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!


  1. I like the Griswold, that’s one of my favorites - a very good machine. I would like to have one, too. :-) And yes, you are right, the best machine doesn’t work without new needles. Wish you happy cranking by making your first sock.

    Greetings ansichtsache

  2. Hi I have a golden fleece sock machine and I have just managed to knit a sock. It wasn't perfect but it was a sock that I could wear. It wasn't till I joined Ravely that I got the hang of getting it to work.