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Knitting for our troops - pile machine knit socks

Angelina Russo australian war memorial Blog Posts culturecycle socks troops

Recently, a curator from the Australian War Memorial added a shout out to Ravelry seeking pattern testers for knitting patterns which were being developed for a museum publication on war knitting. This publication is being prepared for the 100 year commemoration of the First World War. Australians were asked to contribute knitted products to the war effort I contacted the curator and asked whether she might accept a machine knitted pattern. She agreed to have a look so here is the pattern. Pile Machine knit socks These pile machine knit socks are made with 4ply wool (Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury Koala 4ply, shade 353) + a very fine elastic available from DEA Yarns in New Zealand. awn-sock-blocking awm-sock-detail pile-detail-1 pile-detail-2   The socks are knitted from the top down using a variety of techniques including pile knitting, circular knitting and short rowing. The pattern is intended for people who are used to making socks on the machine. If you have not made socks on a flatbed knitting machine and ribber, please visit Diana Natters where you will find the most comprehensive videos on this technique. Pile knitting is easy once you get the swing of the process. The technique gives you an incredibly soft set of loops which capture the air around your sock making them extremely toasty. I've tested this sock to -6degrees celcius regularly and I can vouch for its effectiveness as a winter warmer. yarn-winding-awm-socks           Pattern details You set up the machine as per the instructions of your particular machine configuration. On the Singer 322 and accompanying ribber and then there are three steps 1 - with carriage on lhs, you move all ribber needles to C position by moving the P carriage from left to right knit one row from left to right 2 - using the P carriage, move all ribber needles to C position by moving the P carriage from left to right knit one row from right to left 3 - Move the P carriage from right to left and left to right on the main bed This is the end of Step 3 the confusing bit is here You don't knit across, you repeat (1-3) from Step 1 here Once you have understood the pattern work you can begin the socks
Size Women Men
7-9 7-9
foot circumference 21 21
total foot length 25 25
finished sock length
Yarn requirements 160grams 180grams
 Prepare to knit cuff
Cast on 45/45 Set the machine for a normal 1x 1 rib cast on Knit 6 in the circular cast-on method Change tension to K4, R6
Knit 10 10
Prepare for Pile Knitting 
change pitch lever to H move the carriage to the left as far as it will go set the auxillary yarn feeder to the P mark (right) and push down the drop levers to the middle position thread the auto tension with the yarn and the auxillary yarn feed with elastic. Make sure that the elastic is held while you knit the first row
knit this many rows using the Pile Technique described above  70  70
Now prepare for circular knitting Remember to bring the side levers back up
move half stitches back to upper bed As you will want to keep the seam on the inside, ensure that each sock you reverse the side from which you take the ribber needles. To make it easier to remember, write down which side you started with. I like to start with the left hand main bed needles moving down to the ribber. On the second sock I take all of the right hand main bed needles down to the ribber
knit waste yarnremove main bed stitches from the machine and turn knitting over. Place over the remaining main bed needles immediately above the ribber needles. Move all stitches onto the main bed. Make sure you reset the yarn (remove elastic from auxillary). Remove waste yarn from the stitches and ensure that you have picked up all stitches.
decrease two stitches on both edges
set the two beds for circular knitting set the tensions to K5, R7
knit this many rows  20  20
Your counter should now be reading  100  100
Now prepare for heel  Change tension on main bed to 4 Reset the main bed carriage for plain stocking net.
Short row the heel by bringing one needle out of work on the same side of the carriage  on each pass of the carriage until 12 needles remainpick up heel stitches to prevent holeNow begin bringing the needles back into work, choosing the opposite needle to the carriage. Bring needles back into work one at a time until they are all back.
The entire process should take this many rows  56  56
remove 2 stitches on each side on both the main bed and the ribber
Your counter should now be reading  156  156
Prepare to knit Foot
change settings back to circular knittingchange tension back to K5, R7
 knit this many rows 140 160
remove 2 stitches on each side on both the main bed and the ribber
Your counter should now be reading 300 316
Prepare to knit the Toe Short row the heel by bringing one needle out of work on the same side of the carriage  on each pass of the carriage until 11 needles remainpick up heel stitches to prevent holeNow begin bringing the needles back into work, choosing the opposite needle to the carriage. Bring needles back into work one at a time until they are all back.
The entire process should take this many rows 48 48
Your counter should now be reading 348 364
decrease one stitch on both edges on both main and ribber beds
knit this many circular rows 4 4
Total row count 352 368
 waste yarn at least 20 rows and remove from the machine
These socks are remarkably warm and very attractive. Enjoy!


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