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Another sock machine day

December 11, 2009

Today I made a nicer set-up bonnet and everything went very well. I made a hung hem, tried different numbers of needles, different yarns and messed about with the stitch lengths while doing so. The bonnet is still on the machine, so will put up a photo when the tube is long enough to cut off the bonnet. I am going to continue trying yarns and practice more heels next. The machine is working more smoothly all the time and as I get to know it I pick up the little cues that tell me when something might go wrong.

Heels and hems

December 6, 2009
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I have just completed my first heel. It isn’t perfect, I dropped a stitch and didn’t quite get the sequence correct on one side. An interesting process and was quite easy with help from the youtube videos and the Yellow River Station tutorials.

The correct and consistent weight tension is very important to success.

I did have a problem to begin with to do with the small bolt holding the yarn carrier in place. It was too long! When I was going forward it was fine, but when I tried to go backward all the stitches kept dropping off. I then noticed that the “wave” was ahead of the carrier instead of in line with it. Couldn’t see why this was for awhile and then began to really look and there it was – the bolt was pushing the carriage instead of the High point of the gear ring as it is supposed to. This meant the wave was created about two inches to soon! I inserted a small nut as a spacer and the problem was solved.

I did a picot edge and hung hem yesterday. Not perfect as I was off a stitch in my pickup, but I do have the concept. So now for more practice and when I get something more passable I will post a photo.

Real Stitches!

December 4, 2009

The photo shows the first complete row of knitting – no dropped stitches, no jammed needles.

I have now cranked about 4 ft. of tubing. The machine still needs a little work as it is not running along as smoothly as I think it is supposed to, but I do have it working!  Yesterday morning I was feeling a little dubious about it.   I had lots of help from knitting machine owners on Ravelry – one reminding me about  uplift cams.   I was so sure I had put them in correctly!  But even with a photograph in the manual right in front of me I put them in upside down!  No wonder the needles didn’t go up far enough.   Then I did a lot of reading of various blogs and websites and found a photo that explained what was meant by “timing”.  Learning the lingo is a big part of the process!
I began with half the needles in place on an 80 slot cylinder and cranked about 3 ft. until it was all running smoothly and I had an idea of what to be watching for.   Was the yarn feeding in at the correct angle, how was the yarn tension, was there enough weight  pulling down the knitting and was it evenly distributed and did I have the cam tension set correctly?  There are a lot of little things to watch and keep in mind as one turns.  It looks so easy!  And now it is working it feels quite simple !

I then changed yarn and began adding the remainder of the needles. Of course as I was doing this I realized I ought to be changing only one variable at a time, but both worked and I now have all 80 needles in operation and am using a slightly heavier yarn.

So now it is on to the next step – either learning to do a heel or maybe I will begin with a picot edge.  😉

The loom waits patiently for this obsession to be over.

November Calendar Sample

December 1, 2009

Late for November, but the Auto Knitter took over my life.

Fantasy Weave, adapted by Donna Vanderwekken

Warp Yarn: repeats of 3 – 8/2 blue cotton, 3 – 16/2 lavender mercerized cotton, 1 – white cotton bouclé, 1 – white cotton bouclé with gold thread, 1 – white cotton bouclé, 3 – 16/2 lavender mercerized cotton

Sett: 7 dents per pattern repeat in a 10-dent reed
Sley: 8/2 [2-1],   16/2 [3],  bouclé [1-1-1] , 16/2 [3]
Weft Yarn:  same as warp

Auto Knitter Obsession

November 27, 2009

I am still working on this Circular Knitting Machine.    After finally getting it apart using some rather smelly engine oil and then cleaning the gunk all off, it still isn’t working.  The cylinder might be slightly warped from poor storage and will not fit into the cam shell properly.  So I have been researching and writing, trying to find someone that might have ideas on how to fix this, if it is indeed fixable.  The long storage and warped cylinder might just mean it needs a new cylinder.  I am working on this project for the Hardy Mountain Doukhobor Village Historic Site where I found this machine stored.  I don’t have the funds to buy parts and hope I can make this piece work in order that the local Boundary Weaver’s and Spinners Guild can  demonstrate the making of socks.   I will also be helping to put up some of the old looms  once the restoration is finished and there is a place to put one up.

The first photo is taken right after I released the cylinder from the shell – what a lot of gunk!

It is getting cleaner!  But there is a long way to go.

November Colours

November 25, 2009

Here are my pics for The colours of November challenge from Sue at Life Looms Large.   One thinks of November as pretty dull with grey skies and leaves fallen but there are lovely muted colours to be found.  It was difficult to get the turkeys – they were moving pretty fast.  Their tail feathers are an amazing irridescent copper but they didn’t drop any that day.    Thanks Sue for the great idea of linking with many people.

(click on photo to enlarge)

Update on the CSM

November 19, 2009

So far I think this machine is totally jammed.  The cylinder will not turn and I cannot remove it from the frame.  So it has now been totally soaked in “Liquid Wrench” and I will have to wait until it hopefully releases what must be almost cement from dust and accumulated dirt.   All other parts are being cleaned and oiled if necessary.

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