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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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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why knitting socks is like golf

I don't golf but my husband does and occasionally we go to the driving range and he makes an attempt to teach me (if you haven't had this experience substitute a husband teaching you how to drive a stick shift or something similar).

At some point in these lessons I have to make it very clear that this head can only follow one piece of advice at a time so there is no point telling me to bend my knee, straighten my arm, sit back, stay loose, hold my right hand this way and my left hand that way, to look here not there. We agree that if I am not going to do any stomping off to the car that Barbara is only required to do one of these things a turn and when this becomes absolutely automatic (see previous post on muscle memory) will she then move onto the next piece of good advice.

Teaching myself to knit socks appears to involve the same process.

OK I have found out that if you knit on needles that are too large you get loose socks. Have learned about gauge.

Next pair, bamboo needles break ( but they are so nice and the steel ones have given me sores in fingers - so get more bamboos and don't sit on them). But learned how to graft a toe.

Next pair, learn now pick up extra stitches to avoid holes at the sides of the heel from Youtube video. Good no holes, a very good thing.

Nice wool counts. I am crazy about this Opal yarn which is so soft in the hands and knitting this first sock for a large footed son has made me happy just to look at the colours. Also very happy with the k3 p1 sock top so that is another thing I have learned.

Still to figure out:

A decent cast one that won't be too tight. For this pair I used a cable cast on with one purl and three knit ( I saw this on another Youtube video) which is pretty flexible but not enough and still a bit messy looking.

Everything I read tells me to do the Long Tail cast-on and my reliable sock book tells me to do something called the Old Norwegian cast on which looks completely nuts like cat's cradle and both methods are supposed to involve using one end of the yarn from the top and one from the rear end of the yarn, if you can find it (and I couldn't and practically unravelled a whole ball trying to find it with my DH finally telling me "I don't know what you are trying to do but I can tell you that doesn't look like it is going anywhere good" and he was right I had twisted yarn all over my seat belt and NO OTHER END of the yarn at all) and also involves working out a length of tail that is exactly the right length and no longer (or apparently you will run out early) and that involves calculations of how many twists around the needle per stitch, and all of this just seems to me to be way too much work and completely nerve-wracking.

But still something else I have to learn.

So I am doing sock two the same way and doing some sewing while I think this through.

1 comment:

kbenco said...

Your socks are looking very cool. Long tail cast on is not hard if a real person shows you, I promise. Old Norwegian cast on is just a slightly fancier version of long tail. Far easier than a welt pocket, truly.