Dec 03 2010

Socks can be objects of beauty and comfort,
not just utilitarian.

Socks: an item we are used to picking up discount stores by the packaged dozen. A utilitarian item so necessary we don’t consider them a snugly luxury, perhaps. But! What if your socks were nice and soft and absorbent natural fibers and made your feet feel like a million! Then you might call them a luxurious asset and greatly appreciate an introduction to a homemade model.

You can buy these hand knitted socks on Etsy by clicking here.

Hand knitted socks are just yummy. I crochet, so I stand in awe of anyone knitting socks. I am amazed by those who knit them, because anything on circular knitting needles or more than two knitting needles makes me nervous. Recently, I was fascinated, though, to be seated next to a woman knitting socks for her husband at a Scottish Country Dance in Alexandria, Virginia. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the needles as she rhythmically moved them in a sequenced dance around and around the tube of a sock in production. It was fascinating to watch the sock grow in the short time we were together.

I don’t knit, but I am going to sign up by clicking here
for these delightful knitted sock patterns! Maybe the bug
will bite! Best part of all, the patterns are FREE for your
e-mail address. They are really scrumptious. I want to move
to upstate New York so I can wear them EVERYDAY!

Just like there are knitters whose love to make sweaters, and those who specialize in mittens and scarves, there are knitters who love to make socks. The time it takes to make one is extensive. Even with the knitting machine shown below, one of the machine knitters is proud it “only” took eight hours to make one! So, knitting socks is a labor of love. In addition, the final product is so comforting, many consider it worth the time spent. And what a gift to a loved one it is.

Dorret, from YouTube has a series of four videos that show
her working needles to knit socks. Love it!

I always read the comments under YouTube videos. You learn so much from the other viewers, especially on the instructional YouTubes. Notice that one viewer mentions Dorret’s method of casting on stitches using two hands and the single knitting needle seated vertically between her hands. I was not familiar with that method either. I am like the viewer in that I hope Dorret will provide another YouTube showing her method for casting on.

Making socks with a circular knitting machine. I think this
makes me more nervous than multiple sock needles.

The knitting machines appear complex, but it would seem that once the basics are mastered, the only problem would be in the monotony of working with the machine over and over. The circular knitter seems dated and I can imagine a mother with ten kids trying to fit this task in with every other one required by the household. Circular knitters would be necessary time savers. If you are interested in learning more about this unique labor saving device, you’ll find you are not alone.  Click here to visit a remarkable web site devoted to circular knitting machines. It’s amazing!

Knitting socks with a flat bed knitting machine.

Flat bed knitting machines knit squares or rectangles that are then sewn together, so the resulting product will always have a seam. Round, circular knitting cannot be done on a flat bed machine. As on all knitting machines, it is the SIZE of the type of yarn that determines the machine to be used, rather than the type of project. For example, socks can be made on a circular knitting machine or a flat bed. The type of sock produced will depend upon the size of the yarn used which is, in turn, determined by the size of the latch hooks on the selected machine. 

As I read up on the knitting machines, I realized that there is much to know before one considers the purchase. For a great discussion on the good and bad points of hand vs. machine knitting, click here. Angelika’s web site puts it all down in black and turquoise and it helped me understand the various technologies much better. When you reach Angelika’s web page, go down to the article, ” “What Every Hand Knitter Should Know Before Buying a Knitting Machine”.

If you want to handknit socks, try this excellent book:

This book has 5 stars from its reviewers. If it interests
you, hover your mouse over this link for a preview:

Getting Started Knitting Socks (Getting Started series)

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NaBloPoMo November 2012