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Publication numberUS3469422 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 30, 1969
Filing dateMay 9, 1968
Priority dateMay 9, 1968
Publication numberUS 3469422 A, US 3469422A, US-A-3469422, US3469422 A, US3469422A
InventorsMinton Clarence W
Original AssigneeMinton Clarence W
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Knitting machine size changer
US 3469422 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

ucmue M'EEAKMEM Sept. 30, 1969 C.W.MINTON 3,469,422

imwrme "mm SIZE cnmcsn Original Filed Oct. 11. 19.66 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR:

"1 CLAEENCE- w Mum-0N ATTORNEYS MMMHLL p 0, 1969 c. w.- MINTON 3,469,422

KNITTING MACHINE SIZE CHANGER Original Filed Oct. 11. 1966 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 A; INVENTOR: 76 no CLAIZENCE- W. MlNTON 5 la-g ATTORNEYS p 30. 1969 w. MINTON 3,469,422

' KNITTING mama sm: cmmenn ori ina Filed Oct. 11, 1966 4 Sheets-Sheet a INVENTOR; CLARENCE W. MIMTON M 15:14 JMZ4 ATTORNEYS P 0, 1969 c. w. MINTON 3,469,422

KNITTING MACHINE SIZE CHANGER Original Filed on. 11, 1966 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 =7 m gag 1 Im I IIIII'IIII;

IINVENTORI 70 ATTORNEYS United States Patent M US. Cl. 66-155 i4 Claims 1 ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE In a circular knitting machine a size change mechanism which, at selected portions of the machine cycle, increases the rate of racking ofthe main pattern chain toknit a shorter stockingpAcam follower lever, actuated by a cam carrying druin, controls the pattern chain racking pawl for either one or two tooth racking, The cam carrying drum is started in rotation by an electric motor and then moved by a racking pawl. The period of increased speed of racking of the chain is variable by the axial shifting of the drum to bring different length cams into engagernent with the follower. The manual placementof a pin in one of a series of apertures selects the stocking length as a cam engages the pin and axially shifts the drum accordingly.

This application is a continuation of application Ser. No. 585,839, filed Oct. 1l, 1966, now abandoned.

This invention relates to an improved size changer for circular hosiery knitting machines which is adapted to selectively control the advance of the pattern chain and to thereby permit the knitting of diiierent size hosiery on the machine.

Circular hosiery knitting machines are provided with a pattern chain including a plurality of interconnected links with each link normally representing a predetermined number of courses to be knit in the hose. The pattern chain is normally advanced by means of a continuously reciprocating racking pawl in a uniform stepby-step manner and at a certain rate throughoutthe complete knitting of the hose by means of a continuously reciprocating racking pawl. The usual method employed to change the length of the leg and/or foot of'the hosiery being produced is to add or remove links in'the proper portion of the pattern chain so that the'machine will produce a greater or lesser number of courses in these corresponding portions.

This method does not always permit adding or decreasing the number of courses in the exact multiple desired, because a single-feed knitting machine normally knits twelve courses for each single link in the pattern chain while a two-feed machine will knit twenty-four courses for each link. Since it is necessary to add or remove full links, the length variation of the stocking is restricted to multiples of twelve or twenty-four courses. Also, this conventional method of changing the size of hosiery is 3,469,422 Patented Sept. 30, 1969 ICC With the foregoing in mind, it is an object of the present inventionto provide an improved size changer which is economical to produce, simple to operate, and which can be easily added to existing knitting machines without extensive modifications thereof. i

It is another object of the present invention to provide a'size changer which also includes meansfor controlling the formation of special stitchesin the hose to indicate the size of hose being knit.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a size changer which may beset to produce a wide range of different leg lengths and foot sizes and which includes manual size-setting means that may be repositioned during operation of the knitting machine and while a stocking of a certain size is being knit, the

manual size-setting means being automatically operable to reset 'the size changer prior to the knitting of the next successive hose, without requiring any interruption of production of the knitting machine. It is a more specific object of the present invention to provide a size changer which includes a rotatable size control drum having first cam means for controlling the operation of the pattern chain racking pawl to thereby vary the effective length of the pattern chain and correspondingly vary the number of courses knit in selected portions of the leg and/ or foot of the hose. The size control drum also includes second cam means for controlling the formation of special size indicating stitches to correspond with the size of hose being knit. The first and second cam means are supported for axial shifting movement on the size control drum in response to corresponding selection by the manual size-setting means. Racking means is provided for advancing the size control drum in a uniform step-by-step manner during the knitting of those portions of the hose in which the effective length of the chain is to be changed and an electric motor is provided to initially transmit sufiicient movement to the size control drum that the racking means may take over. It is a further specific object of the present invention to provide a size changer of the type described wherein the size control drum racking means includes a ratchet wheel carried by the control drum and having sections of full teeth, sections of half teeth and missing teeth between these sections. A reciprocating pawl is provided to engage the teeth of the ratchet wheel and impart steplay-step movement to the size control drum until the missing tooth positions are reached by the reciprocating pawl. A pawl control wheel is rotatably supported adjaoent the ratchet wheel and provided with shallow teeth and deep teeth so that the reciprocating pawl is held out of engagement with the half teeth on the ratchet wheel when the pawl engages the shallow teeth of the pawl control wheel but engages the half teeth when it time-consuming, results in loss of production of the knitting machine while the links are changed, and the proper length adjustment of the pattern chain is subject to errors by the person adding or removing links.

In an attempt to overcome the disadvantages of changing size by adding or removing links in the pattern chain, several diiferent types of pattern chain control devices have been proposed which operate to change the effective length of the pattern chain without requiring the addition or removal of links therefrom. These prior devices have not been commercially accepted on a wide scale because they are complicated and costly. Also, the prior devices could not be easily added to existing knitting machines since they require extensive modification of the knitting machine.

engages the deep teeth so that the size control drum is not moved with each reciprocation of the pawl in those sections of the ratchet wheel containing the half teeth. The pawl control wheel permits engagement of the pawl with the full teeth of the ratchet wheel as the pawl engages both the shallow and deep teeth of the pawl control wheel so that the size control drum is moved with each reciprocation of the pawl.

Some of the objects of the invention having been stated,

other objects will appear as the description proceed when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in Which-- I FIGURE 1 is an isometric view of the lower right-hand portion of the knitting machine, with parts broken away, and illustrating the size changer of the present invention attached thereto;

FIGURE 2 is an end elevation of the slze control drum shown in the upper right-hand portion of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a vertical sectional view through the size control drum taken substantially along the line 33 in FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 4 is a vertical sectional view through the size control drum, taken substantially along the line 44 in FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 5 is a view similar to FIGURE 4, but being taken along the line 5-5 in FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary view of the upper righthand portion of FIGURE 5 with the parts in a different position;

FIGURE 7 is a developed lay-out of the control cams on the size control drum;

FIGURE 8 is a plan view of the size control drum shown in FIGURE 2 and illustrating the manner in which the operation of the electric drive motor is controlled by the pattern chain; and

FIGURE 9 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken substantially along the line 9-9 in FIGURE 8.

The size changer of the present invention is shown attached to a conventional knitting machine of the type known as the Reading Mark III twin-feed ladies seamless hosiery machine, manufactured by Textile Machine Works, Reading, Pa. Only those portions of the machine are illustrated which are necessary for an understanding of the present invention, the complete machine being illustrated in the Textile Machine Works parts catalogue, copyrighted 1962, which may be referred to for any details not shown in the present application. However, it is to be understood that the present size changer is not limited to use with this particular type of knitting machine, as it may also be used with other types of single and multiple-feed knitting machines.

The machine includes a frame which rotatably supports a main drive shaft 16 (FIGURE 1) provided with a drive pulley and a loose or idler pulley, not shown, which are suitably connected to a drive motor 17 by means of a belt drive, not shown. The main drive shaft 16 imparts both rotation and reciprocation to the needle cylinder through the usual drive gear arrangement, not shown. The drive mechanism of the knitting machine also includes the usual reciprocating means, a portion of which is illustrated as a quadrant shaft 20 that is reciprocated in timed relationship to operation of the needle cylinder, not shown. A pattern chain sprocket 22 is supported for rotation on a front shaft 23 and has a pattern chain ratchet wheel 24 drivingly connected thereto. A pattern chain 25 is supported on the sprocket 22 and includes a plurality of interconnected links with each link normally representing a predetermined number of courses to be knit in the hose.

- In this conventional type of machine, a racking pawl is normally carried by a racking lever on the quadrant shaft 20 and engages the teeth of the ratchet wheel 24 to normally impart a step in movement to the pattern chain 25 with each reciprocation of the shaft 20 throughout the complete knitting of a hose.

In the type of two-feed machine illustrated, two complete courses are knit with each rotation of the needle cylinder, and the ratchet wheel 24 is moved a distance of one tooth with each four rotations of the needle cylinder. When the ratchet wheel 24 has been moved the distance of three teeth, one link of the pattern chain 25 is advanced. Thus, each link of the pattern chain 25 represents twenty- -four courses of rotary knitting. In the conventional machine, when it is desirable to increase or decrease the number of courses knit in portions of the leg and/ or foot of the hose, it is necessary to add or remove links in the pattern chain 25 and twenty-four courses will be either added or removed for each link added to or removed from the pattern chain 25.

The pattern chain 25 extends downwardly beneath the machine and is supported on a plurality of idler sprockets 29, only one of which is shown in FIGURES 8 and 9, that are adjustably supported on a pattern chain rack 30,

.4 aportion of which is shown in FIGURES 1, 8 and 9. The idler sprockets 29 are each supported for adjustment on the rack 30 by means of a shouldered stub shaft 33 (FIG- URE 9) that is held in adjusted position by a hand knob 34. The pattern chain 25 normally has a sufficient number of links to make one complete cycle during the knitting of a hose of a particular leg and foot size.

In accordance with the present invention, the size changer is operable to change the effective length of the pattern chain 25 without actually removing or adding links thereto. In the embodiment illustrated, the pattern chain 25 is initially set up with the proper number of links to produce the largest'size hose which will be required and the present size changer is operable to reduce the effective length of the pattern chain 25 by predetermined amounts to thereby reduce the size of hose. In the embodimentshown, the pattern chain 25 is racked or advanced at an increased rate of speed during the knitting of selected portions of the leg and/or foot of the hose so that the effective length of the chain 25 is reduced by an amount corresponding to the length of time that it is racked at an increased rate of speed. The present size changer also operates to rack the pattern chain 25 at the normal rate of speed during the knitting of the other portions of the hose.

However, it is within the scope of this invention to initially set up the pattern chain with the proper number of links so that the machine will normally knit the smallest size hose and then the size changer will be used to decrease or completely stop the movement of the pattern chain 25 during the knitting of selected portions of the leg and/ or foot of the hose. Thus, if the pattern chain 25 is stopped for a period of time, the effective length is increased and a larger size hose will be knit. This type of operation can be carried out by a simple conversion of the present size changer, in a manner to be presently explained.

A reciprocating pattern chain racking pawl 35 (FIG- URE 1) is positioned with its working end engaging the teeth of the ratchet wheel 24 and makes one reciprocation (one forward or racking movement and one reverse movement) each time that the needle cylinder makes four revolutions or knits eight courses. The means for reciprocating the pawl 35, to be presently described, is operable to move the pawl a distance sufficient to move the ratchet wheel 24 a distance equal in length to two of the teeth thereon. As illustrated and described, the size changer of the present invention is operable to vary the position of the working end of the pawl 35 so that it will at times move the ratchet wheel 24 a distance of one tooth and at other times it will move the ratchet wheel 24 a distance of two teeth. During the major portion of the knitting of the hose, the pawl 35 is positioned to move the ratchet wheel 24 the distance of one tooth with each stroke to move the pattern chain 25 one-third of a link. During the knitting of selected portions of the leg and/ or foot of the stocking, the present size changer is operable to change the position of the working end of the pawl 35 so that it moves the ratchet wheel 24 a distance of two teeth with each stroke to move the pattern chain 25 two-thirds of a link.

