SOCKS

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on May 18, 2010 1:50 PM

Hi, since you enjoy knitting socks- you might like to try the european way: We use 4 needles and the 5th is the working one. It looks awfully tight to just use 3, hope you give it a try.

Ute

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Zoe wrote
on May 18, 2010 3:41 PM

Hi Andrea,

I can't wear the toe socks anymore--haven't for years.  I wish I could wear sandals but can't anymore.  I have feet that need custom made orthotics and wear a specific walking shoe with a roll bar.  I have bad knees & hips which have misalligned my feet.  I have had heel spurs operated on.  I just got a report back from the doctor, and I have another one in my foot although it is not in my heel.  I have to wear socks and the more comfy they are, the better my feet like it!

I have a new thought as to where my red & blue socks are hanging out and will look there sometime this week.

I am still knitting on the footie pattern.  I think that next time I will make the ribbing a little longer to come up a little past my ankle. 

I set up the air conditioner yesterday as we are having a heat wave.  I now have to wait until the evening to do yard/garden work.  I have a sun allergy and can't be out in it or else I am ill for days afterwards.  Good time to be inside knitting socks.  I would love to take my knitting outside and work on them but must be inside.

I really loved the Zebedee socks you made.  The colors are wonderful.  My feet are really sensitive to "store-bought" socks with color in them.  I am using pale colors for my knitted socks and trying those colors.  If/when I find my red & blue socks and the color bothers my feet, then I will donate them to someone.  Or stuff them with stuff at Christmas time.

I must go and check out your posting for the yarn at Knit Picks, write it down and then buy it next time I am in the city if it is available.

Yarns n yarns n yarns, one for every project.  Zoe

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Zoe wrote
on May 18, 2010 3:47 PM

Hi Ute,

Yes, doing socks with five needles is very good and I find very helpful when doing the gussets.  I find sometimes, depending on how many stitches you CO for the pattern, five is sometimes in the way and use only four needles.  My Mom loves to use the five needles but will use four if she doesn't have enough in that size.  She says that "years ago you could only get the dpns in sets of five." 

I have very rarely found any in sets of five.  I do have a couple of sets of five.  Do you have a specific brand that you can purchase sets of five in?

Five needles, five fingers, one for each one. Zoe

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AndreaW wrote
on May 18, 2010 9:00 PM

Hi Ute...

   I quite agree w/ you... 5dpns are much better than 4!!! Probably part of the reason I feel that way is that although I live in Canada....I am 1/2 German...+ it was my German grandmother who taught me how to knit MANY years ago. I honestly can't remember how many needles she knit with...but I still have a couple tiny prs of baby socks she made for me. I also used them on my son almost 30 yrs ago. Actually both my grandmothers knit...but my maternal grandmother was more of a sweater knitter. I don't remember any socks fr her. We never lived close to her either. I taught myself to knit mittens in high school for pocket money. I think it was around then I also tried a sock for the first time.

    Most of our needles around here do come in sets of 4....so I have also made socks w/ 4 needles. Over the yrs I've gathered up enough odd needles to make most of my sets be  5.   What I would really like to try is to make socks on an 8"/ 20cm circular needle. None available near me...+ too expensive to order just to try...I might hate it!!!

   The only time that 4 needles might be preferable to 5 is for a beginner doing the first few rnds. A triangle is a bit less floppy than a square...until you get an inch (2.5cm) or so done.

    What kinds of socks...or other knitting do you like to do?

             Take Care ..... Andrea

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AndreaW wrote
on May 18, 2010 9:48 PM

Hi Zoe...

     Another thing we share...I wear orthotics too. But I've also worn Birkenstock sandals...for yrs....the thong style especially even before "flipflops" came back into style. Everything else...even my winter boots has orthotic inserts or the whole shoe is fitted w/ an orthotic. I wear mostly clogs as I find it helps a lot w/ my fibromyalgia to be able to slip them on + off. Massage + Chiropractic treatment has done a lot to helping me w/ the alignment problems.

