Sunday, September 16, 2007

The first socks I ever knit ... were a long time ago

... apparently I have been a sock knitter much longer than I thought, so I've got photos of a miss-spent youth to share, and a little more on knitting toes.

Way back in my early 20's, it was the early 1990's, teddy bears were popular, as was making and dressing porcelain dolls. A little like knitting nights, groups of us meet to work on our hobbies, pouring, painting, firing and dressing dolls. We even had conventions and national competitions, I traveled away to many. I readily admit to be a maker, and of liking technique, so very easily got sucked into doll making with all its associated bits. I had not realised that was the true start of my sock making. So I present one of the first socks I ever made, I think this was the 2nd or third all in cotton (no stretch) on 1.25 mm and 1.5 mm dpn's (thats 0000 and 000!) Following a pattern by Doris Thurlow, these were knit flat and seamed up the back. I didn't know about socks or anything else in the round back then, but knitted lace socks all the same. I can't believe I did it, I can't believe I wanted to do it! What was I thinking? Oh - I remember, I didn't like the fast-knit loose baggy ones for sale, and wanted something more in scale to the doll.

A closer look, this pair are less than 2" in length, and have a round toe, a shaped calf and knitted lace, but no gusset. Maybe thats why 2mm and 2.5mm dpns don't worry me now?

What did I learn?
- maybe I was meant to knit socks, or maybe I should really think about the why of making something much much more.

Fossicking around the web recently, I found this Grumperina entry. I've discussed sock toes before, here and here and while I am trying to make toes more part of the sock Grumperina deliberately makes the plain toes longer on socks whereas I am trying to shorten them. Maybe toes are meant to be plain? The plainer and longer the better? Am I the one out of kilter with the knit world - but no belatedly I realise Pomatomus has the beginings of a patterned toe, you simply omit the increases and keep working in pattern in the initial stage, then work the rest of the toe plain. I'll think on it, but it reminds me of a comment Suzanne left some time ago about Diamante with its gusset extension fitting better, there is obviously more to fitting and shaping a sock than increasing and decreasing.

Lastly I was looking for a stretchy bind off for machine knitting. Please don't abandon me at the mention of a machine, but bear with me for a while longer, I can machine knit, and I have some final year degree students machine knitting things for their collections, so I dabble, you understand, but only for work reasons. Its not like I have a machine at home - I have three but all are on semi perm-loan to work. Well I didn't find any understandable stretch bind offs for machine knitting,
Back to looking for stretchy machine knitting bind off instructions I found this, which is apparently in English but not understandable at all. I think they are adding extra stitches between the stitches using a 2nd knitting bed, so it maybe it is the equivalent this? Sort of making extra stitches in the last row.
But why am I talking about this here in this hand knitting blog? Because that difficulty of getting a stretchy bind off is the very reason I hand knit, technical difficulties are so much easier to overcome in hand knitting where with two sticks or 5 or one and yarn you can create anything, but with a machine the simplest things become near impossible. There may well be a stretch bind off - but if so its not easy to find.

this is post number 101, the Knitknitfrog has officially now one hundred posts. I'm not quite sure what the correct knit blog protocol is to celebrate, I do have vague plans for when visitor numbers trip 10K, but hadn't thought much about the 100 th post.

1 comment:

Hilary said...

Happy 101th post! :)

Wow, those are AMAZING socks. I can't believe you had the patience to do that! I am in complete awe of anyone who knits in miniature. (Also pouring your own dolls ... !!!!)