About Me

My photo
Been knitting on and off for about 50 years, sporadically trying to crochet, just bought a lucet. More details about my knitting, crochet and tunisian crochet can be seen at https://www.ravelry.com/people/Rosebark for which you need to be a member, but this is free.

Sunday, 1 May 2011


And now for a post which is neither about for sale items, nor baby items for SCBU. Socks!  I have long had an issue with socks, as my feet are rather large.  The only socks I can buy which fit comfortably are men's socks.  Nothing wrong with that if I don't mind being limited to colours which are deemed suitable for men, which tend to be mostly dark (do no men want bright socks?).  Indeed, some are fun, like my Dalek socks, but I have long wanted socks that fit in prettier colours.  I have occasionally given in and bought the largest available women's socks because I've liked the colours/pattern/whatever, but they are always at least ½" too short, so not comfortable.  Then a couple of years ago (well maybe three by now) Susan and I went to I Knit (brilliant shop in  Lower Marsh, Waterloo - has bar and stays open late two or three nights a week!) and I bought a skein of bamboo/merino mix in sock weight/4 ply.  I made this up into a pair of socks on dpns knitting from the top down.  I found this quite challenging (the whole lot got thrown across the table at I Knit at one point and the lady next to me just calmly said - not at all nastily - "well it won't work if you do that"!), but was pleased with the result (see left below).  The photo was taken after they had been washed a time or three, so they had already lost some of their original colour, but they're still going strong now, although a little more faded.

The yarn for these cost, if I remember rightly, £13.20, which is quite a lot for a pair of socks, especially if you have to put in quite a few hours work as well to get them, so I didn't repeat the exercise immediately.  However, I went to a craft fair at Fairfield Halls, Croydon some time later and there was a stall where they were selling 100% merino yarns and I fell in love with the 'burnished' colourway.  They were selling it for £8.00, but I had already spent most of my money, so had to borrow a few quid from a friend to get this yarn, which I knitted up using the same pattern as the first, just knitting into the back of the knit stitches on the ribbing to make them slightly different.  The result can be seen above right (and I did pay my friend back when I next saw her, in case you wondered).  Another friend told me (at the next craft fair at Fairfield Halls) that merino is not ideal for socks, as it does not wear well, which has proven to be the case as the toes of these socks are now getting rather thin.  I've still got a little yarn left over somewhere, so will have to start darning, because they are still so comfortable compared with shop socks!  This is a revelation in itself, as I thought I was allergic to all wools, but have discovered since restarting knitting that merino is OK for me, even at 100%. (Still loathe Shetland wool though!)

So I now had two pairs of socks that fit comfortably and are not in standard men's colours.  But I wanted more!  And I didn't really want to use dpns knitting from the top down, because this involves grafting the toes (Kitchener stitch), which I can do, but find it tedious.  Then I saw the same friend who had lent me the money knitting a pair of socks on two circular needles (may add her name later, when I've asked for permission).  I had heard of magic loop meanwhile, but had, for the time being at least, disregarded this as seeming just as awkward as dpns.  I watched her and she explained how knitting with two circulars works and it set me thinking this might be worth trying, and I liked the idea of doing them from the toe up.   The idea lay fallow for a while, then Susan gave me Wendy Johnson's 'Socks from the Toe Up' book for Christmas.  It does contain a description of how to do Judy's Magic Cast On (and a few others, but Judy's seemed to me to be the best).  I couldn't quite get the hang of it just from the book, but watched Cat Bordhi's video on YouTube a few times and have pretty much got the hang of it now.  So I then knitted myself a lacy pair, 'Riding on the Metro', from some 50% cotton/50% acrylic yarn I bought cheap on ebay, with the result shown below.  I have made them in the larger size on one size larger needles than the pattern suggests, as my tension square was a little small on the correct size needles.  The resulting socks are very slightly large, but not ridiculously, just comfortably so.

I thought that the ribbed top suggested wouldn't go as well with the lacy pattern as a picot edging, so I got all adventurous and did that instead.  Steady on!  Susan liked these and, as I have more than half the cone of this yarn left over, she has persuaded me to do another pair from this book for her in the same yarn, so I'm part way through the I Heart Socks ones.  Picture to follow some time later when they're done.  Then I'll have to make some more for myself.  BTW socks are really rather time-consuming, even by this method, so I am not prepared to knit socks for other people, as the charge for my time would be prohibitive.  I heard about a pair of socks being advertised on Coriandr (one of the hand-made goods selling websites) at something like £200.  Sounds ridiculous?  Yes, but when you factor everything in, it's really not.  So socks are only going to be knitted by me for myself and, very rarely, for Susan.

Little general comment: these initial posts are quite long, because I'm dealing with whole sections of stuff at a time, but I will no doubt be putting up smaller posts, as I just add things I have just made, rather than several years' worth in one go.

No comments:

Post a Comment