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Tale of the Pinkie

Battered thrift store shopping cart in front of dumpster In late summer, Bill found a vintage Passap Duomatic, or Pinkie, disassembled and dumped in a battered shopping cart at the local St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Store.

Being a husband always on the look out for a wifely present, he promptly pushed it to the pricing dock and crammed it into his Honda Civic.

His timing was perfect.

Not a week before I had responded to a Craigslist ad and was generously given a more recent Passap Duomatic 80. It was in great condition. All it needed was a thorough deep cleaning to remove the sticky old oil. I was too nervous to take it apart because I wasn’t convinced I could put it back together.

Then the Pinkie arrived and became our guinea pig.

Bill and I worked together reviving the machine. He disassembled.  When we got stuck, I searched the internet for solutions.

It was time consuming. I cleaned and oiled over 1,100 needles, pushers, needle channels, nut, bolts, washers, and various plastic pieces. Towards the end I got smart and made an assembly line so the whole family could spend "quality" time together, rubbing an oil cloth on each metal piece.

pink passap duomatic pinkie knitting machine Now that the Pinkie is back together, I really should sell it and use the Duomatic 80.

But it’s pink.

And Bill found it all by himself.

And it was born in 1961, a very good year.

Maybe I’ll keep it a little bit longer, just to be sure.


I learned more about a Passap from taking it apart than I ever would have from knitting a beginning pattern. Going through the process gave me the opportunity to see the machine up close on my terms and get over being intimidated by it. It was well worth the time.

We wouldn’t have attempted the project without the Be Your Own Passap Paramedic book by Michael Becker. When we got stuck, the members of Yahoo Groups PassapKnits site were wonderful. A big thanks to Pat at PassapKnits for guiding us through the lock which was rusted shut and out of alignment. We would not have been successful without her.

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October 30, 2006


1 Enka { 07.25.08 at 12:44 pm }

Hello Kathryn, I am not yet ready to try out miss Pinkie, but looking at it I am puzzled by the one-pole- 4-color yarn tension unit. I have tried to thread it different ways – but none make sense and some totally illogical.
I have not been able to locate any infos on these nor have seen any picture in all Passap related site . Passapknit or Passapclub neither.
So it has a one-metal pole and 4-units at the top with metal hoops and each of the unit has one long antenna – a hole at the tip but no short antennas like a Singer or a Brother nothing on the metal support pole.
Do you know how to thread this weirdo.
I saw your feed on the sponge bar (super) thanks -I will try this. Don’t know why my sponge bars get flat so quick on my Singer and yet I do not oil that part of the bed.

I like your site and your way of showing things. Thanks.


2 Kathryn { 07.25.08 at 1:13 pm }

I looked through my old Passap reference books and I found that the Pinkie over the years had two different 4 color changers.

The older style of the four color changer had an extra thin wire hanging off the back of the tension dial as well as a metal eyelet immediately after the yarn goes through the tension dial. You started threading there. The “newer” style skipped these wires and is suppose to thread just like the Duo 80.

The reference book that has the original threading diagrams is called Basic Course For The Passap by Amanda Van Der Merwe. It is long out of print. You would have to find a used copy.

I wish I could just take step by step pictures for you. My pinkie only came with the original single tension mask with plastic clip to hold the yarn.

3 Pearl { 03.01.09 at 2:09 am }

Can you tell me what thickness of yarn pinkie will knit please

4 Kathryn { 03.01.09 at 1:33 pm }

The Passap Pinkie is similar to Japanese standard gauge machines. It likes very fine laceweight up to a sock weight (fingerling) yarn

5 Pam { 02.22.10 at 7:23 pm }

I just bought a “Pinkie”; it is missing what I think is a key part. I’ve found the Passap Canada website and can hopefully purchase the missing parts. I’m wondering if anyone knows of any other sources for parts? I love this site! Very informational.

6 Kathryn { 02.22.10 at 7:41 pm }

I’ve bought parts from Passap Canada and was very pleased with the transaction.

Depending on what you need, you may want to check my knitting for sale site. I do have some Pinkie and Duo 80 parts.

7 Rose Gamblin { 06.03.10 at 5:24 pm }

I have a Passap Duomatic (pink) I don’t know if all the parts are there but was planning to sell it at my yard sale for $25. Is that a good price?

