11 Feb 2012

Going Round in Circles at Ruddington

"Going Round In Circles in Ruddington"

Date: Saturday 24th March 2012, 9:30 to 4:30

This is a new, one-day event in the Chapel of Ruddington Framework Knitters' Museum, a few miles south of Nottingham, for owners and users of circular sock machines, beginners and improvers alike. I am hoping to draw in CSM lovers from different parts of the UK, as there has not been a national conference or regional gathering for some years. The idea of the day is to get to know each other, learn a little (some acknowledged experts will be on hand for workshops), exchange ideas on sock and non-sock projects, compete for a small prize, perhaps solve a few problems, and have a lot of fun. The cost of the day will be just £10 to include refreshments throughout, but bringing your own lunch (or there's a pub next door).

The museum and cottages across the street will be closed for springcleaning, but you should also be able to visit the stocking collection upstairs in the Chapel. It takes about one and a half to two hours to do this "gem of a museum" justice anyway. See www.rfkm.org for map

Numbers are restricted by the size of the room in the Chapel, as most people will be bringing their own machines. It will be first come, first served, so I need to know the numbers beforehand. If you are coming a great distance, there is little accommodation in Ruddington itself, but plenty in Nottingham and West Bridgford, about 5 miles away. You will need to Google for it. If coming on public transport, there is a very frequent bus service, the Nottingham- Loughborough route, which drops you within yards of the museum.

If you can make it (and I would love it if you could), please send me a direct email (clicking on the symbols at top right) rather than replying to this posting on the group - I do not get a daily digest so might miss a reply The day's programme has not yet been finalised. Further information, hopefully answering any questions like parking (close, free), possibility of sharing a car etc, will then be sent out to everybody by direct email.

Mary The Knit

7 Feb 2011

New members

I have spent the weekend sorting out, tidying up and cross referencing the membership list, and sending emails to those members who haven't joined the forum, and to potential new members. Hopefully we will get more activity on the forum and with some new members, we will me able to organise more meetings during the coming months.

If you know anyone who would like to join us, get them to contact us through the website.

Of course this meant I didn't get near my machines all weekend, and that's my excuse for no socks.

31 Dec 2010

New Year's Resolution

Well it's that time of year when I try to get organised ready for selling my knitwear at Craft Fairs, and Agricultural Shows etc. Soooo..... I am going to knit one sock a day...No not one pair! One sock, so I will have a 'sock mountain' by the summer (I hope)

We are trying to combine my good intentions with a blog VKsockmountain.blogspot.com and make it so all VK members can join in and post their own sock pictures themselves. Jacquie is putting a post on VK Yahoo Group explaining how it can be done.
So come along Krankers and join in.
Happy New Year for 2011

Happy New Year VKs

Am back from my Christmas travels, distributing my warm and cozy socks around my relatives - they all know by now that its absolutely no use wishing for anything else!!!
Having made so many socks pre-Christmas, I think I'm going to have a few days off before I get around to cranking out any more.
Meantime ... I have a couple of machines to list on ebay in the near future.
Hope you all had a great Christmas, and wishing you all the best for 2011.

11 Dec 2010

Children's Socks - update and results

I eventually got some measurements for the children's socks two weekends ago (the buyer had been to the Bahamas and forgotten all about it). They were bigger than she had led me to believe, so I have been able to do them on a 60/30 set-up on an AKMC.

I knitted one pair by the Monday, when I was seeing her, and she pulled a face and said she didn't think they looked the right size. She would go and measure their feet "right now", as she was picking them up from school. She forgot Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday....... I eventually had a phone call on the following Saturday from son in law and have the right measurements. It is interesting that the measurements she gave me were shoe sizes and a measurement around the foot. The actual foot measurements are bigger than the children's shoe sizes indicated (taken from more than one chart), and the leg lengths a lot longer than she had asked for. Give me real measurements every time.

Despite the hassle getting the sizes, it was a worthwhile exercise as when faced with the box with my stock in, she bought four pairs of bedsocks, not just one. The rejected pair of children's socks is now in my stock box and will sell one day. I now know I can do a range of 5 to 8 year old's size socks on my 60 slot machine and get the right sort of sizes, AND can do the tiny socks on 48 needles (or more or less) on my flat bed. Maybe one day I'll find a 48/24 set-up for one of my machines. They were made by several of the manufacturers, but seem as rare as rockinghorse droppings.