      To the best of my knowledge you can only buy Knit Picks yarn by ordering fr them. Check it out on their website to be sure. Their prices are quite reasonable + they have other "interesting" things to see also. I got my blocking wires + sock blockers there. I also ordered a set of their multi-colored wood dpns. I'm not a huge fan of knitting w/ wood needles as I find they tend to slow me down a bit. However these aren't too bad. And I just had to see/ hold them because they were pretty. They came in a set of 6 actually in case of breakage. Although I knit "firmly" @ no time did I feel like they were in danger of snapping (sz 2.5mm).  I suppose if you sat on them...but we have leather furniture due to the allergies so I have a firm rule....no sharp things laying directly on the furniture. I keep a plastic shoebox container beside me on the couch holding all the sharp things + I dump my knitting there when not actually knitting.  There are also books + patts @ Knit Picks. Even some free patts. I made my Mum a pr of their "Mock Croc" socks a couple yrs ago + she loved them. Another "possible" there for you is their "bare" yarns.  They are meant for people who want to dye their own yarn...but they might solve your issues too? I have one hank of it in sock yarn...but haven't tried dyeing it yet. The bare stuff comes in different wts/ fibers. They do sell dyes too...but I've been quite happy playing w/ KoolAid dyeing for several yrs.  Wouldn't drink the stuff if you paid me...especially since I've seen how many yrs the color  lasts in a pr of frequently washed socks...but love to create my own colors of yarn w/ it!!!

    I was wondering if you might be able to use any natural products to dye sock yarn with?  I bought the book "A Dyers Garden" during Interweave's Hurt book sale but haven't done more than glance thru it...someday!!!  Hopefully a project for "retirement"?   Using anything more chemical than KoolAid for dyeing...kind of makes me nervous...but real stuff OK (allergies).  I do remember my (German) grandmother dyeing boiled eggs @ Easter w/ kitchen stuff + creating very pretty pastel eggs. Beets/ onion skins/ etc. I have saved onion skins for a friend who has dyed some wool fabric for rug hooking too. I may try some sock yarn in the water fr cooking beets some day. Vinegar should "set" the color.

    I haven't managed much knitting time lately...odd for me!!! I was doing some sewing: gifts/ repairs/ etc. And there's always yard stuff this time of yr. We had a nice warm day today. Actually wore a skirt to town...summer's here!!!

   Must go make my husband's lunch for work in the AM + maybe knit a little hopefully. I am still working on those Olive Branch socks...sloooowly. Past the heel on # 1 only.

       Take Care ..... Andrea

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Zoe wrote
on May 18, 2010 10:47 PM

AndreaW:
people who want to dye their own yarn...

 

Hi Andrea,

I hadn't thought much about dying my own yarns.  Something I think I should look into doing.  Another natural dye for you to try is tea.  There are many different colors of tea and if you soak your yarn in tea overnight, the color will set itself.  The tea should be strong and hot when you put your finished project into it.  Careful not to use the wool yarn that is not superwashed as it will end up felted.  If you want blue yarn the thing to use is blueberries.  Boil the blueberries and strain them, then put your finished project into the water, leave overnight for the color to set.  Rasberries come out rather pink to red.  For the beets, if you use vinegar to set the color, your color will not be a dark rich purple.  It will be a pink fusha color.  If you ever get to a '"natural product" store, I am sure they will carry dyes made from organic matter.  There are also different shades of henna that could be used.

Wool is rather like our own hair in that it has cuticles.  You need heat to "open" the cuticles in order for the color to go into the hair shaft.  I am a hairstylist and you have to know all sorts of interesting things about hair. 

I need to do somemore knitting on my socks but since there is so much outside work, my interests lie elsewhere.  My hubby has been very ill lately and has taken up more of my time than usual.

I haven't tried the Birkenstock sandals or shoes.  I need lace up shoes and leave them "permanently" tied and just slip them off and on.  It is too bad that our whole body comfort is foot related.

When your feet ache and are in bad shape do you ever notice on those days, you also have a bad hair day?  Zoe

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AndreaW wrote
on May 18, 2010 11:47 PM

Hi Zoe...

   I still hadn't signed out here + heard your reponse come into my email. Hadn't thought of using berries. I have used tea before when dyeing small bits of yarn for Wayne's rug hooking.To "antique" it. And have thought about trying herbal tea but it seems like a waste. Have some strawberry/ kiwi stuff though that no one wants to drink....may try that. I do want to try your berry suggestion this summer.

