Oh yeah. Stuff that isn’t for me.
So I had this most excellent plan for Christmas for HWJF. We all know how he loves his handknit socks and we all know how he bought me a sock machine for my birthday this year. Well, I came up with the idea that since he’s been hinting rather heavy handedly lately about the lack of additions to his sock drawer as of late that I would make him some socks. Not just any socks. Socks on the sock machine! And not only socks on the sock machine, but 25 socks for the 25 days of Christmas!! Brilliant right?! Yeah. Not so much.
This is sock machine exile. This is where the sock machine has sat, untouched since before bassoon camp this year. That would be MAY people. Let me do the math for ya. That’s 6 months. Six months this rather expensive gift has sat untouched and unloved. But no more I vowed! I will make socks with the machine. There was even a still unfinished sock waiting to be finished from a pair I had started way back in May on it. I would finish that and go on from there.
Just one problem. I am apparently incompetent when it comes to this machine. I still, after all this time, am totally incapable of making a heel or a toe without the yarn breaking. I spent three hours Sunday night while HWJF was out working on that unfinished sock and part of another. The yarn broke more times than I can count. The tubes were fine, the machine knits without dropping stitches in a tube, but heels? Forget it. After three hours of pure frustration, it happened.
Those that follow me on plurk know of what I speak. I totally lost it. I called HWJF in tears, totally spoiling my brilliant surprise, begging for forgiveness but professing my absolute hatred for his very wonderful gift and my total inability to use it. I yelled, I cried, I threw yarn people. It was not pretty. I blew my stack on plurk (and had many sympathetic answers to my cries which certainly helped). It was Not Good.
But then I calmed down, took a hot shower and suddenly devised a plan to thwart the evil machine. What if I could knit the tubes on the machine but just knit the heels and toes by hand? What if I could insert waste yarn for an afterthought heel? I’d be saving a ton of time by getting the boring tube part done and still have a wear-worthy sock without a billion holes in it. So I gave it a try.
So far so good! What I did was this. I knit my hem, hung it, then continued with the leg tube. I then got to the point where I would usually start the heel, but instead of doing it on the machine I cut the sock yarn, tied in waste yarn, knit half way around with the waste yarn, cut that, tied on more sock yarn and finished knitting the foot on the machine. At that point if I was using one ball of yarn per sock, I stuffed the extra yarn inside the tube, found the other end of the ball of yarn, tied waste yarn to it and knit several more rounds. I could then start the next sock. If I was using one ball of yarn for both socks, I just cut the sock yarn after finishing the foot for the first sock and went on to the second. I’ll have a couple of extra ends to weave in, but I don’t think it’s that big a deal at this point. And I was able to complete two pairs of socks to this point in less than an hour!
Needless to say, there’s a lot more finishing work to do with this method, but I’ve still saved a lot of knitting time by using the machine to do the majority of the work. While the surprise is toast, at least I think that the possibility of the boy still getting his 25 socks this Christmas is still there. And I think he’s just happy I didn’t throw the thing through the window before he got home.
Have a great weekend!
Related posts:CSM, Socks