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The Auto Knitter

November 18, 2009

In helping move some weaver’s guild equipment from storage at a local museum  we found  an old circular sock knitting machine.  I have taken on the project of putting it into working condition if possible and we hope it can be used for demonstrations at the museum. I know nothing about these machines, but am learning quickly with lots of help from the web.

So far in my examination it looks to be in good condition with all parts intact.  It is an Auto Knitter, Made in Canada with an instruction book dated 1923, 19th Edition.

All I have done so far is carefully take the parts out of a box, and gently dust them to find the label.  Now the fun begins in figuring out  how to make it work.

There are lots more odds and ends – thread holders, guides, all sorts of extra needles, cone holders etc., the photo is showing the main part, the ribber and yarn carrier.

The underside of the ribber.  The numbers mean something – I will figure that out eventually!

Update – today I decided with helpf from reading alot of articles, that it was time to begin cleaning.  I backed off the two screws which are supposed to realease the inside workings – but they didn’t move.  I guess the grunge has stuck it all together.  So I have put some oil on it and will leave it overnight and hopefully it will come apart.

Stuffed Stitched Double Cloth

November 14, 2009

This is the same warp as the previous sample, but is stuffed with tussah silk noils between the layers. I wove more tabby picks between the pattern to make a space for the stuffing.  The stuffing silk was in a rough roving form which I gently drafted and laid in and proceeded with the pattern picks. The fabric has been washed, though looks slightly flat from storage.    Lots of stitching pattern possiblities depending on the end use of the fabric.  This fabric is soft enough for a jacket or kimono.


Stitched Double Cloth in Silk

November 10, 2009


The two faces of this cloth are subtly different, but it is reversible.  The light layer in this sample is stiched to the blue layer.  This little sample kimono is about 7 1/2 ” sleeve to sleeve and 81/2 ” long.  I used the standard bog jacket type of pattern to assemble it.

I used 20/2 spun silk (Treenway) sett at 20 epi per layer, sleyed 2 per dent in a 10 dent reed and woven at 20 ppi per layer.  There was a small shrinkage factor of about 5% overall after handwashing and pressing.

The draft begins with the treadling for the ground cloth, and is not shown with the pattern tie-up or treadling to show the pattern more clearly in the drawdown.  To weave the cloth shafts 1 and 2 are added to the pattern treadling.


Tussah Silk & Silk Boucle

November 6, 2009

This sample is woven with a tussah silk noil blend from Silk Tree and cultivated silk boucle from Treenway Silks.  I space dyed the boucle and  it shrank  alot so would recommend washing it before using it in a mixed warp if you don’t want a differential shrinkage effect.   This is sett and woven at 20 epi/ppi.  I no longer have the book, but think this draft was from a sample book by Dini Moes.

silk bourette and boucle


many samples20003

many samples20004

Crepe Spun Silk – the rest of this sample

November 5, 2009



sample 23-4


sample 23-5


sample 23-6


There are so many variations possible on a straight draw twill threading.   These are done on a one colour warp with one colour weft.   Interesting effects possible with colour and fibre changes.  Having an actual sample in hand helps understand the fabric to design for an end use.

Colours of Late October

October 31, 2009

In response to the Blog Challenge by  Sue of Life Looms Large I spent my morning walking and taking photographs.  The first one was taken at about 6:30 am (pacific daylight time) and doesn’t really show the incredible morning colour. (camera limitations)  I saw so many colours and textures once I really began looking it was hard to know when to stop!  I am sitting here and seeing many more photos I could take,  while thinking of colour as a theme.    If I could get good shots of birds there would be many more.  What a wonderful way to focus and find ideas!  Thanks Sue!











More Crepe Spun Silk

October 30, 2009


sample 3

Another sample from the straight draw threading  in the crepe spun silk.   I can see that I have an error in the tie-up.  On treadle 1 (reading from the left) I should have shaft 5 tied up and on treadle 8 I need to eliminate 5 & 6.  This will fix the long float on the back and fix the 4 end float on the front so that the fabric is the same on both sides.




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