I have been referencing Penelope, my new Erlbacher Gearhart circular sock knitting machine, in this blog over the past 2 weeks, and the last couple of days I have been learning to use the ribber. When it is set up correctly the fabric that it makes is amazing - even, knit 1, purl 1 ribbing for sock legs. Actually, larger ribs are possible as well - k3, p1; k5, p1; etc. I have just been starting simply.
Day 1: I couldn’t even get the mechanism to turn. Whenever I set the needles to the ON position everything just locked down. I spent most of yesterday taking everything apart and timing, and retiming the ribbing device and tappet plate, resetting the height of the yarn carrier, and centering the ribber over the cylinder.
Day 2: Today, with the set up as good as I could get it, I started cranking tubes and you can see the results. The tubes are progressive from left to right. The progress is obvious. The example on the left is full of dropped stitches and significant runs - so much so that I didn’t bother to ever add sock yarn. The example in the middle had fewer dropped stitches, and I did try a partial tube with sock yarn. Still there are a few dropped stitches. The example on the right was the best yet. There is only 1 dropped stitch - unfortunately it was too far below the cylinder tube to latch it back up. My latch tool is just not long enough.
What have I learned? That watchfulness for open latches is critical, and it has taken me 2 days to learn the lesson. I am confident that the ribber is properly timed, so the errors you see are mine. That's good news, actually, because now I can fix it. Tomorrow? Maybe a pair of socks.