Tuesday, November 10, 2015


My friend Marcia, whom I see at the pool, is an avid knitter.  She likes to make scarves and hats and has several projects on the go.  At Saturday's Lions Swap Meet, she scored big: several colourful balls of yarn for an extremely low price (was it 25¢ a ball?) that she is already knitting up into a scarf.

There are a few of us knitters who see each other at the pool in the afternoon, and we often take along our projects to show what we are doing.  I finished the second sock of the fall coloured pair on Sunday while we relaxed at the pool.

These are not as long in the foot as the previous pair (shown above them), so the leg part can be longer.  Funny thing: the ribbed cuff has just as many stitches are the stockinette foot, but it's SO much skinnier!  That pair is going to be good and comfortable.

Marcia gave me a very good hint last week, something called a "life line."  

So when I started a new pair of socks (in plain beige) for the Dear One, I used her idea.  I wasn't sure whether the socks should have 60 stitches or 64 stitches.  So when I approached the round between 60 stitches and 61-64 stitches per round, I inserted a life line.

The idea is this: Thread some crochet cotton on a big eye, blunt tip needle--the kind of needle used to sew together knitted pieces.  I didn't have crochet cotton so I used some heavy rayon decorative thread.  Before I knitted a stitch, I threaded the rayon straight through the bottom of the stitch.  Then I knitted it without involving the rayon thread.  In the photo above you can just see that thread going through the stitches, underneath the needle.

If I needed to rip out stitches because it was too big, I would have an "insurance policy" that the life line would hold all the stitches in that row and I'd be able to pick them up again easily.

Well, the way it turned out, I had to rip out ALL the rows, not just back to that level, but through the beginning of the sock.  Why?  Because Jim's feet have a long, narrow pointed part at the toe end.  The sock I was making (with the regular method of increasing every other row from the toes to the full width) was way too wide, way too soon.  So I did it.  I ripped the knitting all the way back to zero and started over.

Just a few minutes ago I reached the point in the ball of yarn that I was at yesterday when I realized it all had to go.  Here's the new version of his first sock, and you can see that it's got a long, pointy "toe box."
I tried it on his foot (just over the toes and to the wider part of the foot) and it will do very well.  I've also decided that it should be a 60 stitch sock, not a 64 stitch sock.  I think socks should fit rather snugly, because knitting stretches sideways.

The previous pair, the green/orange ones (Patons Kroy Sock Yarn, Clover Colors), start to finish took just 24 days.  For me, that's really, really quick.  The second sock (always the hardest to finish) took just 9 days, divided up very unevenly: I knit the whole foot, toe to beginning of the ribbing in just two days.  Then it took me the other 7 days to get through 7 1/2" of boring ribbing.  I was glad to finish!  But then, it is a pretty long ribbing, isn't it?

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