"Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber." Proverbs 31:19 NLT

Friday, April 25, 2014

Toasty Toes

I've knitted for probably 32 years but didn't make my first socks until 2 years ago. I had knitted a vest out of hand spun from some processed merino roving that I purchased from Susan's Fiber Shop. It's a great little bag of fiber called Gummi Worms. She usually has it in stock.  (For more on Susan's shop, click here.)

 I spun it up and plyed it with processed merino dyed navy blue: 

When the vest was finished it was too wide, not from a gauge mistake but an apparent over-estimation of my backside. So I pulled it all out AS I KNITTED a great little hat for a friend and a pair of socks for myself. (I had never knitted one garment directly from another one.) I still have enough for another pair of socks or some other little project.

The sock pattern was from Knit Socks by Betsy Lee McCarthy, page 40, Fireside Stripes. We were going on a long road trip and I was determined to make socks. I decided to take my own advice. When people say, "I can knit but I can't read directions," I say, "Just go one step at a time. Don't look ahead to get overwhelmed, just go step by step." I thought, "I can make socks if I just take it step by step." So that's what I did. I was amazed at how the heel just sort of appeared by simply following the directions. And here's the end result.

Right away, my son wanted a pair. The yarn I used for his pair was some I had spun with natural colored corriedale wool and, at some point, needed some black yarn for something-or-another. The only black dye I had on hand was RIT dye! But all I got was a medium/darkish gray, although, my son insisted it was purple!  However, let it be known that I would not recommend RIT for wool - the result was not satisfactory and the yarn went unused until I needed yarn for this second pair of socks. (Side note - with each washing, the socks get lighter. There is nothing wrong with light gray socks that are becoming natural colored again. But the dye has been neither color fast nor predictable.)

With all that said, these corriedale socks are wonderfully soft and absorbent, despite the color changes.

I love making socks. Even more, I love wearing soft wool socks. In these long Wisconsin winters, toasty toes are a nice commodity.

I've done a little reading and apparently the Civil War soldiers agreed with me, home made wool socks are the best.  That is another soon-coming post.

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