My Singer 322 Memo-Matic Knitting Machine Time Capsule

I bought this beautiful machine a year ago, but have been so busy with ‘stuff’ and ‘life’ that I haven’t had a chance to photograph it yet and share with you all what a wonderful find it is!

I bought from an Ebay seller here in Brisbane (he is an estate sale merchant).  I paid $300 for this machine which literally, had never been used!  It is circa 1979, making it over 30 years old.  Some of you seasoned machine knitters might remark that I am crazy, BUT I think I got a wonderful machine for my money, as you will soon see why…  (Click on the pictures for a description which explains why it is a ‘new’ machine).

The name plate on the front of the hard case

Everything is still covered in plastic or has the packing materials – the cardboard box has styrofoam supports (still okay by the way!)  The original (now yellowed) packing paper was still there, as was the protective foam insert in the accessories box and the cardboard protectors inside the hard case.

Singer 322 - Tension Dial

Even the tension dial still had its clear vinyl covering!

The Singer 322 Knit radar

The 322 has an in-built Knit Radar.  On previous and subsequent models, it was an optional extra.  Comes with some really cool paper patterns for men, women and children – even cute little knitted pants and dresses for toddlers!

The pristine needle bed

Not a drop of oil, dust, dirt or fibres to be found!

Singer 322 accessories box

Everything is here – the oil bottle has never been cut – everything is still in its plastic!

The needle retainer bar (sponge bar) has had it and I will have to get it replaced.  I have given everything an oil and clean as per the instruction book.

I am really looking forward to knitting my first garment on my machine!  So excited!

43 Responses to “My Singer 322 Memo-Matic Knitting Machine Time Capsule”

  • Joan Powell:

    I have a very old, very used Singer Memomatic 323. Everything still works on it even though I left it in the garage for 20 years. My only problem is that I can’t seem to do punchcard lace as I don’t have nylon thread. Do you have any idea where I would get this nylon thread that is mentioned in the manual. Any help would be wonderful. Regards Joan

  • Hi Joan, funny you should mention the ravel cord – I have a memomatic 321 which I bought with a ribber (I really only wanted the ribber for use with my 322) and it had no ravel cord. The president of the Queensland Machine Knitters sold me an old one for a couple of dollars but I asked her today where I could get a new one. She suggested mercerised cotton crochet thread, say size 10 thread. Must be mercerised cotton so it won’t break, but this site also sells it too:

    http://store.dknits.com/pd-standard-gauge-ravel-cord.cfm

    Hope this helps,

    Gabrielle

  • Joan Powell:

    Hi Gabrielle, Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I have used your tip with the ravel cord and it worked perfectly. I was taught to e-wrap as my teacher didn’t like using the ravel cord so now after 27 years I can do it. However, the question I was asking was with my Singer Memomatic 323 it says that nylon thread should accompany the yarn being knitted. In other words the nylon thread should be fed through the right Auto Tension Rod and the yarn through the left Auto Tension Rod so they can be knitted together to do Punchcard lace. I have searched endlessly for this nylon thread which I assume is clear thread but to no avail. I have used clear sewing thread but still no luck. As the machine is very old I have had trouble trying to track down information so when I came upon your website I asked the question. Hope you can help.

    Regards
    Joan

  • Hi Joan,

    Hmmm…will ask some of my MK ladies if they know what to use. Have not done punch lace so am not sure… I’ll get back to you.

  • Hi Joan,

    My sources say they use either polyester overlocker thread in the same colour as the yarn or one lady said she used a good quality sewing machine thread and has not had any problems with laundering her garments afterwards.

    Hope that’s helped.

    Gabrielle

  • Joan Powell:

    Hi Gabrielle, I tried the punchcard lace with some overlocker thread which knitted stocking stitch well but not punchcard lace (Card 15). I’ll keep on trying though with another punchcard to see if that makes a difference. Generally all I get is large holes and then it falls off the machine. Thank the ladies you spoke to for their tips. Regards Joan

  • Joan Powell:

    Hi Gabrielle

    After endless tries at getting the punchcard lace to work I am now convinced that my carriage settings may be wrong. When I was taught to use my machine I was told to ignore the instruction manual and just use the teacher’s notes. Now this is a very confusing thing to tell a new student but hey ho. However I didn’t get to the lace lesson because of family duties so I followed the manual. I have my Russell Levers on (Left) I and (Right) II, my arm levers on the triangle shape and my side levers on the triangle shape. Could either you or one of your ladies confirm these are the right settings or tell me what settings I should use for punchcard lace? Your help would be really appreciated.

