Every year I usually buy myself some crazy expensive gift for my birthday. Some years I go a little crazier than others and this year I think I kept it pretty tame.
I have been looking at sock machines for years on eBay. But the price point for something like a 70-year-old machine with no support (especially if you have no idea how to use one) is pretty high.
A few weeks ago I came across a post the Erlbacher Gearhart has started reproducing their old machines. So I jumped on it and got their new speedster model with a bunch of goodies to go with. I was emailing back and forth with them for a while before purchasing making sure I would have everything I needed to hit the ground running when it arrived.
Two days before my birthday, a small wood box arrived with everything screwed down inside. I was surprised that it actually came with tools (like, real tools, not cheap things you’ll throw away), a spool of scrap yarn, a picture of the box (which I assume is there to help you put it all back in if you decide to put it away), a starting bonnet and a bunch of other stuff.
I had already done some yarn shopping before it arrived and watched a bunch of YouTube videos so I pretty much instantly started pumping out socks as soon as I put it all together.
There are still some manual and tedious things to do in sock making even with a fancy machine like this. Hanging yarn on the little hooks isn’t my favorite thing in the world, but now that I’ve done it a few times I am getting pretty quick at it. And I find sewing up toes with the dreaded Kitchener stitch actually pretty relaxing.
But ask yourself how long would it take you to knit a sock? Hours? Several evenings? As a beginner it’s probably taking me about 45 minutes with this machine and that is taking my sweet time and learning as I go. There are videos of people easily making a sock in 8 minutes. Isn’t that crazy!?
And watching it work is pretty mesmerizing even if you’re making a boring grey sock…
And here’s a sock I just cranked out that I’ll be wearing tomorrow.