Passap Information

Background

In November 2018, I accidentally came across a working e6000 with Electra 3000a and 4-colour changer (including U100e transfer lock, Tricofit cast-on/bind-off lock, and Picto intarsia lock) for $250, an offer I couldn’t refuse even though I prefer manual patterning to punchcard or computer patterning. Once I got the machine home and began to review the manual, pattern book, and internet, I became aware of how poor the documentation is and how little information is available online. The first 2 weeks were frustrating trial-and-error learning, but I persevered and managed to master the basics, ultimately producing incredibly rich fabric. I am now on the cusp of garment creation. As my knowledge accumulates, I wanted to add information to the internet to aid others on the same difficult mission of understanding the Passap.

Learning

It’s important to realize that the Passap is its own craft, totally different from Japanese machines even though they both produce knit stitches. Very little of my Japanese knitting machine knowledge transferred to the Passap. I had to learn to use an entirely new kind of knitting machine, one that has its own computer language and machine jargon. For example, carriages are called locks and underneath the needles of both beds are smaller needle-like objects called pushers. Strippers are used instead of weights, although they can be removed and replaced with weights. It will take a little while to familiarize yourself with the machine and its languages.

The Passap is FRAGILE. Needles, tools, strippers, and needle channels break so easily. I can’t believe how easily. Be prepared to change broken needles during the learning process; however, they are surprisingly easy to change, easier than Japanese machines. When learning, any time something isn’t working correctly, do not FORCE. A little force goes a long way to breaking something. Needle channels can become bent with lock jams and force. Locks jam easily. Needle channels are NOT easy to change; though they can be changed, a lot of disassembly has to occur to change out a channel. If you end up with a bent needle channel, the lock will jam like it’s hitting a wall every time it attempts to pass that needle. Trying to force it past will only worsen the bent channel. See below diagnostics table for an alternate solution to replacing a needle channel.

Knit/knit (k/k) on the Passap is very picky about yarn gauge. While it is possible to knit a DK yarn on the Passap, it is difficult to do so in k/k technique and can cause jams, dropped stitches, and a huge mess that is painful to untangle from the needles. I have had the most success knitting laceweight and cobweb yarns on the Passap in k/k, but even laceweight can make it difficult to pull the locks through all those needles. I have had much more success, ease of knitting, and greater variance of yarn by using 1x1 technique. Stitch patterns and knit techniques can be mixed and matched beyond what is outlined in the pattern book. I don’t fully understand this yet, but I am currently exploring k/k tuck stitch patterns knitted in 1x1 rib technique. So far, all the k/k-technique-based patterns I have paired with 1x1 technique have successfully created a surprise pattern. I hope to document some of these combinations at a later time.

Casting on requires a tighter stitch setting than the actual knitting. Be prepared to cast on at a tight stitch setting and gradually increase the stitch size until you are at the size for the knitting.

It’s incredible what a good oiling will do for the needles and pushers, greatly improving the operation of the locks across the bed. Oil each needle and pusher individually and air knit all so the oil is spread well.

Blue strippers can be used instead of orange strippers. If strippers are damaged and/or causing trouble, just remove them and use weights instead. As mentioned, you can even remove the annoying end springs when using weights. I use a combination of weights and strippers, though lately, when working single bed on the front bed, I use only weights and no black strippers (something is wrong with my black strippers). Be sure, when using weights, that the strippers are NOT IN THE LOCK on the first couple of passes or the cast on comb/weights will cause a nasty jam because the strippers will be forced into a crash with the cast on comb. Relieve yourself of most jams by setting the locks to GX/GX, which is the way to free pass the locks over the bed without interacting with the needles or pushers.

I imagined to recreate some of the Passap techniques on one of my double-bed Japanese machines, but it quickly became apparent that this is not a readily available task. The automatic patterning abilities of the Passap are on the front bed, which corresponds to the ribber bed on the Japanese machine. Japanese machine patterning is typically controlled on the main bed, which corresponds with the back bed of the Passap. If one attempts to do fancy tuck stitches on a double bed Japanese machine, the tucks will be hidden in the fabric instead of showing on the public side. One would have to manually work the tuck stitches on the ribber bed for them to be seen.

If you end up with a bent needle channel, you can file it down instead of changing it out. Use a small, aggressive file to smooth out the edges of the divot until the needle can pass through the channel again.

Diagnostics

An attempt to capture issues as I work through learning the Passap e6000.

Problem Cause Possible Solutions
Loops at right of knitting Bad Stripper Use weights instead or replace stripper (it is possible to completely remove strippers and used weights instead, you can also remove the end springs when using weights); also replacing strippers can do wonders.
Lock jams hard, not caused by yarn Bad needle channel Replace needle channel or file down indentation so channel is smooth again; make sure the bent needle channel isn't pushing its neighboring channel in, which will cause that needle to jam also.

This page is a work in progress. Last updated December 3, 2018.