It all started last week when I heard about a contest to post a photo of the stuff you keep in the cabinet over your fridge. (Contest ended on April 10, btw. Yes, I am slow in mentioning it.) The prize was a skein of Socks That Rock so I figgered a chance at that was worth opening up that cabinet, right?
Small problem. This is what is on top of my fridge, blocking access to the cabinet.
Do you think this is indicative of a larger problem? Wait . . . don’t answer that.
But I’m not the only one with a problem. First thing this morning when I went to the snack bar to purchase Diet Coke and bottled water, there was a man in line in front of me buying a bottle of Starbucks Frappuccino and a Cadbury’s Caramel Egg. I almost said “Hey, breakfast of champions, huh?” but at the last minute decided that a total stranger might not appreciate my making judgmental comments about his breakfast.
Yeah, I’m tactful like that.
Here is the new love of my life, basking on my office radiator in the morning sunlight.
In the interests of full disclosure, I will admit that last night I stopped knitting on Kerry at 7:30 pm and turned the heel of this sock instead.
See the little gold colored pin near the top of the sock? That is my high-tech measuring device.
Although I claim to be a process knitter, I also like to see progress. I move the pin before each block of sock-knitting time so I can see the progress I’ve made. Hey, it makes me happy.
Some sock-related questions . . .
Nancy J asked:
I was wondering if you wear your handknit socks all year, or just in the cooler seasons?
Just in the cooler seasons – it’s too hot and humid in the Washington DC area in the summer for wool socks.
And that segues nicely into the next question:
… have you ever knit cotton socks? I have some lovely cotton yarn I was planning on using for socks… I knit a swatch, measured it, and was getting 8 stitches to the inch, and the overall width of the tube seemed perfect. Then I tried it on, and it was HUGE. I let it relax and remeasured, and it was 7 stitches to the inch. I was hoping you might have tips on knitting socks out of cotton… do I just need knit at a smaller gauge, or is this doomed not to work out?
And Debi responded:
As an aside to Leisel, living in Florida I knit lots of cotton/cotton blend socks. They do not have the memory wool does so I find you need a nice firm rib of some sort to give the pattern memory since the fiber has little. Coincidentally, I just designed a simple lacy rib for Mountain Colors Bearfoot (which has a high mohair content thus less memory) which I also tested in a Cotton Fine. It’s a gift for a friend with a birthday in early May and once I send the gift I’ll post the free pattern on my blog. It’s a nice rib that holds it shape even in cotton so if you can hold out a few weeks I have just the pattern
Debi, I’ll look forward to seeing your pattern! The only cotton socks I’ve knitted were from Regia — and those were a cotton/wool blend. And they didn’t have a whole lot of memory, as I recall.
I’m nearing the end of my very first toe up sock, and was wondering about this “sewn cast off.” Where can I find the directions? Any hints about keeping it loose enough to get on my foot – and snug enough to not fall off?
The instructions for the stretchy sewn cast-off can be found here. It’s the Elizabeth Zimmermann Sewn Cast-off.
When I use this (and I do for pretty much all my socks) I make an effort to keep it as loose as possible — but not so loose that you have big obvious loops of yarn at the top of your cast-off. It just takes a little practice. Keep stretching the top out as you sew to make sure that you are leaving enough slack in the yarn as you thread it through the stitches so that the sock can stretch out to its maximum.
And about cotton Arans, Carol commented:
Your cotton aran looks great!!! Do you find that aran patterns in cotton help prevent the dreaded Grow-itis that cotton sweaters are prone to after repeated wearing? I’ve almost sworn off 100% cotton because, even knitted on smaller needles with patterns like seed stitch, they become misshapen before the first summer ends. I’ve just get more mileage than that for all my work!!
Debi responded (in the same comment quoted from above):
ASC is one of my favorite yarns and yes, tho it does stretch out a bit with wear, a quick wash and the microfiber in it bounces it right back into shape.
Debi is correct — All Seasons Cotton bounces back nicely, due to the microfiber content.
In general, I think the more texture you put in a cotton knit, the better it will hold its shape. Eons ago I made a sweater that consisted of an all-over twisted rib pattern (why, yes, I am insane — thanks for asking). I knit it in 100% cotton and it kept its shape beautifully.
Even more eons ago, I knit a “sampler” type sweater out of Sugar & Cream yarn. Laugh if you like, but that yarn was fabulous! The sweater was a combination of cables, texture and openwork and was actually quite pretty. It did grow a bit after wearing it, but I’d throw it in the washer and dryer and it obediently went back to it’s original size.
And Jasmine asked:
What is the chance that you might bring Kerry into KH and I could sneak it away from you while you were knitting and chatting?
Not on your life, cupcake.
I’ll either be late or absent from blogging, because I have an important date to meet these lovely ladies and get them to sign my copy of their book. Can’t hardly wait!
Does this mean my dinner will be late? Huh?