Monday, July 15, 2013

Necessary Indulgence, Handknit socks: what NOT to do

So, we've established that I like to knit socks, especially when I travel. I was excited to knit my sock on our trip to Paris since it had been sitting idle since February. I never really knit the same sock pattern, so as I knit and the lovely pattern reveals itself on the sock, I am enthralled and wonder how stretchy it is with all those fancy stitches between the ribs. Feet are funny in that they have a heel and, as such, comfortable socks need to stretch over that heel. So, with all that work put into knitting those little stitches, sometimes I am eager to see if /how the sock fits. So eager that I try said sock-in-progress on with knitting needles still attached. 

Do you know what? US Size 1 wooden double-pointed knitting needles aren't as bendy as you'd think! 

Do you hear the sound of my heart breaking?

Also, they are difficult to fix with tape or glue...

This doesn't work as well as you'd think/hope/want.

Had I been at home, I would have gone to my stash of needles and just taken the fifth needle (yes, they sometimes throw in a fifth needle for larger-diameter knitting and for cases just like this!) from the set out and knitted on my merry way. BUT, as I was in Paris, I sort of was stuck. I knitted with a glued needle for about four rows before it snapped again. (Can't really tell you how amazed I was  that I was even able to do this for that long, but I was inordinately excited.)

Most yarn stores in Paris do not stock knitting needles as a matter of course. Since sock knitting is not as popular there, small size dpns (double-pointed needles) are very difficult to find. Many years ago, I did  find some dpns for sale in an odds and ends jar of a now-shuttered Anny Blatt store in the Marais area of Paris. They are the best dpns I own with the perfect tip and finish. They are metal and strong and somewhat bendy. They were not the needles I was I was knitting these socks with. I was knitting with the colorful wooden Knitpicks needles (they sort of match the yarn, I'll use those! yeah!). I moped for what seemed like an age, actually looked in our kitchen for a suitable bamboo skewer to no avail and then had the bright idea of looking in my weaving storage drawers.....


This photo is more exciting than it looks.

By the way, this is how you're supposed to try on socks-in-progress: 
  1. put the live stitches on waste yarn
  2. set working needles aside 
  3. pull on! 

Simple and me.

Diagonal Rib Socks designed by Ann Budd from Interweave Knits webKnits in Regia Design Line by Kaffe Fassett color #4256, yarn purchased at Le Bon Marche, Paris, ca 2005.

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