Timing on a sock knitter means that the yarn has to connect with the latch hook needles at ‘the correct’ time.
A CSM can knit forward if the timing is ‘off’ a lot. It can knit in reverse – as for heel or toe short rows – if the timing is off a little. And forget about ribbing if your timing isn’t pretty much bang on.
I blogged about general timing last year, and this post is to flesh my comments out a little more.
Many of us use new manufacture slotted yarn carriers for their ease of threading. The old yarn carriers had a small hole instead of the slot. The small hole was in the center line of the yarn carrier – as referenced by the red line above. With the slotted yarn carrier, the yarn doesn’t come out at the center line, but at the end of the slot (or, at the other end of the slot depending if you are cranking backwards or forwards).
There will be a sweet spot for timing with these slotted carriers so that the CSM knits properly in both directions.
To fiddle with the timing, you can move the yarn carrier a little up or a little down. You can also fiddle it off-center instead of perfectly vertical.
When the latch hook needle is at its highest point going through the cam, you want it so the hook just clears the yarn at that exact point.
If your yarn carrier is too low, and the hook is lower than the yarn, then it won’t catch the yarn and therefore will dump your knitting.
If your yarn carrier is too high, it may catch the yarn and knit but the knitting will be several needle positions later in the sequence and this will come back to haunt when ribbing or short rowing.
See in the above photo that the actual stitch that is forming is a few needles behind the center line, and specifically right below the outer edge of the yarn carrier.
Looking at the same position from a different angle – you can see that the hook of the needle in its highest position ‘just’ clears the yarn before the needle starts its downward motion.
With the slotted carriers a little extra fiddling may be required to find the best ‘average’ spot that covers off cranking forward and reverse. In the original yarn carriers this is not an issue as the yarn is in exactly the same spot regardless of what direction you are cranking.
In the above linked post I also note than on some versions of the Legare 400 there are adjustable screws on the gear ring that can also adjust timing. In the absence of those, I would adjust FIRST by moving the yarn carrier up or down. If that doesn’t give me sufficient ability to get the timing correct, my SECOND thing I would do, for the slotted carriers. is to set the yarn carrier a little of center – ie so that it is not perfectly straight.