Knitting socks is a great hobby and it can also be a profitable side business for stay-at-home moms who have been practicing the craft for years. If you want to make money from knitting socks, mittens, or scarves, you will need a sock knitting machine.
Finding one can be a challenge because the sock knitting machine is obsolete. No one makes them anymore so you will have to look for a restored machine through antique dealers or a used furniture store. When buying a sock knitting machine, make sure it was thoroughly cleaned, polished, adjusted, timed and knitted on.
Now that you have a sock knitting machine sitting in front of you, learn first how to knit tubes, then heels and toes, using practice knitting machine yarn. Sock weight knitting yarn is ideal, but you can also use sport and worsted. Opal, Regia, Loma’s Laces, Trekking XXL, Fortissima and Alpaca are some of the popular types you can apply. Loose the tension when working with thicker knitting yarns.
In the sock knitting machine is a cylinder with slots for needles. Latches on these needles do the knitting as each needle passes through the cam shell path. To make socks on a knitting machine, set up a bonnet or webbing on the middle of the machine to make the needle move continuously. Thread some brightly colored scrap yarn and knit about two to three inches. Later on when your sock is done, you can clip and rip this scrap yarn from the hem of your sock.
Set the yarn firmly on the yarn ball winder to maintain an even tension. Turn the crank and count the number of rows made as the carrier goes around the cylinder. Take a stitch from the first row and hang it on the needle to knit the hem top.
Once the hem stitches of your machine knitted sock are done, you can put a ribber on the machine to produce purl stitches. With the ribber on, crank the machine to the desired length of the leg part of your sock. As you knit the ankle part of the sock, half of the stitches on the ribber needle will transfer to the cylinder needle. Note the red marks on the cylinder as your start and stop points for the heel and toes.
To knit the heel, raise the back half of the needles so you only work on the front of the machine. Raise a needle on one side and crank around. Raise the other side and knit back. Repeat this process until you reach the red mark. After the heel is knitted, move on to the foot of the sock. The toes are also knitted on the front half of the knitting machine, just like you did with the heels. Sew up the top of the toe with a Kitchener stitch and you’re done.
Learning the intricacies of a sock knitting machine takes patience and a lot of practice. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll enjoy your hobby more than you ever did.