Learning to use a Circular Sock Machine that is older than me.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009


The machine came with an instruction manual! It was printed on coloured paper; the print was so small I had great trouble reading it easily. I decided to scan the pages onto the computer and enlarge it, making it so much easier to read. I think that some of the information must be missing. There is no mention of how the ribber dial functions in relation to the line drawing with the parts itemised. I have only just this week found how to adjust the timing of the ribber needles to enable them to pick up the yarn in conjunction with the cylinder needles. I have Janet to thank for that. She has a great Blog which I’m sure you will enjoy reading.

The Sock Machine has to have yarn already on it before you can start knitting a sock. Mine came with a setup basket, well it was actually an IKEA whisk that had been decapitated! I failed to engage with this marvel of modern technology. In fact I lost my rag with it! Failing to get any stitches started on the machine I made a set up bonnet. I knit one by hand and then was able to start making tubes. I eventually made a set up bonnet on the machine and this has been so much easier to use.

Using my scrap yarn I kept making tubes whilst at the same time altering the tension to see what effect that had on the finished knitting. I found that using a 4 ply sock yarn the tension was only happy at a fairly high setting (6) to enable a larger stitch to be created. I think because the machine is so new it needed to be run in. I can now get the tension down slightly but it still creates a firm stitch.
Sitting looking at the machine one day, having not progressed very far, I noticed that the needles in the cylinder where not of equal height. I took all the needles out and low and behold there were four different sizes. Some were a centimetre or so longer, others had butts that were larger than the others. I got in touch with Helen at Vintage Krankers  who helped me to decide that new needles would probably be a very good idea.
I ordered both cylinder and ribber needles from Pat Fly who is based in America. The Royal Mail and the Customs and Excise added their dues to the bill.
I put the needles into two separate tins and put a few drops of oil on them. Once they were put into the cylinder it knitted like a dream, no jarring and no dropped stitches.

My next step was to find someone to show me how to use the machine..........properly!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Early Days the start of a Steep Learning Curve

Welcome to my Knitting in the Round Blog
I want to air my thoughts on looking for, buying and learning to knit on a Circular Sock Machine.

I own a Griswold which was manufactured, in Leicester England, around the 1920's.

Most machines of this age have been previously owned by someone who probably had one either to make a living or at the very least supply lovely warm socks for their families.

My machine however was never used by anyone. I am its first owner to actually knit on it.

So she is over 80 years old.

Before the machine arrived I joined  Ravelry Circular Sock Machine There is a very active Group of people who own, or are looking to own, a sock machine.

I was so looking forward to its arrival. I bought some wool, then I bought some more!

I was so disappointed with the machine when it did finally arrive. I was expecting it to be a bright, shiny, cleaned up job. I paid enough for it. (Him indoors was not impressed) I put it away for a few weeks.

After setting the machine up again I tried to make a tube on it, but it just kept jamming. So I decided to take it to pieces and give it a rub down with the sporting life. Well the dirt and grease that came off it was something to behold.

I used some Acrylic yarn for practice and was finding, with copious amounts of oil, it was running more smoothly. Even with the tension set at the largest stitch it was making a fabric that resembled chainmail.

To be continued