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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sock Cranking Day in Oconto Falls, WI

Ahhh finally a post for my Fiber Readers!   Sorry, I have been so busy between grandbabies and house preparation that I have not been paying attention to my fibers.  Bad Me!

On Monday morning I loaded up my Tracker with my antique circular sockknitting machine, my tool box, my stash of supplies and tools that I sell, including a How To DVD in case there were some newbies at the gathering.

It was hot and muggy, temps in the 70's, as I was loading up the Tracker. I was wearing sandals, capri shorts and a short sleeved top.  I even turned on the air conditioning for a few miles to cool down the interior of the vehicle.   (I saw the weather reports of what was coming, but heck, they are usually wrong.  Right?) 

Four times a year, Ann Jansky  chuckann@ezwebtech.com  and Anncille Engle chuckann@ezwebtech.com arrange this gathering of sock cranking folks from all areas of the state, and some from nearby Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota!    You can contact either of them at their email links to get on the list of the upcoming events, places, dates and times.

We all trudged in with our sock machines, various stools or tables to mount them on and all our plans, patterns, tricks, tools and troubles.  Many of us have old antique machines that are finicky, persnickety and frustrating!

Ann lends a hand with new knitters, and Georgia was there helping people with the newest machines being made from the The Earlbacher Gearhart Knitting Machine Company   She is kindof a spokesperson and helped in their development. This company is now making new machines from the old patents (they are like the machine I use now from 1925) but with even more improvements and new materials. If anything ever happened to the machine that I have now, I would buy one of theirs!

Here is Georgia working on fellow cranker Victoria's table, making some adjustments.  Talk about getting into her work?   What kind of wonderful customer service is that?  Also the company called Georgia during the event, asking her to doublecheck something on Victoria's ribber device too.  They keep track of all their customer's wants and needs.  How nice is that?

Georgia did a presentation on some of the features of the newly made machines and showed some innovative devices still in development.  What a wonderful thing to see something being Made in America with good old ingenuity and skill.

We had 16 people come to partake in the day...  
and a lot of wonderful information was shared among the cranky people.  

Silly Jan dumped out a bag full of done socks!   They are connected one after another in a long chain, and later need to be separated and the toes closed off with careful hand stitching so there is no seam. 

She joked that someone should video tape her pile of socks... 
so I did!  Here is the Utube link:

I learned some new things, shared some other things and had a nice time chatting, cranking and learning.  Besides socks, some folks showed holiday scarves they can make on the machines.

A fellow cranker that I had met long ago while doing a demonstration at Rainbow Fleece Farms in New Glarus, WI came and said she so appreciated the help and information I gave her way back then.  She brought a newspaper article that had been done about her in the Racine, WI newspaper.  How cool is that?

Now... for the way home?  Remember the weather I was talking about? Just 6 short hours later, as I was attempting to load my items back into the Tracker, it was FREEZING!   Blustery winds were blasting, rain was stinging like needles against my face and arms and bare legs and feet!  (remember? sandals?)  The temps had dropped to 37 degrees and the winds were blasting at gusts up to 50mph!   I was frozen to the bone, and turned on the HEAT in the Tracker to get home.   Once I made it home, I didn't even unload the Tracker, I pulled into the garage, shut the door,  and hopped into a hot shower in the house.

Ahhhhhhhhhhh   Springtime in Wisconsin!   In case you are not familiar with our weather changes, we are known to get a foot of snow in April. Which happened exactly on this same date of April 18th, 2010!   See what can happen here?  This is why we don't plant anything till May.  LOL

It didn't get quite that cold on Monday as this pic, but it was still miserable, nevertheless.  

One final note:   Please vote for my RV friends Kevin and Ruth... for a trip to Austrailia... they are wise traveling folks on a budget and this contest might help them get there!  You do not need to register or give any personal information to vote.  They are at over 1,500 votes now and going strong.  You can vote once a day, so please mark this in your favorites, or keep on your desktop to CLICK CLICK CLICK them into the Land Down Under! 


  1. Ohhhhh, that looks so fun and relaxing...with an occasional bump here and there....lol....like a dropped stitch that runs...grrrrrr

    1. oh my! I just read this post as if you blogged it today! (May 20) ...... Good grief, I didn't know that John's battle for his life had that much hold on me.... Well anyway, 2 months and 2 days later I enjoyed your post as if it were brand new! A good post. Writing this from our motorhome. John is sitting on the sofa, alive and well.....and home! For some reason, this gives me so much satisfaction!.....................

  2. Hey that wasn't my idea to video my pile...but fun non the less. It was a great day crankin , visiting and just hanging out with fello fiber nuts.

    1. Oh Jan, I thought you said it. Someone said it should be video-taped, so I grabbed my camera and did it. LOL Got all those toes closed yet?

  3. Nice to see you taking some time out for 'fun' ...sorry about the weather....hope it passes soon for you

  4. Karen,
    I have been working on my new to me antique LeGare CSM and I am so excited!! Have not yet been successful to the point of a completed sock....dropped stitches make for runs that I have not yet learned to catch, BUT I have managed to make a beautiful picot edged hem, a nice selvage edge, and get the ribber working nicely, until I realized that I have dropped stitches yet again )~: ! We will be heading eastward in the next couple of weeks and I plan on stopping in to see Roxanna Baechle and maybe catch the Woolsock while we are in the Michigan area to visit family and do some medical stuff. Depending on the trip, we may try to stay in touch and maybe even catch one of your Crank-Ins. I have been a long time admirer of your talents and your blog and would enjoy meeting up with you, dependent on both of our busy schedules, of course. I hope your house sells rapidly so you can get out here on the road full-time, too!! Many Hugs!
    Terry Russell

    1. Terry... sounds like you are up and running! Practice practice practice.. and always keep weight on the sock especially when doing the heels and toes. Hopefully one day soon we can sit by a campfire, cranking socks, side by side!


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