The Youngest Knitter and ‘Socks’
When guests and visitors were recognized, we learned that we had a VERY NEW KNITTER among us. She told us that she had been knitting for three DAYS and she is three years old. Rock on!
The program topic was ‘Socks,’ and there were five tables of instruction and demos. So what are some of the things we learned?
1. Casting on: Judy’s Magic Cast-on, ‘unvented’ by Judy Becker in Oregon, is quite possibly the best cast-on to use for starting toe-up socks because a) the inside of the sock is smooth, and b) it looks like stockinette.
a) Use circular, nickel-plated needles.
b) Mark the beginning of the round with a marker so you know where to increase.
c) Increases will be mirror images on both sides of the sock if you:
· Always use the [kfl, kbl] or ‘bar’ increase
· Increase one stitch in from the beginning of the row
· Increase two stitches from the end of the row
Here’s the Cat Bordhi video demo of Judy’s Magic Cast-on, complete with lots of explanation and fascination by Cat.
Here’s another illustrated set of instructions for Judy’s Magic Cast-on.
Basically, heels are a knitted cone and can be added at the very end as an ‘afterthought’ if you:
a) Knit a straight tube
b) Put the sock on and use a safety pin to mark where the heel should start at the bottom of your foot
c) Take the sock off and clip a stitch in the middle of the bottom of the sock.
Note: Here’s a slightly less trauma-inducing method.
d) Unravel in both directions from the clipped stitch.
· Usually, the total number of stitches to unravel/pick out is 50% of the total stitches in a round. Example: If there are 100 stitches in a round, unravel/pick out 50 for the heel.
· You can use either short rows or double-decreases to narrow to the tip of the heel.
· Lucy Neatby’s garter stitch heel, described in Cool Socks, Warm Feet makes a double-thickness heel. To add that as an afterthought, you must pick out 60% of the stitches in the round.
IMPORTANT Sometimes adding nylon thread to reinforce the heel will actually cut through the main yarn. Lesson: If the yarn already has nylon in it, you should be good without having to reinforce the heel with nylon thread.
3. You can knit two socks at a time using two circular needles, which cuts down on the note-taking and memory issues involved in knitting one sock after the other. A good book is 2-at-a-time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes.
There was more to learn, but I didn’t make it to the Kitchener stitch table. Apologies!