Thursday, June 20, 2013

My New Sock Machine!!!! (Lots of pictures too!)

My loving hubby finally did it. He's been talking about it for years......and it finally happened. My new Earlbacher Gearhart circular sock machine (CSM for short) arrived about two weeks ago. It was super exciting.....and a bit intimidating at the same time. I spent an afternoon carefully unpacking everything and getting it all set up. Set up was fairly easy thanks to a wonderful video on set up done by the maker of the CSM. Then I spent the next couple of days just looking at it, reading through the accompanying lessons, and watching more videos. Went through my small stash of sock yarn and pulled out all the skeins I thought was good for playing with, making sure to set the good stuff aside for when I knew what I was doing. After all I don't want to mess up the good stuff now do I?  :)

After a few days of looking at it and cranking it empty I finally decided to give it a try with yarn. Started off with learning how to do I-cord. This involved removing needles and using a set-up bonnet. I got the hang of I-cord pretty quickly and moved on to lesson 2.....tubes. This is the lesson I've been lingering on for the past week or so. With tubes you also learn how to adjust your tension and how to take your project off the CSM. My first tube became a neck warmer . I used a bamboo/wool/nylon blend sock yarn. I also discovered that if the tension is too tight the bamboo will slip out of the needles making quite the mess. After the neck warmer I had read somewhere about making scarves but never found any directions on it. So I figured why not make a very long tube and then simply finish the ends by hand. That is exactly what I have been doing. So far I have made 5 scarves and have finished them either with a 3-needle bind off, an I-cord bind off, or a picot bind off. The 3-needle bind off has become my "go-to" bind off. I had tons of fun doing the picot bind off and can foresee using that one a bit more. The only one I wasn't real crazy about was the I-cord bind off. I think I just need more practice with it.

What's next you ask? Lesson 3..... Learning how to make a set-up bonnet. And maybe making another scarf or two. After all, I am getting pretty good at it. I can crank one out in less than an hour and finish it by hand in about the same amount of time or less, depending on the bind off of choice. Talk about instant gratification!!!!!   =}


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