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

Monday, 16 November 2009

Finding a good teacher

Next step in the learning curve was to try making heels. I made several tubes using different tension settings. I made notes of all I had done. Saving work notes, pined onto the knitting, acted as an aide memoire.

Making a heel was certainly a challenge. I always managed to drop stitches on the right side, when working from right to left. On reflection I was not applying enough weight and the first needle was not picking up the stitch. I learned later to allow the needles latch to engage with the yarn. This involves putting the needle back into work, but not pushing it right down. This way the latch catches the yarn and a stitch is formed.

On YouTube, where I had seen the first Circular Sock Machine knitting merrily away; I found a very helpful video of the no wrap heel. This made it all so much clearer. I downloaded the video onto my computer and watched it every day, several times every day in fact. Him indoors kept looking to see what I was watching so intently, only to proclaim “Not Socks again!”

By now I had the machine for four months and still no sock! This was getting me down. I had become quite good at buying yarn on EBay and this was not boding well on the home front! I put a cover over it (Rather like a noisy parrot in its cage) and left well alone for another month or so.

I really was beginning to resent this heap of metal sitting menacingly leering at me. “Go on”, it said, “Bet you can’t get the better of me, no one else has yet, so why should you be any different?” (What’s this woman on?)

So once again more tubes with strange lump like heels and even a toe! Of course I still hadn’t even touched the ribber. I hid that in the travel box; couldn’t cope with two of them hasseling me.

I did however invest in a Wool Winder and set-to to wind most of the yarn I had previously bought. I wind the yarn twice, the second time in the opposite direction. This has the effect of allowing the yarn to relax and is not too tight when knitted. This felt really productive. While doing this I made a list of all the yarn I had, showing a sample of the colour, amount, make, yarn content and size. I also kept details of the price.

Him indoors put on his sympathetic hat and suggested that some driving lessons might be a good idea. I got in touch with Helen at Vintage Krankers. Helen lives in Devon so that was too far for me to travel but she introduced me to Janet, who at the time lived a bit nearer and was certainly easier for me to get to in a day. Emails where exchanged, a date was settled on and off I went. The only thing I regret is not being able to take my Griswold with me but as it turned out it was the train journey from hell, both ways, and it was the hottest day of the year;

Tune in for the next instalment....................................I make a sock!