The old sock machine manuals are interesting from a historical perspective, and if you take the time to learn the lingo, can teach you a tip or two, and even let you re-discover 'lost' techniques, like the scotch heel Pat Fly championed a while back, which is now in my semi-standard repertoire. And the argyle method, shown in the photo, which I knit on my Legare 400 a couple of years ago...
But, for a new person, I always point them to Pat's sock making instructions on www.angoravalley.com and to the helpful instructions on www.yrstation.com. And the helpful tips on www.countryrain.com. Did I leave anyone out? Sigh. Be sure to comment -- I love learning things!
Those are all written in "modern" English, with color photos -- very helpful! And for those who need voice, the CD from Yellow River Station (YRStation), Rox's videos, or the Norma Bogan DVD are all terrific! (I haven't yet put together funny money for the Country Rain one, so I can't comment on it).
(posted by me this day on sockknittingmachinefriends)