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FAQ on Sock Knitting Machines

More FAQ to Follow Soon- Sorry

What is the best sock knitting machine to buy?
      This is my opinion and my opinion only.  1st, you are best off buying one in person so you can see if the metal is still in good condition and all the parts are there to your best knowledge.  A good way to tell if all the parts are there is if you study some of the online manuals that I have on this website before you purchase a machine.
First and foremost, the best sock knitting machine to buy is one that will work.
My preference is a cast iron one as there is a better chance that these machines have not altered their original shape in the years that have passed.
I also like the sock machines with the enclosed lift cams because you don't have to worry when going backwards whether your back needles are up or not.  This may seem trivial, but it really does help when learning on a machine. 

To paint or not to paint...
I have to laugh when supposed restorers say they don't paint or powdercoat the sock machines because it takes away from the value of the machine.  To me, that is just an excuse for not having to go to all the bother.  I've even seen some that have had their rust left on for the sake of keeping it looking 'original'.  Believe me, they did not come with rust in their original condition!
Please don't misunderstand.  I would never strip a machine and repaint or powdercoat one if the condition of it was fair or good.  And I also wouldn't redo one that was very old and rare.
To ease some of your minds, know that I only repaint or powdercoat the sock machines that really absolutely need it.
There is something to be said for both types of machines.-
I love working on a sock machine that has been powdercoated.  It feels much cleaner than the ones that are only 'cleaned up'.
But if I do a demonstration, I normally bring one that hasn't been repainted or powdercoated.
I want the people that see them to realize that these sock machines are old.
In the end, it is all up to the individual person and what they want.

Where to buy/find your machine.
If you're very lucky, you might find a machine at an antique store or auction.  I know many people that have found theirs that way.
There is also Ebay, but you really have to study what the machine is supposed to look like before you start bidding.  It's very possible when buying a machine off Ebay that parts have been interchanged.  Even if the machine has the same name (for instance the Legare 400), that doesn't necessarily mean that it has all it's original parts.  Very often the cylinders have been mixed and when receive it, one or more cylinders won't fit.  But again, you may be lucky and get all the original parts the first time you purchase.  There's a very good chance though, that you will end up buying two machines to get one.  Especially if you purchase an old pot metal Auto Knitter. These machines are notorious for having swollen cylinders, cam shells, and ribber dials, due to weather conditions not agreeing with the pot metal.
There are good machines and bad machines, just as there are good restorers and bad restorers.
Whatever you do, take your time and study the machines, pictures, manuals (I have manuals online here for free that you can look at), and ask the person you are getting it from a lot of questions.  Think about what kind of yarn you would like to use with it and what kind of socks you would like to make.  That will give you an idea of what number of slots in your cylinder and ribber dials you will want.












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Updated on 8/5/06