In accordance with the present invention, a shaft extension 37 (FIGURE l) is connected at one end to the outer end of the quadrant shaft 20 and extends outwardly from the frame 15. A collar 38 is adjustably connected to the inner end of the shaft extension 37 and has the lower end of an upstanding bunter arm 40 connected thereto. The upper end portion of the bunter arm 40 is adapted to engage a bunter pin 41 which is fixed in the lower end of an operating lever 42. The medial portion of the lever 42 is pivotally supported on a shoulder bolt 43, the inner end of which is fixed in a horizontal leg of a support bracket 44. The support bracket 44 has a bent vertical leg which is suitably supported at its lower end to the frame 15, as by one of the quadrant shaft bearing support screws.

The upper end of the operating lever 42 has one end of a pawl operating shaft 45 fixed therein and the other end of which supports a sleeve 46, to which the rear end of the chain pawl 35 is connected (FIGURE 1). The sleeve 46 is held in position on the shaft 45 by a pair of collars 47, at opposite ends thereof. The operating lever 42 is normally urged in a clockwise direction by a tension spring 50, one end of which is suitably connected to the upper end of the lever arm 42 and the other end of which is suitably connected to the support bracket 44. An eccentric stop 51 is adjustably supported on the support bracket 44 and is positioned to be engaged by the rear surface of the operating lever 42 as the spring 50 urges the operating lever 42 and chain pawl 35 to its rearmost position, in preparation for the beginning of a forward driving stroke of the chain pawl 35. x As the quadrant shaft is reciprocated (one time with each four revolutions of the needle cylinder) the bunter arm 40 will swing in a clockwise directionto engage the bunter pin 41 and thereby move the lever 42 in a counterclockwise direction and impart a forward or racking movement to the pawl 35. This forward movement to the pawl 35. This forward movement of the pawl is of suflicient length to permit it to move the ratchet wheel 24 a distance of two teeth, but the present size changer can at times raise the position of the pawl 35, in a manner to be presently described, to make it move the ratchet wheel 24 only one tooth. As the hunter arm swings back in a counterclockwise direction, the spring will move the lever 42 in a clockwise direction so that the bunter pin 41 will remain in engagement with the hunter arm 40 and the pawl 35 will move to its rearmost position, in preparation for the next racking movement. In order to selectively position the pawl 35 so that its working end will either impart a one tooth or two teeth step movement to the ratchet wheel 24, one end of a pawl guide rod 54 is fixed in a medial portion of the pawl 35. The guide rod 54 extends rearwardly in spaced relationship above the pawl 35 and is suitably curved to guide the forward endof the pawl 35 at the proper elevation as it moves forwardly into the teeth of the ratchet 24. The guide rod 54 is supported by a support roller 55 which is maintained on a support rod 56 by means of suitable collars 57. The end of the support rod 56 is fixed in the upper end of a pawl positioning lever 60, the lower end of which is pivotally supported on the shoulder bolt 43. The pivotal connection of the pawl positioning lever 60 on the shoulder bolt 43 permits arcuate movement of the support rod 56 and the support roller 55 so that the vertical position of the forward end of the pawl 35 may be raised so that the. pawl will engage and move the ratchet wheel 24 a distance of one tooth or it may be lowered so that the reciprocating chain racking pawl 35 will move the ratchet a distance of two teeth with each forward stroke.

The rackingposition of the pawl 35 is controlled by means of a size control drum, broadly indicated at 65, which is supported for rotation on the knitting machine. The size control drum includes an axially shiftable pattern or cam sleeve 66 (FIGURE 3) which is supported for axial sliding movement on the peripheral surface of a drum hub 67. The sleeve 66 is keyed to rotate with the hub 67 by means of a shoulder screw 68 fixed in the hub 67 and positioned in a slot 69 in the sleeve 66 (FIGURE 1). The hub 67 (FIGURE 3) is supported for rotation on a support shaft 70, the inner end of which is supported in a vertical support plate 71. The lower edge of the plate 71 is fixed to the upper portion of a horizontal support brace plate 72, the forward end of which is supported on the upper end of a vertical support arm 73 (FIGURE 1) and the lower end of which is supported on the machine frame. The rear end of the horizontal support plate 72 is suitably connected, as by welding, to

one end of a support plate 74, which is suitably supported on the drive motor housing 17.

A size control drum ratchet wheel 75 and guard ring plate 76 (FIGURE 3) are suitably secured to a shouldered peripheral portion at the inner end of the control drum hub 67, and the ratchet wheel 75 is adapted to at times impart step-by-step movement to the size control drum 65, in a manner to be presently described. Endwise movement in one direction of the hub 67 on the shaft 70 is prevented by a collar 78 fixed on'the shaft 70.

.A drive gear 80 is supported for rotation on the shaft 70 (FIGURE 3) and is frictionally connected to the hub 67 by means of resilient brake members in the form of fiber plugs 81 which are mounted for sliding movement in suitable bores in the hub 67. The ends of the plugs 81 are pressed into engagement with one face of the gear 80 by means of compression springs 82 and threaded plugs 83. A pinion 84 is in driving engagement with the gear 80 and is connected to the output shaft of an electric motor 85 which is suitably supported on the plate 70. The electric motor 85 may be energized at certain times, in a manner to be presently described, to impart counterclockwise rotation to the size control drum, by means of the drive gear 80.

The upper working end of a size control drum racking pawl (FIGURE. 5) is positioned in engagement with the ratchet wheel 75 and the lower end thereof is connected to an offset crank portion 91 on the outer end of the shaft extension 37 so that continuous reciprocation is imparted to the pawl 90 with operation of the quadrant shaft 20 of the knitting machine. The length of stroke of the pawl 90 is sufiicient to normally move the ratchet wheel 75 the distance of one tooth with each four rotations of the needle cylinder.

In order to idle or stop step-by-step movement of the ratchet wheel 75 and size control drum 65 at predetermined points during the knitting of a hose, missing teeth are provided at spaced points around the ratchet wheel 75, as indicated at 92, 93 and 94 (FIGURE 5). A section of full teeth, indicated at A, is provided between the missing tooth positions 92, 93. Sections of half teeth, indicated at B and C, are provided between the respective missing tooth positions 93, 94 and 94, 92. The purpose for the full tooth section A and the half tooth sections B and C will be presently described.

