Toyota 787

Remember me telling you about the Toyota 787 that I bought from Ebay and it never arrived? Well, a lady called Karen contacted me and very kindly offered me hers, I just had to arrange the courier. What could I say? I arranged for it to be collected and it’s now sitting on my knitting table ready for action. My blog readers are so kind. Thank you Karen, and thank you too Anne for the things you sent me for the Singer.

I thought the Knit Copy pattern charting device that Anne sent me for the Singer might have worked worked with the Toyota but unfortunately it doesn’t so I have bought a Knit Tracer which hasn’t yet arrived. I think the two devices are more or less the same so I shouldn’t have too much trouble getting to grips with it.

I won an Ebay auction for a ribber which goes with this machine and I’m waiting for that to arrive too. After having a look at the manual which I found online, I have a feeling there will be a piece missing from the ribber as I can’t see it in the photo. It attaches to the main carriage then the rib carriage connector screws onto it. I don’t know if the ribber will work without it so I am hoping it will be among the bits that come with the ribber. If not I don’t know what I’ll do but I’ll worry about that later.

I’ve tested a couple of the punchcards out on the machine and it seems to be working OK. I did some tuck and some fair isle without any bother. I created a Knitware pattern for a plain short sleeved top and have knitted all the pieces. It  knitted just fine and the carriage moves very smoothly.

You know I said the Singer KE2400 was my new favourite machine? Well I might have changed my mind now, my new favourite machine might just be the Toyota 787.


This entry was posted in machine knitting. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Toyota 787

  1. Morag Walker says:

    Hi Susy That’s great I’m glad you got one eventually!! Please share with us your patterns and any knitting. It’s very exciting getting a new machine and seeing how it works!!

    • susyranner says:

      I will be sharing what I learn, no doubt there’ll be some temper tantrums along the way.

  2. Geeta Dutt says:

    You will love it! It has the smoothest carriage I’ve ever used. The buttons are so useful for certain patterns, and not having to punch cards for those simple patterns is so good. It’s a very unique machine.

    • susyranner says:

      It feels like a high quality machine, I can’t wait to try everything out.

  3. Maureen says:

    Happy for you that you got a Toyota after your bad courier experience with the one you bought off ebay. I see it has push buttons as well as punchcards. How does that work? Does it give a bigger variety of patterns? Hope there are no parts missing from the ribber. Looking forward to seeing your work on it. As a side note, I have managed some machine knitting time too. Not a lot but anything is better than nothing.

    • susyranner says:

      You can do the patterning with just the punchcards or buttons but you can also use both at the same time. I haven’t tried that yet but I intend to. Good to hear you’ve managed to use your machine and as you say, anything is better than nothing.

  4. Karen Heggs says:

    That’s brilliant Susan! If anyone could make it sing it would be you. It was wated sitting in my attic. I am a Brother girl but have just bought a Silver Reed SK280 for its lace function for a brilliant price. But have to get used to Russell levers etc! Happy knitting!!

  5. KathNewton says:

    Delighted you are finding your feet.

    About the charting device. You can always knit your sample pieces on your chosen machine for knitting. Stretch the piece and then let it rest. Perhaps even overnight.
    Measure and note down stitch and row details also the Knitting Tension used and the make and name of yarn for future use of same yarn.

    Go to your other Knitting machine with a charting device attached or built in – Draw your garment shapes on special sheet or paper if the charting device uses paper. You usually draw half the front/half the back next to each other. Choose the card strip which corresponds to your stitch gauge/tension and put in slot. Dial in your row details.

    Set Charting device on its start line – I usually start my garment pieces at the point just above the rib/welt and don’t bother drawing the welts at the bottom. Set R/C on 000.

    You then “knit” the garment pieces WITHOUT ANY YARN in the machine. The tension the carriage is set at is completely irrelevant as the charter moves your drawings at the speed you set. You can do this silently as you don’t even need the empty needles in use.

    On your notepad or on the paper in the charting device write down the R/C reading when you reach the first shaping. Set the R/C to 000 and carry on. Jot down on your pad or your charter’s paper the Row number and increases of decreases ie. Row 000 Left Cast off 7 sts /// Row 001 Right Cast off 7 sts and so on. With raglan shaping you would carry on to neck shaping marking down row number L end decreases and R end decreases etc,, You can add on the number of stitches too if you want every so often as a check. With set in sleeves once you get to the straight part of the edges again write down the row number and reset R/C to 000 and knit till next shaping starts Write down the R/C reading and reset the R/C to 000

    Do exactly the same with the neck shaping but mark both back and front neck increases /decreases as you go. That way you only need to do that part once.

    If sleeves are identical you only need to do this once. if the sleeve tops are different shaped (ie one for left and one for right) just make sure you have the R/C on 000 when you start from where the sleeves differ. You’ll have to draw a complete sleeve but only have the draw the other sleeve top from where they differ.

    For Hand Knitters / and perhaps a more in depth description for Machine Knitters.

    Hand knitters can also use the KR6 or even the KR7 both of which use ordinary paper. They don’t actually need a dry run. Once they get their heads around the size to reduce their garment pieces to and dial in the row gauge/tension and put the right stitch strip in they can can knit and just flick the lever with a finger when they finish a row.

    In fact if they know how long their knitting is to be from welt to the first shaping they can actually knit that length and then just wind the Knit Radar to the start of the shaping and then start flicking the lever. In fact they could draw both sides of a garment back and both sides of a garment front just from the start of the armhole shaping to the top and would only need to refer to the charting device from then on.

