CSM

Here she is.  I’ve been told that all sock machines should be named, but I haven’t yet named mine.  I’ll have to work with her a bit more, and learn her personality before I give her a name.  Isn’t she a beaut?

My first cranked item…a bonnet (seen mounted in the CSM above).

I’ve kitchenered the bottom around a D ring.  The ring is there to hang your weights from.  I had a devil of a time with the kitchener on this.  I originally tried kitchener the bottom with the waste yarn in place.  This is the same as kitchener the toe of a sock with a toe chimney.  Simple enough, follow the path of the existing stitches.  Except I didn’t.  The waste yarn was blue, which was hard to see in my already blue yarn.  And I was doing it late in the evening without my Ott light.  When I pulled out the waste yarn, the tip came wide open.  After a few nasty words, I picked up the stitches with some DPNs and tried again.  Much better.  I think I will be doing it using the DPN method from now on.  No need to do it twice.

So far, this is my only finished item on the sock machine, because the sock didn’t make it.

Here’s the sock to be.  Looks good, doesn’t it?  Well, here’s the close up…

See that nasty run at the corner of the turned toe?  There’s a matching run on the other side.  There is just no easy way to pick all those stitches up and ensure that you maintain the short row toe turn.  At least, not in my inexperienced hands.  I’ve decided that it would be much easier and faster to rewind this sock back on the cone and re-crank.

Or it would be, once I start cranking again.  This week is full of holiday parties.  I found that it isn’t a good idea to work on these things after a night of festivities and drink (see above paragraph on the kitchener attempt).  I’ll give it a go this weekend.

Cranky (in a happy sort of way)

I bought a Legare 400 circular sock machine over the summer.  When it arrived, I unpacked it and was immediately overwhelmed by all the itsy-bitsy (and not-so-itsy-bitsy) pieces.  And so it sat, in the original shipping box, in the corner of the living room, mocking me daily.

Yesterday, I spent the day with Kathy and she very patiently explained what all the parts were and how to assemble the pieces, including showing me all the tips and tricks she’s acquired — most of it from the school of hard knocks.

I can’t tell you how lucky I felt to be on the receiving end of all this wonderful knowledge.  In 8 hours, not only did she show me how to care and feed my CSM, assemble it, but also got me started cranking right away!  I learned to thread the machine, make a picot hem, figure out the number of rows to crank for leg and foot, and make short row heel/toe.  Yes, people, at the end of the day, I walked away not only with the knowledge and confidence to start cranking out socks, but also with a completed bonnet (just needs to be kitchenered to a D ring) and a completed sock.  That is, it would have been completed if I didn’t drop 2 stitches right as I knitted it off to the waste yarn.  I still might be able to rescue it with some careful crochet hook work.

Today, I went off to Ikea (have you tried to go to an Ikea weeks before Christmas and on a Sunday afternoon?  Not a pretty picture) and purchased a Vika Fagerlid trestle stand to hold the CSM.  It’s now assembled and the CSM mounted on it.  It really is quite sturdy and will withstand some heavy cranking without tipping over.

Too many projects

But I am getting some things finished.

Socks 0805 - ankle socks

A pair of ankle socks, using the remaining yarn from this pair of socks. Same generic sock recipe, but I added 3×1 rib to shake things up a bit. I knitted the back of the sock in plain stockinette stitch for about 3/4″ after turning the heel before changing it to 3×1 rib as well. I topped it off with 3/4″ of 1×1 rib at the top.

As it turns out, I could have made these socks a wee bit longer because I still have yarn left over. So, 5 ounces of fiber is enough for 2 full pairs of socks for me. The advantages of having small feet.

I made the second heel a bit different from the first. I knitted the first stitch of each short row. I didn’t like this. Also, on the k2tog on the nibble back, I slipped both stitches knit-wise, including the yarn over. This created a twisted stitch, but it tightened it up so that it is much neater.

I’m already on the second sock of the next pair, continuing on the heel experimentations. I’m still on course for 2 pairs per month!

I haven’t abandoned everything in favor of the sock needles.

Rovings - One of a Kind skeins

These are 3 ply worsted weight yarn from Rovings. The color way is called “One of a Kind”. As you can see, there were 2 distinct colors in this batch, heathered green and purple. I separated them. There is 1 lb 6.5 oz of heathered green, and 4.75 oz of purple. I finished these a few weeks ago, but just gotten around to the photo shoot. I bought this at SOAR in Tahoe (2006).

As if there isn’t enough fiber projects to distract me, a very heavy box arrived from Canada, just begging for me to open it up and start playing. Yup. My antique Circular Sock Machine has arrived (Legare 400). I’m being good. I’m holding off until I finish cleaning out the office.