Saturday, January 20, 2007

I've been knitting socks

I've knitted several pairs of socks now that were quite satisfactory of the lilac acrylic. I'm wearing a pair right now!

The ribbing is fun, transferring the stitches to start the main part of the foot is tedious, but - then I get to start the motor drive! 40 rows round and round, then shape the heel, then 120 rows, then shape the toe. I've decided I like the top of the toe seam the best - the short row shaping at the sides makes a seamless toe area. Nothing to hurt!
Next I decided to re-knit a pair of socks that I handknit last year, following a published pattern, that turned out to be way too big. Nothing worse than a sock that doesn't stay on your feet. The socks had ony been through the washer and dryer about 4 times so they weren't felted too bad, and unknit fairly easily. I have heard that you are supposed to stretch and steam the yarn before re-using it but I found it worked OK just unknitting and re-knitting. The tension in the mast was satisfactory to straighten the yarn enough to knit. I've long since thrown away the label from the yarn (hmmm. Note to self - start that knitting journal! with samples!) but I think it was TREKKING XXX yarn.
OK, no swatching necessary. I've already knitted this yarn. The yarn size is about the same as the two strands of acrylic, no? I'll use the same number of stitches/rows.
Can you guess what happened? Yes, the first sock came out too small. The second one is on the machine right now. The ribbing is done and it is ready to transfer the stitches from the flat ribbing to the circular foot. I'm frustrated with this project. All that lovely hand-knitting, the beautifully turned heel.... all gone.
As queen of the UFO's, though.... I will move on. I will take a break here and knit two lovely scarves for my daughters. The youngest gets a red "Whisper" from Patons and the oldest gets a blue/lavender "Bling-Bling"
from Bernat. Since they are coming over tomorrow for dinner I want to get them done today.

I used the bulky machine, every other needle, having previously been warned that a furry yarn such as these could not be knitted on every needle. I cast on an e-wrap cast on over 17 stitches. I hand-pulled the first few rows through the needles so that I had something to hang the weights on. I did not feed either yarn through the mast tension dial, although I used the rest of the mast, and I changed the carriage to the ribber yarn feeder so that the nubs wouldn't get hung up in the carriage. As I knitted each row, I pulled the end needles out to the "E" position and hung heavy ribber weights at the side, else the yarn did not knit on the end needles. Before knitting the row, I inspected to make sure there were no stitches dropped. Although both yarns were lumpy, I found that the "Bling-Bling" yarn did not drop stitches nearly as frequently as the "Whisper". (I found dropped stitches on almost every row using the "Whisper" yarn). I hand-knitted the dropped stitches, and repeated until I ran out of yarn. Each scarf took 2 balls of yarn, and I found that the "Bling-Bling" made a nice length scarf and the Whisper was just a little short. Tomorrow I'll see if I can get them to model their scarves!

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