Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A Million Critical Adjustments


Standard flat-bed knitting machines are complex and have a lot of moving parts.  Circular sock knitting machines compound the complexity by converting the needle bed(s) into a circular configuration.  Sock knitting machines with ribbers are even more confounding.  Antique Sock Knitting Machines with ribbers are ridiculous!

Don't Touch a Fucking Thing!

In my latest attempts at bringing Gerdy (my name for my 1924 Circular Sock Knitting Machine) back to an active life, I have done the following:
  • Replaced the cylinder spring which holds in all the needles
  • Fixed chips on the top of the cylinder slots
  • Verified all needles are not broken or jammed
  • Fixed a broken heel tension spring
  • Adjusted the cam lifter springs
  • Adjusted the yarn feeder (both distance from the cylinder and height of the feeder)
  • Oiled the needles, crank and cylinder
  • Adjusted the stitch length (multiple times as this affects the gauge of the knitted fabric
 All of these changes allow me to make a simple tube and do short row heels and toes and faux rib.

With the ribber attachment I have:
  • Verified/replaced all ribber needles to make sure all are working correctly
  • Adjusted the ribber plate height screw
  • Adjusted the centering screw
  • Adjusted the timing screw
  • Adjusted the cylinder slot adjustment
  • Re-adjusted the yarn feeder height
After MANY re-jiggerings of each adjustment on the ribber, I can now (sometimes) create ribbing (knits and purls).


As an example of how persnickety this machine can be, I decided that the delivered yarn carrier head:


Should be replaced with a newer, more easy to use version that is made for machines like mine:


That one "minor" change took days of rejiggering, re-adjusting and cursing to finally realize that I might never be able to get both the cylinder and the ribber working...so I put back the old part and settled for not being able to remove the yarn without breaking it.

I'm hopeful it will be smoothing sailing now that everything seems to be working in harmony...for the moment.

Current Knitting/Spinning

Droning on about my current WIP, I have added a few inches to the ever-growing Read Between the Lines Shawl.


You'll note I have come almost to the end of the first two cakes of yarn, and I'll be debating on what colors to start adding into the fray today sometime.

I also put in some more work on spinning my current favorite roving.


I'm thinking about triple plying these singles into what will probably end up being a DK or light-worsted weight yarn, having someone dye it for me, and then making a sweater or a vest with it.  I know it doesn't look like much right now, but in my mind, that is a photo of a magnificent garment.

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