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2020 Fashion on the Ration Challenge

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  • Laura_ElsewhereLaura_Elsewhere Forumite
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    I've got 19 coupons to carry over from last year too. I'm going to save them for buying new sandals, or shoes. Possibly also another short everyday jacket, as the zips are playing up on my existing one,



    I also want to try and get the odd ball(s) of wool pile down this year. Not sure what I will knit, as there's a limit to how many hats, scarves and gloves people want!

    Have you a) tried the old tricks of running a pencil up and down the zip to give it a little graphite-powder lubrication, or b) tried asking a local sewing place about putting in new zips? Replacing the zips wouldn't cost you any coupons, after all....!

    And if you enjoy knitting hats and scarves and gloves then you can always keep knitting them but donate them to homeless shelters or foodbanks, etc. For homeless people, apparently best to avoid bright colours or anything that could be misinterpreted as one particular football team, as those could potentially draw aggressive behaviour, which is something I'd not thought of til I read something recently... I keep planning to knit for donation but don't seem to actually do much of it, which is a bit embarrassing. I really would like to make some things this year, and perhaps some nice, fun kids' hats and gloves to donate late summer to our local foodbank to pop in with parcels for families...
    2020 Fashion on the Ration Challenge: 74.5 coupons left out of 74.5
    (66+8.5 from last year)



    2019 Fashion on the Ration Challenge: 8.5 coupons left out of 66
  • edited 4 January at 2:44PM
    lykkeliglykkelig Forumite
    37 posts
    edited 4 January at 2:44PM
    When you say " the cheaper more rustic yarns that traditionally were used before the invention of nylon" it sounds like you mean thicker wool? The real secret to hard-wearing pure-wool socks (or 25%nylon, 75%wool, for that matter!) is to use smaller needle sizes.

    Modern knitting uses 2.75mm with a 4-ply/fingering yarn, which produces a modern knitted fabric that's quite loose and drapey - but if you change the tension to a much denser fabric, using a thin yarn, it lasts and lasts and lasts.
    I use 2mm and laceweight (Zauberballe lace are great for socks!), or 2.25mm and 4-ply.

    Another advantage of using a good wool is that it meshes together so even if an individual strand wears through, the adjacent area keeps the sock going til you can darn it. But in fact in the 5 years since moving here the only socks I have darned have been DK ones knitted with wool-blend fibres with less than 75% wool. All my pure-wool or 25%nylon/75% wool socks done on 4-ply or laceweight, on smaller needles are still going absolutely fine and not even wearing thin. I wear ankle-socks every single day, year-round (I wear long fine-wool stockings under them in cold weather).

    As for washing - our machine has a 19-minute 'rinse' cycle using totally cold water and all my handwash-only woollens go in that, with its 1400rpm spin, and then they just need draping over chair-backs or bed-rail for the rest of the day and they're dry.

    It sounds like it's much more labour, knitting a 72-stitch sock when you could knit a 56er - but if the socks last two or even three times as long then it's really less labour :)

    Oh and also, increasingly, I use two yarns for the heel-flap, either contrasting colours in various stranded colourwork designs, or simply two strands of the same yarn but used alternately so there is always one yarn carried behind the other, doubling the thickness without adding much bulk. A nice lightly-cushioned effect. When turning the heel I use one strand but I knit it held together with a cobweb-weight pure-wool which just seems to add the extra oomph. I can't imagine only using one strand nowadays...

    I appreciate what you have wrote to me in reply and it's full of really useful information. I did mean thicker yarns yes, but realistically I know every day socks wouldn't fit in my boots.

    I knit 4-ply with a 2.5 needle and cast on 56 but I was thinking of going to 2.25 with a 64 cast on and I'm so relieved because I hadn't the needles and needed to invest. I will now invest in 2mm and use a 72 cast on all for the longevity of the sock. Many thanks.

    You have also inspired me to think about a laceweight ankle sock for the summer and never did it enter my mind to colourwork a heel. That would work beautifully in terms of reinforcement. Thank you, truly, for your help.

