First attempts with the Passap

Have I mentioned that I really don’t like the Passap Duomatic 80 manual? It’s horrid! It doesn’t cover how to cast on, a technique I would think most new Passap owners would need to know. It covers how to thread the tension mast but not how to get the yarn from the eyelet to actually producing knitted fabric. Very frustrating! It goes from telling you how to thread to telling you to start a mitten but apparently the yarn is supposed to cast on magically by itself, because Passap sure didn’t waste time explaining how to do that.

I have another manual, not put out by Passap but intended to teach beginning Passap skills, and it’s just as bad. The first page says to “do the tubular cast on as usual.” Anyone see a flaw in the logic of that? Page one of the beginning level manual, and it assumes you already know how to use the machine. D’oh!

I’m going to have to watch the video that came with it, but I have to find a VCR somewhere first. No one I know owns one anymore, so my attempts to borrow one have panned out. I think the library has a VHS to DVD conversion setup, so one of these days I’ll see if they’ll let me convert it (or if that would violate copyright). If only skills for the Japanese machines transferred to the Passap machines!

On the good side, though, I have lots of Passap patterns. The machine came with a box of old Passap pattern books, and while lots of the styles are outdated, many of them are classics that I can still use (assuming I ever find instructions for casting on, that is). I had a good laugh at the 80s shoulder pads and pastel sweater coats, but also found some pretty nice basic patterns like a sleeveless wrap dress.

Turns out that the orange strippers are missing from my machine – I just have the black ones – so I’ve ordered a pair from an online store. Either the woman I bought the machine from lied about all the parts being there or just wasn’t aware that they were missing (I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt and assuming the latter). Hope they get here soon!

45 thoughts on “First attempts with the Passap

  1. I have the same machine and haven’t yet tried to use it. I’ll caste about to see if I can find the tubular caste on technique. I know I’ve read about it a few years ago :)

      • Hi Linda
        It was a year ago almost when I posted a message so very surprised to have contact, perhaps it wasn’t meant for me. I have packed the duo away, I have numerous swatches but can’t ever see me knitting a garment. Swatches are lovely and I will back them ‘cut and sew’ style, and see if they will make a spread. I hope you are getting on better than I with your Passap. Regards beryl

  2. I think I found instructions for various cast on methods in a pamphlet (not the manual). I’ll see if they work this afternoon and report back.

    Thanks, Mary Beth! :)

  3. Hi also having problems with my Passap that I have inherited from my Mom. I would love to be able to just start but putting the machine together was an operation in itself. More guess than instruction. Now I have it together and cleaned needles all in place I’m scared I’m going to break something. Instruction Manual Yes I have one but so far have gathered it’s fine if you have had the beginning lessons on the machine but I havent so if you know of any help please let me know. How to clamp my machine to the base would be a good start!!!

  4. Hello!

    I may be the stupidest person on earth – I purchased a Passap 80 without ever having seen one of these assembled, and the huge number of books that came with it don’t even explain how to assemble it. I am in a fit of despair!

    So, now I know if I do figure out how to assemble it – I won’t even know how to cast on with their instructions……

    Did you manage to make sense of it?

  5. Michelle, I only managed because knittsings had detailed instructions on her blog. Unfortunately, her blog seems to be down right now. Assuming yours came with a stand, you can gently set the stand upside-down, then insert the legs. Then turn it over and make sure it’s sturdy. Then set the machine on top of the stand. There are some grooves that should line up to indicate when it’s centered where it should be.

    Their cast-on instructions are awful, aren’t they? The Japanese machines have detailed instructions from threading the yarn to actually getting the yarn onto the needles, but the Duo80 manual is so vague. I even watched the video and it doesn’t even zoom in to show you. Gah!

  6. Hello passap knitters, I started knitting last year on a Passap DM 80 and fully recognize the trouble you’re al having, I have experienced it myself.
    I now own a Passap E6000, the computer will tell me step by step what to do next. Never the less I will try to explain how to do it:

    Select the gauches as following: Back
    . front bed

    1=gauche working position
    . = gauche not in working position
    Handle in downwardposition.