   If I don't use vinegar to set the beet color...use salt??? Don't want it to wash back out again.  I seem to remember reading something online recently about purples + color setting????  Wonder if I printed it off?

    Actually you CAN use HOT water on the untreated wool. It's the agitation mostly that creates the felting. And any drastic temp change. I always use hot water....either nuke it in the microwave...or in a big glass bottle or 9" x 13" glass cake pan in the sun. Pref on a blk roof or a big rock for hotter temps. I have some cool pics of it.  I leave it till the color + vinegar is all "sucked up" into the yarn then pour it out into a sink to drain. When cool enough to handle...I rinse it in water that feels the same temp...till it runs clear. Handle gently...hang to dry.

   A few Xmas's ago, I made my brother a "Shedir" hat fr ww wool...the kind that comes in a 113g skein you need to wind into a ball....the old-fashioned kind. The patt called for using dk wt "Calmer" yarn as I recall. It was intended as a chemo cap for a woman. My reasoning was I loved the cables + thought since my brother's head was definately larger ( + he was lucky enough to not have cancer) ...if I made it in ww...sz should be right. I was wrong. I TRIED to shrink it...then I TRIED to felt it. Nada!!!   At the end of things I had a sink full of hot water as hot as I could stand + a bowl of cold water w/ ice cubes in it. I was alternating temps. Luckily the hat was only a bit too big...because I only managed to alter the sz a tiny bit. The hat was always a little big but usable. I suspect the lovely royal blue chemical dye had something to do w/ it all!!!  Such a horrible episode that it's kind of funny now!!!   

Zoe:
It is too bad that our whole body comfort is foot related.

Soooo true. I use reflexology on us + friends. It's quite amazing the corolation between our feet + the rest of our bodies.

 

I have used henna on my hair...never thought of it for yarn. I had a good friend for several yrs who was a hairdresser so she "shared" a lot of info w/ me. She was also a bit of a knitter. She also frequently despaired of me + my hair. Which brings me to your next ????

Zoe:
When your feet ache and are in bad shape do you ever notice on those days, you also have a bad hair day?

 

I'm smiling as I write this:  my hair is buzzed off to about 3/4". It wouldn't  be able to have a bad hair day if it tried!!!!  I had long hair for long periods of my life but in 2004 I finally chopped it off for good. It was quite painful to brush etc/ for me with fibromyalgia so I finally had enough. I donated the 12" tail that came off + haven't looked back. Started out w/ just "normal" short hair...but got brave one day. In a pinch...I can wash it w/ a facecloth!!!  It's dry by the time I hang up the towel...no debating hairstyle...no bad hairdays. My husband buzzes it off for me. I'm lucky...it actually looks pretty OK...but @ 52...not sure I really care much!!!  I do have plenty of days when my "skin hurts" though!!!

   Hoping your husband's health stabilizes soon. It's scary when they get sick isn't it?  We get used to the "status quo" even if it's not perfect...but when something worsens it's a worry.

      Nite / Take Care ....... Andrea

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Zoe wrote
on May 19, 2010 11:43 AM

AndreaW:
If I don't use vinegar to set the beet color...use salt

 

Hi Andrea,

The vinegar is an acid which opens the cuticles to let in the color.  If you use hot hot water, it too will open the cuticles to let in the color.  The vinegar can be used but it will lighten the purple color, similar to the bleach used for clothing.  You could play around with it and see how many variations of the purple you get.  The "set" comes from getting the cuticle to close locking the color inside.  The best way to set the color is to let the item cool down naturally or stick the whole thing in the freezer.  Remember not to use hot water to wash the item because that hot water will reopen the cuticle causing the color to "fade".  Cold/cool water wash is best.

Tea is naturally acidic and sets itself.  Salt won't do anything.

