So… even though I don’t have enough time for my knitting and spinning obsessions, I became fascinated by this after seeing it on the Lime and Violet Daily Chum Blog. Maybe it’s because I don’t have enough time for these things, and I think that it will save me time. I know that won’t be true, at least in the beginning, but I am a slow sock knitter, and I have a ridiculous stash of beautiful handpainted sock yarns that would look great in plain stockinette. And I’ll be spinning more yarn than I have time to knit. Plus, I have a birthday coming up!

So… I found the Circular Sock Machine group on Ravelry and learned as much as I could from the message boards. These machines can be up to a hundred years old or more, and can be bought in refurbished and working condition for tons of money, or “as is” for somewhat less. There are also new machines being manufactured in New Zealand, but those are the most expensive, close to $2000. Given that I came out of residency with a very large amount of debt, I figured that I shouldn’t be spending thousands of dollars to make socks at this point in my life. So I decided to look on eBay for a machine that would involve more work and some risk that it might not actually knit, but would cost a lot less. Here’s the machine I bought.

kn4797

Beautiful, no? It’s a Legare 400, a Canadian sock machine which according to many is very solidly made and reliable. This one comes with two different cylinders (54 and 72 slots), a ribber (36), and a bunch of accessories. The photo is from the eBay listing. Unfortunately, after I placed the bid, I found out that Risa was selling her refurbished (and definitely working) Auto Knitter, and that she lives in New Jersey, only 20 minutes away from my Dad! And that this particular eBay seller is a mixed bag in terms of people actually being able to use their machines – the one Risa bought had parts from different manufacturers and was not usable, though others on the forums said they were happy with theirs. But at that point it was too late, no one else bid on the machine, and I was not able to get out of the deal. So this machine will be coming to me.

I am nervous but excited at the same time. I’ve already gotten lots of support and advice from the CSM group on Ravelry, and I’m looking forward to taking apart the machine, cleaning it, and figuring out how it works. My dad also likes gadgets, so I’m hoping he’ll become interested and be able to help me.  For inspiration I’ve been looking at the Soxophone Player’s blog, as well as a post by Dave Daniels at Cabin Cove Mercantile, who was able to restore a machine from the same seller to make beautiful socks (I did not see his “BEWARE THE BLUE BACKGROUND” warning until after I placed my bid).  I hope I manage to do the same.

So… crazy, right?  That’s me!!

Happy Mother’s Day!  This is the first year Tim actually understands what’s going on. He made me a little scribbled card in preschool, and when he said “Happy Mother’s Day” to me this morning I just turned to mush. 🙂

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