Thursday, February 11, 2010
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Sunday, February 10, 2008
The Soxx sock has size issues. For some reason the foot came out much longer than I planned. I've been procrastinating trying to decide whether to duplicate it and have a gigantic pair or rewind and start all over. I'd just like to get a pair of ribbed socks in the size I'm aiming for from the 80/40 setup before moving on. Starting over seems to be the thing to do because I made a slight adjustment to the NZAK forgetting that I had another red sock to make.
I have not gotten my NZAK cranking out socks to my satisfaction. I have not been able to devote the time I need to jump over the learning curve I suppose. Using the 60/30 setup I made a few pairs of socks for myself that I was very happy with using KnitPicks Essential. I finally have some black socks! But not without some pain and suffering! It took a while to get used to the needle lifter (which I haven't even used yet) being there. It gets in my way. But at least I now know when that happens. I have a hard time with the heels. Once past the decreases, that first wrap starting the increases on each side is a doozie!
I was hoping to be an expert on the 60/30 compound by now. I have little socks to make! I've gotta get with it!!! Oh well, tomorrow is also a day.
The Sock Lady
Thursday, January 10, 2008
You won't find that in a regular dictionary. I just made it up.
For what it's worth and from what I understand, the Kitchener Stitch, used to weave the toe of knitted socks together, was invented (probably unvented) by "distinguished if controversial inventor Horatio Herbert, First Earl Kitchener of Khartoum, a British military hero who developed the stitch for home knitters making socks for soldiers in WWI."* Be that as it may, here we are many years later still trying to get it right.
*From an article by Norma Bogan, circa 1986
I first learned to Kitchener (I use the word as a verb any time I want. So sue me!) when I learned to knit socks by hand. Once I got the knack of it and the rhythm and mantra down pat (knit off, purl on, purl off, knit on) it was no problem. On hand knit socks I was weaving 16 stitches together at the most. That's a far cry from the 54 stitches to be woven together from my lowest number cylinder sock machine sock.
My first sock machine was a 60 cylinder and I watched a Norma Bogan tape showing in real time how she Kitchenered the toe together using the raw stitches fresh from the scrap yarn, zip, zip, zip! You've got to be kidding, I thought. I found many references suggesting many ways to accomplish this feat from ironing the stitches so they set up hard and firm to Norma's way. I chose to pick up the stitches from the waste yarn using knitting needles. Once each half was on a needle, go into my Kitchener rhythm and mantra from handknitting and hope nothing on TV distracted me and close up my 60-stitch toes. Even my 72 stitch toes! I got good at it. TV or conversation no longer distracted me, much.
Then last July, Mary showed me how to Kitchener the toes together still on the waste yarn, without needles and from the purl side. I had seen some hint of this miracle, one that does the same thing from the knit side. I even printed out some pictures. I looked so easy. I could not do it. Well, actually I didn't try. I just looked at the pictures and read the explanations. Why mess up a good thing? I was already closing toes quite nicely using needles, thank you very much. But when Mary said it's really easy from the purl side and I knew it would not mess up my Kitchener rhythm and mantra for handknitting for all time, and Mary was right there, so I thought I'd give it a go.
She was right! It is really easy from the purl side. No more first picking up on needles for me. After a few months of not closing any toes I had a refresher in October. I took pictures of Mary's hands this time. It was that first stitch that threw me.
Still can't Kitchener? I have some great reference material for you! This latest video on YouTube, teaches Kitchenering from the knit side and is very easy to follow.
You can do it!
The Sock Lady
Sunday, December 30, 2007
So the NZAK came. It was packaged to perfection. I worked up a sweat just unpacking it.
The Sock Lady
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
I took no machine with me. I was in a schmoozing and yarn shopping mood and knew that packing, unloading, toting and setting up a machine would be more trouble than it was worth. Furthermore, I expected to play on somebody's NZAK while there, and I did. Shirley, the Crazy Slipcover Lady, who is also aprilsosa, my favorite yarn pusher, had her new NZAK and I got a chance to set it up and crank a round or two. Mine was on its way, but hadn't arrived in time for the meet. Below is a picture of Shirley kneeling at the NZAK as Gregory sets it up.
As always the eats were great, the Beardies adorable, and the sheep, well, they were sheep. It was a great day and I went home invigorated by sock machine talk with old and new friends.
I'll leave you with a picture of a couple of Beardies napping in their crates . . . until I woke them up.
The Sock Lady
Saturday, August 4, 2007
I did get pictures of Larry. Boy, did I get pictures of Larry! See how photogenic he is:
Larry in Sheep to Socks contest finishing a toe and . . .
Yes, they are real wooden shoes . . . from Holland . . . MI . . . but authentic none the less.
The other guys, Pete, Roger, etc., I had met in Laconia, NH and Barry is my machine guru whom I see at least quarterly. Even so, I wish I had gotten pictures of them at the conference. Maybe next year.
The machines! Oh, the machines. There were the usual suspects--AutoKnitter, Gerheart, Harmony and Legare. Then there were the NZAKs! Many NZAKs, including the blue contest prize and the bronze beauty.
Gorgeous and Gleaming!
And a pretty note on which to end today's blog entry.
The Sock Lady