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Machine knitted Fixation socks by Diana Sullivan
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"I had a yarn shop myself for eight years, and I do love handknitting, but the machines are quite a blessing. I could get shop samples together quite quickly. I learned to finish things well, because the customers really look them over! I don't think hand or machine knitting is better, just different. I sold the shop, and now I have a "real" job. Only the foot is seamless. The ribbing has a narrow mattress stitch seam. I decide where I am going to fold the cuff and seam it so that the seam doesn't show. The seam is on the inside up to the fold and then on the outside from there up. I read on the net about a reversible seam but I wasn't satisfied with it. For the seamless foot, one needs a knitting machine with a ribber. First I knit whatever ribbing I want for the cuff, and then I move half the stitches to the ribber bed for circular knitting. I knit my ankle rows. Then I drop the ribber bed just a little, change the machine for flat knitting, and shape the heel, knitting only the main bed stitches. I switch back to circular and do the foot, then repeat the heel shaping for the toe. I take the thing off on "waste" yarn, kitchener stitch the toe, and remove the waste yarn. Then I seam the cuff. I learned how to do socks on the machine by trying different patterns the ladies on the MachKnit list have shared, and tips they've shared in emails to the list. I have more access to machine knitting info using the Web as a resource!
Another thing one could do is start with the toe, knit the whole sock, including the cuff in circular. Then you would have to reform the stitches for the cuff in ribbing, which wouldn't take that long if you did something like 3 x 1. Or, you could handknit the cuff.
There are also ways to turn the heel differently, a Japanese heel, for instance, or a Dutch heel. I'm happy with the plain heel and haven't tried them.
I am not a particularly fast machine knitter. I even tore the first one out once and decided to make a longer cuff - might as well useall the yarn! It took me a whole Saturday morning to plan, make and seam the pair of socks. If I were handknitting, it would probably take me a week of evenings.
I bet this yarn would make a super warm pair of knee socks" -Diana