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  1. #21
    Join Date
    12th March 17
    Irving, Texas
    1 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by The Wizard of BC View Post
    Well, I will admit that the learning curve on these machines is huge. I spent the first 6 weeks cranking every day before I got my first good sock. Then another three tries before I had a mate to that first one.

    There are a lot of people who like to tell you how historically important these machines were and how many socks were made with them. In reality I suspect that the vast majority of the machines you can find on Ebay, even thought they are approaching 100 years old, have never successfully made a sock. That is why you can find them at farm auctions and in barns and attics all over N. America. They were put there after the frustration of not being able to make it work and forgotten.

    Now however I can crank a pair of socks in just under 4 hours. I then spend another hour and a half closing the toes because that must be done manually.

    But hey, a pair of kilt hose will send a hand knitter into fits. A full weeks worth of knitting at about 4 hours per day for hand knit socks.

    Now, I find cranking to be very restful and soothing. I'll go down into the basement, put an old movie into the player and have a sock done before the movie ends.

    But oh boy, in the beginning there were times when I was ready to toss that hunk of metal into the street and drive over it with a steam roller.

    Now I am invited to teach others how to set up their machine and how to get it to make a good looking sock. We are even going to host what we call a "Crank-in" next year. We will invite anyone who found one of these machines in the back of grandma's closet to come and learn how to make a sock on it. We are going to bring in the representative of the company who made my machines in Cape Girardeau, MO. to come to Victoria and help out.
    If you ever really wanted to know more about these incredible machines this would be a great time.
    How long would it take to make a pair of footless socks? Have you made any?

  2. #22
    Join Date
    12th July 17
    0 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)
    Okay, I'm just intruding on the topic here because, look, I'm going to knit these:

    And I think I will definitely go into fits at some point, but hey, they are so nice looking !

    Regarding dyeing, I tend to use kool-aid a lot, it fixes quite nicely on 100% wool

  3. #23
    Join Date
    27th October 09
    Kerrville, Texas
    7 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Voussoir View Post
    RIT dye is a "union" dye. It works well for all fibers, but requires 2 or 3 dips to get an even color.
    Your socks are acrylic, so they will not shrink on you. As long as the dye was heat set, which sounds like it was, then you just need to rinse until no further color comes out of the fabric and you'll be fine. It won't come off on your legs. Any application of heat is fine: steam, microwave, oven, dryer...just be mindful of matching heat temperature to fiber tolerance.

    To dye wool, soak the wool in a water/vinegar mix (acidic) to open the protein fibers to accept dye.
    To dye cotton, soak in water/washing soda mix (alkali) for opening bast fibers before dying.

    Creative dyers have posted that they mix prepared dye with gelatin to thicken it so that they can paint it on in specific areas, then heat set, and wash out the gelatin. Just more ideas;-)
    I dyed some ecru hose back in 2010 using Rit dye. Results were fair. The hose I used were on the inexpensive side, meaning they had little-to-no actual wool content. They were mostly man-made fibers that didn't want to truly accept the dye. I posted about it here, although my photos are no longer active in that thread, thanks to Photobucket's recent change. I have long lost the photos of the dyeing process, but here's how they turned out in the long run. The dye was supposed to be dark green, but the synthetic fiber just never would hold fast the colour. In the end, I kind of like the "Lovat Green" effect that I was left with. It will turn the bottoms of my feet slightly green on hot summer days when my feet sweat in them. But other than that, the dye stays fairly consistently light green over time.

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