The last two Saturdays I've gone to sock machine get togethers. That means that I've been crankin' out socks! A small group of us get together about once a month to keep ourselves going on the sock machine. Funny how when you don't have some accountability you "just never get around" to using your machine. I hadn't actually touched it since way before Christmas! I made 2 pairs of socks at our small group get together a week and a half ago and one of them was for a commission. Woo, hoo, I got paid to make a pair of socks. My friend bought the yarn and then I made them on the machine for her. The yarn is Tye dye socks and it just happened that it matched like that. The other pair is from a cone of brown sheep sock yarn that I got last summer.
Then last Saturday we had the St. Cloud sock machine get together that Deb organizes. Deb showed us how to make cording or i-cord on the machine. Basically you remove all but 3-5 needles and crank it around and around with the yarn in the heel spring. I made a little coaster with my cord. I can think of lots of uses for this, but the drawback is that it's time consuming to sew the cord together. Then I put all the needles back in and made another pair of socks. Many of the people that come to this event are new sock machine knitters and Deb and Pete are always busy helping everyone.
The machine that I used in St. Cloud is a new one to me. I bought it last fall from an ad on the sock machine list and I'm very happy with it. Both of my machines are 1922 Gearharts so the parts should be interchangeable - as much as antique parts are. This means that I can have one of my machines set up with a 72 slot cylinder for fine sock yarn and the new one set up with a 60 slot cylinder for heavier yarn. The machine made some fine looking socks! These are made with yarn that I dyed with easter egg dye. I haven't mastered the ribber yet so all my socks are made with hems. But I like them that way. The few times I've used the ribber it seemed just as fiddly as when I've made hem top socks. And yes - they do stay up without ribbing!