Tag Archives: socks

Colourful creativity: Knitting

You may recall that at the start of lockdown, I decided to start knitting. More specifically, I started to knit socks. Well, it’s been six months since we went into lockdown, and since then my knitting has somewhat escalated. I have knitted five pairs so far. With four pairs currently cast on. These are the ones that you see in the image above.

I like knitting; it’s really relaxing and therapeutic.

It is also somewhat addictive. I mean, how much yarn does one woman really need? I have found myself being seduced, quite regularly, by the Sock Yarn Faerie. For now, I have enough sock yarn. I have enough yarn, to keep me going for at least another six months. Seriously, not more sock yarn.

For now.

Knitting has been really important lately. As teaching and counselling get busy, I am reminded to take care of myself. To not push myself, so far, as to burn out. This has meant stopping all work at 6pm, to sit down and knit. To take the time to practice self-care and ground myself. As such, the projects you see above, are all now at the point where I have to start knitting the feet. I’ve also finished a book, so I have more brain space for these, and I think I need it. I need to socks to help get over that book, before I start writing another.

All being well, there will eventually be complete pairs.

I’m not that worried about odd striping to be honest. I quite like having odd socks. Not all of them are blue, either! I do have some bright red yarn, that reminds a bit of football socks to be played with.

I tend to knit very ‘plain’ socks. That is to say, stockinette stitch. More recently, I have been trying to find patterns for circular needles that are varied. I’m still teaching myself to read patterns, to visualise them so as to be able to execute them. Also, I have discovered leg warmers and wrist warmers as possible extensions to the knitting creativity.

I think leg warmers are next on my list to try for definite. I’ve got wool, some needles and the patterns to steer me in the right direction. The wrist warmers need some reflection. Not sure if I can use some of the sock-wool for those.

The needles that I use, are circular needles, rather than flat. These have been a revelation. I have tried knitting socks flat-right at the start of lockdown. This process does seem to be more effective, productive and more enjoyable. Most of what I have knitted, has been me-sized; socks for me. I did knit one pair of gentlemen’s sized 9’s as a gift for a family member. Mine don’t tend to take so long to knit! Those took about a month, in between bits of real life.

Was a useful learning experience. I now know how to make fella-sized socks; if ever I chose to repeat that experience.

Chatting with @TheOrdKnitter

You may have read the post about socks; how I’ve learned how to knit them.

I wouldn’t have got that far without a little help from my friends, not to mention a book of patterns.

Well, I was kindly invited by The Ordinary Knitter, Heather, to share my experiences of knitting socks on flat needles.

I’d asked Heather for some advice on how to start, and she was great in walking me through a pattern.

You can hear the full podcast with Heather here.

 

socks

These are my current projects. Two stripy pairs for me. An experimental Dad  sock, and even one on a pair of circular needles. These, are the ones that I still need to reflect upon a bit further.

 

The book that I’ve used is by Alice Curtis Knit your socks on Straight.

Apple and Socks…

I forget which week we’re on, but the lock-down measures remain in place. All for good reason; safety is paramount.

This week, has been about reflecting, about getting my hands dirty and also learning new skills.

The allotment has been on my mind a great deal. There is a lot to do, the plot has been left unloved for sometime. This, does feel rather overwhelming, as I have mentioned before. As such, I want to do little bits at a time, as much as I can.

I have an apple tree on the plot. In fact I have two. One is a Falstaff, the other is Braeburn. Both are currently in beautiful bloom with lovely pink and red blossom. The Falstaff is safe, secure, growing well. The Braeburn on the other hand, would be eight foot tall. However, due to storm damage,and not being staked properly, it is now growing bent over backwards, much like a fictional Japanese willow over a stream. I spent some time this week, propping it up. There was no way, no how, it was going to snap up straight. It is actually wonderfully well established, and happy too. I’ve never seen so much apple blossom on one tree. So rather than work against the tree, I want to work with it.

That was fun. Apart from falling over a raised bed and getting bruises.

Bruises, which didn’t help shoulder strain.

And where did I get shoulder strain from?

Well. Knitting.

I’ve been knitting for ages. Never purposefully though, and never actually finishing anything. So when a colleague told me about her sock knitting, with a member of the ‘Grape Gardening Family’ signposting me towards a book for knitting with flat needles, I had a ‘oh, yes?’ moment.

Two weeks, were spent, in between teaching and counselling, knitting like there was no tomorrow. I kid you not. I had the same brain fury that happens when I have a writing project that is all consuming. I pull the same thinking face too.

Flat needles. I’ve always knitted with these. I do have some circular needles, but they are still a bit abstract; I’ve yet to wrap my head around those. I don’t use DPNs-double pointed needles. That would also be a stretch of the visuo-spatial sketchpad.

Immersed and enthusiastic. I sprained my arm. There was three days sulking, and I have resumed knitting. I will also venture back to the plot too, at some point.

The socks, a pair, were completed. Yes, they are wonky, with one bigger than the other. But I have a pair of socks! Two weeks ago, I couldn’t read patterns, never mind knit socks.

(Yeah, Mama F has been helping too. I sat elbow to elbow with her, explaining the pattern. She’s a much more proficient knitter and crocheter than me, she can knit with her eyes closed. Doesn’t ever use patterns. But socks were new. She has since knitted a beautiful pair, that really are a piece of art.)

I’m really very proud of my wonky socks, and I have three more experimental ones in my needles. I’m using a mixture of bamboo and metal needles. The bamboo are less heavier, more warmer. Smaller metal needles do help with precision and better fitter socks.