Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sara asked about my heel-less socks. I got the pattern from this wonderful book, full of lots of ideas. This edition is 1955 and I picked it up in a second hand bookshop for about $10. Bargain.

I've got no idea what wool I'm supposed to be using, but I had a couple of skeins of 5-ply blend that I thought I'd experiment with. I'm using size 12 needles(what's that in American sizes?) and I think I could have used 11's or even 10's to make a softer fabric. This is pretty firm, and because there's only 64 stitches and I made them really long they have to stretch a lot at the top.

The pattern is pretty simple,

a k2 p2 rib, for three rows,

every fourth row slip the first knit stitch of each rib, knit the second then pass the slipped stitch over and knit that too.

The next row is back to the k2 p2 rib, but moved one stitch to the right so it makes a sloping pattern. Quite easy, but my hands got sick of it in the end and closer to the toe I decided to just try the rib without the twisted stitches. I think I like this just as much and it's so much easier to do. The spiral pattern helps with the fit of the sock, and even though I want to make more of these simple ones for round the house they'd never replace my 'proper' sock knitting.Now, long time readers might remember my Crosses and Losses blocks from this post. And that links to an even earlier post in 2006.

I was having trouble deciding on a setting and had a vivid dream about what to do. It all worked perfectly until I ran out of a certain fabric and didn't have enough of the border I wanted and suddenly the top and I weren't speaking to each other and the lines of communication have been down for a while. Every now and then I'd make a half-hearted attempt to make amends, offering this fabric or that for it's approval, waking up in the morning thinking "What about the piece of new fabric Keryn bought?I wonder if that's the 'right' one....", but nothing was good enough for these cranky blues. I really felt that all the effort was on my part, and they weren't even meeting me half way. Sometimes I hadn't even got the fabric unfolded before they were saying "No! We don't like that one either!"

So I gave up and the top, minus the borders has sat in the cupboard ever since. If I felt a little twinge of regret over not finishing it I instantly got a defensive rush of justification- I'd tried my darndest, auditioned every blue fabric I possessed, raided Keryn's stash, even bought three new lengths for this wilful thing, and I'd been rejected at every turn. Let it sit and think about how it was going nowhere. Hmphh!

Then Keryn finished this top, and used her very special toile that had been out of bounds on previous stash raids. I was looking at the leftover strips that she hadn't needed and the disgraced Crosses and Losses top suddenly seemed like it might get a reprieve.

I laid the strips out next to it with a grim attitude, if this didn't work I was going to wash my hands of it altogether. There was a moments silence, and then I heard the blocks say grudgingly...."Well, it's not what we had in mind, but it will do...."

Just as well!


Fran August 16, 2008  

WEll I think it's perfect, you're lucky (a) she let you have it and (b) it was enough to do the job!


Sara August 17, 2008  

Thanks so much for answering my question about the sock pattern! I have printed off your explanation for my next pair. Meanwhile I am knitting up a "regular" pair with Kaffe Fassett yarn as I watch the Olympics. Love these yarns that are self-striping!

Lori in South Dakota August 18, 2008  

the blocks and the toile look like they were made for each other. Lovely!

Anonymous,  August 19, 2008  

I've read the quilting portion of this post out loud to my son who had a good long laugh over your stubborn and self-serving blocks. What a wonderful write-up you've given us. We both like the finished product.

Shelina (formerly known as Shasta) August 23, 2008  

That quilt is so beautiful in that setting. It looks great.

meggie August 25, 2008  

It looks very nice. Great match.

Anonymous,  September 06, 2008  


My mum made me a pair just like this. They kept me warm for about 15 years after she died.


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