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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Sunday, April 11, 2010

On learning new things

I am writing this from northern Florida where we arrived yesterday. We will be here for two weeks and then off to Tennessee for a month while DH goes back to work.

Packing my projects up for six weeks to myself was quite an ordeal. Just deciding what to take with me was a huge crisis. I decided that after a whole winter of working too hard I had to be careful not to just fill the car with unfinished should-do projects (those wool work skirts stayed home). So in the end I decided to bring all my blouse fabric and patterns to perfect fit, three summer dresses that are cut, fused and serged, my DC son's shirt pattern and fabric, all my bra making supplies,  the bolt of fabric he had waiting for me in DC for curtains, and patterns to trace. I also packed all my sock yarn and my Getting started with socks book. Oh yes and a roll of tracing paper.

In the end my husband had to go out and buy a car top carrier to get it all here, and of course I might pick up the odd yard or two while I am down here.

And I am finally going to have time to blog.

So here is the progress to date.


We agree that my gauge was too loose in my first pair. 

The Dr. Seuss socks.

DH has kindly summed it up this way  "They are great socks, they feel like they are going to fall down all the time but they don't, amazing." So I went down a full mm. size in my needles next time and made one sock (cast on New Jersey turnpike, grafted the toe in Baltimore) that I had intended for one niece with size 9 feet but now
 are going
to go to her 10 year old cousin. These are some pretty firm little socks, pictured here in Kroy stripe sock wool, unblocked. I should be working my way through sock two except I sat on my nice little eco bamboo needles (the same time I put my knee in my sandwich checking on Mr. Rascal who we think hurt his shoulder chasing a ball at the side of the road in New Brunswick) and they now look like those mangled satay sticks you scrape off plates after a BBQ. Promise to pick up some more and at least finish this pair, and to buy steel needles.

I have also been experimenting (if you can call knitting three socks only in an entire lifetime experimenting) with the cuffs. Because I have a horror of knitting Dr. Seuss socks, even though that is exactly what I have done in 2 out of the three, I am reluctant to do a stockinette stitch leg part. I would like to build in rib to hold these things up. So the first pair had k2 p2 legs, but I think those look a bit lumberjackey, and the tighty tiny pair had regular k1 p1 rib, but that took forever so in the pair I have started now in this nice Opal sock yarn I am following Ann Budd's advice (it seems I am no better at reading instructions as a knitter than I am as a sewer - BTW that checking your gauge/tension thing is pretty good advice - I realize that this is the knitting equivalent of pre-treating your fabric ) and am doing a k 3 p1 
which looks stockingnette but has rib spring.

Also thanks to Claire for putting me on to good advice about not getting those gusset holes. I have followed this up and Youtubed my way through some more tips.

I have hope about this next pair. I have hope.


kbenco said...

I was thinking no! don't get metal needles, as I find them so clanky and slippy, but I see you already have them and are knitting away just fine on them. What do I know! :). Your socks are looking terrific. My first pair turned into bedsocks, very useful.

Tanya said...

That is the best book on knitting socks ever, I currently have it checked out again, (I really should buy it) and am working on my second pair of socks, yours look great.

Claire S. said...

I like the bamboo needles but yes, you do have to be careful to NOT sit on them. LOL If I have to put a dpn down, I tend to stick it under my leg at the edge of whatever I'm sitting on. Must learn to stick it behind my ear, like a pencil - much safer, I think !

I used the youtube video myself for the socks currently on the needles - NO HOLES !

Love the colorway of that Opal yarn, should knit up nice.

Oh - have a wonderful trip :-)

Barbara said...

The Opal yarn is beautiful and yes I think I need more bamboo needles, I am developing a sore spot on my left index finger from the steel needles and the stitches keep sliding off. Just have to be more careful where I sit.

Anonymous said...

Dear Barb: Do you remember me? I suggested a different decrease
for your Christmas socks a couple of years ago. I knit
thick socks for my husband to wear around the house (this
month, we'll upgrade them to moccasin-soled socks). I have
gone to a 1-1 rib, which is very flexible. Even with a rib,
though, making the sock 15% smaller in width works very well,
with no bagging, rolling or stretching. You might like to
make a test pair in a thick yarn for a test sample.
What do you think?