How to Crank a Pair of Socks…

…in pictures.

Thanks to Tina, who visited me on Saturday for some Sushi and CSM fun (see her post for pictures and more detail), I now have more up to date photos of how I go about making a pair of socks on the machine**.

Ready? (photo-heavy for those on dial-up):

First, I hang the setup bonnet on the hooks.

Setup Bonnet

Next, a few rounds of waste yarn (an acrylic/cotton blend that’s easy to rip out).

Waste Yarn

Then, I begin with the ‘good’ yarn (in this case, I’m using Tina’s own Phoenix Fiberworks yarn).

The Yarn

The Beginning...

After 10 rounds, I make a ‘YO’ row (by moving a stitch to the next hook).


Then, after knitting another 10 rows, I hang the hem by putting the stitches from the first row onto the current row.

Hanging the Hem
Still Hanging the Hem

This is the fun part – cranking 75 rows for the leg. Can you see my blurry arm?

In Motion 2

Here is a close up of the picot hem.

Picot Hem

Time for the heel – I lift up the hooks on the back of the cylinder to put them ‘out of service’ so I can knit the short-row heel.

Beginning the Heel

I use bent forks with 1 lb weights attached to weigh down the heel and/or toe.

The Heel

It happens to the best of us – dropped stitches. :o(

Dropped Stitches!

Picking up dropped stitches is SO much fun!

Fixing Dropped Stitches

Finally (two hours later), a pair of almost finished socks. All they need is a kitchener on the toe. (You can see the finished pair on Tina’s blog)

Socks !

I hope you all enjoyed the walk-through! It’s hard to show here but it really isn’t as easy as some might think. These machines are antiques (unless you invest in a NZAK), are very persnickety and you need to pay close attention at all times or you end up doing what I had to do in the 2nd to last picture. I was *very* lucky in that the machine I purchased on Ebay was in working order – and I did quite a bit of shopping before I settled on the one I purchased.

However, I’m not complaining. It may be a bit challenging at first but hell, a pair of socks in two hours? You can’t beat that with a size 1 needle (or a stick). ;o)

**All photos in this post were taken by Tina with my Pentax – thanks again!
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27 thoughts on “How to Crank a Pair of Socks…

  1. LOL I love how in the fork picture the inside of the sock starts to look like a vortex, my wallet feels that this is highly symbolic and appropriate. That said, I’m THRILLED that the pictures came out well enough that you had some worthy of the blog. Of course I love your camera, but you already know that.

    Someday missy, someday I too shall crank my own sock and save my hands for the interesting sock patterns. Until then I shall pine from afar… and bribe you with sock yarn. :)

  2. Wow, that looks hard and trying. I’d probably huck the thing out the window in frustration long before learning how to use it. I enjoy seeing the pictures and I’m going to check them out again to see if I can make sense of how it works. The sock yarn is very pretty.

  3. Whoa – that looks tricky. Love the picot hem – what a clever little gadget — or a clever operator.
    Love the pictures with the bent forks, it’s wild looking down into that whirl of colours. I still have no clue how that heel was formed — seems like a bit of witchery. ;-)

  4. What fun! I’m not sure I’m smart enough to figure out the heels/toes part. Sure does beat endless rounds of stockinette though :)

  5. That’s so cool! you knew I was going to say that. I still want one – yep, you knew I was going to say that one also. How about the deep purple vortex is mesmerizing – you probably would have figured that one out.

    Is a bent fork called a bork? and I really love your ring in that first picture :)

  6. That is so amazing! I’d always wondered exactly ‘how’ that process worked, but I’d never been able to picture it until now. Ah, now I’m going to be so jealous of you!

    Great post!

  7. You are killing me here! I have the handspun sock yarn. I just don’t have the interest in knitting a lot of socks (sue me). I want a CSM and it’s just not in the budget.

    For all the futzing, it still looks like fun. I want one.

  8. I waited to read this until I had time to look at the pictures closely. Wow. What a system. It really doesn’t look that easy to me at all. How long do you think it too you to get the hang of it? Maybe a good follow up post might be you telling us your feelings on the advantages and disadvantages of doing socks both this way and via hand.

  9. Fascinating! The pics really help, but one of these days I’m just going to have to bribe you into an in person demo. While wearing my very own hand cranked socks of course! ;) Even the boy was interested when I was explaining the machine to him. Of course, he just sees it as a path to more socks for him. ;)

  10. I want a pair of socks too. It really does seem pretty quick and a nice apparatus to have. All of your socks look great and the tutorial was nice to see what is required to knit a pair of socks.

  11. Those are great photos. I love my old cranker, also from eBay. It needed major rebuilding to get it to work, but that justm amkes it all the more special. And, yes, they do have certain personality quirks at times. :) (And I’m glad I’m not the only one who loves a pair of stockinette socks.)

  12. Wow. That is great! The pictures are very clear also, like a little class. Hahah. It does not look very easy…it looks difficult. Wait, you just make it look easy. I cannot believe that it only took 2 hours to make socks and they look soo nice. I bet that helps with the Christmas knitting. Does it make other things, or only socks?

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