Hello fellow fiber enthusiasts!
Now the work begins. I have contemplated all kinds of ways to get this project started, but when all else fails, consult an expert.
I was at TNNA when this whole concept started to be formed and while there I had the pleasure of spending a bit of time with Cat Bordhi. Many of you will know her as the queen of the mobious but many more of you will know her for her innovative sock constructions, which can be found in her book New Pathways for Sock Knitters. I told Cat that I was interested in doing this project toe up since I am planning to knit the socks to fit my feet, and this way I can try them on as I go. She said I should do smaller socks, but I’m up for the challenge. Cat generously offered me a toe design and spent a few minutes showing me how to go about it.
I wish I could remember the story … there is ALWAYS a story!
I have to make a confession here … the toes were knit on smaller needles then moved to the larger needle. I tried to figure out how to cast on with the long needle, but it was more than I could wrap my brain around. So, as each toe was completed, I moved them to the large needle. I did it backwards, starting with the Saturday sock and moving to Sunday. Needless to say, I think I have this toe pattern memorized now.
The fun part (NOT) was when I discovered that one of the toes was moved onto the needles upside down. It took me 90 minutes to undo that error and have everything in line for knitting in the round.
I really wanted to make the first attempt something special, and our Knit Night proved to be just such an occasion. I was sure I had all my ducks in a row with my 14 skeins of yarn neatly stored in the shoe tree, but alas … disaster soon met my needles and I was in a tangled nightmare. I discreetly put the project to the side and went back to helping others with their entrelac scarves.
I thought I needed to have a fresh outlook on the problem. I remembered that when I had the yarn on the table it seemed easier to manage, so I decided I needed to figure out a way to have the yarn above the needles. After another trip to the market (the name has been generalized to protect the innocent), I soon had a combination of gadgets to make this thing work. I picked up a basic clothing rack and opted not to put the wheels on the bottom. I then hung two shoe trees on the clothes rack (one above the other) using shower curtain hooks. I chose to use two shoe trees because I needed the yarn to hang width wise, not length wise.
This contraption allowed me to have the yarn above me while I was knitting (I couldn’t find 14 friends to each hold a ball of yarn for the duration of the project). Something else I discovered was that now I had a great way to store the needle when I wasn’t knitting. I chose to put stitch markers at the two ends of the 14 socks, because nothing frustrates me more than having to re-establish the loop on magic loop.
Now I had my yarn, my needle, and my equipment for attempt #2! Well folks, we had a winner! This worked beautifully for knitting the first 14 halves of the socks. Alas … there are two sides to the socks, so for the first few passes, I would move my chair to the other side of the rack and knit from the back side. Although this worked, my friend asked me why I didn’t just turn the socks around, so I held my breath and gave it a shot. Here’s a very brief video that shows how it looks when it is turned. This was filmed while I was knitting at a city street fair, so I apologize for the extra noise.
It was a lot of fun to have this at the festival, but I sure got some interesting questions. Some people thought I was making hats for the seven dwarves. I can’t wait until they are long enough that they look like socks. Well, I’d better get back to knitting. I hope to find some more public venues to work on the project, so you can drop by if you are in the area. I’ll keep you posted.
SDG Prince Entrelac