Baby Socks on the CSM

Wow, this was quite a journey.  As you know, I love mini things.  I did some looking around at what others have done and there are more than a couple of patterns and ideas for the baby sock.  Until you actually knit something, you never know what’s going to come out of your machine.   I can tell you what my results for the baby socks look like, so you can have some idea of where to start when you do your own experimenting.

The Pattern

I found a free pattern from rox4sox that I followed.  My goal was a 5ish” circumference and009 a 4ish” foot because I had measured commercial socks (I don’t have babies to test anymore lol).   I figured this size would get me in the ballpark of a walking baby size.  Here are my results on a 60 needle cylinder with a 30 needle ribber with a bit of tweaking:

First Batch

First Batch

The red sock is the original pattern. That is a 5 row foot, 1 x 1 ribbing throughout. The foot turned out to be 3.5″ measuring from toe to heel. The circumference is about 6″

In the blue fair isle sock at the top, I used 4 less needles in the short row heel to see if I can get a better shape.  I was pleased with this shape of the heel for little feet  The one on the bottom I tweaked the heel again – left only 21 cylinder needles in work, and decreased down to 7 cylinder needles.  I like that heel even more, and the circumference is a nice 5.5″.

What I was really distressed about by this point was the toe: it’s huge. If I try and do the same treatment to the toe as the heel, there are 2 problems:

1.  I have to kitchener stitch ribbing (not as easy as closing up plain toes), and


Nice socks; Shame about the toe.

2.  I get “bunny ears”.  No matter how I stitched it up, I got two little nobby bits on the sides of the toe.

The picture on the left is my botched job at grafting – I didn’t realize I was going side-to-side instead of top-to-bottom!

I tried different techniques and lots of swearing from this point.  I tried short rowing from the toe up like a regular adult pattern but with less needles – still got bunny ears.  I tried toe up, decreasing and rehanging stitches.  What I ended up with is to leave the toe that huge, and admit defeat.

The Final Decision

The smallest sock I can make with the 60/30 that looks proportionate to an adult sock is on the left.  They are knit like an adult sock – toe up, but with a 15 row foot and shorter heel.  This makes a 5″ long foot with a 6″ circumference, so It is about a kids’ shoe size 6-10.

A note about sizes:  Sock sizes are not the same as shoe sizes.  One day I may post about the loooong explanation as to why, but the bottom line is that most people know their kids’ shoe size, not their foot length.  Since socks can stretch, and the difference between shoe sizes are often .2″, a 5-6″ sock can fit a pretty big range of shoe sizes.

But Wait…


Fourth Experiment

So let’s go back to that fourth sock experiment is in the picture above, and also to the right.  That was another suggestion I had read on the internet – use every other needle.  The thinking was that if you have half the needles, you’ll have half the size of a regular cylinder.  This was the fastest and easiest sock I made, but the circumference was all wrong.  It was a whopping 6.5″.  I’ll give you a hint though – I was on the right track.

Check it out – this is what happens when you use every other needle, add the ribber AND use every other ribber needle – it creates a 1×1 rib spaced farther apart.  When they are all washed and dried, they are an exactly proportionately smaller sized sock at a beautiful 5″ circumference and 4″ foot. When stretched, they are holey, but that doesn’t show on a smaller foot, and the ribbing hugs the foot nicely.  I (finally!) got a model to test it, and this is what they look like on an 8 month old:

My Conclusions:

These may have less yarn in them, but they’re the same amount of work.  The best way to get a non-walking baby sock on your 60/30 is with the “Every Other Needle” method which is actually quicker.  One thing about working this way with the machine is that stitches drop more often being so far away from each other.  Watch out for that.

If you’re making a sock for an older child always use the ribber to get the circumference right.  I recommend the ribber for all children’s sizes right up to shoe size 6, (which is a Women’s shoe size 8).

None of this information is difficult to find in other places and there are a TON of helpful people with Sock Knitting Machines out there.  What I hope is that the pictures will help you visualize the result better if you ever consider making them!  And I’ll leave you with one final picture:

Family socks!

Family socks!

Mini Socks!

OH Yes, I love Mini Things. I couldn’t resist when I saw this pin on pinterest to see if I could make one.

I took a look at the Ravelry pattern (below), and it was done on a flat bed machine, but the translation didn’t quite turn out right.   My 2nd try on the CSM came out MUCH better.  (Pattern I used is below).  My first mistake was not remembering that on the flat bed machine, you have to crank out 2x the number of rows for tubular knitting.  So I halved the numbers and knitted the mini sock flat on the CSM and this is the result:












Here’s what I worked out:

PATTERN for cuff down mini sock

Take all but 24 needles out of the cylinder.

– Cast on your waste yarn and do a few rows. Then cast on your sock yarn.
– Knit 3 rows (back and forth), fold cuff over.
– Knit 17 rows, put left 12 needles on hold.
– Short row 4 stitches each end of the 12 needles in working position on right.
– Once back to 12 needles in working position, put all needles in working position and continue for the foot:
– knit 13 rows
– Toe: put left 12 needles on hold and repeat the heel short rowing.
– Cut long tail, and add waste yarn.
– BO.