I know what you mean about short hair.  Remember when Sinnad O'Conner was a popular singer and she had 1/4 inch cut with longer bangs?  I did that too and it was so lovely to wear.  I get a problem when my hair comes down to my earlobes--it is too heavy for my scalp and it hurts my skin.  I do keep shorter hair.  Only problem is that I have a couple of scars in my scalp from a head injury and no hair grows there.  So I have to keep my hair at least 2 1/2 inches long.  Do you have a toque/hair band or some other knitted head gear that you wear?  I just remember how freezing cold it was to have that short of hair, esp. in the winter!

We have a newbie sock knitter that I am going to reply to on this post. 

How do you get the SOCK thread direct into your email inbox?  Zoe

 

 

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Zoe wrote
on May 19, 2010 11:56 AM

Hi Mittennbean,

Welcome to the next goal for yourself of knitting socks.  Please check out the Kelly Socks at this link: http://www.knitpicks.com/tutorials/Kelleys_Sock_Class__L10040501.html     After you have  watched her videos, you may want to go along and knit with her.  Cast on the required stitches and follow her right along.  If you want, cast on the same stitches she does and your sock will be smaller than the sock a person would wear but they would be your first sock.  Call it your practice sock.  I still have my "practice" sock that I made when first learning how to knit as a child.  I never did make a pair but stopped after one sock. 

Bookmark the site and return to it often.  Which way do you knit?  continental style (working yarn held in left hand) or English style (working yarn in your right hand)?  How long have you been knitting and what things have you made?

I like socks because they are quick and easy to do.  Once you have made a few pair, the pattern sequencing just stays with you and it really requires little thought.

Please go back to the beginning of the SOCKS thread and read through.  There are lots of helpful hints and suggestions.  There are also lots of other links to sock related items. 

Don't hesitate to ask questions or share anything with us here on SOCKS.  Socks are great!  Zoe

 

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Zoe wrote
on May 19, 2010 12:02 PM

Hi Andrea,

I checked out a web site re: natural dyes and how to dye with them.  I guess you can use salt or vinegar to set some dyes.  I just never really have.  Check it out, it is very interesting.  Tell you how to prepare them and all that.  I am going to research some more of this facinating aspect to dying wools. 

http://www.pioneerthinking.com/naturaldyes.html

Happy dyes are here again!  Zoe

http://www.essortment.com/all/naturaldyeplan_rema.htm  This site uses other setting agents.  We had black walnuts in our London home.  I went out to cut the grass and came back with reddish brown blotches on my shoes.  This color has remained to this day.  I finally used whiteout to color over the stains.

http://ezinearticles.com/?Natural-Dyes---Tips-For-Getting-Bright-Colours-on-Wool&id=2387836  This one talks about her own experiences and what to use and which wool is best to use.  Interesting.

http://www.joyofhandspinning.com/natural-dyes.shtml   Gives various setting agents and various things used to dye but gives no instructions.

http://www.whitedragon.org.uk/articles/dyes.htm   Talks about the history of natural dyeing.  Gives amounts and what to use for wool as well as for cottons.

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on May 19, 2010 5:27 PM

Hi Zoe and Andrea.

Have always bought two sets of needles, thought it was a ploy to charge more!!  Had no idea that they knit here with 4 needles- till I saw it on the Knitting Daily Show. Had to learn how to knit, crochet and sew  in Grammer school. Havent made any socks and mittens lately, but just finished a top with bamboo yarn- was a success, I like the feel of it. Am into quilting righ now, but plan to knit that "Refined Aran Jacket" from those 7 free patterns. Hope I can follow the pattern.... I can't just watch Tv at night, with nothing in my hands. Have embroidered Christmasstockings for grandchildren and Children, also tablecloth and the latest -those reusable shopping bags.

Your idea- using 3 needles at the beginning sounds great- will use it in the future. The beginning is always a bit difficult.

Take care, Ute

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JanelP wrote
on May 19, 2010 5:57 PM

I have recently been "converted" to knitting in the round by the Magic loop method instead of DPNs.  I love knitting socks and have recently completed a few pairs by knitting 2 at once using the magic loop method.  FUN, FUN, FUN,  and relatively fast.  I also love it because I can complete 2 at the same time.  I used to use 4 or 5 DPNs depending on the pattern and have made many pairs by that method but have found that using one long circular needle, for me at least, is quicker and more fun.  (perhaps just because I like to learn new things.... and I have to tell you, I know there are at least 3 or 4 size 2 and 3 DPN. stuck under my car seat where I can't get them!)  I haven't lost a circ. needle yet!

