Posts Tagged ‘kitchener’

Some Things are Never Finished

March 24, 2018

When my children were very young, I didn’t knit much. I thought I didn’t have enough time, which is bizarre because there’s the same amount of time in Every. Single. Day. If I’d been honest with myself, I would have realized that it wasn’t a matter of time; it was my perception of time and my very real reality of seemingly all-consuming busyness.

My mind was shifted by a single comment from a wise neighbor to whom I’d shared the desire to knit but didn’t have time: “When you’re raising a family, running a home, and working at your job, you might find that it’d be nice to actually finish something.”

How very true. So much of daily life is repetitive or ongoing — cook a meal, wash the dishes, wait a few hours, and do it again. Wake up, rally the troops, get everyone out the door (fed, dressed, and as put together as possible), then do it in reverse in each evening. And again. And again. For years, decades even.

One of the joys of knitting is finishing. In fact, I consider finishing the primary goal of a new knitter’s first project. That’s why I recommend a dishcloth as a first project and definitely not a scarf, which can take an eternity.

With that thought, I’m pleased to report that Sock #1 is finished.

Sock1-done-roving

Since I’d not been happy with the bumpiness of my previous sock toe grafting, I paid extra attention to my Kitchener stitching. This is an improvement over my earlier toes.

Sock-toe-kitchener

Part of my desire to finish the sock was my seemingly slow progress on the Sunshine Coast sweater. The slower pace isn’t surprising since it’s now up to about 250 stitches per round.

Sunshine

On the home front, dear Michael is home for a week’s break. Since he arrived at midnight and will likely sleep a solid 12 hours, I won’t see him until this afternoon, after Knit 101 class and the Boston March for Our Lives.

Being a parent or a child is a role (not really an “activity”) that doesn’t feel like it’s ever finished — at least, if you’re as lucky as I am, not for many, many decades.

Advertisements

The Thrill of a First Sock

April 30, 2014

There’s something very special about knitting a sock. It’s a simple piece of clothing that’s not particularly visible and endures a lot of wear and (eventually) tear. But the structural components of a sock make it a wonderful challenge even for a beginning knitter. The different parts to a sock provide learning opportunities, a multitude of options for customization, and enough variety that a knitter can’t really get bored.

– circular knitting on double-pointed needles (DPNs), two circulars, or one very long circular (magic loop method)
– ribbing
– construction of a heel flap and gusset
– toe shaping
– grafting the toe using the Kitchener stitch

And that’s just in top-down socks! For a first-time sock knitter, each section and technique can also provide the opportunity for much muttering and lots of occasional cursing.

In yesterday’s knitting class, Bonnie finished her first sock. How great is this?

BonnieSock

first knit sock

Lucky daughter Liza will be the recipient once its pair has been knit. Keeping fingers crossed that Bonnie doesn’t develop a case of Second Sock Syndrome.

Socktober, Just Under the Wire

October 31, 2013

Since she was unable to attend class this week, I paid a house call to Judy who was close to finishing her first sock. We’d met earlier in the week after she texted that she had a “knitting crisis” with the gusset and asked if I had a few minutes to help.

Non-knitters may scoff at the idea of a knitting crisis, but most of you know exactly what I’m talking about. Been there. Done that and survived, often with the help of a friend who talked us down from the “I’m-going-to-rip-out-the-whole-thing” edge.

What she needed, and what I was happy to provide, was a steady voice talking her through the toe shaping and reassuring her that, yes indeed, she was doing it right. She chanted through the Kitchener stitch mantra (more on that below) and then she had it, a complete, correctly proportioned, cozy, bee-yoo-ti-ful sock!

JudySock

I think she was appropriately pleased and proud even as she voiced doubt about whether she’d be able to make its mate. She can and she will.

A couple of days before, I’d shaped the toe of the first of K’s socks and was down to 8 stitches per needle. Since no one wants a seam along the toe of a sock, these stitches would be joined, or grafted, together (as opposed to being bound off and then seamed).

IMG_2719

I keep a Kitchener stitch cheat sheet rolled up in my darning needle holder so it’s right where I can find it when I need it. I’ll spare you the details of how long it took me to get the damn thing out of the tube. Suffice to say that I used DPNs as chopsticks before resorting to tweezers.

IMG_2720

I talked my way through each move: through stitch on front needle as if to purl, leave on needle; through stitch on back as if to knit, leave….

And then there it was.

IMG_2721

I don’t know if Socktober is a thing, but I like the sound of it so there you go.

%d bloggers like this: