Colourful wool socks made by hand & an old knitting machine
Using an old fashioned hand-operated circular knitting machine, Crank'd makes handmade socks in bright colours. While the machine helps, the process involves a fair amount of manual work and skill to load up the machine. The result is lovely comfortable woollen knitted socks.
Knitting machines have been around for some time, in fact, the first knitting machine was made in 1589 and used to make woollen stockings. Portable circular knitting machines, like the one Dani at Crank'd uses, were developed in the 19th century. They were popular as people could use them at home to produce socks for sale. Their popularity continued into the 20th century. In particular, during WWI, woollen socks were knitted to send to soldiers in the trenches to avoid getting trench foot.
During WWII, a lot of the knitting machines were melted down because of metal shortages, so very few are left today. New style knitting machines are still being made today, but of course, there is something about your socks being made using traditional techniques on an old-fashioned machine.
Image of knitting machine courtesy of Crank'd Handmade Socks
Then the machine is cranked, and of course, the next layer of yarn is added to the machine through the manual process. The machine does help save time, but also ensure the consistency and quality of the knitting.
If you are looking to buy some Crank'd socks or see them being made in person, then head to the markets around Stanthorpe, where Dani is a regular at various markets. You should check which markets are on as they are not on every weekend and check which ones Dani is attending from her Facebook page.
While the socks are not cheap, they do take a fair amount of time to make. So maybe a pair of Crank'ds won't be your everyday socks, but they can be the socks you wear at home, hopefully when sitting by an open fire with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book.
So nice to see the old ways are not all lost. I can remember Mum making our jumpers on a knitting machine when we were kids. It was a great big long thing, the full length of the kitchen table that was kept under the bed when it wasn't being used. I guess it was quicker than hand knitting and there were four of us kids.