 

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AndreaW wrote
on May 19, 2010 6:55 PM

Hi Zoe...

    This may be written in pieces...I'm making supper too. Wayne's working "Days" so home @ 7:20. Tamale Pie in the slow cooker...yummmm!!!

     Thanks for posting all the links/ dyeing. I checked out the 1st one + will check the others when I get a chance. I'll keep the links w/ my KoolAid dyeing ones too. In case you...or others...are interested I found the link to the "purple dye issues".

http://www.chemknits.com/2009/11/color-purple.html

     She also has "recipes"....14....on her sidebar. She is apparently a biochemist so very into the science of it.

http://knitty.com/ISSUEwinter07/FEATfoodcolordye.html   this is the link to a really good article fr Knitty about KoolAid dyeing. I had it in my "files" + I think it's the one mentioned @ the previous link too.

I also had another link saved, but it's not working today.

     The reason I knew about vinegar + salt was because every new fiber item I get...I always stick in into a sink full of water to see if the color "runs".  My mother always uses hot water + vinegar to set colors in clothing so I grew up w/ it. As an adult I learned about salt + cold water to stop color running in clothes. Vinegar is my preference...but sometimes only the salt/ cold water works. Once in a while...nothing helps!!!

   This is 3 hrs since I started this so I've forgotten 1/2 of what I wanted to say. Hate the way you lose what you've written here if you go back to read over other posts!!!!

    I did check out the other thread w/ the new sock knitter. I will answer them next. Thanks for your kind words of "referal"!!!

    The hank of "bare" sock yarn I got fr Knit Picks...I'm intending to knit up a "blank" of it on my knitting machine (dbl strand) so I can dye it + make socks. I keep seeing these "blanks" online + would love to try a pr of socks w/ one. The big decision; what pattern to use for dyeing???  It'll be interesting to see the socks "evolve" w/o knowing what the finished item will look like.  I may make a 2nd blank using white/ cream Kroy too so I can try 2 different dyeing techniques. My first KoolAid dyeing was Kroy yarn for a pr of socks about 9 yrs(?) ago.  It was amazing how the color lasted despite my frequent wear/ washer/ dryer use of them. After several yrs I did replace the heels. You could see the new heels were a bit brighter...but not bad. They were green (lime) + purple (grape) on the orig white background. I dyed the 2 balls in 2 separate skeins I made that time.

        Take Care ..... Andrea

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AndreaW wrote
on May 19, 2010 7:14 PM

Zoe....

   I knew I was forgetting something:

Zoe:
How do you get the SOCK thread direct into your email inbox?

 

We have hi-speed internet/ unlimited...so when I get get up each day...I turn on my computer + then my email for the day. Our email is thru our ph company so "in my computer". It checks every 1/2 hr for new messages + "dings" when there is one.  When I post something on KD...I always check the box that says "email me replies" near the "post" button.  That way if anyone posts on that thread...I get it emailed to me automatically.

Zoe:
Do you have a toque/hair band or some other knitted head gear that you wear?

    I did finally make myself a hat this winter...the " Fake isle" free patt online.  Only wore it a couple times when I had to be outside a long time, Mostly I just snuggle into my 3 ft "tube" of mohair/ acrylic blend that I knit awhile ago....it's a scarf.  Hate hats!!!

    Guess I should have called this thread "SOCKS plus" when I started it!!!   Oh well...all things lead to socks eventually...right?!?!

            Take Care ..... Andrea

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Zoe wrote
on May 19, 2010 9:26 PM

Hi Mittennbean,

I forgot that the Kelly Socks are demonstrated on the circular needle.  Just in case you prefer the four double pointed needle sock knitting, please check out this site.  It too has step by step knitting video instructions.  You just click along to the next sequence in the videos.  It is very good for explanations and couldn't get more simpler.  I don't do the provisional cast on like she does.  I do the knitted cast on.  I think a cast on is a cast on and you just adjust your cast on according to what you are making.

http://www.ehow.com/video_4976606_knitting-socks-weight.html

Good luck with this, Zoe

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