The photo shows (from left to right) the smallest socks, done as toe-up circular knitting on my flat bed machine with hand knitted ribs, in Fortissima, the next two sizes on a 60/30 set up on an AKMC, the pink is my own hand dyed yarn and the multi-colour striped is Regia. Finally the wider pair on the right is one of my pairs (for scale), knitted on a 72/36 Griswold using one of my hand painted sock blanks. The striped pair look long in the foot, but when stretched sideways to the right width, are of course shorter. Always the problem with the first pair of socks for anyone, what cylinder to use and how much stretch/take up to allow for in each direction.

15 Nov 2010

Children's Socks

Having spent the last few weeks acting as visitor/nurse/carer since Richard had a heart bypass at the beginning of October, my sock knitting (and my lace making) have been nearly non existent. But now he is getting better, and I am back to teaching, life is getting nearer to normal.

I have made a jumper on my flatbed during this time (thank you, Helen, for your help and patience) and finally got it sewn up. My first try at mattress stitch, and on dark green/brown tweedy yarn this was not easy, so it took a while. But it fits!

I have just had an order for a pair of bedsocks, not a problem as I have them in stock in a choice of colours, but she also want two pairs of children's socks in small sizes. I have tried this in the past for my granddaughter, and not liked the results. Knitted on alternate needles to narrow the tube to the right sort of size stays looking like mock rib however much I wiggle it around, and on the compound cylinder they are much too wide.

So, I am going to knit them as toe up socks on my flat bed machine, and do the ribs by hand. Cheating maybe, but if it gives me good looking socks it will solve the problem. BUT, if any of you can do small, child's socks on a CSM, please share the secret.

5 Sep 2010

Uncluttering My Workroom

I made a decision to jettison all the cabled legs and ribbed tops I got free of charge with my Harrison machine. The person I bought the machine from made long lengths of rib, scrap, rib, scrap. She then cut them apart, and rehung them onto the machine and knitted cabled legs scrapping them off at the ankle. Her customers then chose the colour and leg length they wanted and she added the foot the size they wanted.

Having only converted two pairs into socks despite having them here for about four or five years now, and for the other reasons given below, I have no reservations about letting them go. In one bag I found a couple of finished pairs, and even though I say it myself they don't look a patch on my socks so I am now even more convinced I have made the right decision.

My reasons are as follows – I hate picking up the stitches again, I didn’t actually get the matching wool to knit the feet for a lot of them, I didn’t much like the finished socks; a cable leg on an 84 cylinder is enormous, I don’t like using this particular pure wool for socks to sell (it shrinks as easy as blinking), and the only socks I have worn a hole in were ones made in some of that wool, despite the fact I hadn’t worn them all that much.

I am still not convinced that making the ribs all in a row with scrap spacers, rehanging them and doing the same with the legs, and then rehanging again for the feet is any quicker than just knitting the sock all in a piece. The idea is that it's much quicker if you don't have to keep changing the needles in and out, but that's not a lot slower than rehanging and it gives another two lots of ends to darn in.

I'm sure that I would get quicker at it with more practise, but it is such a fiddly job. Because of the nature of sock machines and the needles caught down in the cams, you can't put all the stitches on all the needles. If you miss a stitch or a needle, you don't always find out about it until it is too late, or it's really difficult to correct it.

24 Oct 2009

Technical Problems

Sorry to anyone who tried to access my website. Technical hosting problems. All will be resolved ASAP - I hope!!

1 Oct 2009

Good news for sock machines

Yippee-- New needles are hopefully coming for the 108 cylinders an 54 ribber dials. That means finer socks and stocking. So I must look out the 108 cylinders and get them cleaned up. (They are not all as bad as the one in the picture . It's the only one I could lay my hands on without grovelling in boxes tonight. )
Let us know if anyone is interested in getting any needles or perhaps a cylinder set up too as there are some around as they were useless without the needles. Contact us through the web site Sockknittingmachines.co.uk

19 Jul 2009

On the move again!!!

Hi all

Just want you all to know I'll be on the move again very shortly!!! This time, I'm moving up to Ayrshire in Scotland. After the move itself, I should find life a lot more relaxing, with a lot more time to spend on sock machines and associated things! That's the intention anyway ....

So, hopefully after August, you'll be hearing a lot more from me ...

If anyone wants my new address details, please e-mail me off list.