    The problem is of course calculating the size to draw a garment piece with the Knit Radars not using full size diagrams.

    This is easily worked out by working it out backwards by knitting your sample piece wider than 5″ so you can count how many sts per inch your hand knitting produces that you need for a five inch square for instance, Find the stitch scale strip used for the stitch gauge your sample piece has produced. (On a full size scale charter you’d just find the strip that’s sts matched your knitting but we can’t do that here). Put the stitch scale in the KR6. Dial into the KR6 the row gauge/tension.

    Mark on the paper using the stitch scale alone as a guide the number stitches left of zero and how many right of zero that make up the number required for 5″ of your knitting and mark the beginning and end of the stitches on the paper. Join up the marks with a straight horizontal line. This line will measure a lot less than 5″. it is the bottom of the square.

    Using the line as the base of a square draw lines up at each side and a horizontal line across the top so you have a 5″ square. Don’t worry if the square is very small.

    Put the paper in the KR6 and wind the paper till the bottom of the square is on the start line and cast on in some scrap yarn and hand knit a few rows, change to main yarn and knit 1 row, operate the lever of the device so the paper moves down one row.

    As we are knitting a square there are no increases/decreases. Keep working a row and moving the lever. When the top of the square disappears from view change back to your scrap yarn and knit a few rows.

    Does your main colour knitting measure 5″ both ways. if it does you have the right stitch scale and the right row settings.

    Now take out the paper from the charting device and measure the actual drawn square. How big is it. Is it a two and a half inch square. This means you need to draw your garment pieces half the size you want to knit.

    Or is it a one and a quarter inch square. This means you need to draw your garment pieces one quarter the size you want to knit.

    Hopefully your second hand Knit Radar came with the basic pattern charts or you can pick up some charts on ebay. These would give you an instant idea of how big a 30″ sweater front should be drawn for instance.

    The KR7 (Knit Radar 7) works the same way as the KR5 but can fit wider paper and has a longer stitch scale slot. KR7 printed pattern paper sheets are therefore wider so cannot fit in the KR6.

    I am not sure if the size of the garments pieces on the bought printed KR5 pattern sheets can be directly used in the KR7. Perhaps someone else can let everyone know.

    The KR5 being an older model should be cheaper on ebay and is small enough to pop in a messenger bag to carry around with you. I use A4 sized paper in mine. This is the most commonly used size of printer paper in the UK 210mm or 8.25 inches wide and just over 11.5 inches deep. The US equivalent is a just little wider but shorter. So you can see how small the garment pieces are drawn when a large adult’s sweater back can be drawn on a sheet.

    Hope this helps everyone

    • susyranner says:

      I would never have thought of ‘air knitting’ it on another machine, what a good idea! I might have to put this into a post of its own so nobody misses it!
      Thanks for taking the time to type all this out. The Knit Radar part seemed a bit complicated at first but I re-read it and I think I understand now.

  6. KathNewton says:

    Sorry – I meant when you draw the upright lines at the ends of the squares base line and a horizontal line across the top you’ll have a square which REPRESENTS the scaled down version of the 5″ square.

  7. KathNewton says:

    Must be having November moments let alone September moments.

    Where I type KR5 I mean KR6.

    The KR5 was a really old Knitmaster charting device – I have one that arrived in an ebay job lot – IT WAS ACTUALLY MADE IN CAST IRON. Mine still works. It is the same size as the KR6 which was made in plastic and it can use the same printed pattern sheets as the KR6 and vice versa.

  8. Sylvia says:

    So happy for you Suzy. I am excited to see what you make and your videos on the 787. I have one and need to see what it can do. BTW, do you have the lace carriage? Replacement sponge bars online are wider than the original that came with the machine. In order to use the lace carriage you will need to use the extension rails and those will not fit with the wider sponge bars. I hope you have an original that you can rebuild if you plan to use the lace carriage.

    • susyranner says:

      I do have the original sponge bar which I have refurbished so hopefully I’ll have no trouble with the extension rails.

  9. maggi bloice says:

    Hi suzy

    This is a nice machine with loads of fun things built in – just remembervtobpush thatvclutch lever down as pervthe book – I have the ribber and its seperate simulknit facility, however my lace carriage although like new just does not work and bends the soft needles terribly – makes me wonder if this was one of the first transfer lace carriages as the needles dont seem to be springy enough when transferring. Mine is getting damaged by the humid climate here and not being used enough. Have fun with your latest aquisition.


    • susyranner says:

      I’ll have to be careful with the lace carriage, I would hate to damage anything. I haven’t had chance yet to try out the push button patterning but I’m looking forward to finding out what can be achieved with it.

  10. Jewel Nelson says:

    Best ever present!

  11. Dawn McHugh says:

    Found your blog the other day and just wanted to say you have inspired me to set my machine up again, I have a Toyota 901 with a ribber, my mum used to demo knitting machines when they first came out knitmaster 100 we had at home so I cut my teeth on knitting machines, I got it all running today it hasnt been used for 2 years as we have been moving house, it all seems to be working fine, I have done a bit of a trial refresher, so glad I keep instruction books, tomorrow I will be knitting socks on it, 🙂

    • susyranner says:

      I could do with knitting some more socks but there’s too many other things I want to try first so they’ll have to wait a while.

Comments are closed.