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Notes credit Louis XIV of France for coming up with the "tucking bar." Two color "tuck tops for stockings" were quite popular during this period.

See our honeycomb cotton baby blankets for an example of "tuck" stitches.

Click here to See a picture of the copy of the front page of the old manual which I have to see what the Lamb Knitting Machine looked like.

This manual states its availability as: "Class 1 – 96 needles, 6 to the inch: price ., Class 2 -110 needles, 7 to the inch: , Machine Stand, with Japanned Iron Legs, Polished Black Walnut Top and Drawer, extra in all cases: .00." The Reference in Cassell's Household Guide of 1870 advertised the Crane Knitter as a striking new American invention: "It had a massive metal plate keyboard in which deep, square grooves for the reception of 106 needles are cut, and "asort" of metal carriage or traveler, which can be moved forward or back on the keyboard with the greatest facility by the aid of a short ball-crowned handle." This was one of several sock knitting machines of that era, which included both flat and circular sock machines.

In 1759, Jedediah Strutt of Derby and Belper patented the "Derby rib frame." This would have been the first conversion from a single bed to a double bed frame and started a great period of inspiration for development for the knitting frames.

Samuel Betts combined the tuck pressor with this rib frame to develop his tickler bar.

The tickler bar actually removed and transferred stitches to make "holes." Sounds like our "lace carriages" of today. Around 1768, brocaded waistcoats became fashionable. To meet the need, Crain & Porter came up with our first "color changer." I love the story of how strings were attached to needles and "draw boys" (yes, real boys) were instructed to draw back manually selected needles by means of these strings to create the two color work!

The thing that makes them different is the speed and ease with which they do it!Evolution has been and is ongoing from handknitting with one to two needles and onward to peg frames, knitting frames, circular sock machines, and home knitting machines.Just to spur your interest, I will give you a few tidbits of information from each stage.The study of museum artifacts with today's technology leads to very interesting finds.A primitive had knitting technique dating back into prehistoric times was reproduced using one needle and short pieces of fiber in a study by Dorothy Burnham in the Royal Ontario Museum in early 1970's.I am proud to say that I have two circular sock machines at The Knit Tree which have been restored.Occasionally, I have the opportunity to knit a special pair of socks from these sock machines for the One of a Kind category of our online catalog. My Anslie and Legare are pictured at the beginning of this article (c late 1800's) When I found the Anslie machine, (in the attic of one of my students) it still had a "Work Sock" hanging on it. With a loving restoration, this sock knitter was brought back to life.Now, we have knitting machines ranging from manual, entry level machines - to punch card -to electronic home knitting machines.Each is fascinating in their unique way and each offers different ways of creating fabrics.Hand knitters opposed the idea of knitting frames, therefore, framework knitting evolved very quietly for the next century.This century brought forth such evolution of what we would call "accessories" for our modern day home knitting machines.


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