you have recently purchased an antique sock machine and are
inquisitive of its worth. We may be able to assist you
with a determination of its make, model and time of
manufacture. However, a determination of its value can
only be acquired by "physically" examining the machine,
inspecting it and operating it.
As with an
automobile on a used car lot, one can only estimate its
value by opening the hood and "physically" inspecting the
individual parts, i.e. the transmission, engine, fuel
pump, e.t.c. and "driving it" at various speeds under
various conditions. Only then can one determine if the car
runs smoothly, makes troubling noises, idles poorly or stops
An honest car mechanic cannot give you an indication of the
car's value or quality from sight alone, regardless of how
beautiful and shiny the exterior. Hence, pictures of
the car are worthless.
Only upon "physically" examining the car, will the car
mechanic see that the radiator is corroded, the fuel pump is
leaky or the muffler is damaged. The car will not run
properly with a corroded radiator, a leaky fuel pump or
a damaged muffler. Sight of the exterior does not
provide this information, which is crucial to the car's
quality and value.
The quality of any sock machine should be established by the
seller of the machine. The seller should be fully
knowledgeable about the limitations and abilities of the
machine. In addition, the machine should come with a full
guarantee that it will knit AND rib a full-length sock from
start to finish.
The fact that the needles raise and lower, the crank wheel
turns or some other facet is useless. The used car on the
car lot may turn on when ignited. Its wheels may spin round
and round when lifted upon a car jack. Only upon
driving the car and putting it into full operation, will you
discover that the front axle is bent, the engine stalls or
the muffler bellows black clouds of smoke. All of which are hallmarks
that the car is not operational.
In addition, if the sock machine has a ribbing attachment,
it must be demonstrated to be in full, working order. Since
the ribbing attachment makes purl stitches, it houses
50% of the machine's operation. Hence, if the ribbing
attachment is not in working order, unreliable or unstable in operation, you will not be able to make ribbing,
traditional selvedges or knit with the machine under
advanced conditions. Often, sock machines sold on auction
sites do not show the ribbing attachment in working order.
Quite frequently, the ribber dial is devoid of needles and
placed in position on top of the machine, inferring that it
is in full, working order. Another scenario is that
the ribber dial is placed in position on top of the machine,
filled with needles, but does not contain actual, ribbed knitting.
Even so, the seller declares the machine to knit
"perfectly". Both instances are truly misleading, since
the needle cylinder may show knitting in place.
Under these circumstances,
novice may quickly believe the ribbing attachment to be in
sound, working order.
The preceding examples are fiery, red flags, for one should not expect
the ribbing attachment to be in full, working order without
a demonstration of its use, despite how "beautifully" the
machine has been painted or how "shiny" it appears.
The exterior of the machine is not a reflection of its
knitting abilities. This can only be determined by
physically inspecting and fully operating the machine.
We at Oldtymestockings have seen these situations
time and time again. In fact, 86.9% of our customers are
previous auction site purchasers. Those who are not
familiar with how to purchase an antique sock machine
successfully continue to purchase machines that fail to meet
We pray that this guidance will assist you in determining
the quality and value of a sock knitting machine. May God's
grace be upon you. Have a blessed day.