HAPPY 2016!

Apologies for silence at this end.  Things have been a bit unsettled here at String.  The holidays came and went, with their obligatory cookies:


…and decorations.


Foods were cooked for the appropriate occasions, including cassoulet, latkes, boned-out stuffed ducks, panforte, ham, roast beef, and all sorts of sides.  Gifts were obtained and exchanged. Wine and champagne were consumed. Visitors popped by.  Spawn were supported as they wrestled with college application deadlines. And The Resident Male (TRM) had his hip replaced.  He’s well on the road to recovery, and is delighted to be regaining utility that he had thought lost forever.  Warning to his golfing pals – by the Spring, he’ll be back in training and itching to test out the new equipment, to see what it can do for his swing.  But as you can see, the interval since my last post, although long, has been a tad hectic.

Even on the project end, I haven’t had time for as much as I planned.  Between working from home part time and the rest of the laundry list, above, plus standard household stuff like shoveling, I didn’t get a chance to sew the the new curtains for the library that I had planned as my end-of-year break effort.  I’ve also set aside the Mixed Wave Cowl for Elder Daughter, and didn’t get started on some other holiday knitting or needlework.  Those things were derailed by a request from TRM to knit up a pair of socks as a post-surgical gift.  So I am now trying to motor through a pair in very boring grey fingering weight.  They will be enlivened by a design on the ankle – probably something skeletal and hip-like, worked in Intarsia.  Here you see them, with the feet and half of the heel complete, almost up to the motif area; two rather dull, shapeless grey blobs.


To do Intarsia on the ankles of these toe-up in-the-round socks, I’ll cheat.  After the heel is finished I’ll split the rounds at the center back, and work both socks flat.  Since I’m doing them now side by side using two circs, I’ll re-assort the stitches onto one circ and continue, to guarantee uniform length and design placement.

How do I like the two-circ method for knitting a pair of socks at the same time?  Frankly, not much. 

I find I am actually faster at five DPNs because I don’t have to stop and fiddle at the end of each half round to retrieve the correct needle end, and I don’t have to pause to untangle twisted feeds from two balls of yarn (or both ends of the same ball).  But the idea here was to use this project to try something  new to me that so many others recommend, and to ensure the hard-to-count charcoal color yarn produced two socks of the same size and length.  On the latter, I have to give kudos to the two-circ method.  No actual counting – just keep on and you are guaranteed uniform products.

So here we are.  January has been achieved.  All sorts of seasonal and special-case speed bumps have been successfully traversed.  Bring on the rest of the year.  After December 2015, I can handle anything.

7 responses

  1. Someone once told me about a way of knitting two socks at once, one inside the other. The stitches were put on one set of DPNs, or one circular, alternating stitches from the inner and outer sock, and then they were knitted alternately from two balls of yarn.

    I don’t knit socks, but have often wanted to try this – with two items of different colors, because otherwise I predict disaster!

    1. Yup. This is a well-known parlor trick that made an appearance in the novel “War and Peace.” In effect you’re working double-knitting, without anchoring the two layers together. If you do forget and swap or twine yarns, you can’t recover without heartache and lots of ripping back. It would not be easy to do for a piece with Intarsia work on it, but might be feasible for a knit/purl only texture design. More on the method can be found here: http://www.girlfromauntie.com/journal/anna-makarovnas-patented-stockings/

  2. Oh I’m with you with the dpn’s vs the 2 circulars method that has everyone so swept up. I find it so annoying having to shift your stitches every half round. I tried it a few times thinking it might have been that I learnt on dpn’s but nope …. I keep going back to them for socks, jumpers etc and put up with having to be mindful of counting.

  3. My preference with socks is to start both at the same time, each on its own set of dpns. Each one has a stitch marker with a counting chain (inspired by your article about stitch markers several years ago) to keep track of the rows, and I switch between the socks after one or two runs through a chain. No Second Sock Syndrome that way, and I don’t have to remember where or how I started the heel…

  4. Mary K. in Rockport | Reply

    Every once in a while I check, and there you are!

  5. […] are the socks I mentioned in my last post, bespoke by the Resident Male as a gift for his hip replacement surgeon.  A frenzied week of […]

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