Friday, December 08, 2017

CSM Obsession

Like many of the fiber arts, working with a circular sock machine (CSM) can get a bit obsessive, so you may want to just ignore my next year of blog posts as I spiral into a bit of craziness.

Current CSM Progress

Since Wednesday, I have:
  • Set up the 80 slot cylinder with a new set of cylinder needles
  • Liberally oiled the crank and cylinder
  • Used the metal cast-on bonnet to cast on multiple test tubes
  • Attempted multiple times (unsuccessfully) to add in the ribber attachment and knit 1x1 ribbed tubes
  • Watched Thaddeus glue on the yarn tensioner wire
  • Watched Thaddeus unglue the yarn tensioner wire and put it back on in the correct direction (my fault, not his)
Here are a couple of videos of the machine working:




Suffice it to say, I'm getting faster and faster at casting on a new "sock" and I'm getting quite good at inserting and removing needles from the cylinder.  I am thinking that I may need professional help with getting the ribber working.

Current Knitting

Other than tubes of waste fabric, I have also finished working on a pair of orange slipper socks for a friend.







The pattern is quite simple and works well for a quick gift.

Readers' Comments/Questions


Thanks to readers like Kim, I have a list of awesome resources from someone who's been through what I'm going through (also known as an enabler):

I have two Gearharts (1890-ish and 1924-ish), and am madly jealous of your antique stand. It looks as though you have a very complete package, and shouldn't need much more. Although more gadgets are always good.

1. Be prepared for a significant learning curve. I've been hand knitting for 40+ years (started as an infant, honestly...) and am modes tly mechanically adept. It still took longer than I anticipated to crank a functional sock.
2. Check out http://stores.erlbachergear.... They manufacture new CSMs based on the 1924(?) model. Depending on your year/model, you may be able to get additional cylinders and ribbers. They have a large selection of accessories and patterns, too. Call - Greyson is an absolute sweetheart and is a font of information.
3. Socktv.org - monthly subscription, absolutely recommended. Jamie (Greyson's sister, I believe) from Erlbacher does training videos. They're worth every penny and a delight to watch. Subscribe now!
4. Ravelry, of course. There's several excellent forums. A search for CSM will get you started.
5. Circular Sock Knitting Machine society - http://cskms.org/resources/. Newsletter, list of crank-ins, history, all excellent.
6. YouTube - it's a bit hit and miss. I particularly recommend Steve Ashton - https://www.youtube.com/cha.... He's on Rav as TheWizardofBC, and is extremely generous with his knowledge.
They are addictive little beasts. As a handknitter, I was well into SABLE territory with sock yarn. Hah! I cranked through that in a year. What surprised me the most is in addition to socks, of course, is how very versatile they are. You can do mitts, gloves, scarves, flat web. I'm doing a sock yarn scrap afghan right now.
I find the social history to be absolutely fascinating as well.
As a complete aside, we shared an elevator once (Edmonton, AB). It was 7 am, I was still mostly asleep, and you were in a conversation with a colleague. By the time I processed - that fellow looks familiar, why does he look familiar - you and your colleague had already reached your floor. So, a very belated "good morning!".
Happy cranking,
Kim

Happy belated "good morning" to you as well Kim - one of the few reasons I wish I still did work up in Edmonton!

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