Saturday, May 19, 2012

It is always an event when Helen C.K.S. blogs. I have already sent the link to everyone I am related to, and resist with difficulty the temptation to wake my husband up to see it Right Now.

Many thanks for all of yesterday’s comments, as I embark on a new adventure in life, the toe-up sock.

Lou, I will certainly add the Magic Loop to the list of new experiences I hope to get around to soon. I tried something once – the details are lost in the mists of memory. I gave up because I kept finding myself knitting with the wrong end of the wrong needle. But, clearly, that must have involved two circulars – it could well be that I have never tried the Magic Loop itself.

In the early decades of the last century, I used to knit the sleeves of sweaters as you describe, both at once (on long straight needles). Lots to be said for it.

Gretchen and Roobeedoo, I’m worried by what you say about ill-fitting toe-up heels. I had planned to do a Strong heel – the Sock Knitter’s Handbook gives a toe-up version which I don’t like the sound of, because it involves picking up stitches and so disturbs the elegant simplicity of the original. The book also says, “You of course have the option of knitting a top-down heel on a toe-up sock (the 90 degree turn is still made, the parts are just reversed)".

So I think that’s what I’ll do, knit a Strong heel upside down. You still have time to stop me.

And I can try the result on myself, before knitting the leg. Not the same as trying it on my sister, but better than nothing.

Suzanne, your cast-on method sounds blissfully simple. I’ve got to try it.

One begins to see that this could go on forever, with endless fascination and a steady production of socks which is what people like wearing. Was this how the Socklady got started on her career?

I have taken some pictures for you – Lizzie’s Hundertwasser socks, and the toe of my sister’s first sock – but computer slowness has used up all my time. Now I must embark on Saturday.


Sarah, I’m sorry to hear that Oberlin was rejected. Sometimes I like to think about retiring to Kendal in Oberlin – a totally unreal thought: I could never leave BBC Radio 4, Weston’s Vintage Cider, or my children, in about that order of importance. 


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  2. Anonymous6:02 PM

    I should elaborate by saying that short-row heels, whether in toe-up or cuff-down socks, don't properly fit my high-arched, slim-ankled, narrow-heeled feet. They might fit a differently-shaped foot quite well, but I still wouldn't like their appearance - I have a strong esthetic preference for the flap-and-gusset construction.

    I agree with Sarah JS that people often prefer the sock-knitting technique they learned first, just as they usually prefer the first yarn-handling technique they learned. Not always, of course; sometimes a new approach seems a great improvement on one's previous method, which is why it's so worthwhile to experiment.
    -- Gretchen

  3. this is the 3rd time of writing this so hopefully it will work this time! there are a couple of messages floating around in cyber space !!!

    i have put snoods to one side for the time being as Becca suggested that I knit something "EPIC"!! Quite a challenge.... so i have risen to the occasion and am knitting a "going to university" blanket for Sam (20) as he is off to Glasgow school of Art in Sept. I made a funny old thing for Becca when she went to Leeds and although it was VERY homemade looking, slightly holey and a bit wonky it does have some charm. I made it when I was re learning to knit and had found a bag of wool at a car boot fair. It was not very nice wool or colours but all came together quite well in the end! So I am knitting lots of squares to make a patchwork . It means I can fiddle about with all sorts of different colours , stitches and patterns.

    I have managed to get on to a sock making workshop on Thursday where we learn to make a baby sock, really looking forward to it!

    Joe said earlier this evening that he wants to learn to knit..... !! I think I will hold him to that and teach him, he thought he might enter a snood in your summer competition!!


    ps! I feel the same way about RAdio 4!

  4. You have mentioned your love of BBC Radio 4 several times. There are so many choices for different shows when I looked at the podcasts in iTunes. Do you have some favourites you could recommend?

  5. I am not going to stop you - and I am probably too late! If you are certain of your gauge I am sure you will measure correctly and it will fit. My problem is I am too lazy to measure and check my gauge and then wonder why the things don't fit!

  6. Ask me about Kendal at Oberlin anytime! I'm too young to live there (although I fantasize about becoming its youngest resident) -- but my parents both retired there. I can't say enough good things about the staff, programs, cultural opportunities, etc. etc. Of course the terrain is mighty flat compared to the Highlands, but there are compensations.