    Regards

    Joan

  • Hi Gabrielle

    Recently i have inherited a Singer Memomatic Knitting machine from my aunt.
    It is complete and ok, but, it has NO instructions manual so I can´t use it.
    I am desperately searching for it on the internet, but i couldn´t find it
    yet.
    I would be so happy if I find it.
    Thanks, in advance, for any information you could give me.

    Regards

    Nanci

  • Hi, just google “Singer Memomatic knitting machine manual” there is a website that sells them – just can’t recall what the name is offhand

  • Rhonda Herbert:

    For ravel cord I have bought braided fishing line. There are a variety of weights and essential the fibre strands are dense so unraveling of line does not happen. A suggestion is you burn and pinch ends before use. This way ravel cord is cheaper by the metre.

  • What a great idea! Thanks for the tip Rhonda!

  • Just google ‘knitting machine manual’. there is an online website that has manuals in PDF format – that’s how I got one for my empisal KH680L – it also came without a manual.

    Gabrielle

  • Jessica:

    Hi,

    I’m a beginner knitter, I have done some hand knitting and have recently been given a memo-matic knitting machine (looks just like the photos above).
    I’m trying to make my way through the instructions but some terminology is beyond me on some patters. Any idea where I could get a simple vest pattern in order to get use to using the punch cards?
    Any help would greatly appreciated,

    Jess

  • Hi Jess,

    There is a book of vests patterns for the memomatic. The last book in the series – number 15 I think. try ebay.com.au – they frequently pop up there.

  • Suzi:

    I have just bought a Singer memo matic 321. It looks in very good order, but the left hand memory bank will not turn. The right one is fine. I can’t find anything to help me trouble shoot this in the instruction manual – can anyone suggest what I might do next?

  • The drums on Singers are notorious for sticking and getting clogged with dried grease and fluff. You need to dunk the carriage in a methylated spirits bath to clean the drums BUT make sure you remove all plastic components first!! Otherwise, try your local knitting or machine-knitting guild for a contact who will service it for you. In Brisbane I get mine done by a member of the Queensland Machine Knitters Guild. If not in Brisbane, try Ravelry.com – Aussie Machine Knitters Group – they have contacts for Guilds all around Australia.

  • Rhonda Herbert:

    Back again. This is such a nice site to visit. Last July 2010 I picked up a Singer 321. Nice machine until I found the main carriage did not work. I inspected the placing of parts and found that by comparing the carriage left wheel against the right wheel there was something wrong with the left wheel. Placing the carriage onto the bed so the only the one wheel engaged the back teeth on the carriage into the slotted metal bar on the bed which sits just above the runner on the carriage it proved that the wheel on the left had a fault, it would not run at all. The wheel on the right moved easily and almost took the whole carriage until the left wheel tried to engage the with the bar. My problem was that the wheel which drives the carriage across the knitting bed was crossed up in a very bad way. This was only on one side.
    Very gently and having removed ANY interruption possibilities the main carriage was undone until left-hand bits and right-hand bits were off and the metal central carriage was bare. It is not hard to do and you only need screw drivers with correct head types, Phillips or flat, and a firm grip to undo and do up the screws.
    Any fear here and a close-up photo and enlarged print of what you do will solve most problems. So, so gently, no frustration allowed, I inspected the placing of parts and found that with a little gentle touch I could move and sort out the messed up wheel using a little ‘mirror’ thinking (comparing the left wheel to the right wheel that was in proper order). Some grease had remained and I decided that extra machine grease was not needed but if it was I would have bought it from the Auto shop as special machine grease for sealed unit use. It is special stuff and vaseline just will not do the same job, it will heat up in our summer heat and run onto knitting and damage all your work. Gently I replaced the parts in the reverse order that I had removed parts and trialed the movement on a empty knitting machine bed. Great success and it has worked without fault ever since, I use it for intarsia and all knitting patterns without a problem. A intarsia carriage, AG10, will allow a plain knit in 8 ply on this machine at the correct tension and plenty of tension variety to make any picture knitting you choose to do, tension swatch recommended though.

