Becky asked about my Trekking socks:
1) does the randomness of the colors bother you or are you ok with them not matching? 2) I am working on my first pair of Trekking socks (and only me second pair of socks ever). I am going toe-up (your pattern!)and have turned the heel and started the leg. I was planning to do the leg in stockinette, but when I tried them on, I think it is going to be too loose around my ankle and leg to stay up. Do you usually decrease stitches after turning the heel? Should I just start ribbing to solve the problem? I feel like you are one of the only people who I see making socks with stockinette legs so I am curious what your secret is.
In answer to number 1 — I am totally okay with the socks not matching. Some may consider this a flaw in my character, but I am surprisingly laissez-faire (for me) about randomness in socks. I am a perfectionist about a lot of stuff (some may call me picky), but matching socks is not one of them. I only wear socks with pants and shoes (not sandals) so no one really sees them anyway, so why should I care if they match?
I also don’t mind pooling and flashing in handknit yarns. Though I’ll admit that I admire people who go to great lengths to keep handpainted yarns from pooling as they knit socks. Me? I’m happy to just let the yarn do its thing.
As for number 2 . . .
What is my secret for making socks with stockinette legs that stay up? Fat ankles. Seriously. As a matter of fact, I often increase 4 stitches for the leg after turning the heel. I have sprained both ankles — and one of them very badly — so that they are now, sadly, permanently swollen to a certain extent. Gone are the days of seeing my ankle bone nicely defined.
Although I have knit a number of pairs of socks with a feather and fan leg, the ones that fit me best and feel the most comfortable are plain stockinette with the picot edge top.
Blue, Blue, My Needles Are Blue
But (perhaps surprisingly) my fingers are not. The indigo dye from the denim yarn comes off on the needle tips but not on my hands.
Wendy T. commented:
You mentioned cleaning your bamboo needles with Murphy’s Oil Soap. Just last night I went into my knitting needle holder and was disgusted to find some of my bamboo knitting needles and crochet hooks were MOLDY! All of my rosewoods seemed fine.
Does this ever happen to you? Do you suggest cleaning them with the Murphy’s Oil Soap? And, is there a better way for me to store my needles?
Someone in the comments or in an email recommended Murphy’s Oil Soap for cleaning dye off needles. This was a few months back, when I was knitting with sock yarn that was bleeding dye on my needles. I’ve not actually tried it yet, but I did get as far as buying the Murphy’s Oil Soap. Baby steps. Anyone actually used Murphy’s Oil Soap to clean needles?
Vanessa suggested in the comments cleaning needles by wiping them with a little bleach and a paper towel, then rinsing several times with water. finished with a coat of butcher wax. And Deni commented “Try the Mr Clean Erasable Pad – gently – to remove the dye from those needles. I was amazed how it took pink dye off mine.”
So there are a couple of other options for you.
Here’s a question for you denim knitting veterans — the ball band on the yarn recommends washing the pieces and then sewing the garment together. Can anyone tell me if the dye will stain other items in the wash, should I choose to wash a piece of denim knitting with, say, a beige bath towel?
Now, I washed the swatch with a dark green bath towel, so who knows if any dye came off.
There has been quite the discussion lately on the Master Knitter’s list about prewashing commercial yarn before knitting with it. I wonder if this would eliminate the shrinkage and dye transfer problems with the denim yarns. It sure would be nice to knit with that yarn if it was already soft, shrunken, and de-dyed, hmmmm?
It’s a great idea in theory. Actually, when I washed my denim gauge swatch, I skeined up on my swift the rest of the yarn from the ball I used for the swatch. I tied it carefully in several places, and washed and dried the skein along with the swatch.
But that washed skein was a total bitch to untangle and wind into a ball (even given the precautions I took tying it up before winding it) — it took me forever. I’d not enjoy doing that with all my yarn.
I’ll use that washed yarn for sewing the sweater together and knitting the neckband. That way, all the pieces and the yarn will have the same degree of fading and shrinking, as they’ll all have gone through one wash at that point.