A pawl control ratchet wheel 95 is supported for rotation adjacent the ratchet wheel 75 (FIGURE 8) on the inner end of a stub shaft 96, the outer end of which is fixed in the vertical support plate 71. As best shown in FIGURES S and 6, the control ratchet wheel 95 is provided with groups of shallow teeth that are each separated by a single deep tooth, for purposes to be presently described. A compression spring 97 surrounds the shaft 96 and urges the pawl idler ratchet 95 into engagement with one face of the ratchet wheel 75. As shown in FIGURE 8, the working end of the pawl 90 is wide enough to engage both the pawl control ratchet wheel 95 and the size control drum ratchet wheel 75.

The axially shiftable sleeve 66 of the size control drum 65 is provided with sets of size control cams and tuck stitch control cams which are respectively engaged by a size control lever 100 and a tuck control lever 101 (FIG- URES 2, 4 and 8). The rear ends of the levers 100, 101 are pivotally supported on a pivot pin 102 and in slots in a support bar 103 which is fixed at its inner end in the support plate 71 (FIGURE 8). The medial portion of the tucking control lever 101 (FIGURE 4) is provided with a cam-engaging finger portion which is adapted to engage a selected one of six races of a stepped cam 104, which is suitably secured to the pattern sleeve 66 (FIGURE 7).

As the cam 104 engages the tuck control lever 101, the forward end (FIGURE 1) will be raised and held in this raised position for a predetermined time, depending upon the axial position of the sleeve 66, at the time the lever 101 engages the cam 104. As shown in FIGURE 7, a

medial race of the cam 104 is aligned with the lever 101, indicated by the dash-dot line 105.

The forward end of the tuck control lever 101 (FIG- URE 1) is suitably connected to one end of a Bowden wire 106, supported in a post 107 that is fixed on support plate 71. The other end of the Bowden wire 106 is connected to the conventional tucking mechanism of the knitting machine, schematically indicated at 108 in FIGURE 1. This tucking mechanism operates the right-hand or shed stitch cam to move the same outwardly away from the cylinder so that short butt needles form tuck stitches during the knitting of the welt of the hose. These tucks are normally formed at the center of the back of the leg and also aid in aligning the hose on the boarding form. Groups of these tucks are formed to indicate the leg and/or foot size of the hose being knit. The tuck control lever 101 will be engaged for varying lengths of time by the stepped cam 104 (FIGURE 7), corresponding to the size of hose being knit, so that the proper number of tucks will be formed by the tucking mechanism 108.

The size control carns (FIGURE 7) include a solid ring cam 110, stepped cams 111 and 112 and fill-in cams 113, 114 which are suitably secured to the outer surface of the sleeve 66. The medial portion of the control lever 100 has a cam finger portion that is aligned with one of six races formed by the cams 110 through 114, depending upon the axial position of the pattern sleeve 66 and the size of the hose to be knit. As shown in FIGURE 7, the lever 100 is positioned to engage a medial race of the control cams 111-114 to move along the dash-dot line 115 indicated therein.

The forward end of the size control lever 100 (FIG- URE 1) is suitably connected to one end of a Bowden wire 116 which is suitably supported at one end in the post 107 and at its other end in a post 117 fixed on the frame of the knitting machine. The other end of the Bowden wire 116 is suitably connected by a slide bracket 118 to the support rod 56 at the upper end of the pawl control lever 60. Thus, the position of the forward end of the control lever 100 determines the operative position of the pawl 35 so that it moves the chain ratchet wheel 24 a distance of one or two teeth with each forward stroke of the chain pawl 35.

Throughout the major portion of the rotational movement of the size control drum 65, the size control lever 100 is supported on cams, as shown in FIGURE 7, so that the chain pawl 35 is positioned to move the chain ratchet wheel 24 a single tooth with each four revolutions of the needle cylinder While the pattern chain 25 is advanced one-third of a link to move at the conventional rate of speed. When the lever 100 moves down into engagement with the peripheral surface of the pattern sleeve 66 and off of the control earns, the forward end of the lever 100 is lowered, thereby permitting the Bowden wire to partially lower the support roller and rod 55, 56 and position the pawl 35 to move the ratchet wheel 24 two teeth with each forward stroke.

Thus, during those times when the lever 100 is oil of the cams 110114, the pattern chain 25 is moved or advanced at twice the conventional rate of speed so that with each four revolutions of the needle cylinder, the pattern chain 25 is advanced two-thirds of a link. The faster rate of advance of the pattern chain 25 decreases the etfective length thereof and the machine produces a smaller hose.

As has heretofore been mentioned, the pattern chain 25 is initially set up with the proper number of links to knit the longest or largest hose which will be required. In order that the pattern chain 25 may be racked at the normal rate of speed throughout the knitting of the hose, the pattern sleeve 66 is shifted, in a manner to be presently described, so that the size control lever 100 rides on the complete cam ring 110 (FIGURE 7). The lever 100 is held in this raised position throughout the complete knitting of the hose and the pawl 35 operates to advance the ratchet wheel 24 a single tooth with each forward movement thereof. Thus, the pattern chain 25 moves at the conventional rate of step-by-step movement throughout the knitting of the complete hose.

