3 years and 10 sock machines later I finally cranked out one sock (not even a pair). Here it is unfinished, fresh off the machine:
I don't really have an explanation for why it took so long. I was pretty fascinated with the machines themselves and maybe that served as a distraction. It's also not as easy as it looks. There are lots of things to keep track of. There are stitches that drop, ribber timing, tension, how to start, when to switch from 1-1 ribbing to 3-1, how long to do the leg, the heel, how long for the foot, the toe, and generally being able to fix whatever goes wrong -- and believe me there's plenty. But here it is the first sock. Modeled by my daughter below:
she's doing a little happy dance
So which machine did I use? I've got a cast of characters and named each from Phantom of the Opera. There's Christine the 2007 NZAK, Buquet a Verdun 47, there are the two Legare 400s Firmin and Andre, the large Legare Piangi, the Gearhart Madame Giry, the Canadian AK Meg, the Verdun Semi-Automatic Raoul, and of course the English AK the Phantom itself. That's nine. Recently I acquired this beauty:
A top of the line, NZAK Mark IV. It's the cadillac of all machines, with steel inserts, brass stoppers, she's a marvel, and my Carlotta.