Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Updated Whitening Formula

I have used this on knitting machines, garter carriages, needle pushers, transfer and latch tools and they all come out like they were when they were  made.  All you need is a few basic ingredients and sunshine.  Just remember to remove the plastic items from the machine and or whatever it is attached too as this is meant only for plastic that has been discolored/yellowed from exposure to UV light.  This will not harm stainless steel but will oxidize reactive metals i.e. aluminum, tin, lead and etc.

If you need more information, advice and or encouragement please don't hesitate to email me.  I really like helping people rejuvenate their precious knitting machines to a brand new condition.


1 - Cup 40 Volume Clear Hair Peroxide (purchase at a beauty supply )

1 - Tablespoon Xanthan Gum powder (Wal-Mart Super Center has it in the baking aisle) - used by folks who avoid gluten, a thickening agent that does not need heat

½ - Teaspoon Glycerin (again Wal-Mart or pharmacy in the vitamin area) - this is optional - it is used to help the solution "stick" to the plastic

½-1 - Teaspoon powdered hair lightner - I have used Basic White (Clairol) and Blondor (Wella) - both available in a beauty supply - they are sold in single use packets which will last a long time as so little is used, any brand will work

In a blender, pour in all of the above, blend for approximately 5- 10 seconds.  The mixture is done.  It wont harm the metal blade in the blender as they are stainless steel.

I applied to the surfaces of the plastic using latex gloves (hair peroxide is a much stronger version of the one we use on minor cuts) and a silicone pastry brush. Once all areas were well covered, I either placed them in a zip-lock bag or wrapped them in kitchen plastic wrap (to repent drying). Now for the important step...place in the sun! The UV rays that caused the yellowing will now act as the catalyst to remove the yellowing. After an hour in the sun, the difference was incredible. I check for "dry" spots and reapplied if needed. The "whitening" process took 2- 4 hours depending on how yellow the piece was. The items can also be placed under a UV light indoors, not a black light.  When all of the yellow is gone wash the plastic in a mild dish detergent, rinse and dry well.

Note:  For areas on carriage covers and etc. that are "set-in" to the beige/white plastic, (usually these are tan, grey or other color) I cover those with blue painters tape then apply the whitener.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Don't Let This Happen To You

Hi, it's been too long, hope everyone is having a nice summer.

Recently, a friend here in Las Vegas (a machine knitter) had her friend from Los Angeles drop off two-(2) knitting machines for me to help her sell and two-(2) others are mine to keep if I wanted them.  The ones she is looking to sell (due to moving out of the country) are a Brother 260 & Brother 930.  These machines purchased from a rather well known dealer in the Los Angeles area.  I've heard "things" about this dealer and had a not so good experience myself a few years back (another story).

She ordered the machines and did not open them.  She decided to weave instead, ordered looms and never went back to machine knitting (she was returning to machine knitting).

When I picked them up I too did not open them, I got them home and this is what I found on the 260:
Yellowed and dirty
You can see the original "white" is under the row counter
More filth 
When I took off the tool compartment cover, it too was white inside
The timing belt will only move about three inches before it jams, rust all over the machine inside and out (even the carriage is rusted), dirt everywhere (but that is an easy fix).

So, being the clean freak that I am, I took it apart, washed what could be and whitened the plastic,  The transfer tool is now rustless (first rusted one I have seen).  The plastic pieces, buttons, knobs and etc. are all back to their original color.  I am working on the timing belt issue.

During the process of whitening I have changed my recipe and I find it works so much better.  If you need to whiten your machine I can email you the whitening update along with instructions.  I doubt I can get this working the way it should due to all the rusted areas & the timing belt jamming issue.

Please, buy only from a reputable dealer.  There are many honest and trustworthy folks in the machine knitting community.  Know what you are buying before you hand over your money!

I am preparing to teach at the Carole's Country Knits at Rocking Horse Farm seminar on 09/18 & 09/19.  I have also been asked to participate in next years Finger Lakes seminar.  If you are in the area stop by, the more the merrier!