Saturday, 29 March 2008

Child size woollen stockings

Most of the output of my antique sock machines is practical woollen or fancy silk stockings for the re-enactment market. Up until now, I've only had the 84 cylinder Imperia, which makes wonderul adult stockings but which can be a bit baggy on anyone with very slim legs or smaller feet. The 'new' Autoknitter has a 60 cylinder, and now that its knitting I took the plunge yesterday and did my first child size stocking, pictured next to an adult size one for comparison.

It may not look like much to those of you used to modern socks in beautiful bright yarn, but this is going to help keep a lot of little people cozy this season, I'm very pleased with the first attempt and think it will be even better once I have the machine properly settled in. At the moment its a little stiff to crank and feels a bit awkward in places, but to be fair to it, I've had virtually no dropped stitches and it has been sat in a box in an attic for 60-70 years.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Silk Regency Reticule

I'm going to the Regency Ball in Bath later this year, so being me I've started with the accessories (oops). This is a silk reticule, made on the Imperia in a rather yummy heavyweight pure silk. I'm fairly pleased for a first attempt and Its been given the general thumbs up by friends with a good knowledge of Regency styles. This one will be going to a new home to fund more silk for more reticule experiments :) Its the only catch with experimenting with silk, not a cheap raw material, but the results are lovely.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

It Knits!

Yes, it was all back to front, it now, after a little bit of cursing, knits all the way round the cylinder! Hooray!

Getting a bit stuck

I'm having a go at getting it to knit, but so far I have two specific problems:I'm finding the 'up' motion of the needles is going too high and theyarn is dropping off the latches so they shut closed. If I move the yarn carrier up any higher it misses the needles completely.I'm also finding that the needles don't drop far enough in the cylinder on the 'down' part of their motion to pull the stitch through. So on the odd occasion where I've managed to persuade theneedle to hold a stitch it isnt forming properly. I can see that screwing the tension knob down is helping this, but its not enough.

I've just had it suggested that maybe I have reassembled it incorrectly, so I'm about to take it all apart again and see if it will go back any other way.

Autoknitter renovation, part one

The Autoknitter has been looking at me reproachfully from its box for a couple of weeks now since I first got it, so today I relented and made a start on cleaning it up. Can't do too much today as I have sock orders coming out of my ears, so the Imperia has first call on my time, but I did take off the original test sock, take apart the cylinders, give everything a wipe over and re-oiling, and to my great delight so far its all turning smoothly, sounds good, and the needles look as if they may be up to at least getting the machine started. I've got the 60 cylinder on it at the moment, I'm very hopeful of getting this working and getting some smaller socks made, but I really need to settle down with the instruction manual before I attempt to thread it up, I've already spotted that a few things work a little bit differently to the Imperia and I'd hate to snarl it up through nothing more than overenthusiasm.

I've told myself for every sock I crank today on the Imperia I can spend half an hour fiddling with the Autoknitter, there is a very slim chance of getting it threaded by this evening if all goes well. Watch this space!

Monday, 3 March 2008

Look what I have!

I'm soooooo excited, I have a new toy to play with. This was an extremely generous gift from a friend who found it in an attic. I'm overwhelmed at how good people are to me :) It needs some tlc, but nothing that can't be sorted out, just need to find the time to play with it now!