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FAQ

Q: Can I buy parts for my original Gearhart machines ?
A: Some parts will are available, however we are not sure how we are going to address the issue of cylinder fit. Obviously, an older cylinder could become slightly "out of round" over many years of storage / use and would not fit a new machined cylinder base. Some of the smaller parts, such as weights, needles, etc. will interchange with the original.

Q: What is the difference between the Deluxe Machine package and the Super Deluxe Machine package?
A: The difference is the Super Deluxe package has 2 cylinders and 2 ribber dials.  There is one ribber arm and tappet plate.  With the advent of the hybrid ribber system, there is no need for multiple assemblies.  Once the hybrid is timed, then it is timed for all cylinder and ribber combinations.

Q:  Which package do I need.  
A:  There are three machine packages.  Basic, Deluxe and Super Deluxe.  You get to choose if you want that package with a red Speedster or a green and yellow Reduced Ratio machine.  The basic has one cylinder (your choice), no ribber.  The deluxe has two cylinders, one ribber.  
 
Q: Do I want the Speedster or the Reduced Ratio?  
A:  This is the most common question we get.  The Speedster has a 1:1 crank ratio, meaning that you crank the handle one time, you get one row of knitting.  Sounds great, doesn't it?  And it is great.  We sell more speedsters than we do any of the other machine.  MOST of the antique machines out there are a 1:1 crank ratio.  So, it makes sense that they are the most popular.  The Reduced Ratio machine is modeled after an antique Gearhart knitting machine.  Now, Mr. Gearhart and our dad Peewee knew what a gear reduction does for a person.  In short, it makes the work easier.  That's what gears do....they transmit power.  A small gear to a big gear transmits more power than a same size gear to a same size gear.  Think of bicycle riding.  You are on a flat surface and you are pedaling big sprocket to big sprocket.  Everything, is going great, until you get to a hill that you have to pedal up.  With big sprocket to big sprocket all of a sudden the work becomes very hard.  So....you switch gears to little sprocket to big sprocket and suddenly the work is easy again.  (please note that bikes with no gears are generally big sprocket on one end and little sprocket on the other end.) Now, back to the knitting room.  The Speedster is great if you want to knit a 72 stitch pattern...being either KKPP or KPKPKP.  But when you start knitting more than 72 stitches, like if you were using all 72 cylinder needles and all 72 ribber needles, then you will be working hard to crank them on the Speedster.  Yes, it's possible, but you will need a break (provided that you are a woman with relatively normal strength, not a man with more upper body strength).  This is when the Reduced Ratio machine comes in handy.  It makes the work much easier and actually pleasant.  In short, the easy answer to this question is this:  If you have shoulder problems, do yourself a favor and get the reduced ratio.  The Speedster crank makes you reach farther than the Reduced Ratio crank.  Now, if you want the best of both worlds, you can order the opposite crank for $175.  So if you are reading this and are still confused, then get the one that appeals to you more.  90% of the time, it won't make a difference which crank handle you use.  They always say that you like the one best that you started out with.  
 
Q: So now I know which machine I want, which cylinders do I get?  
A:  The number of needles in the cylinder is equal to the number of stitches you would cast on if you were to knit a pair of socks by hand. So, imagine casting on 60 stitches with a lace weight yarn, now imagine casting on 60 stitches with a sport weight yarn…you would have two different size socks, wouldn’t you?

The combination we sell the most of is the 72/54 cylinder with the 36 ribber dial. There are several reasons why people buy this combination.

  1. You can use the 36 ribber dial with both cylinders, it makes a 1x1 rib on the 72 and you can make a 2x1 rib on the 54. (please be aware that some people don’t care for the lacy looking top edge of the 2x1)
  2. You can get a large range of sock sizes with this combination. The 72 makes beautiful knitting with sock weight yarn, and the 54 can easily knit sport weight yarn as well as sock weight yarn for a smaller size sock.

The 64/48 with a 32 ribber dial and the 60/80 with a 40 ribber dial will give you the same advantages of being able to use the ribber dial with both cylinders.

So, in order to know what cylinders to buy, you need to know what kind of yarn you are going to use…are you a hand spinner? Then you would probably love the 54 cylinder. Do you want to use the German super wash yarns such as Opal and Regia? Then you could go for the 72, 64 or 60. Also, you need to think about who you want to make socks for…toddlers? Then a 48 would be good (but keep in mind that you can knit up to a worsted weight on the 48 and that would be an adult size sock). Youth sized? Then a 54 would be a good size. Standard ladies size?? 60-72 is nice.

Another thing to think about is this: are you going to rib the foot of the sock? For example, my husband is a size 13, I can make him socks that fit on the 72 and the best fit is one without a ribbed foot. BUT to make socks for my size 8.5 foot on the 72, I need to make a ribbed foot to pull that fabric in closer to my foot.