Friday, November 12, 2010

The Singer System 9000

Here she is, in my kitchen.

Last night, we started finding all her parts - in several boxes and pakages - just to see if she's complete.  Then John and I just couldn't resist assembling, cleaning, oiling, and really checking her out.  We were very pleasantly surprised to find a motor.  This machine was unbelievably easy to set up, and I have found almost everything. A few small items might be mixed among the other machine knitting things that Penny brought over.

I haven't knitted yet, but with vacuuming, silicone spray and wiping down the plastic parts and Lori Lin spray lube and wiping down the needle beds and carriages, we have all buttons working smoothly, the bed racking okay, and the carriages just glide across, even with all needles in work!  We have electrical problems to solve, but they're not insurmountable at all.

Before I turn on the computer or the motor, I believe I should just learn to do simple knitting.  That's next, but this weekend is not only Kid 'n Ewe, but I have a mailing to prepare for some of my customers... betcha a find a few minutes to do some ribbing, anyhow.

Now, let me tell you about some of the very cool distinctive with this rather rare machine:

  • Built by Madag, I believe, the Passap people, and appears to be very high quality..
  • Has a bed gap adjustment to accommodate many sizes of yarn - never seen anything like that, how clever.
  • Beds are aluminum - you wouldn't believe how light it is, oh, good - it's not plastic. 
  • Operation is very smooth
  • Came with a garter stitch (transfer) carriage, and has a special 1/4 racking setting just for that operation (nope, haven't tried it yet.  I'm a stone cold beginner on this sweetie)
  • Has a very fancy computer system with unbelievable selections of pattern stitches and shape files, plus you can design your own.
  • That flat keypad affair is the computer, with floppy disks and a mouse (machine was purchased in 1991).  There's a floppy with shape files, one with stitch patterns, and a couple others.  These are the 3-1/2" floppies.
  • Motor is also very compact and light, with a Passap-ish rail design.  Maybe 20 seconds to set the motor in place.
  • The buttons markings seem very logical
  • Uses a wheel for a "stripper" on double-bed fabrics (also very clever, but haven't actually tried it)
  • Has a big TV screen which I understand gives you color design capabilities and lots of help and coaching displays (haven't tried; can't yet plug in)
  • Manuals are thorough, detailed, fascinating
  • Has a "jacquard button" (?) and a "jacquard claw."  It has lili buttons, too!
  • Has a 4-color changer...not sure if entirely complete, at least not yet.
I'm an experienced enough machine knitter to really appreciate the many very interesting, innovative and elegant aspects of this machine.  Proof, of course, will be in the knitting operation.


  1. Congratulations Diana! It's a very good machine. You are lucky to have a compatible TV with it. It was the most difficult thing for me to find when I got my 9000. I'm sure you'll be knitting something beautiful with it soon. Naomi

  2. I was gone all day at Kid 'n Ewe fiber festival, but last night and this morning I did manage to knit a few rows of k1, p1 ribbing, English Rib and some Fisherman Rib. This is a very, very nice machine. Easy to push, easy to learn, and logical.

    Still haven't plugged anything in. We have found all the cords. Next we need a splitter to make two outlets where we only have one on the transformer.

    Before we left for Kid 'n Ewe my two knitting girlfriends got a look at it. I was tickled to show it off.

  3. Hi Diana, seems like one of the carriage is missing, not sure is the intarsia or Lace an option , you can get one of the cast off carriage like the one Brother machine has. I am very please with this can ajust the space between the 2 beds, which I find very practical, it´s means you can knit with thinner or thicker yarns than Brother machine by ajusting the space between the main bed and the ribber. I usually ajust the space as narrow as the yarns allow for ribs cast on.and bring it back to normal for normal kniotting, the result is even better than any Brother can do, the motor works like a sewing machine motor with foot pedel control,also a fast and slow control button on the motor , quite as well( not like Pfaff, with only one speed and loud,)
    But I don´t think you ´ll be happy with it´s Lace pattern /´s doesen´t work like the Brother machine,I´ve seen lots of your well filmed Video on You Tube, and noticed that you worked often with gauge piks,in this case, you can´t do it here with Singer / Pfaff, it´s made of Aluminum,( Pfaff ,Plactic )it´s get damange very easily,replacment is also impossible to find.I find that the stitches are better than the Brother machines,due to the reason you don´t have to hang as much weight on as with Brother machines.eventhough you only want to knit plain/ stocknette, it´s better to leave the front bed/ ribber up like 1x1 ribs. because the brusches are not as good / wide as the Brothers,You can knit up beautiful Double Jacquard without any ribby effect. one last thing to check before you start to knit with the motor. vacum clean it as good as you can, any dust inside may causes short circuit VERY easily.I´ve been saying too much, and please excause me for my English since I don´t uses it as often as I can. Have fun with your new Singer machine. Steven from Germany

  4. Steven, I appreciate every word of advice about this unusual machine.

    What are gauge picks? Is it the transfer tools?

    I am trying to find a fancy garter carriage. I have had a hard time using the regular transfer carriage.

    Your English is excellent, by the way.

  5. Hallo Diana, thank you for your video.
    I have the same machine, but diskettes doesn´t works :(
    I am desperate :( could you please sell me copies of your floppy discs?
    I will give you what you want :D

    Please email me at

    Have a nice day :)

    Zuzana Dolinay

  6. Hi Diana
    Loved reading about your singer 9000. I hope you are now enjoying using it. I too have this machine but I think the floppy discs are corrupted. I wonder if you can help me overcome this problem.
    Best wishes