Things I’ve learned about ribbing on a CSM

posted Thursday, July 24th, 2008

  • If it doesn’t work, take it apart, clean everything (again) and keep trying
  • If the stitches don’t clear the latches (easily, on their own), and you’re using plenty of weight, your ribber dial is TOO HIGH.  It’s not a tension issue or a needle issue, it’s simply because the dial isn’t adjusted properly.  It seems counter intuitive to lower it, but it has to be lower for the needles to work correctly
  • Stitch tension adjustment is very touchy – a small adjustment makes a BIG difference!  It’s not like the v-cam tension at all
  • Ribber timing is tricky – just when you think you have it, you have to tweak it again.  Make TINY adjustments.  A quarter turn of that screw can make a big difference.  An entire turn might be WAY WAY WAY too much!
  • If you yarn carrier is not where it needs to be, that can cause all kinds of problems
    • You might break/bend latches (and possibly destroy needles entirely)
    • Latches won’t open
    • Your timing will seem off, when it really isn’t, the needle just can’t grab the yarn

When you get it all right, it sings 🙂  You can crank out an entire ribbed sock with no trouble at all… amazing!

Ribbed Sock

CSM successes!

posted Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

I don’t think I posted about it, but I bought a NZAK a few months ago.  I’ve wanted a CSM since my mom and I saw an antique one demonstrated at a quilt show of all places a little over two years ago – she bought one almost immediately afterwards, but I’d still been wanting one of my own since. I’ve been quietly playing with it (and sometimes loudly cursing at it) trying to get over the learning curve so that I can actually make something. Knitting actual heels/toes still eludes me – I can consistently get to about 3 or 4 rows before the end before dropping a stitch and fouling everything up. I’m not good at fixing that, so when it happens, my only recourse is to crank out another length of tube and try again.  I know the issue has to do with where I’m placing my heel forks and how much weight I’m using, so it’s something I’ve just got to work out. I can crank out tubes of knitting and ribbing like no one’s business though, and can cast on and remove knitting from the machine with increasing speed now 🙂

I finally have not one, but TWO actual FO’s from the past couple of days. They’re not socks, but both incredibly useful things to be able to make on the CSM.

First up is a pair of wristwarmers. I had wanted them to be long enough to be legwarmers for my littlest kid, but I didn’t quite have enough yarn. They’d still work for that, but they won’t really cover his whole leg, so I thought I would just keep them for me, and crank him out another pair in a different yarn later 🙂

One of the reasons I wanted a CSM was to be able to whip up legwarmers lickety-split, so I feel like this is a huge leap in that direction finally.  The pair took me longer to finish off the machine (bind-off) than they did to knit!  They’re just a simple length of 1×1 ribbing.


Then, attempting to make another set-up bonnet for my 72 cylinder, I grabbed some leftover sock yarn, but once it was worked up, I thought it was too pretty, so I ended up with a tiny little hat.  Since I just recently signed up as a photographer with NILMDTS, this was another thing I wanted to be able to do with my CSM – make tiny little hats for those babies, as a special gift from me for the parents to keep.

I need to put a pom on it still, but it’s essentially ‘done’ other than that.  I definitely see I will be making a LOT of these with scrap sock yarn… it only takes about 15g to make one.

CSM Baby Hat

And, as if all that wasn’t good enough, I finally got my 36/72 ribber set up and ribbing.. I’d previously only been able to rib with the 27/54 combo, and while I have only been able to get it going and keep it going with my scrap yarn, it was in fact working, I just have to work out the tension and weight to make it work with thicker yarn.

Ribber success on the 36/72 :)

That lovely green acrylic scrap yarn is some evil stuff though.. it likes to break very easily (being a 2/24 yarn, not surpirsing!).. and it fuzzes up a lot when you’re trying to rip it out.  Not good.  I have some better “cheap” yarn coming – or at least, I hope it will be better!  I’ve been tempted to use some of my coned laceweight merino since it’s stronger than the acrylic is, but that yarn wasn’t cheap even purchased wholesale, so I’ve been sourcing other options 🙂