A cross brace (FIGURES 2 and 3) is suitably con; nected at opposite ends, as by welding, to the outer rim portions of the sleeve 66, and the medial portion thereof is suitably connected to a shifting control hub 121 which is rotatable on and movable along the shaft 70. A pair of centering cams 122 are secured on the hub 121 and have leading edges (FIGURE 8) which converge to define a centering 'track or race therebetween. An inverted L- shaped support bracket 123 is fixed at the lower end of its vertical leg on the outer end of the shaft 70 and its horizontal leg overlies the control hub 121 and is provided with a plurality of spaced and threaded bores 124. A threaded shifting pin may be selectively positioned in any one of the bores 124 so that its lower end will be engaged by the cams 122 with rotation of the hub 121. The threaded bores 124 are preferably provided with sizeindicating indicia so that the operator may place the shifting pin 125 in the bore 124 corresponding to the size of hose to be knit. As indicated in FIGURE 8, these holes 124 are marked with six size indications as follows: 8 /2, 9, 9 /2, 10, 10 /2 and 11. 4

In order to maintain the pattern sleeve 66 in the proper axially shifted position, the inner portion of the sleeve 66 (FIGURE 3) is provided with indentations or notches 127 which are spaced to correspond with the spacingof the six cam races on the pattern sleeve 66. A pointed spring pressed detent 128 is supported in a boss 129 which is suitably secured to the inner flange of the hub 67. The free end of the detent 128 is resiliently urged against the inner peripheral surface of the pattern sleeve 66 and the notches 127 by means of a compression spring 131 which is held in position by an adjustment screw 132. Thus, when the shifting pin 125 is not between the centering cams 122, as shown in FIGURE 3, the sleeve 66 will be resiliently maintained in the desired position since the free pointed end of the detent 128 is in engagement with one of the notches 127 and resiliently prevents axial movement of the sleeve 66, until sufficient force is applied 0 overcome the compression spring 131.

Since the centering cams 122 on the hub 121 extend only a short distance therearound, the shifting pin 125 may be moved to any one of the desired size control bores 124 while a particular size hose is being knit and the sleeve 66 will remain in the same position until the knitting of the next succeeding hose begins. At that time, the size control drum 65 is rotated so that the centering cams 122 engage the lower end of the shifting pin 125 to cause an axial shifting of the hub 121 along the shaft 70 and thereby impart axial movement to the sleeve 66 on the hub 67, overcoming the spring pressed detent 128, and position the levers 100, 101 above the proper races of the corresponding cams to form the desired size of hose. As soon as the centering cams 122 shift the sleeve 66 to the new position, the spring pressed detent 128 will move into one of the notches 127 to resiliently hold the sleeve 66 in this new position until it is desired to again change the size of hose being knit.

It is necessary, for purposes to be presently described, to at times initiate rotation of the size control drum 65 by the electric motor 85 (FIGURE 8). In the present instance, the electric motor 85 is energized at the proper time by means of the main pattern chain 25. To this end, a switch 134 (FIGURES 8 and 9) is suitably supported on the horizontal leg of a bracket 135, the vertical leg of which is adjustably supported on one end of a threaded support shaft 136. The opposite end of the support shaft 136 is adjustably supported in the pattern chain rack 30.

A pattern chain guide plate 137 is adjustably supported at its upper end on a medial portion of the threaded support shaft 136 and its lower end is adapted to engage and move the pattern chain 25 to a fixed position on the idler sprocket 29. Since the inside width of the links of the pattern chain 25 is greater than the width of the teeth of the idler sprocket 29, the guide plate 137 insures that the links of chain will be in the same" relative position as they move past the control plunger of the switch 134. The switch 134is normally held in an open position by the links of the pattern chain so that the motor 85 is not energ'ized." The side portions ofcer'tain'links of the pattern chain 25 are cut away, as indicated at 140 in FIGURE 8, so that the normally open switch 134 will be closed as these links are engaged by the control plunger of the switch. As the switch 134 is moved to a closed position, the electric motor 85is energized to impart rotation to the pinion 84 and to the gear 80, thereby rotating the size control drum 65 in a counterclockwise direction. The motor 85 rotates thesize control drum 65 far'enouglithat the pawl 90 moves oil of the missing tooth position ofthe ratchet wheel 75.

Operation The size control drum 65 is illustrated in the drawings in the rotational position it occupies when the knitting machine begins the knitting of a hose, and the pattern sleeve 66 is shifted to a position to align the levers 100, 101 with the proper races of the cams to knit a size 9 /2 hose. In this start position, the size control lever 100 is-held in a raised position by the cam'111 (FIGURE 7) so that the pattern chain racking pawl 35' is positioned to engage and move the chain ratchet wheel 24 one tooth with each forward stroke (made with each four revolutions' of the needle cylinder and each eight courses of knitting) to thereby advance pattern chain 25 one-third of a link with each four revolutions of the needle cylinder. The tuck control lever' 101 (FIGURE 7) is out of engagement with the cam 104 so that the tucking mechanism 108 is not operated during the knitting of the first portion of-the welt. The size control drum racking pawl 90- is reciprocated in the missing tooth position '92 (FIGURE of the ratchet wheel 75 so that the control drum 65 sits in an idle position, although the pawl control ratchet Wheel 95 is continuously rotated by the pawl 90'.

Th size-indicating tuck stitches are preferably formed near the end of the welt and in order to start rotation of the size control drum 65, the switch 134 (FIGURE 8) is closed by the pattern chain 25 to thereby energize electric motor 85 and move the size control drum 65 a sufficient distance that the pawl 90 will move from the missing tooth position 92 (FIGURE 5). The pawl 90 will then engage the full teeth in the section A of the ratchet wheel 75 and rack the drum 65 at a relatively fast speed; i.e., one tooth with each reciprocation of the quadrant shaft 20. As soon as the pawl 90 begins to engage the full teeth in section A and rotate the control drum 65, the switch 134 will be opened by the pattern chain 25 and deenergize the motor 85 so that step-by-step rotation will then be imparted to the control drum 65 solely by means of the pawl 90.

As the pawl 90 is racking the control drum 65 by means of the full teeth in section A, the tuck control lever 101 (FIGURE 7) will move up onto the selected raceway of the step cam 104 (along dash-dot line 105) to operate the tucking mechanism 108 (FIGURE 1) for the required length of time to form the proper number of size-indicating tuck stitches in the welt portion. The shallowteeth and the deep teeth of pawl control ratchet wheel 95 (FIGURE 5) permit the pawl 90 to'engage the full teeth of section A so that a step in rotation is imparted to the control drum with each reciprocation of the pawl 90. i

The movement of the size control drum 65 will again automatically stop as soon as the pawl 90 reaches the missing tooth position 93, with the cam finger portions of the levers 100, 101 being positioned at approximately the dotted transverse line L in FIGURE 7. The control drum 65 sits idle in this position while the upper of the leg of the hose is being knit and until it is again rotated by the electric motor 85 far enough that the pawl 90 will engage the half teeth in section B of the ratchet wheel 75; While the pawl 90 is moving in the missing tooth position 93, the chain racking pawl 35 continues to move the chain 25 at the normal rate of speed and the pawl control ratchet wheel 95 is continually rotated by the pawl 90-.

