I picked up a CSM in 2009 I think. My sister needed a new garden fence, and consequently Mum gave us both some money, and I honestly didn't know what I wanted to spend it on. I'd wanted a CSM for a while so put my name down on the waiting list (there's a restorer in Derbyshire which is within driving distance). I've mucked about with it a bit, and taken it to various demonstrations, and knitted quite a lot of tubes, but never actually made a complete sock with it. I want to challenge myself in 2013 and this was the easiest thing to tackle first I suppose, seeing as the machine is set up all the time.
Heel in progress. The yarn is Trekking XXL handpainted although I suspect it's machine painted because the ribbed sections come out with a regular diagonal stripe.
I followed this pattern to the letter and the foot came out 29.5cm long which is too long for my foot and a smidge too big for the Cog too, but surprisingly he liked the colour; he's the "prince of black" normally - so I guess he gets them. Alas, I don't have any more of this exact yarn to try out.
The one big problem I had was that you go straight from waste yarn into ribbing and the granny knot required caused problems - main cylinder needles refused to knit off, so some relatching and repairing has had to be done and it's not perfect (the second sock went easier because it had more weight behind it). The other problem with this method is you've almost no yarn to weave in afterwards, so I think on the next pair I will attempt to pull a long end through instead.
Surprisingly (to me), the selvedge doesn't unravel. The sock is started with one round 1x1 rib and two rounds main cylinder needles only (ribber needles are disengaged ie slipped). I can't mentally understand why it doesn't unravel, but it doesn't - furthermore, it's a lovely stretchy cast on.
Why the post title? Well, it took me several hours to finish a pair of socks. Transferring to rib or to stocking stitch means literally taking a needle out of one cylinder and transferring it to another. A fiddly business, even with full strength reading spectacles and a daylight lamp. Can you imagine Victorian ladies trying to do this? It has to be done in stages, too, as the needles can only be exchanged when the yarn mechanism is in a certain area. I almost had a disaster on the first sock. Whilst working the heel, a stitch didn't knit off correctly. As you cannot move the needle itself enough to fix this, I foolishly removed the clasp spring (equivalent to the sponge bar on a flat bed knitting machine). The needles in hold all went "Sproing!" and fell forwards. Luckily I managed to rescue them and reseat them. I shall know not to do THAT again!! Ha! It should have been obvious really, if you try changing a needle on a knitting machine with a lot of needles in hold they will very likely drop forwards.
I could have easily made these socks on the Brother or the Passap, with the caveat that the ribbing would need to be done in two halves. These socks are completely circular - the only sewing I had to do was to graft the toe (the grafting lies on top of the toes).
Finished socks. Yes, there is a bit of a chunk out of the ribbed edge - that's partly because of the bodged repair. Despite them being a bit big, I'm really chuffed with them.
Addendum: If anyone wants to buy a restored CSM, you can contact Dennis Wright on 01335 342093 or rytholme (at) tiscali (dot) co (dot) uk. Posted with permission.
Current mood: tired - yeah, insomnia again last night. I wish there was such a thing as a silent knitting machine, I could get more knitting done whilst everyone else is asleep!