circular sock knitting machine

I'm curious - does anyone else own or know about the antique sock knitting machines? I bought one a month or two ago and got it working this weekend - it's amazing - and while I have a LOT still to learn, this "dying" art has little literature to offer... I don't know what people did before the internet (there's a good amount of knowledge online) -

anyway, I was curious who else has one - it'd be good to try to collaborate and see what knowledge we can share :)



I know someone here in Walla Walla with one of those machines, but so far I'm not all that impressed with the sock the machine makes.


kylewilliam's picture

I think the quality of the sock has a lot to do with the machine, the knitter, the yarn, and their talents with the machine... I have seen some amazing socks come out of these machines... I will say, though - there's NOTHING like a true, hand knit sock...

having one of these machines though and working towards preserving the machine and the knowledge from a century ago means something...

I still have no clue how to make a sock - in a few months hopefully I'll have an idea how the thing works... for now, it's VERY new to me and I'm intrigued... but intrigue does not equal knowledge - so for now, it's slow and steady...



Kerry's picture

Joe (Queerjoe of this site, Ravelry and his blog) has one I think. You might try sending him a PM.

NeoYankee's picture

go to youtube and search "sock machine". There are several videos of people demonstrating use of their version... one even includes how to do a short-row heel. Probably not detailed enough for a full lesson, but it should give you some ideas

gaynnyc's picture

Here's a blog that has quite a bit of information. And lots of pictures of the finished products.

trpc's picture

I took the class from Susan Forsyth in Mission, BC. She also sells them, as well as replacement parts. People seem pretty passionate about them.

Tallguy's picture

There is the annual Sock Machine Conference --
June 22 - 26, 2008 in Nashville, Indiana.

CSMSA ' 08, Have a crankin' good tyme in Indiana
The Official web site for the 2008 Conference

RareSteek's picture

Here is a youtube video in which you see a machine in action. There doesnt seem to be sound though. It also brings up other related videos I have not looked at, maybe with sound and commentary.
I looks really interesting. Hard to tell if its a real fiddly thing to use or not. I saw one in a museum once but not in action.


purlyman's picture

There's a video at the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library and the Howard County Library (in Maryland) on this topic. You could see if your local library could borrow this from them for you. Sounds like Indiana is the place to be for sock knitting on machines!

Title: How to knit socks for machine knitters /
Author(s): Solomon, Leslye.
Gambo, Mark.
Publication: [S.l.] :; Leslye Solomon,
Edition: Machine knitting version.
Year: 1995
Description: 1 videocassette (60 min.) :; sd., col. ;; 1/2 in.
Language: English
Descriptor: Knitting.
System Info: VHS.
Note(s): Participants: Presented by Leslye Solomon.
Class Descriptors: Dewey: 746.432
Other Titles: Title on container:; How to knit socks for hand and machine knitters; Title on cassette label:; How to knit socks.; Part II,; For machine knitters
Responsibility: with Leslye Solomon. Produced by Leslye Solomon ; directed by Mark Gambo.
Material Type: Videorecording (vid); Videocassette (vca); VHS tape (vhs)
Document Type: Visual Material
Entry: 20030520
Update: 20030520
Accession No: OCLC: 52277989
Database: WorldCat


Hi Kyle,

I thought I'd posted this already but apparently not.

I just got one of these myself a few weeks back and have finally got to the point where it works realtively consistently. My most recent hurdle was to get the ribber to work for more than 10 rows without dropping stitches. That involved chaning out a few of the cylinder needles. and adjusting the tension on both the cylinder and the ribber.

I have managed one pair of joke sokcs (just for practice with nasty yarn. They are different lengths because I was playing with the tension as I went.) and one pair that I will actually be able to wear. The first was a mock rib hemmed top with plain stockinette for the leg and foot. The second was a mock rib (2x1) for the whole leg and the top of the foot with a selvedge top. Now that the ribber is being more cooperative I hope to actually do a 3x1 real ribbed leg pair.

Anyway should you wish to compare notes, please let me know. And clean and oil scrupulously -- it helps more than you'd think.

Caprifool's picture

How's it going? I have knitted hundreds of socks on my three machines. And I'd be glad to answer any questions. If I can't answer myself, I probably know someone who can or know where to find the answer.