Monday, August 26, 2019

Making Knee Socks & Boot Socks

I'd been cranking some socks lately on my 100-year-old Legare 47.  I've been making "Diana's Favorite Sock," which I teach in my Happy Cranker book and DVD.

I simply do a sock a day.  I have always cranked socks as a way to leave the concerns of life behind.  I think it's an exercise in mindfulness - you really have to pay attention to what you're doing when you work up socks on an antique machine.  I count my rows manually, often out loud, saying a row number as my crank hits the bottom of its cycle.  Yup, I know we could install a row counter, but my old Legare is authentic - and primitive.  My mind focuses on the knitting steps, and pretty soon it's finished and beautiful.

I stop to admire whatever the yarn colorway looks like knitted into a sock.  Finding very pretty sock yarns is a little sweet treat for my travels in life.

I crank the socks in a "string," starting the next sock after some waste knitting.  After I finish a sock, I usually take off the sock in the bottom of the string and sew up one sock, as well.  I enjoy a little sewing.  I use a magnifying Ott light and I listen to a book or music.

John and I have been going out country dancing with another couple lately.  They really know what they're doing, but John and I are beginners.  We can barely two-step, and when he twirls me, sometimes I get away!  A local place has a free lesson on Friday nights, and we have a wonderful time.  We listen, we practice, and we laugh at ourselves.  

The other lady and I were talking recently about our feet.  I'd been shopping for cowboy boots that don't rub anywhere.

She told me that she fights calluses from years of dancing in cowboy boots.  She described how she likes a thick sock or even a "boot sock."

Hmmm.  My homemade socks are rather thick.  Depending on the yarn, some of them are amazingly soft.

Time to think about making some knee socks, and this is just the sort of machine knitting problem I love to work out.

I hadn't made knee socks since my years as a hockey mom sitting in super-cold ice rinks watching Steven goal-keep.  Back then, I used to make 54-stitch socks, but now I make ribbed 72-stitch socks, which I know will work better.

Pictured is my first attempt.  With just a little math, I succeeded in getting the length right and making a top that stays up.  I wanted 12" of length, unstretched, between the ankle and the top cuff, and then a shorter top cuff.

The pink speckled sock is my typical pattern, knitted in Lorna's Laces.  The green mix is some Yarn Paradise wool blend, was made exactly the same through the ankle (I start at the toe).  Then I took off the heel spring and knitted 90 rounds with the needles set up like the ankle.  After that, I put the heel spring back in work and switched to knit one, purl one ribbing for the sock cuff.  The cuff is just like the cuff on the anklet except that it's only 30 rounds.  I know the top cuff looks wider than the cuff on the pink socks, but that's two pink socks in the picture, stacked a little offset, but only one green sock.

The calf area is wide enough because taking off the heel spring makes bigger stitches.  I did NOT want to change my machine tension, which is adjusted just the way I want it for my shorter sock.

I wear a women's medium.  This pair of Lorna's Laces socks weight 76 grams.  The finished pair of knee socks weigh 104 grams.  Since sock yarns are put up in 50- and 100-gram balls, you might run a little short unless you buy an extra ball or you use another yarn for the heel and toe.

If Diana's Favorite Sock works for you, you might like to try this.  I'm about average height, and on some people, you might fold the upper cuff down once, but I need all the length.

No comments:

Post a Comment