Following all the advice I got on Ravelry, I went at my Legare circular sock machine from eBay with some Marvel Mystery Oil and a toothbrush, and started cleaning it up.  There was a lot of black oily guck in it.  I wonder when the machine was last used – that stuff could be decades old!  After much effort and some visible improvement, the oil was still coming off kind of black, but I got impatient to see if the machine would work.  So I put it together and added the cylinder spring and needles, which I bought new.  The whole thing is heavy and needs a stable surface to be clamped to, so I got a Black & Decker mini-workbench which I assembled (thank goodness for my visuo-spatial skills – the instructions were not easy to follow).  Then I started cranking! Casting on requires a set-up basket or bonnet to get the knitting started. A simpler method is to use a mesh bath scrubbie, which is what I did.  On my first try I got a tangled mess.. 

First try, a tangled mess

The yarn carrier seems to be able to adjust only up and down, and was either too high for the needles to catch the yarn, or hitting the needles. I think I probably bent some of my needles fiddling around with it. Then I put a piece of paper towel between the yarn carrier post and the place where it attaches, so the carrier head is a little further from the needles, and it’s just right!  Now it’s close enough to feed the yarn into the needles, but not so close that it’s banging into them.

Hey, it works!

So I’ve got a tube!! Many dropped stitches, but a tube nonetheless.

Second try

There is a set of very informative DVD’s that I’m getting for my birthday from my sister Pat – once I get them I’ll go over everything more carefully, but at least I know the machine is not a dud. Yaaaaay!!

The craziness continues…