During the knitting of the medial portion of the leg of the hose, the switch 134 is again closed by the pattern chain 25 to initiate rotation of the motor 85 and rotate the control drum 65 far enough that the pawl 90' will engage the half teeth in the section B of the ratchet wheel 75. During the racking of the section of half teeth B, the control drum is rotated at a slower rate of speed than it was moved when the pawl 90 was operating in the section of full teeth A. This slower rate of step-bystep movement of the control drum 65 is made possible by the pawl control ratchet wheel 95 which operates in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 6 so that two succeeding racking strokes of the pawl 90 merely operateto rotate the pawl control ratchet wheel 95, without imparting rotation to the ratchet wheel and the control drum 65. As shown, during two successive strokes the pawl engages two successive shallow teeth of the pawl control ratchet wheel and is therefore held out of engagement with the half teeth in section B.

On the next successive stroke, the pawl 90 moves into one of the deep teeth of the pawl control ratchet wheel 95 so that the pawl 90 will engage a half tooth in the section B to thereby impart a step in rotation to the control drum 65. Thus, during the racking of the control drum 65, in the section of half teeth B, two successive reciprocating strokes of the pawl 90 will be made without imparting movement to the control drum 65 and the third stroke of the pawl 90 will impart a step in movement to the control drum 65. Thus, the control drum 65 will be moved a step in rotation with each third reciprocation of the quadrant shaft 20 and the pawl 90 so that it will make a step in movement with each twelve rotations of the needle cylinder or with each twenty-four courses of fabric knit.

The cam finger portions of the levers 100, 101 will move from the dotted line position L to the dotted line position F as the pawl 90 rotates the control drum 65 by engagement with th half teeth in section B and the control drum 65 will automatically stop when the pawl 90 moves into engagement with the missing tooth position 94 (FIG- URE 5). As the control drum 65 is being racked through the section of half teeth B and the levers 100, 101 move from the dotted line position of L to the dotted line position of F in FIGURE 7, the cam finger portion of the pawl control lever moves oil of the cam 111 and the fill-in cam 113 and against the periphery of the pattern sleeve 66, and the forward end is lowered (FIGURE 1) to thereby lower the control lever 60, the control rod 56 v and pawl control roller 55 so that the chain racking pawl 35 occupies a lower position to engage two teeth of the ratchet wheel 24 with each forward stroke. This moves the pattern chain 25 at a rate of travel which is two times as fast as it had been moved while the control lever 100 was raised by the cams on the pattern sleeve 66. This fast movement of the pattern chain 25 continues until the cam finger portion of the lever 100 is again raised by engagement with the stepped leading edge of the cam 112 (FIGURE 7) so that the lever 100 is again raised to raise the reciprocating level of the chain pawl 35, relative to the ratchet wheel 24, so that it is moved a single tooth with each forward stroke of the pawl 35.

By racking the pattern chain 25 at an increased rate of speed, a reduced number of courses is knit. The reduced number of courses is determined by the length of time that the chain is racked at a faster rate. Thus, by changing or shifting the pattern sleeve 66 so that the control lever 100 remains in a lowered position for a long length of time,

a shorter hose leg is knit and when the control lever 100 remains in a lowered position for a shorter length of time, a longer hose leg is knit. By shifting the pattern sleeve 66 to the position where the control lever 100 rides on the continuous circular cam 110, the complete length of the chain 25 is utilized and the largest possible hose is knit. The control levers 100, 101 remain in the position of the dotted line F (FIGURE 7) while the remainder of the leg, the heel pocket and a portion of the foot of the hose is knit.

During the knitting of the medial portion of the foot, the pattern chain 25 again closes the switch 134 (FIG- URE 8) to energize electric motor 85 and impart sufficient movement to the control drum 65 that the pawl 90 moves out of the missing tooth position 94 and begins to engage the half teeth in the section C (FIGURE to again rack the control drum 65 at a slow rate. In this section of half teeth C, the control drum 65 is again moved one step with each twelve rotations of the needle cylinder, and the pattern chain 25 is advanced at the normal rate of speed of one-third of a link until the cam finger portion of the lever 100 moves off of the stepped cam 112 and fill-in cam 114 (FIGURE 7). At that time, the forward end of the control lever 100 is lowered to thereby lower the reciprocating chain pawl 35 so that it again moves the chain ratchet two teeth with each stroke so that the pattern chain 25 is moved at a faster rate and the number of course knit in the foot will be reduced to shorten the same to the desired size. The control drum 65 will continue to be moved in a step-by-step manner and at a reduced speed by the pawl 90 until it again reaches the missing tooth position 92 (FIGURE 5), at which time, the lever 100 will have moved back up onto the stepped leading end of the cam 111 and back to the original starting position, indicated by the dotted line W in FIGURE 7. The control drum 65 will sit in this start position while the remainder of the foot, the toe, and loopers rounds of one hose is knit and until the first part of the welt portion of the next succeeding hose is knit.

If it is desirable to change the size of the next hose to be knit, the operator can change the position of the shifting pin 125 (FIGURE 8) and move it to the bore 124 which has the desired size-indicating markings adjacent thereto. The shifting pin 125 may be moved at any time that it is not engaged by the control cams 122 and the operator does not have to wait until the machine has reached a certain stage of knitting. Then, when the drum 65 begins to move and prior to the time that the lever 110 engages the tuck control cams 104, the lower end of the pin 125 will be engaged by the leading cam surfaces of the cams 122 to shift the hub 121 (FIGURE 3) along the shaft 70 so that it is centered 'beneath the pin 125. Shifting of the hub 121 will impart a corresponding movement to the shifting pattern sleeve 66 and realign the levers 100, 101 with the corresponding cam races which then automatically operate to control the tucking mechanism 108 and the length of time that the pattern chain 25 is racked at an increased rate of speed.

