For years I thought that socks were just too difficult to knit, with all that talk of turning heels and managing five needles but then I found a pattern and sat down with a ball of sock wool, several needles and a stiff gin and knitted a pair of serviceable socks. I wore them a few times but over the summer they slipped to the back of the drawer where they sat forgotten for a couple of years. Until last month. I spend December standing in a cold barn selling Christmas trees and I was so fed up with thin cotton socks that didn’t keep my feet warm or beautiful cashmere socks that cost a bomb and wore out in no time that I searched out my hand knitted socks. Aah, the joy of warm feet again.
In a fit of enthusiasm after my last sock making I’d bought more wool (seduced by the colours) and a book of patterns Cool Socks Warm Feet, so I hauled them out and started knitting. The blue socks are made with hand dyed 70% Blue Faced Leicester wool 30% nylon from The Bear Necessities and the multi coloured from Regia wool. They all have different heels but I prefer the heel on the blue socks to the red garter stitch heel on one of the multi coloured pairs and I abandoned the Turkish heel as it seemed too bulky.
It seems that turning a heel is straight forward if I read the instructions, though I’ve learnt that I can’t turn a heel while watching Sherlock on TV as there’s too much to take in on both counts. But socks are quick to knit, warm to wear and it doesn’t matter if they’re not perfect as nobody else will see them close up anyway.
How I love November. Autumn leaves, misty mornings with dew hanging from the trees, bonfires, fireworks, fingerless mittens and coffee cake with candles.
Now that it’s cold enough to light the fire in the evenings and close the curtains, I’ve taken up my knitting again. Hidden in a cupboard I found a half finished sleeveless pullover that I started at least six years ago. I was making it because I had a blue green skirt that was hard to find colours to match and I had a cone of wool that was just the right shade. Of course I’ve now used that wool for something else and only have a little left so I’ve introduced some new colours. The skirt has worn out and I no longer have that. Also, I hate wearing orange but seem to have used rather a lot. Do you know what? I’m rapidly losing enthusiasm. Perhaps I’ll make it into a cushion cover instead.
felted handbag and book bag
Many, many years ago I had a knitting machine and made jumpers for people. But the craze for sheep or ladybirds or rabbits or multi coloured stripes on jumpers passed, my children complained that woollen jumpers itched and the knitting machine was sold. But I kept my cones of wool and every now and then would pull out a cone to knit a hat or pair of gloves.
Then last year I came across this website and sent off for a kit to make a felted bag, decorated with buttons. What a revelation. It was so simple and quick.
So now I’m experimenting with my twenty year old stash of Shetland wool. It’s taken a while to work out the correct needle size and how many strands to use and some bags have been more successful than others. I knit on large needles with four strands of wool and then throw the bag in the washing machine on a 40 degree wash so that it shrinks to about a third of its original size. At last I’ve found a good use for my wool.