The devices that make up a standard sock knitting machine include are ribbers, cylinders, working needles, heel weights, ‘pick up’ tool, bobbins, yarn swift, heel hook and a set up basket. The ribbers and cylinders are arranged in slots. Many of these machines have an attached automatic needle latch opener for ribbers and cylinders. This is to help prevent stitches from coming off.
Ribbers in a sock machine help in creating purl stitches. Many machines have a facility for easy adjustment of ribbers which implies mechanical adjustment of ribbers without the aid of screwdrivers and other tools. They have a heel tension that is efficient and effective. Some machines are designed to easily accommodate needles for knitting thicker yarns. This feature enables the user to knit scarves, hats, hem top socks etc. with both thick and thin yarns.
One can knit a sock on a sock knitting machine in an hours’ time. Those who specifically wish to knit socks on these machines can use a self-patterning sock yarn or a sport weight yarn. Machines with 54, 56 and 60 slot cylinders enable the use of worsted weight yarn. The 72 and 80 slot cylinders facilitate the production of tighter fabrics.
Cylinder machines are probably the best options for knitting socks. The tension of this machine should be loosened while using knitting thicker yarns. One can place his/her sock knitting machine on a circular table or a workbench. One can avail the antique sock knitting machines with several companies. They retail sock machine kits with a user-manual and a warranty card. Many companies also provide machine cleaning services.
The sock knitting machine has won many a heart as it combines the old-world charm with modern sock knitting. A sock knitting session with a sock knitting machine in your backyard will certainly help you revive the charm of the sunny olden days.