The size changer of the present invention is illustrated and described as being operable to control the position of the pattern chain racking pawl 35 so that it at times operates to move the pattern chain 25 a distance of onethird of a link and at other times a distance of two-thirds of a link, to thereby reduce the efiective length of the pattern chain 25 and the size of the hose being knit. However, it is to be understood that the size changer of the present invention could also be utilized to raise the chain racking pawl 35 to a completely inoperative position and completely stop movement of the pattern chain 25 for predetermined times during knitting of the leg and/or foot of the hose to thereby increase the effective length of the chain. In this instance, the chain 25 would be originally set up to produce the smallest size stocking or hose which would be desired and then any larger size could be made by merely interrupting the advance of the chain during the knitting of the selected portions of the hose.

Also, in accordance with the preferred form of the present invention, the conventional pattern chain racking pawl is removed and replaced by the pawl 35 (FIGURE 1). However, it is to be understood that the conventional pattern chain pawl, which is reciprocated a sufficient distance to move the chain ratchet wheel 24 one tooth could be retained, and the pawl 35 could be used to move the chain ratchet wheel 24 a distance of two teeth at certain times during the knitting of the hose and to completely miss the teeth of the ratchet 24 during the knitting of the other portions of the hose.

It is also within the scope of the present invention to provide safety devices, such as stop switches, wires and the like, to insure that the machine will be immediately stopped, should the size control drum 65 get out of operative time relationship with the pattern chain 25 or other parts of the knitting machine, such as the main pattern drum, not shown. For example, a ground wire, not shown, could be positioned beneath the size control lever and connected in series with a switch operating from the pattern chain 25 so that if the lever 100 is lowered at the wrong time, such as when a movement is being imparted to the main pattern drum, the machine would automatically stop and the control drum could then be reset in the proper timed relationship.

In the drawings and specification there has been set forth a preferred embodiment of the invention and, although specific terms are employed, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation, the scope of the invention being defined in the claims.

I claim:

1. In a circular hosiery knitting machine having a pattern chain for controlling the size of hosiery knit thereon, said pattern chain being normally advanced at a certain rate and in a uniform step-by-step manner throughout the complete knittting of a hose; the combination therewith of an improved size changer for controlling the operation of said pattern chain to selectively: (1) advance said pattern chain at said normal rate during knitting of certain portions of the hose; and (2) change the normal advance of said pattern chain during the knitting of selected portions of the hose, said size changer comprising:

(a) a size control drum supported for rotation on said knitting machine,

(b) cam means on said size control drum for controlling the operation of said pattern chain,

(c) racking means for at times rotating said size control drum in a step-by-step manner,

((1) an electric motor drivingly connected to said size control drum, and

(e) switch means operable by said pattern chain for energizing said electric motor to at other times impart rotation to said size control drum.

2. In a circular hosiery knitting machine according to claim 1 including means for forming special size indicating stitches in the hose knit thereon, and wherein said size changer includes second cam means carried by said size control drum for controlling the operation of the special stitch forming means.

3. In a circular hosiery knitting machine according to claim 1 wherein said pattern chain includes a plurality of interconnected links with each link normally representing a predetermined number of courses to be knit in the hose, the number of links in the chain corresponding to the largest size hose to be knit on the machine, and said size changer being operable to increase the rate of advance of said pattern chain for selectively varied lengths of time during the knitting of the selected portions of the hose to reduce the size of the hose by amounts corresponding to the lengths of time that the pattern chain is advanced at an increased rate.

vance said pattern chain at said normal rate,'and to at other times position said pattern chain racking pawl to move said pattern chain ratchet wheel a distance of two teeth and advance said pattern chain at said increased rate.

5. In a circular hosiery knitting machine according to claim 4 wherein said pattern chain racking pawl control means includes a control'lever pivotally supported at one end on said machine, a support rod fixed at one end in the other end of said control lever, said support rod having a free end portion maintaining said pattern chain racking pawl in a predetermined position relative to said pattern. chain ratchet wheel, and linkage operable by said cam means (b) on said size control drum and operatively connected to said control lever to vary the pivotal position thereof to selectivelyvary the operational position of said pattern chain racking pawl.

6. In a circular hosiery knitting machine having a pattern chain for controlling the size of hosiery knit thereon, set pattern chain being normally advanced at a certain rate and in a uniform step-by-step manner throughout the complete knitting of a hose; the combination therewith of an improved size changer for controlling the operation of said pattern chain to selectively: (1) advance said pattern chain at said normal rate during knitting of certain portions of the hose; and (2) change the normal advance of said pattern chain during the knitting ofselected portions of the hose, said size changer comprising: 7,

(a) a size control drum supported for rotation on said knitting machine,

(b) cam means on said size control drum for controlling the operation of said pattern chain, and ,r I (c) racking means for at times rotating said size control drum in a step-by-step manner, said racking means including i (A) a ratchet wheel carried by said control drum, said ratchet wheel having full teeth 'inrcertain sections and half teeth in other sections,

(B) a pawl reciprocated in timed relation to operation of the machine and engageable with the teeth of said ratchet wheel, and

(C) a pawl control wheel supported adjacent said ratchet wheel and being rotatable in a step-bystep manner by said pawl, said vpawl control wheel having groups of shallow ratchet teeth separated by deep ratchet teeth, said shallow ratchet teeth preventing engagement of said pawl with the half teeth of said ratchet wheel and permitting engagement of said pawl with the full teeth of said ratchet wheel, said deep ratchet teeth permitting engagement of said pawl with both the full teeth and the half teeth of said ratchet wheel, whereby a step in movement is imparted to said size control drum with each reciprocation of said pawl in those sections of said ratchet wheel having full teeth, and in those sections of said ratchet wheel having half teeth a step in movement is imparted to said size control drum during only those reciprocations of said pawl in which said pawl engages the deep ratchet teeth of said pawl control wheel.

