altivo: My mare Contessa (nosy tess)
[personal profile] altivo
I've been busy making socks. Why not just buy them? Because when I make my own I get what I want, not what mass producers want to sell. For instance, I wanted some nice heavy and warm socks to wear inside my rubber work boots for barn stuff in winter.

So here are the socks in progress. This is a super-bulky or "chunky" yarn, wool and acrylic blend. Though I am quite proficient at knitting socks in the conventional manner on double pointed needles, I'm doing these on a knitting frame (called a "loom" these days but I reserve that term for actual weaving equipment.) There are two reasons for that. The first one is that this rather stiff yarn calls for large diameter needles that I find clumsy to manipulate.

The second reason is more subjective. My husband has wanted to learn to knit for some time now, but has had little success with it. He finds the small precise motions involved difficult to execute in a consistent manner, even though he is quite proficient with a sewing machine or even a crochet hook. I keep reassuring him that it takes practice but he is impatient.

He asked for a sock loom for Christmas, so I got him the one he requested. It has a much finer gauge than the 24-pin hoop shown in the photo here, since it is designed for real sock yarn (about 1/32 inch in diameter as opposed to the 1/4 inch diameter of this chunky yarn.) He was having some difficulty getting started with it, so I pulled out my set of plastic hoop frames and suggested he try those first. The blue frame shown here is the smallest of the set of four, and he started with the next size up which has 28 pins. He produced a very attractive and evenly knitted scarf on that, a good seven feet long. It only took him about 3 days of working in odd moments.

As he was doing this I realized that even though I have taught knitting classes specifically on socks, I had no idea how to make a sock using a frame instead of needles. I figured I'd better learn before he went back to the sock loom and started asking questions. That's why I took the smallest frame and made a sock on it using some scrap worsted yarn. It worked, and only took about a day. The resulting sock is the right shape, but the stitch gauge was too loose for practical wear. These plastic hoops are really sized for bulky weight yarn.

That's when I remembered that I really wanted some heavy weight socks, so why not? I went to the craft store, bought a couple of balls of cheap bulky yarn, and here it is. The second sock is not yet finished, but I have turned the heel since taking this photo and will probably reach the toe sometime tomorrow if I have a loose hour or two. The one completed sock fits and will serve my purpose. It remains to be seen how durable they are, but at $4 for the yarn compared with almost $20 for any commercial product that even approaches what I want, it's worth the attempt. And yes, I'm now prepared to guide the novice frame knitter through the sock shaping process too.

Date: 2017-01-19 01:26 pm (UTC)
murakozi: (flowers)
From: [personal profile] murakozi
Knitting is one of those skills that I've thought about trying to learn for years. Heck, I was just thinking about it last night after watching the old Cary Grant movie Mister Lucky. I've just never gotten up the gumption to try it. I've been told that it takes a lot of time and practice to become even mediocre at it.

Date: 2017-01-19 04:20 pm (UTC)
murakozi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] murakozi
I've always figured that once one really got the hang of it, knitting was sort of an autopilot thing so it was something that could be done while doing something else, like you said. At least, I think that'd be the case for non-complex things.

Date: 2017-01-20 07:01 pm (UTC)
murakozi: (flowers)
From: [personal profile] murakozi
One of the reasons that I've never tried to learn to knit is that I think I'd probably just do while trying to relax/disonnect and just end up with a 40 foot long 'scarf' or something. Or I might just end up poking at it for a bit, then stop, and end up with supplies sitting around in a closet forever.

Date: 2017-01-24 01:31 pm (UTC)
murakozi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] murakozi
I don't know anyone locally who knits. I'd have to try to teach myself. I'm still half tempted to find a craft store and see if there are any starter kits or guides.

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