Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mr. Cranky is here!

Today turned out to be Christmas for me! My new Auto Knitter circular sock machine (CSM) is finally here!

I had been emailing back and forth with the seller for 2 weeks to coordinate payment and delivery for my new toy. I don't know how long I have been after one of these, in fact, I can't even remember where on the web I saw one first, but one thing was sure: I needed to get my hands on one!

I've been watching Ebay auctions, calling antique dealers and watching auction web-sites for a few months now, but through a stroke of fate, I snagged this machine in a classified ad all the way from Calgary, Alberta. If you have ever been to Calgary, you must have noticed how bone-dry it is there; if this baby was half-decently stored there would be little rust on it, and as it was, it is in fantastic shape.

And it came with a bonus cat! (Just kidding, Howard "The Howarnator" Hughes is our cat, and a curious little devil he is. He has this marvelous way of looking so innocent, as in, "What? Me? What did I do now?" as the Christmas lights dangle from his fangs).

Back to the machine: the seller promised me it works, and that he actually knit socks with it. I am skeptical by nature, but part of me was screaming: JUST BUY THE DAMN THING ALREADY! And that's what I did: I threw caution to the wind and bought it. The seller was kind enough to take it to a local UPS store who packaged and shipped it for me, and before I knew it, the courier truck was in our driveway!

You remember when you were a kid and got a really cool gift you'd been coveting and begging Santa for? Well, this is my proverbial Red Ryder BB gun. (Just hope I don't lose an eye!) I even got up extra-early the next morning to check on it: was this real or just a figment of my overly-active imagination?

I had been following the shipment across the country and had planned a stay-at-home day for it's arrival. I was disappointed when I called the courier company that morning and was most positively assured that the delivery would be postponed a day or so because we are in a rural area. I figured I might as well make the best of the day and do some Christmas baking: the cookies were in the oven, and a batch of roasted almonds was caramelizing on the stove top when the courier truck arrived. I was too engaged to give the box the attention it needed, but once my kitchen duties were under control, I attacked the box with my trusty Olfa knife.

Everything was gingerly wrapped and padded; I quickly clamped the CSM on the kitchen counter and gave the handle a turn or two (okay, mebbe 5 or 6, okay, I wasn't counting!), it runs smoothly and literally purrs. This is a good sign.

A really cool detail (besides the original box and lid) was the original "Old Tyme" Auto Knitter sock that came with the machine.

Despite a few moth holes, this sock is a piece of history. I can hardly believe I own it! The wool is so soft, it dispels my preconceived notion that all old socks had the texture of a Brillo pad.

So, the next few days will be spent documenting the parts and how to take it apart and clean it. I have downloaded a lot of useful information from the web, and I will be happy to share all these details at a later time.

I hope this is the start of a long and fruitful relationship!


Sittelle said...

Howard is just toooo cuuute!!! And congratulations for your new machine!!!

Muddy Acres said...

Merci, I think we are going to have a lot of fun with it!

Ann said...

Congratulations! And you are a lot braver than I was. I waited until a CSM friend was available to help me put mine together. But it's been an obsession ever since. I've been playing with it a bit each day, tweaking just one dial at a time.

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