Kitchener the toe, sew up the side seam and you’re done. Ta da!

Homegrown Harvest Socks

SockyTalky Yarn on the Machine

Socky-Talky by The Dye Guy

Harvest Socks


Just in time for Thanksgiving, I cranked out a pair of Harvest socks!  I found a beautiful hand-dyed yarn made in Canada from my LYS and it was so yummy to work with.  It’s Socky-Talky by The Dye Guy.  All the sock yarn I use is 75% wool and 25% nylon, but I noticed that when I spend more on the yarn, I notice the difference in the softness of the wool.   It’s my treat to myself 🙂

Ribber Tension

I don’t like to do any adjustments on the machine because I know someone before me had the machine set there – probably for a good reason.  So as much as I didn’t want to, I finally adjusted the ribber tension to see if that was the problem with the stitches.

YES.  It worked – my rib stitches are a dream now.  I got as far as the latch tool bind off and wow – not at all as easy as on the flat bed.  But the latch tool was not easy when I started on the flat bed either, right?  So I guess I just need some practice.  As it stands now, my latch tool bind off is really loose and as ugly as the cast on.

Just to see if I could get a better cuff now that everything seems to be adjusted on the machine, I tried the folded cuff.  Simple enough; I read that I only need 5 rows or so.  Took it off the machine, take the waste yarn off and…….not pleased with that one either.  What happened?  It’s all kind of roll-y. 

OK so, back to the drawing board.  There’s a ribbed selvedge edge that I’d like to try and it sounds as if there are some that have had success with it.   The technique starts with the ribber in work for one round, out of work for two rounds and in work again for one round.  Sounds a bit like the flat bed ribbed cast on.  I don’t know if this will work at the cast-off edge so I’ll try it knitting the sock cuff-down. I do enjoy the kitchener stitch, so I’ll give it a shot.

Stripey Colours

So I took a bit of a break from the circular machine because I found this bulky yarn and I wanted to try it.  This is Bernat Jacquards, and I think it’s mostly meant for sweaters, but I thought it would make a neat sock.  No nylon in this yarn, but super comfy 🙂 Simple folded cuff, seamed up the side with a kitchener stitch toe.

For anyone that may have been following the CSM progress, I’ve still not quite gotten the toe up sock.  I’ve discovered that I need my tension super loose as I do the toe so that it can be hung on the other side.  That means my cam needs to be all the way at the bottom.  I have also discovered that the toe is supposed to be slightly larger than the heel.  I went back to the diagram on page 14 in the manual and realized that the toe is supposed to be done on the back side of the machine (heel done on the front side), and has less needles remaining as you short row.

Success with the toe after these two modifications, but the ribber is dropping tons of stitches.  In the toe-up method, you add ribber needles instead of removing them as you go.  One of the important things I had to remember is that the direction of the ribber needs to be counterclockwise if the stopper is on the left side of the adjuster in the cylinder.  (clockwise if the stopper is on the right side)  Otherwise, the ribber will move way past the cylinder slot it’s supposed to be at, and there is a huge mess.  The “adjuster” I’m talking about is in this picture – it’s on the inside of the cylinder.

Once I get past that toe, I’ll post pictures!

First Full Sock

Et Voila!  My first full sock.  The mystery of the dropped stitches has been solved – it was my yarn carrier position as it travels around the cylinder.  I watched the videos 100 billion times, and finally noticed that the yarn carrier needs to come all the way to the other side ahead of the cam before knitting.  You can hear the “slap” in the videos as it hits the lug nut of the cam before it knits.  My yarn carrier just glides leisurely to the other side and doesn’t make it in time to knit.

One lady at the Yahoo group suggested that it may loosen up as I use it. So that’s no problem, I just hold the cam to allow the yarn carrier to get to the other side of it before it gets to the heel.  I hope that makes sense.  Here’s a picture of the area I’m talking about. 





In the meantime, I am able to get all the way down to the toe – super exciting!  I love the yarn colours, and the ribbing means that the sock hugs my foot which is a good thing.


But what happened to the cast on edge??  I took off the waste yarn after I kitchener stitched the toes, and was left with this mess.  UGH.  I know what I would do on the flat bed knitting machine, but I’m not sure how to fix this here.

I found a Youtube video that walks you through a toe-up sock with a latch tool bind off.  So, my next goal will be a “sweet sock” to see if I can make that cuff a little nicer.

Wish me luck!


So, I am getting a rythm going here – try knitting a few socks, unravelling them at night in my armchair.  Yes of course I’m unravelling them, because that’s some good yarn that I can’t just throw away when my experiments go horribly wrong!  I have decided to only use the good stuff while I’m learning, so I can eliminate “not the right yarn” from the experimental process.

I am still dropping those stitches at the heel, so I’m putting the ribber aside while I learn too.  One thing I’ve added to the process is weight.  I have some heel forks from my standard machine, so I’m using four of those currently.  They get all the sides of the heel stitches, but it is mega crowded under that machine.  When I move them up my hand can barely fit in there.

I’ll have to see if there’s a better way after I get those heel stitches fixed.

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