  • cherie:

    hi there everyone
    ‘i have purchased one of these knittting machines and like all good things this old there is no user manual now i have googled utubed and all the other things to try and get hold of one even emailed the singer peeps but to no use can anybody please tell me where to get a user manual or operating manual so i can at least give this a go
    thanxs for your time
    cherie from rotorua

  • cherie:

    the
    machine is a singer memo-matic 322

  • Hi, I just found your website, and this post. My mother in law has given me one of these knitting machines (singer 322) but I can’t get it together properly. I have the manual but the bit with the two brushes won’t sem to go into the bit that goes back and forth in the way that the photo says they should. I would love some help, if you are able to. Feel free to email, if you think you can help I would really appreciate it, thnks

  • Mags:

    Hi, I just bought a Singer 729 and the right wheel is not turning freely like the left. Gabrielle can you please give me some info on how to remove the plastic parts if I am to dunk in mets, or how to disassemble to replace the wheel itself. All comments appreciated thanks

  • I have never been able to remove the plastic parts myself so I just gave up and got a local lady to service it for me. Her name is Joan Salmond and she’s in Brisbane. If you go to http://www.qcmka.com – you can see her contact details. She can give you some advice on how to service your machine yourself. Otherwise, try your local machine knitting group of you’re not in Queensland – there’s several around Australia – just google. Good luck! :) Gabrielle

  • Ellen Errey:

    Hi Everyone

    Just got my old memomatic 321 out of mothballs. Does anyone know where I could go for lessons in Sydney.

  • vikky:

    HI i need help on how to find someone to give me lesson on my singer 321 i just cant use it its all there put i need help to get going wont to make dog jackets pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  • Dear Vikky,

    Try http://www.qcmka.org – Qld Combined Machine Knitters.

  • Hello, Try googling for the NSW machine knitter’s guild.

  • I can’t help without seeing the problem. You’re welcome to take photos, otherwise try to obtain some help from your local MK guild.

  • try ebay.com or ebay.com.au

  • Patricia Murphy:

    I to have a 321 singer knitting machine but I need a new or used main carriage can you help me get one oh and some punch cards (not blank) and a ribber as well thank you P murphy

  • Try ebay.com.au for used parts or your local machine knitter’s guild.

  • Greer:

    Hi Gabrielle I really appreciate your time in answering questions about the 322 – I have just bought one and while it is not in as good condition as yours it did seem to be OK (no manual but I was able to buy one for $5 from Knitting closet). I have never used a knitting machine before and am not sure of the relationship of elements as it works…

    It is though appearing to me that the carriage arm that was included with the machine is not the right one for this machine. It seems to hit the needles as you push the carriage… I am guessing the needles should run through the space above the bottom plate of the carriage arm – with the set-up I have they hit the edge of the plate as the needles extend out to their furthest in the knitting process (and especially when in position D when setting up)…The holes in the top of the carriage arm seem more square then the ones in the images of the manual??

    I had refurbished the sponge bar and thought I was ready to go but it seems not so – I would be most grateful if you or anyone else are able to confirm where the needles should go when passing through the carriage arm that will help me a lot …

  • You’re right – the needles are supposed to pass in and out freely between the bottom plate and the top part of the carriage. I have a similar problem with my empisal, but I just avoid having them fully extended in D position – not helpful to you I realise… Try ebay.com.au to see if you can get a replacement part specifically for the 322 – this may help. Also make sure all dials and levers are in the correct place for knitting. Ensure all levers and cogs inside the carriage are greased and working correctly – IE: not getting stuck in one position.

  • Hi Vikky. Where are you? I am in Brisbane. Try your local machine knitter’s guild for lessons if you are out of Brisbane. Go to my website – http://www.yarnover.com.au – for our contact details.

  • Try the NSW Machine Knitter’s Guild

  • Sorry, can’t help without seeing the problem. Try your local Machine Knitter’s Guild for advice/assistance/lessons.

  • Try ebay.com.au – often second-hand manuals on there for sale

  • Olga:

    Hello,
    Does anybody know a repairer for knitting machines in Sydney please?
    Olga

  • Rhonda:

    I can supply copies of the manual for the Singer 323 memomatic. $15.00 plus postage if anyone is interested.

  • Caroline:

    Rhonda – I’d be interested in a copy (‘cos I’m lazy, and it saves finding and printing it out myself : -)
    How do you want to do this? I can publish a slightly obfuscated email address here, so you can contact me, or perhaps ask Gabrielle to put us in touch privately?

  • Jo:

    Hi, I just purchased a Singer 321, I’m eager to get knitting up my dreams!
    If there is an experienced person close to the Parramatta area who would be interested in looking over the machine and giving me a few lessons please do contact me.
    Jo

  • Hi Jo,

    Google the NSW Machine Knitter’s Guild. They will be able to assist you.

    Regards,

    Gabrielle

  • Gary Owens:

    Rhonda:
    January 15, 2014 at 8:17 am
    I can supply copies of the manual for the Singer 323 memomatic. $15.00 plus postage if anyone is interested.

    Is Rhonda’s help still available for this manual? If so, how can I pay her.
    Thank you in advance.
    Gary.

  • Free Instruction manual on this web page

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