    Once you have selected the gauches you knit one row from right tot left N/N
    (N on the back N on the front bed)
    Then you place the cast on comb, change the locks to CX/CX and knit two rows then change the locks again to N/N, place the orange strippers and knit one row.

    Sorry if my english is not all that good but hopefully this will get you started. There are many ways to make a nice cast on , this is just one of them. when I get home I will post some after checking my notes.

    The Netherlands.

  7. Thank you, Yvette! I’ll have to try that out as soon as I can.

    Also, I love your website. Packed with very useful information.

  8. I do not understand why you can’t read the manual. The threading is simple. You just go from the mast to the eyelet. The eyelet must be in the right place. The instructions for cast on are very well written. There are many different cast ons, but let’s go to the first one. Set up your needles with the racking handle down so that the first needle is on the left on the front bed and the next needle on the back bed is just to the right. Lets say you have 20 needles on the front and 20 on the back. Set your sititch size to 3.5 and knit across. If you are going to use a cast on comb, hang it now. I won’t go into all the details of racking or hanging weights. There is plenty of information about that. Now take your orange strippers out to avoid damaging them. Knit to the right 2 more rows. Now put your strippers back in. Then go on and knit your ribbing. I don’t like this cast on. I prefer the casting rack on which is basically the same but it is much neater.

    You guys want to do everything in a hurry, but it pays to read the difference in the different cast-on’s. There is so much information out there. I know, it is confusing sometimes because everyone writes it different. I just did a Bernadette Erkanovich pattern for beginners and she made it so simple, it was confusing to me. But if you take the time to read her notes, which are interspersed in her directions, that tend to confuse me because her notes come after the fact.

    What I did today because I am trying to teach someone is write it all out in a notebook for her. It actually helped me because I put her notes in the right places, not after the fact.

    I’ll use an example. She writes, Cast on ## needles, set up CX/CX etc, but then after you have done all that, a paragrah later she writes a note. The note should have come somewhere inbetween, not after you have done 90 rows and found out later.

    You know, we are all human and not all of us are good pattern writers.

    I’m not bragging in any way, but if you could see my closet and all the things I have given away, took time to learn the process. I have ripped and reknit, even I don’t know how much. This is not an easy process, it just depends on how much you want to do it or learn.

    I realize Passap Books leave a lot to be desired, but the basic books, especially the DM-80 book are better than the original. I started with the old Pinky Book, but I had a great teacher too.

    Ellie Jensen

  9. I can’t imagine why you would feel the need to be so rude, Ellie, but thanks for the taking the time to assist.

    In fact, I don’t have to do everything in a hurry, and I want to learn to do things properly from the start. Which is why, when I have an expensive piece of machinery, I want to know exactly how to operate it instead of guessing because the manual leaves out half the steps.

    I would be delighted to “just read the manual” but that’s exactly the problem: the DM 80 manual that I have is THE worst knitting machine manual I’ve ever seen. It does NOT cover casting on at all, period. It does show how to thread (which is self-explanatory anyway), but it doesn’t show casting on. At all. Maybe you have a different edition of the manual or something, but the one I have is horrible. I could guess, but if I’m wrong I take the risk of breaking a very expensive machine that I can’t afford to replace. I’ve even watched the video that comes with the machine, and I just had to laugh because when it gets to casting on, the camera is so far away from the machine that you can’t be certain what the demonstrator is doing.

    This is a moot point, because I know how to cast on now – I found cast-on instructions in another book (not put out by Passap) and they were helpful – but my hunch is that the manual is useful for people who used another Passap machine before the DM80. That’s why the manual takes such leaps, because they assume the readers know Passaps already. For someone who used only Japanese machines before, with their completely different system, it’s frustrating.

  10. I too am experiencing the most awful frustrating times with the Passap Manaual and the DVD which last command for cast on gives you LX front then commence cast on..Let me tell you nothing happens.I fortunately have aquired another Passap book, written by Eileeen Metcalf and the cast on instructions are very clear. However I am now on the neck of my garmentand& truly its a nightmare,really exasperated by this machine and I truly curse the day I bought it.Might add I have another working knitting machine which works well.

  11. Hi, I was doing some searches for the Passap and ran across your site–thank GOD someone else is having these issues. Definitely join the yahoo group PassapClub–there are some tutorials in the files section that Pat Groves put out there that show you how to do each cast on. Basically, here was my issue with the manual as well–it “forgets” to tell you that you have to manually manipulated the pushers or needles to start the cast on. So for instance, one of them requires you to first do every other needles and then when you come back across (left to right) you’ll need to have pushed all of the needles forward. They just sorta forgot to tell you that.

    So basically, once you choose your cast on type, you have to actually set the needles that way. Some of the cast ons are just back and across, some are actually 4 passes.

    The thing is, when Passaps were being sold new, dealers were required to give the owners 10 hours of initial training. The manuals assumed this and so just skipped over “the basics.”

    I’ve also heard that binding off is a real bitch, too…

  12. Oh, and after you figure out those “basics” check out the book:

    “A machine knitter’s guide to creating fabrics” by susanna E. Lewis and Julia Weissman. They actually tell you what the machine is doing and the “why” of it all.

  13. I think the reason the books and patterns are written that way is because when these machines were purchased new, they came with beginning lessons with the dealer. Without those initial lessons, I too would be lost using my E6000.

    I love my E6000 and continue to knit with it for many projects. I have the Creation 6 program but end up having an old outdated computer running it because it won’t run with the operating systems later than Windows 95. That is the only thing I use this computer for.

    I still believe there must be a way for me to make money with the machine but that hasn’t happened yet.

  14. Hi Ladies (and gentlemen?)

    I am keen to have a go at knitting. I have used a single bed machine many years ago, but remember admiring the lovely twin beds at some craft shows.

    A Passap Duomatic 80 is currently for sale in a charity auction. There is no manual, and unfortunately it is in pieces. Is it too much of a leap for a total novice knitter (who doesnt even understand what orange strippers are, I assume they aren’t used to peel oranges, and as for a gauche, gulp) ?

    I have seen how to assemble the stand and how to strip and recondition the beds on the knittsings blogg, and as I am technically minded I should be able to sort that side of things out. But I am keenly aware of my ignorance when it comes to all aspects of machine knitting. Can I learn on the Passap or is it just too advanced a machine?

  15. Hi…

    I have passap e6000, but all manuals i have is on holland and i don’t undersand.

    Pleace help me to find an english version.

    Thank you all for trying to help me.

  16. I need to change a needle on my Passap DM80 and cannot remember how. I am in the process of setting up the machine and cleaning it as I have not used it for a very long time. Can anyone help with istructions for changing only the needle?


    • on the front and back at the end there is a small hole in the silver bar. Poke something in it so the needle retaining bar starts to come out of the other end. When you have pulled it out past the needle you want to change, break off the head of the needle with pliers and pull the needle down and out gently from the bottom. Reverse to put the new needle in.

  17. Hi, Understand your confusion. Just sold my Duo80 to part fund purchase of a good Husqvarna SE sewing machine, but on doing more reading, regret I sold the Duo, &will buy another one later. I was a bit scared of it! Still in touch with its buyer, & feel more au fait now, sadly. I also knit on Brother machines. In the Passap Tuition Guide they give a pretty easy cast on: bring up alternate needles on both beds, last one on left on front bed, first one on right on back bed. Put handle UP. Using orange strippers, set lock on N/N, tension 1.5, knit I row. Set locks on CX/CX (circular), st. size 2.5, knit 4 rows.
    Set locks on N/N, st. size 2.5, knit 1 row. Then, for stocking stitch: change to black strippers, transfer all sts. to front bed, put back bed needles in non working position, & handle down.
    Select stitch size 4.5 to 5, lock on GX (back) /N (front, & knit.
    Good luck! At least Passaps don’t have the dreaded sinker posts, & I think casting on with Passaps is easier.

  18. Hi, There is a simple Passap cast on in the Passap Tuition Guide, an addition to the manual: Hope this helps!
    Select alternate needles, with last needle on left on front bed in WP, & last needle on right in WP on back bed. Out handle UP, insert orange strippers. Set lock on N/N stitch size 1.5, knit 1 row. Set locks to CX/CX, stitch size 2.5, knit 4 rows. Set locks on N/N, st. size approx 2.5, knit 1 row. Lock is at right. This is the rib. Knit required number of rows. For stocking stitch, change to black strippers, Handle DOWN, t’fer all sts from back bed to empty front bed needles, put back bed needles out of work. Stitch size 4.5 to 5, lock set on GX (back)/N (front) knit to desired length. Good luck!
    I just sold my Duo80 to part fund purchase of a Huskvarna SE sewing/embroidery machine. Been talking to the buyer, & doing more reading, & realise I am not scared of it now! Will buy another one later on. Rather sorry I sold it! I think cast on is easier on it than the Brother machine I use.

  19. I have been knitting on Passaps for 28 years. I started with a duo then a duo s which I still have. I am just in the proccess of knitting a patchwork blanket/throw for the sofa for winter, using up all the (many many) cones of yarn I have accumulated over the years. If anyone needs some help I will endeavour to explain. I am better at knitting than coumputers, though willing to scan any relevant instructions that you need.

    • I have a Passap DM80 and am still barely learning how to use it. I followed the books directions to knit the mitten and successfully completed it using the fine gauge cone yarn. Now I want to try using a skein of medium weight 4 ply wool yarn I bought to make a small wool blanket for felting. I cannot figure out how to cast on and am wondering if I am using a yarn that is way too thick. (4ply)

      The person who gave me the machine still lives nearby so I could ask her for help, but I would like to find other sources of information so I don’t keep bugging her.

      My question is: Are these knitting machines limited to the thin yarn that comes on the cones, or can you use heavier yarn commonly used in hand-knitting?

    • Have you ever tried to use yarn other than the fine gauge cone yarn? I am trying to use thicker 4 ply wool yarn for a project and it’s not working very well on my Passap DM80. (I am a very new beginner)

      • I purchased an original Passap pattern book on Ebay for DK yarn for the DM80 and E6000. Haven’t tried it yet but tensions are about the maximum for stocking stitch e.g. 7 – 8 so thicker yarns are must be ok.
        You could also do simple items as EON?
        Hope this helps?

  20. I have used 4 ply but only on stocking stitch. 3x 2/30 is suposed to be equivelant to 4 ply but is much softer. I would save the thicker yarn for hand or chunky machine.

  21. Having just aquired a duo80 I am very much a learner.I find trial & error is the best way to learn.In 2weeks I find casting on & fishermans rib very easy.I have made slippers as shown in the manual.Threading elastic round the top keeps them on the foot,the scarf,hat & fingerless mitts look lovely & today I made a pair of leg warmers for a budding ballerina.I hit a few snags today trying different stitches but finally produced some nice samples .Now I am getting the hang of the pushers.I still have loads to learn but it keeps my brain alert.I am75 years old so if I can achieve something in such a short time anyone can & believe me the end results are well worhwhile.I have Knitted with 4ply as well as the fine wool & all turned out well.I am not intending to blow my own trumpet I just want others to share my joy . so try try try again & you will suddenly be a happy knitter.

  22. I have a passap e6000 which has been in storage for 8 years. I now need help setting up the machine. I cannot fathom out how to attach the motor to the stand and still fit the double bed on to the stand. Can anyone help? I also need to find a place that will service the machine for me. I live in Brisbane Australia. :)

  23. Hi,
    I am looking to buy such a machine (Passap E6000) but apparently they are no longer made.
    I am just wondering does anyone know of a similar type machine still being made today as I would prefer to buy new instead of second hand.

  24. I have knit with machines for many years but only Japanese. Love making circular socks and found thewollendiva DM80 videos on youtube. (Great for basics such as cast on’s). Prompted me to buy a DM80.
    I’m now hooked on Passap so much so, I’ve sold all my brother m/c’s and just got an E6000!
    Needs stripping down and a deep clean – same as the DM80 (Look for instructions on I did my DM80 first and now the E6000.
    Casting on and knitting is different as you don’t need any combs or weights (sort of) as the ‘strippers’ push the knitting down off the needles. A bit of weigh helps here and there.
    I love the passap m/c’s as you can do the same patterning on the front and back beds – unlike a Japanese style m/c with a ribber.
    The Lock’s (carriages) have duplicated settings front and back and we work with pushers which tell the locks which needles to work on. Easy to understand once you’ve seen it working.
    As for a novice knitter – why not? It’s just what you are used to.
    Please don’t be put off by these m/c’s as they produce great fabrics and once you remember not to hang a cast on comb – it’s really easy.
    Sadly, the only way to get one is second hand. Madag of Switzerland stopped making them in the 90’s and sold everything to China but no one out there is making them any more.
    Many bargains around but the most important part of the machines are the strippers. Black for single bed work and Orange (Pink/ Cream/ Blue) for double bed work. If you see them – buy them! Oh, and if you get a jam – STOP – and take the strippers out before sorting out what you have done wrong…..
    Anyone who wants some info etc feel free to drop me a line and I’ll see if I can help.

    Happy knitting


  25. I purchased a second hand duo 80 three years ago after having japanese machines for many years and I love the fabric they can produce. Now want to attach a motor as I find it hard going to push the locks as I am getting on a bit but cant fine info on how to attach it, anyone know of any information anywhere please. I am still learning and have a long way to go.

    • Hi knitters, I also picked up a Duo 80 recently and am really impressed with the quality of the machine and its capability.
      But! I am having big problems – it jams after a few rows, every time. I have tried various cast-ons, carefully followed all instructions but it just won’t behave. I have cleaned and oiled the locks and the needle channels. Any common problems or things to check?

  26. Evan it may be that the tension is too tight, watch as the yarn goes through it may be sticking, in which case put it on a lower tension. Otherwise it may be the yarn is too thick for the stitch pattern.

    • Hi Roberta thanks for your advice! I got a finer 3-ply yarn, used the wax when winding it and have experimented with the tension and stich size.
      But even with the tension down at “1” it seems that the left-most needles can easily be dragged up to the centre after the lock has gone across, and then the stripper crashes into them on the way back – that’s what’s causing the jams.

      The tension doesn’t seem to tight now, if anything it’s too loose as I also get loops or tangles from slack if I’m not careful. Only by stopping after every row to check and correct it can I make any progress.
      Can’t see what’s wrong, I’ll persevere but am wondering if the needle bed is just worn out and the needles move too freely??

      • Hi evan I have recently been experiencing diffculties with end stitches, mine aren’t staying on. I have taken the tension discs apart and carefully cleaned them and gently pulled the spring as gentleman in Canada advised me to do, there was fluff in the discs themselves., it is worth a try??regards beryl

  27. Yet another person who has acquired a duo 80. Lots of experience on single beds, but this is another world!! I have learned to cast on, although I think the cast on for the mitt is a little sticky – kept catching on second row, have tried the other cast ons – tubular and 1 x 1. I haven’t used the pushers yet and the decker combs I cannot master.
    Mine has a four colour changer, this I found needed much patience. Once mastered seems easy!!
    Can anyone help me with decker combs please? I have 15 sts on the comb now how do I transfer them??? Pushers are another kettle of fish.
    Regards and best wishes. Beryl

    • You’re welcome to post here, but this isn’t really a group. May I suggest the Passap group on Ravelry? There are many knowledgeable Passap users there.

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