7. In a circular hosiery knitting machine according to claim 6 wherein every third tooth of said pawl control wheel is a deep tooth so that said pawl imparts a step in rotation to said size control drum with every third reciprocation in those sections of said ratchet wheel having the half teeth, and said pawl imparts a step in rotation to said size control drum with every reciprocation in those sections of said ratchet wheel having the full teeth..,

8. In a circular hosiery knitting machine according to claim 6 wherein said ratchet wheel (A) has missing teeth in spaced positions therearound so that step-by-step rotation of said size control drum automatically stops when said pawl (B) reaches each missing tooth position, and wherein said size changer includes an electric motor drivingly connected to mid size control drum, and switch means operable by said pattern chain for energizing said electric motor to impart rotation to said size control drum and move said ratchet wheel (A) beyond said missing tooth position so that said pawl (B) may again impart step-by-step movement to said ratchet wheel and said size control drum.

' 9. In a circular hosiery knitting machine having apattern chain for controlling the size of hosiery knit thereon, said pattern chain being normally advanced at a certain rate and in a uniform step-by-step manner throughout the complete knitting of a hose; the combination therewith of an improved size changer for controlling the operation of said pattern chain to selectively: (1) advance said pattern chain at said normal rate during knitting of certain portions of the hose; and (2) change the normal advance of said pattern chain during the knitting of selected portions of the hose, said size changer comprising:

(a) a size control drum supported for rotation on said knitting machine,

(b) cam means arranged in separate races axially of said size control drum for controlling the operation of said pattern chain, each separate race of said cam means being operable to control the operation of said pattern chain in a different manner and to cause the machine to knit a different size hose,

(c) means for rotating said size control drum one complete revolution during the knitting of a complete hose, and

(d) means for shifting said cam means axially to position a selected race of said cam means in operative position, said shifting means including (A) a shifting pin selectively movable to a plurality of different positions spaced to correspond with the axial spacing of said cam means on said size control drum, and

(B) means engageable by said shifting pin with rotation of said size control drum for axially shifting said cam means in response to each movement of said shifting pin to a difierent position.

10. In a circular hosiery knitting machine according to claim 9 wherein said size control drum rotating means (0) includes racking means for at time rotating said size control drum in a step-by-step manner, an electric motor drivingly connected to said size control drum, and switch means operable by said pattern chain for energizing said electric motor to at other times impart rotation to said size control drum.

11. In a circular hosiery knitting machine according to claim 9, wherein said size changer includes a shaft fixed on said machine and wherein said size control drum (a) includes a hub supported for rotation on said shaft, a pattern sleeve supported for axial sliding movement on said hub, means preventing rotation between said pattern sleeve and said hub, a control hub supported for axial movement on said shaft and fixed to said pattern sleeve, centering cams carried by said control hub, a support bracket fixed to said shaft and having a portion overlying said control hub, said overlying portion including a plurality of bores into which said shifting pin (A) may be selectively placed so that one end of said shifting pin is positioned closely adjacent the periphery of said control hub and engageable by said centering cams carried thereon, said cen- 15 tering cams being operable, upon-engagement with said one end of said shifting pin, to center said control hub and axially move said pattern sleeve and said cam means (b) into position to change the size of the next successive hose to be knit by the machine.

12. In a circular hosiery knitting machine according to claim 11 wherein said size changer includes spring pressed detent means carried by said hub of said size control drum, said detent having a free end in engagement with the inner peripheral surface of said pattern sleeve, the inner peripheral surface of said pattern sleeve having spaced notches corresponding to the spacing of the cam races thereon, said spring pressed detent being selectively engageable with the notches to resiliently hold said pattern sleeve in the selected axial position on said hub.

13. In a circular hosiery knitting machine having a pattern chain for controlling the size of hosiery knit thereon, pawl means normally operable to advance said pattern chain at a certain rate and in a uniform step-by-step manner throughout the complete knitting of a hose, and a quadrant shaft reciprocated in timed relationship with operation of the machine; the combination therewith of an improved size changer for controlling the operation of said pattern chain to selectively: (1) advance said pattern chain at said normal rate during knitting of certain portions of the hose; and (2) change the normal advance of said pattern chain during the knitting of selected portions of the hose, said size changer comprising:

(a) a size control drum supported for rotation on said knitting machine,

(b) racking means for rotating said size control drum one complete revolution during the knitting of a complete hose, said racking means comprising (A) a ratchet wheel carried by said control drum,

said ratchet wheel having full teeth in certain sections and half teeth in other sections,

(B) an extensionconnected at one end to said quadrant shaft, and extending outwardly therefrom,

(C) a pawl operatively connected at one end to the other end of said extension to reciprocate said pawl in timed relation to operation of the machine, the other end of said pawl being in engagement with the teeth of said ratchet wheel for imparting step-by-step rotation of said size control drum, and

(D) a pawl control wheel supported adjacent said ratchet wheel for engagement by said other end of said pawl, said pawl control wheel including means for at times preventing engagement of said other end of said pawl with said half teeth of said ratchet wheel to interrupt the step-by-step rotation of said size control drum, and means for at times permitting engagement of said other end of said pawl with said half teeth of said ratchet wheel,

(0) cam means arranged in separate races axially of said size control drum for controlling the operation of said pawl means and said pattern chain, each separate race of said cam means being operable to control the operation of said pattern chain in a different manner and to cause the machine to knit a different size hose,

(d) a size control lever supported adjacent said size control drum and being controlled by said separate races of said cam means,

(e) means operatively connecting said size control lever to said pawl means, and

(f) means for imparting a relative shifting movement between said cam means and said size control lever to position a selected race of said cam means in operative position relative to said control lever and to thereby correspondingly vary the operation of said pawl means and to cause the machine to knit a different size hose.

14. In a circular hosiery knitting machine according to claim 13 including an off-set crank portion carried by said other end of said extension and connected to said one end of said pawl.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 990,595 4/1911 Rolston 66155 1,942,322 1/1934 Beavers 66155 XR 2,534,724 12/1950 Miller 66-155 2,829,510 4/1958 Shelby 66155 2,861,443 11/1958, Wiesinger 66155 3,054,281 9/1962 Lewis 66155 3,139,742 7/1964 Lewis 66--155 3,290,903 12/1966 Moyer 66155 WM. CARTER REYNOLDS, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 664l, 157

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Classifications
U.S. Classification66/232, 66/41, 66/237, 66/157, 66/234
International ClassificationD04B15/66
Cooperative ClassificationD04B15/665
European ClassificationD04B15/66B