How to Use the Silver Reed SC-3 Linker
Updated: Sep 4
The SC-3 linker is a device that sits on the bed of the machine, similar to a carriage and will allow you to cast off/bind off the knitting semi-automatically. It will only do a “loop through loop” cast off, which is NOT the prettiest NOR is it the most elastic cast off. It is a fast, functional cast off for swatches or other “quick” projects.
SC-3 Linker Compatibility:
Works great on a Silver Reed/Knitmaster (or similarly rebranded) Standard Gauge machine.
WILL NOT WORK ON A Brother or other branded machine!
WILL NOT WORK ON a fine gauge, mid-gauge or chunky machine
WILL NOT WORK ON a plastic machine
Silver Reed SC-3 Linker Video Introduction
SHOULD I use this Device to Cast Off?
If you watched the video, you know that the device “technically” works to cast off/bind off the knitting. But just because it can, SHOULD you use it? Here are our thoughts on that. There are many cast off methods and each method has advantages and disadvantages. This carriage can only do one cast off, the “loop through loop” cast off. The disadvantage to this cast off is that it is NOT stretchy. IF you knit the piece at T5 or lower, you might be able to knit the last row at T9 or T10 and achieve a loose enough cast off for a garment. However, if the knitted piece tension is higher than 5, it is likely that this device will produce a cast off that is too tight, unless you have another means of making the last row’s stitch size larger than T10. We question the value of the device since many times the knitted tension IS greater than T5. But we still use it for a quick cast off for swatches or other test pieces where we don’t care if the cast off is too tight.
How the SC-3 Carriage works (or “As the Handle Turns”)
The hook mechanism on the SC-3 moves in towards the needle with the stitch (it usually has a stitch on it, except when you start)
The knitting machine needle will be moved from E position to the B position by the flipper. When this happens, the stitch will come off of the needle
The hook mechanism will slide backward (toward you) and pull the stitch through the previous one
The sprocket on the back of the device will walk to the left to reposition the carriage to the next needle and do it all over again.
How We Got Our Silver Reed SC-3 Carriage to Work
Here’s the secret: my unloved, stored in a closet SC-3 had stiff and thick lubricant goop on the bottom. As a result, it didn’t move consistently and the little hook inside of it didn’t move well either. If the hook doesn’t move, you will probably drop stitches or have a different issue. If the device doesn’t crawl across the bed one needle at a time, it won’t work right.
Fixing a stuck SC-3
Note: These devices are old and may be brittle. “Fix” at your own risk.
Turn the device over so that you can see the moving parts.
Turn the crank and watch the parts move. 360degree turn should cause the sprocket wheel to turn, the hook mechanism to move in and out (see photos, click on them to make them big enough to read).
Push the orange/white slider button back and forth. It should be firm, but not so tight that you can’t move it. You don’t want it to slide into position on its own, but you don’t want to feel like you’re forcing it to move back and forth. This slider will cause the sprocket wheel to engage or disengage with the back rail of the machine to ensure that the carriage is positioned correctly near the needle.
Be sure to relubricate the moving parts. “Work” the oil into the moving areas by turning the handle. Continue to turn the handle until every moving part moves once per turn. Use a towel with some oil on it and wipe the moving area of the hook so that the the latch will open and close easily (yup, this is really important)
Now, follow the instructions from the manual VERY closely. Really, move the point cams out of the way or it’ll jam up. DO EVERYTHING they tell you in the manual. The device works! We put a claw weight underneath the area where we’re working (like the 5 stitches around where we’re working) This helps the SC-3 carriage move the stitches off.