picking here - I cannot understand why it won't work.

As I don't think I know anyone else with a similar machine I can test it out on, it's off on a holiday of its own next week, in the opposite direction. I wanted to use it tonight, so I'm feeling rather out of sorts. £24 to post it, and £75 to repair the car's front windscreen (and it turns out mine's not even the fancy heated option, which actually explains a lot) - I've gotten through almost £100 this month already and haven't even paid any bills yet. That has to be some sort of record for me!

Fingers crossed the carriage can be repaired or replaced - I've insured it for £500, because apparently that's the replacement cost. Have double-boxed it though, so it should be ok.

PS The post title is a song by the Eurhythmics, in case you were wondering!

No comments: