Friday, January 30, 2015

Sock Knitting Machine

Zach bought me this sock knitting machine about 8 years ago after we visited a heritage festival. There was a lady demonstrating and making socks with one. I was enamored!

The lady made it look so easy and I dreamed of cranking out socks with a machine like hers, one after the other.

When Zach gave me the machine it needed some work. It had a good glow of rust on many parts mixed with an oily lint build up and most of the needles were broken or bent.

We replaced the needles on both the knitting canister and the ribber, took steel wool and a wire brush to the rust and cleaned every nook and cranny with a toothbrush and q-tip. Then we oiled it up and started learning how a sock knitting machine works.

8 years ago there was very little on the internet about these machines. I've noticed that since then, a lot has changed. My machine came with the original instruction booklet. Which instructed not only how the machine worked but also how you could turn a profit by using one.

In the beginning we were able to crank out a few things that resembled a sock, but the machine is very temperamental. I'm not sure if it's something I'm doing wrong, or if this machine is just finicky.

It got packed away when we moved and only recently did my friend Stacey come over for the day and we tried to get it up and running again.

We spent about 5 hours trying to re-aquatint ourselves with how the machine works, watching YouTube videos and studying the original 1923 manual.

In the end we were able to get the ribber to work, and we knitted 3/4 of a sock foot including the heel.     

We didn't have the weights adjusted correctly here so we dropped the stitches on the left side.

This is where we gave up for the day.

I'm going to keep at it though, and see if I can get the hang of things. Hopefully I'll be able to share some sock knitting posts and videos with all of you in the future.

Even if I can't get a sock made, I can share how the machine works, how it goes together, and some of the history behind these fascinating machines. They have quite a story to tell!
 

5 comments:

Amy said...

Flippin awesome! I can't wait to see you turn out a sock because I have full confidence you will! Now I want one lol.

Jennifer Sartell said...

Thanks Amy! Now I'm on a mission, lol! I will definitely share if I get one to work. ;)

mommar6 said...

Keep us posted. I'd love to see the finished product. I'm anxious to see if Jennifer gets one going. Hope she shares too.

Diane Barnard said...

I've got my fingers crossed for you.

Margarita Bite said...


greetings ..... want to know where you can buy a machine

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