I love the rose-colored socks. They are so festive. Your knitting skills and posts amaze and delight me.
I learned to knit as a kid, but I never really got good at it. I enjoy it much more now that I am knitting vicariously via your posts.
Thank you. I will put on my teacher hat here and just gently mention that "getting really good at it" takes quite awhile. I'm not really good at it yet, since I still make basic mistakes at least once per sock and often more than that. And there are many patterns (like cables) that I've never done even on a practice piece.
This is not an attempt to push or guilt you into trying knitting again--I am with crochet as you say you are with knitting--but *if* you want to tackle it again, give yourself some time and easy projects. Potholders or small scarves, for instance.
Even at almost 73, I am busy much of the time developing & running projects to support local food and handicraft artisans. This gives me the excuse I need to not master knitting skills, eg. I don't have (much) time and why not support the local grannies who need the money?
That said, I do love hand-knit socks. Our local Saaremaa sheep have been bred to produce a particularly strong but soft feeling wool.
"Knitters Rule - OK?"
You don't need an excuse...but if you did, that would be a good one.
I am jealous of your knitting ability. I can't knit in the round and all my friends doing socks - they're so pretty! I love pretty socks.
Knitting in the round--like knitting in general--is more easily learned young, when you don't feel like you *should* be able to catch on instantly and knit like an experienced adult. However...I learned to knit (at all) in my early 20s, and quit knitting for forty years in my mid-20s because I moved back to a hot climate. I had knit about an inch and a half in the round by then, as the start of a sweater sleeve (never finished, not even the sleeve.) Then forty years later, desperate for comfortable socks, started in again. And switched from how my mother knit (with four needles) to five needles.
There were, um, learning curves associated with the first start, the much later start, and the change in needle position. Learning to ignore the other needles hanging there off your hands takes some time (it took me about two weeks to recover the "four-needle" version, and another week when I switched to five needles to figure out where to put my fingers.) However, if you can knit at all, I believe you could learn to knit in the round if you wanted to put some time into it. There are good videos on YouTube on how to join up the round. Then it's a matter of convincing yourself that all but the two needles you're presently working with (the one stitches are coming off of, and the one stitches are moving to) are just there to hang out and wait for you to get to them. Once you've arranged your fingers so you can hold and use the two "working" needles, it becomes less daunting. OTOH, some people never want to knit in the round, and that's a perfectly reasonable decision.
If you do decide to try it again, I have some tips for making sure you aren't trying to knit up the inside of the sock instead of around the outside (I did that with my first socks--also switched directions in mid-round, not a great idea) and that you don't get your yarn "hung" in the corners and miss a whole needle's worth of a row (I've done that, too. Did it in December last year, for that matter. DUH.)
Someone may be able to get you started with "magic loop" on cable needles, but I find all the instructions very confusing, so I have stuck with double-pointed needles. They say it's easier, but I say what I already know how to do is easier for me.
I taught myself how to knit while a new mother in Hawaii (yay for Reader's Digest's "Complete Guide to Needlework" but... I did so by setting one needle's end in the crease between my lap & leg. Which is how I still knit today. I never did learn how to knit holding my project in the air (as it were).
Someday I may try to re-train myself but really - at 59 and busy with other crafts, I doubt it. It is just as easy for me to create bags and sweaters, so it's only socks that I miss out on. Although - everyone is making some beautiful socks...
Aha--you rediscovered an old method...up into the 19th c., some women had a little sort of sheath on a belt that they stuck the end of one needle into. I've read a description of the rocking motion they used while knitting.
Until later than that in the Shetlands and other Scottish islands. Also with more than two needles, all of the needles not in use being stuck in the pad. Part of the advantage of this technique is that they carried their knitting round at all times and would knit whenever their hands weren't doing something else, the knitting would always be ready to go.
(sorry for posting this anonymously as well, I didnt realise I was logged out)
I deleted it for you.
I can knit while standing up, but lack the right apron to knit while walking (and might stumble over things more...) I do carry knitting with me almost all the time and in one 2/5 hour standing still traffic jam knitted away quite successfully. Saved a lot of stomach-churning frustration. I've knit in restaurants, a line at the passport office, in doctors' offices, in hospital waiting rooms, airports, train stations, in buses, trains, and planes. If someone else is driving, in cars.
My mother's father used to bug her by saying "While you're resting..." with a chore attached at the end. She passed that notion on to me, though I was more resistant as a young person...but now, if I'm sitting, I'm usually knitting, except in church (and if we had a choir loft where I wasn't so visible to the congregation, I would be knitting there, too. Helps me pay attention.)
I used to knit sitting in the back of General Studies in sixth form (so f0r 17 and 18 year olds)in school. I knitted a whole jumper in a term, just in those lectures. They were to give us a perspective on things our teachers condsidered important that weren't covered in other courses. The only one I didn't knit in was when the showed 'The War Game' a flim about the effects of a nuclear bomb being dropped on a city, very powerful, gave most of us nightmares.
That's how I knit, too, before the arthritis came along. I made lots of nifty scarves and walls [what else to call something that came out 6' x 6' on very large needles, way too loose to actually use, but gorgeous to look at]. As everyone else says, it's a time-honored European method. Do what works for you.
And I've now found the perfect color for striping the brown heather: a mid-green heather with gold and brown in its makeup. It's Cascade 220 "Shire," #2445. I took two greens that looked OK inside, and the brown heather out into the afternoon sun. It was instantly clear that the darker plain (non-heathered) green "flattened" the brown heather's complexity, whereas "Shire" opened it up. Together they're going to be perfect.
Of course, this means I want more "Shire"...and my goal this year is to *reduce* the stash somewhat. A lot.
Meanwhile I'm considering stripe colors for "Bitterroot Sunset" including a design that uses dark to light solids between bands of "Sunset" going down the foot...or possibly one going dark to light and one going light to dark.
Sounds perfect. Before I saw this comment, I was going to suggest the more golden green with the brown. I think a gold hue will really bring it out. :]
How fun for you! I do enjoy seeing you be so creative in another medium and sharing that joy with us. Thank you for that.
Those rose-coloured socks are really beautiful. BRAVA!
2016-02-08 12:15 am (UTC)
One more knitting story.
My Sister has a pin given to our Grandmother for knitting socks for British troops - I think for WW I but it might have been for WW II.
JONATHAN UP HERE IN FINALLY SNOWY NH.
2016-02-08 04:35 am (UTC)
Re: One more knitting story.
There's a way of closing sock toes called "Kitchener stitch" which Lord Kitchener did *not* invent (and which I find fiendishly difficult, and so don't use) but the name dates from WWI. Many women knitted socks, balaclavas, and scarves for troops, as well as rolling bandages.