8 Catherine { 07.20.10 at 11:25 pm }

my mom just bought me a passap mine says switzerland and I pretty sure it’s pink! it has alot of parts with it including the antenna thingy, it doesn’t appear to have been used much as the accessory box is still with it, unfortunatly the instructions and projects are not 🙁
My mom Paid $35 for it at a silent auction at the Salvation Army in Baker City Oregon if that helps you.
Does anyone have the books for miss pinky or some scanned copies they are willing to share?
I would love to learn to use her but she scares the heck out of me, I have 2 table top ones of a different brand that I never got to master yet, and then here comes this one! But I want to keep her..
So any help you could give would be appreciatied,
(webmaster’s note: message edited to remove email address)


9 rifyfky { 08.11.10 at 5:59 am }

in sertion of a new machine passap diomatik 80 swiss made

10 Jay Dee { 08.30.10 at 9:45 am }

*Rose – Yes! $25 is a great price, even if you parted it out. BUT the worth of anything is the joy it brings you. If you like to tinker, again you got a bargain. If you don’t and can’t find someone nearby that can clean, set-up and give you some orientation, then you have my sympathy… You can find the manual linked from this very site at “”
*Catherine – download the instructions and walk through the set-up. Folks are helpful, but just the walk-through will let you know if you have all the parts and pieces!
Sez the guy who’s been shopping and wishing for one for 3 years but still using his Singer 320 and LK-150 when he’s not hand-knitting!

11 Philisiwe Khanyile { 09.06.10 at 9:09 pm }

I would like to find out where can I get these parts for the passap duomatic 80: lock, yarn guide, colour changer and the stand

12 Rebecca Ruiz { 09.16.10 at 2:53 pm }

A lady at our local library was looking for info regarding a “Passap Switzerland WH-1940-A 8562” knitting machine (they were guessing) that was donated to our local senior citizen’s center. Anything anyone can add? In the meantime, I will keep looking…rmr

13 Ann Roberts { 01.17.11 at 6:19 am }

Hi i am looking for a pink passap and was woundering if you know of any for sale? or would you be selling yours looking forward to reply
Ann north wales

14 Dianne { 09.02.11 at 2:52 am }

I am looking for Amanda Van der Merwe Machine knitting book for pullover. Can anyone help

15 Dalene { 01.20.12 at 8:24 am }

Hi, is there anyone in South Africa that will be able to help me. I am also looking for Amanda van der Merwe’s book for the track suits as well as the beginning courses on the designers/beginners course. I was of the first people that took lessons from her when se first began. I have bought an old pink passap still in very good condition and would like to start knitting again. I have an empisal PB8 knitting machine with ribber and accessories still in very good condition for sale if there is anyone interested. You can make an offer.

16 ganiat { 02.11.12 at 2:39 am }

i am in need of passap duomatic 80,pls if anyone have for sale at a good price.thank you.

17 daniela { 09.19.12 at 11:25 am }

boa noite… tenho uma passap doumatic 80 e preciso de peças novas alguem me pode indicar algum sitio/loja ???


18 sheila smith { 07.31.13 at 2:33 pm }

thank you for the information on the deep cleaning of this machine
i recently bought one second hand and it needs this type of cleaning.
how often do you need to do this

19 Debbie Parker { 08.02.13 at 4:19 pm }

What is the model number of the pink passap duomatic? I just recieved one from one of my Aunts, and I have been looking up information on this machine. Were all of the pink ones manufactured in 1961?

20 Inge { 10.15.13 at 5:21 pm }

Is there any one out there that Has in extra sleeve for the Card Reader Passap 6000 its the sleeve or envelope where you put your Pattern that you drew up with the 6000 Electroo special pen on the special papper and down load it thruh the reader

Thank you

21 Linda { 12.09.13 at 8:10 am }

eBay sells parts

22 Helen { 03.10.14 at 6:55 am }

Well done Kathryn and Bill !! I had a “Pinkie” in the 70’s, bought from my Mom in law. Loved it to bits. Eventually had to sell it :-((((

They are great knitting machines.I have always missed it.

Great work on managing to resuscitate your poor little “orphan”. What a challenging job. Hope you took before and after pics !!


23 meire renata { 04.07.14 at 8:11 am }

estou escrevendo para lhe perguntar sobre a passap 6000 meu leitor de cartela faz a contagem só quando esta sem cartela mais quando ponho ele não lê o que será que esta acontecendo

24 M Mudiwa { 04.21.14 at 11:22 am }

Am looking for passap and empisal knitting machines not in use. I service, repair & sale to earn extra cash. Am in Harare Zimbabwe















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