About the Marvelous Sock Machine

Circular stocking knitting machines were developed shortly following the invention of other labor saving mechanical devices, such as the sewing machine. These ingenious machines were produced in a number of versions by several manufacturers by the late 1800’s. Because stockings were so important to the health of troops fighting in the sodden trenches of France during World Ware One (1914-1918), the International Red Cross asked each of their divisions to provide knitted goods for the war effort, and offered circular sock knitting machines to those who would commit to making a minimum of 30 pairs of stockings for the troops. More sock machine history…

I tracked this one down via eBay, and bought it from a couple in Vermont who restores them. It arrived in the original wooden crate, in about 50 pieces, each one carefully encased in bubble-wrap (not to mention the 70+ needles that have to be inserted in the cylinder). So first I had the challenge of assembling it, and THEN the task of learning to use it.

The Sears workbench was NOT original Standard Issue.

Yes indeed, that’s a paint roller. The yarn winds up very nicely on empty toilet paper rolls, which then slide onto the roller. The sock sort of generates itself down the middle, creating a long, snaky tube. Some fancy maneuvering of needles creates cuffs, ribbing, heels and toes. Magic!

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