Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Socks to hats

Here at the home of Pure Wool Mongrel Socks, we are doing our best to reduce waste. It is a sad reality that when we produce our socks, sometimes the machinery chucks a wobbly and we make a few faulty socks. I just hate that because it costs the same to make rubbish as it does to make good ones. It's a crying shame to see our beautiful wool wasted. So over the years I have always packed and saved this excess in the hope that one day it might be useful for something and can be recycled. Well that day has come! I spent the best part of my day developing patterns for a new range of hats I hope to produce. I've posted a few photo's below. I intend developing these designs further, utilising knitted fabric I can't currently use, with a view to ending up with a funky (even a bit silly) range of unique pure wool head wear. The beautiful range of colours we knit our socks with,really lends itself to be shown off, not hidden under boots and shoes. Loud and proud! Wish me luck.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Blown away!

I know I shouldn't be surprised, but I just can't help being blown away by the reach the internet has. Anyone who knows us or even has read a few entries on this blog, knows we use some wonderful antique Bentley Komet sock machines to knit our pure wool Mongrel Socks and from time to time experience problems with them. As they are so old and the technical knowledge we need is hard find, even small issues can be a production stopping event. Well.....it is kind of comforting to know there's some one halfway around world dealing with the same thing. Even I have resorted to trawling the internet looking for more information on these mongrel machines, without any success I should add. This morning an email greeted me, a plea from a man in the UK, having problems with his own old Komet. Here's how our our email volley went
(complete with our shocking spelling)..............

I see from your blog your a bit of a hand with a Bentley Komet. I have a Komet BR model and due to well a few issues I had it part stripped due to a break down but got dstracted for a while father was taken ill and the machine got left.I've got back to it now but it keeps locking up when the recip.clutch disengages, I've timed it to the marks but does the cylinder have to be in a certain position also when timing. Ive varied the quadrant mark on the recip pinion a tooth either way but then it either locks going in or coming out of the toe / heel. Any help would be apreciated my UK contact has been taken ill with cancer and I don't want to bother him with my problems.


My reply...
Hi Richard,
Argh! I sorry we can't be much help to you. We still have to get our guy in when problems with the clutch arise. Thankfully that only happens very occasionally. These BR's are great old machines, but we have found over the years, the less fiddling with them the better. The only thing I can think of tht might be the problem-hard to explain because I don't know what the parts are supposed to be called-it the 2 cogs that lock together @ the top of the machine in the top right under the insection plate as you stand in front can be 180 degree's out which will cause jamming as you've decribed.
Don't know if that'll help but worth a try.

His reply....
Well many thanks for the reply; its late now so just a quick thank you, for your prod in the right direction it was indeed half a turn out due to me misreading what in my defense is a poor quality drawing. It looks like a fine tune and all will be well again now it’s timed correctly. Do you have any set up information on your machines, I have a little and it may be of use to you also, perhaps we could pool what we have, information is hard to come across. The cogs are called the clutch the one on the left which reciprocates is the reciprocating pinion. I know the names but couldn’t get them to work.

Thanks again

Yay! what a nice result. I'll definitely be getting back to him in the future and organising an exchange in information, I think this may be the beginning of a mutually beneficial e-friendship.
PS I was also delighted to see he hails from a place called North Kelsey Moor in the UK, our daughters name is Kelsey too. She's gorgeous inside and out, and I bet so is North Kelsey Moor.

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Monday, November 3, 2008


I submitted this note to our local newspaper "The Mercury" for hopeful inclusion, I'm doubtful about geting it printed so I'm posting it here!
I was filled with a great sense of pride, as I read the Sunday Tasmanian (2/11/08). Three separate articles featured a diverse bunch of innovative, creative, hardworking Tasmanians. All kicking goals. These people, Scott Kilmartin-Haul, Robert Pennicott and Michaye Boulter-Bruny Island Charters and Tasman Island Cruises, Nick Haddow-Bruny Island Cheese, Matthew Evans and Ross O’meara-Rare Food’s all have something else in common. They all have stalls at Salamanca Market. As a fellow stallholder at Salamanca Market, I know I’m in very good company. Salamanca Market has been the backbone of my own small business, and many hundred’s of others over the last 30 years. I highly recommend the Market to any Tasmanian producer looking for exposure and to anybody wanting to find some of the best things our little island has to offer.

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