A couple of months ago, I went to the Melbourne Quilt and Craft Expo. It was such a lovely day. Mario had to work (or so he says), so I went by myself. It was a revolutionary experience: I discovered that I actually kind of love going places by myself. I could look for as long as I wanted, and not feel guilty! I even went shopping afterwards!
Anyway, my co-dependence aside, I saw a lot of things that I loved at the expo, but the one thing I couldn’t walk past was this super colourful sock wool. It’s called Poems Sock by Wisdom Yarns, and cost about $13 I think.
Can I just say though, before we go any further, that I hate it a little bit. It broke soooo easily, and yet when I tried to tie a knot, the knots would just magically unravel! In addition, the outside was beaaauuuutiful, but there was a good few yards on the inside that were a pale, undyed blue. False advertising. I was so unhappy when I saw that.
I bought some double pointed KnitPro needles in 2.25mm as per the pattern, and at the risk of sounding slightly negative, I HATED them too. I’ve seen these KnitPro needles around everywhere, and always resisted buying them, because they seem like an expensive fad. I love my metal needles from the op shop, thank you very much. I always find bamboo to be too friction-y, and these were no exception. Plus they felt so feeble, I was constantly afraid of snapping them (although, to be fair, apparently they have a lifetime warranty) (also, to be even fairer, they do also make metal needles, just not in this size).
Anyway, the combination of the needles and the yarn was a disaster. Once I cast on in the round, the stupid yarn kept snagging on the ends of the DPNs and breaking. Luckily, my friends Jacinta and Michael came to the rescue! They bought me this super cute itty-bitty circular sock needle! I looooove it. Once I got started on that, it was full steam ahead.
Well, for a little while, anyway. I raced through the socks, but my circular needle got too big once I started to decrease for the toe (these were toe down socks, by the way). Crisis!
The solution was the ‘magic loop technique’, whereby you can use a much longer circular needle to knit tiny rounds. I’ve made a picture sequence to demonstrate. It’s probably very unhelpful, but I like the colours. :)
To begin: Move all your stitches onto the flexible part of a long circular needle. Fold the needle in half, with half the stitches on each side. Holding the folded part of the flexible needle, push the stitches forward towards the needle ends, leaving a loop of flexible needle separating them. Then follow these steps:
1. Move the bottom half of the stitches (i.e., those on the right-hand part of the needle) up to the end of the right needle, and leave the top half (i.e., those on the left-hand part of the needle) on the flexible middle part.
2. Knit from the right hand needle to the left hand needle as usual.
3. Now the stitches you just knitted are on the left hand needle, and the un-knitted stitches are on the flexible part.
4. Move the un-knitted stitched up to the right hand needle, and move the knitted stitched on to the flexible part of the needle.
5. Repeat step 2. To knit one full round, you will repeat steps 2-4 twice.
Anyway, here’s how the socks eventually turned out:
I’m not sure how much I liked the pattern (it was just one that came with the socks), but I can safely say that I looooove the colours. I managed to not get any of the ugly yarn in them. They’re very soft and warm. :)
Want to check out more September Short Projects?