Thursday 15 April 2021

Socks! Lockdown End Won't Be An End To Crafting

I know lots of my fellow witches and pagans have been avidly crafting during lockdown. In fact the chats in the Folklore Podcast zoom lectures have had as much conversation about knitting, sewing and crotchet as about the subject of the talks. Will the crafting frenzy end now the pubs and shops are open? My fellow blogger Jane Mortimer doesn't think so. In this post she wrote about shopping, crafting and a perfect sock pattern: 

I was like a greyhound out of a trap on April 12, heading for the charity shops. Queueing outside one, I asked the lady who was letting us in one by one if they had any knitting needles. She said "Yes, just ask the chap behind the counter and he'll let you sort through them."  Well, he sat me in a chair, and brought me box after bag after box - it took me an hour to go through them all, finding 6" DPNs in the right sizes to knit socks.  I ended up putting loads back because there were so many, but I've got enough to make up a few sets of 5, as my sister has warned me it won't be long before I've got umpteen different socks on needles, knitting them in rotation.  She's right!  

Below are I've shared a couple of entries from my BoS, about my sister Sarah's sock patterns (with her permission, since there must be plenty of witches out there who knit their own socks and turn oddments into scrappy socks. 

Sarah’s Vanilla Sock Pattern - the only sock pattern I’ll ever need…

Having knitted 30 pairs of socks using the pattern my lovely sis devised, it’s tattooed on my brain, but I’m writing it down for posterity in case I have a break that’s long enough to get rusty. It fits my size 39/40 feet.

Using 4-ply and a set of 5 No.12/2.5mm DPNs, cast on 56, holding 2 needles together on the left (rubber band helps keep the ends level) to ensure a good stretch round the cuff.  K2P2 rib for 18 rounds. Turn inside out and sew the end in, putting the needle through the knot where you started casting on to avoid having a dip in the edge of the cuff. Mark this place with a stitch marker as the beginning of each round.

Continue in StSt till work measures 6”, then using a contrast (lary!) yarn, knit half a round, then purl back. No knots required. This marks where the Afterthought Heel is going to be.  (You can remove the marker on the cuff now you’ve got this line as a guide). Carry on knitting with the proper yarn till work measures 6½“ from lary line, then shape toe.  Mark the beginning and half-way point of the round with stitch markers. Join in toe yarn if it’s a contrast and K 1 round, then shape toe:

Round 1:  *K1, S1, K1, psso then K to end of 1st needle, K to last 3 sts of 2nd needle then K2tog, K1.*  Rep from * to * on other 2 needles.

Round 2:  K without shaping.

Rep these 2 rounds till there are 6 sts on each needle, then cut a 10” end, put the front and back of the toe on 2 needles and graft together with Kitchener Stitch using a tapestry needle, and sew the end in.

Now for the Afterthought Heel.  

Pick up 28 sts either side of the lary line, from the up-stroke of each ‘v’ to avoid twisting stitches. Then remove the lary line by unpicking the first couple of stitches and then chopping through what’s left with scissors, taking great care not to cut any of your precious knitting.  Join in yarn (contrast maybe) at start of round (use stitch markers again) and K 2 rounds, pulling up the corners as tight as possible. On the 3rd round, using a 2.5mm crochet hook, pick up the lower half of the middle stitch in the gap and pick up loops left, right and centre till you’ve reached the top, then slip the last loop onto the first needle.  K2tog and continue knitting to other side. Pick up stitches again (there’ll be an extra loop at the top), and carry on same as first half to end of round.  Now shape the heel using Rounds 1 and 2 of toe shaping and finish in the same way.  Put the finished sock on a blocker, et voila!  You have a wonderful sock!

Pattern © Sarah Scales 2021                                                                               

Yompers …..

A couple of blunders had a happy ending with my first pair of HD walking socks.  I was so busy negotiating on Ebay for some lovely olive green merino wool, I failed to notice the letters ‘DK’ on the label in the pic, so when it arrived I realised I couldn’t use it with my usual sock pattern.  

Around the same time, I bought a skein of hand-dyed ‘4-ply’ lambswool with nylon from a seller.  It was a real struggle to knit with on 2.5mm DPNs, so I had a light bulb moment and teamed it with the green merino, a set of 3mm DPNs and cast on 48 instead of 56.  When knitting yompers, decrease down to 5 sts on each needle at toe and heel, not 6 like you'd do with 4-ply. The result is in the pic – my first pair of yompers. I’ve since ordered more 8-ply wool by mistake, and have found enough woolly DK in the garage to do the contrast bits.  Happy days!

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Jane said...

Ooops! I forgot to say when knitting yompers, decrease down to 5 sts on each needle at toe and heel, not 6 like you'd do with 4-ply.

Badwitch said...

I've added that line now!

Jane said...

Whew! Thanks!

Badwitch said...

Happy to do that!