    Pip I'm about to click on your username to go hunt out the knit on darn. Thank you. Edited because I found the post. Excellent repair Pip and bookmarked for future use. I also saw your latest post about yarn being your rationing downfall. It may well be mine too.
    2020 Fashion on the Ration Challenge 4/66 coupons spent
    2020 Frugal Living Challenge
  • Laura_ElsewhereLaura_Elsewhere Forumite
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    These crimson and cream ones I did in Jamiseon & Smith's 2-ply jumper weight which I think is approx 4-ply, and some unidentified 4-plyish cream, and they will just fit into normal shoes. My notes say I actually did these on 2.5s, with a 72-stitch cast-on - I sort of just make it all up as I go along :)

    IMG_3646_medium2.JPG


    And remember you can always use up leftovers in stripiness! These are my most recent pair, knitted astonishingly quickly, with memories of one lovely day when I bought the yarn in Shrwsbury with lovely friends vistiing from France, and the next lovely day when we went for a drive/walk surrounded by these colours:

    IMG_3650_medium2.JPG
    2020 Fashion on the Ration Challenge: 74.5 coupons left out of 74.5
    (66+8.5 from last year)



    2019 Fashion on the Ration Challenge: 8.5 coupons left out of 66
  • CapricornLassCapricornLass Forumite
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    'For homeless people, apparently best to avoid bright colours or anything that could be misinterpreted as one particular football team, as those could potentially draw aggressive behaviour, which is something I'd not thought of til I read something recently...'


    So brown and black then!



    Son's partner has expressed a wish for some more fingerless mitts so I will make a start on that.
    Sealed Pot Challenge no 035
  • CapricornLassCapricornLass Forumite
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    I do love your socks, Laura. They are such wonderful colours.


    Its something I've never tried - perhaps I should!
    Sealed Pot Challenge no 035
  • Laura_ElsewhereLaura_Elsewhere Forumite
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    I do love your socks, Laura. They are such wonderful colours.


    Its something I've never tried - perhaps I should!

    Thankyou! I only learnt to knit in my 30s because I couldn't buy nice socks easily any more - when the tube socks came in, that was all you could get for a while!

    I would say go for it with the sock-knitting - it really isn't as difficult as people think. After all, the assumption for a few centuries in many areas was that a 5-year-old could knit simple little ankle-socks and a ten-year-old could knit knee-high stockings, shaped with a turnover cuff.... there are official records from the 17th century, even a census iirc for Norwich for the 16th century, with small children listed as "hose knitter" for an occupation!
    2020 Fashion on the Ration Challenge: 74.5 coupons left out of 74.5
    (66+8.5 from last year)



    2019 Fashion on the Ration Challenge: 8.5 coupons left out of 66
  • thriftmonsterthriftmonster Forumite
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    thriftmonster have you thought of remodelling secondhand tweed?

    I want to make up a 1930s redone pattern but yes, you're right, I have time to look around for a coat or larger skirt to take to pieces - the Abakhan bins can be the last resort :D

    Thank you
    “the princess jumped from the tower & she learned that she could fly all along. she never needed those wings.”
    Amanda Lovelace, The Princess Saves Herself in this One
  • PollyWollyDoodlePollyWollyDoodle Forumite
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    Laura, thank you - that’s a bit of a lightbulb moment, I have been knitting a pair of socks (only my second pair) and they are both too big and too thin for my liking. I’m going to rip back and cast on more stitches with smaller needles. Your socks are exactly the sort of thing I want to make.

    I understand that in Switzerland where children used to be taught to knit in school, socks were what they started off with! I’d agree that they are not as difficult as people think, after all it’s mostly just stocking stitch. I would love to reach the stage where I don’t need to use a pattern.
    Life is mainly froth and bubble: two things stand like stone. Kindness in another’s trouble, courage in your own.
  • RicardaRacoonRicardaRacoon Forumite
    345 posts
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    Good morning everyone


    can I join again? I said I would do so last year but then I don't think I wrote ever again,... I was doing fine with my points until November, have used all of them but knew that I would not need anything until the new year anyways. But then my 2-year-old coat started to fell apart within a week or two of wearing it again. I had patched two holes before I put it away in spring but expected to get another winter out of it but then about three of the seams went... So off to the black market to get a new one....

    Oh and did I mention the outragiously luxerious pink silk kimono that fell off a lorry somewhere? Oupsie....



    Besides the things from the black market I bought walking shoes and plimsolls (10), 2 pair of trousers (12), two dresses (22), a jumper and yarn for a cardigan (16) and leggins (6)



    well done on anyone who still has coupons over from last year!


    RE hats, I think I read somewhere that they were off-coupon unless they used a certain amount of fabric.



    Do you need help with sinking ships? I could add almost 20 miles of yarn to the effort... Though 2019 was the first year since I started knitting that my yarn stash went down (not much, but a bit....)


    laura: when you mailordered something you had to send in the coupons and would get them back when you returned the item - I don't know however under which circumstances the seller would have accepted the return - Since the coupons were lose you could not use them in a shop afterwards but only to mailorder something else as it was illegal to buy with lose coupons to prevent trade with coupons.



    whisfull: do you have to wear the shoes? cause then they might be part of your uniform and free of coupons.



    re knitting: homeless shelters are also happy about socks because socks are the least-donated items.
    Resolution for 2020 "Live better on less" - Less stuff, less waste, less silly spends but more make do and mend and more fun
    Fashion on the Ration: 0/66 coupons used
  • Laura_ElsewhereLaura_Elsewhere Forumite
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    Laura, thank you - that’s a bit of a lightbulb moment, I have been knitting a pair of socks (only my second pair) and they are both too big and too thin for my liking. I’m going to rip back and cast on more stitches with smaller needles. Your socks are exactly the sort of thing I want to make.

    I understand that in Switzerland where children used to be taught to knit in school, socks were what they started off with! I’d agree that they are not as difficult as people think, after all it’s mostly just stocking stitch. I would love to reach the stage where I don’t need to use a pattern.

    I'm a bit of an evangelist with encouraging people to knit socks :)

    Patterns are actually surprisingly easy...

    It goes roughly:

    Cast on enough stitches, call it 72. Knit the cuff. Use half the stitches for the heel flap (36) and keep the rest aside for the top of the foot (36). Knit the heel flap for as many rows as you have stitches, ie 36 st, 36 rows.
    Turn the heel - at its most basic, that means you find the midpoint of your stitches, ie 18/18 for your 36. Knit about 3 stitches from your midpoint, so you'd have 15 left on the LH needle and then k2tog (or psso if you want to be pretty), and work 1 to stabilise it, then turn and slip that first 1, and purl along til you again have 15 left, p2tog and p one more to stabilise, turn and repeat. Each time you simply work til you are one stitch short of the turning-gap from last time, then 'bite' the stitches either side of the gap together and work one more to stabilise, turn, slip that first and onwards. That 'bends' the tube of knitting and you have turned the heel. Rocket science, it ain't!
    Pick up stitches along the edges of the heel-flap - I usually do half the number plus 1, so since we used 36 stitches, I'd pick up 18+1. Then you bring back those bored foot stitches who've waited all this time, and knit in the round, decreasing on the 2nd and every alternate round on, until you are back down to 18 stitches on each of the heel needles, ie back to your total of 72 that you started with.
    Knit to about the base of your big toe, which on me is about 55 or 60 rounds, depending. Then knit your toe - I used to just do even decreases all round and cast off with a drawstring of the remaining single-figure number of stitches but now I decrease on either side, four times in a round, and then do a knitted graft, giving a much better foot-shaped toe with no lumpy bits.
    I reckon most modern patterns are actually more complicated than they need to be because they don't give you the 'recipe' only a sort of "blind knit-along" approach.
    2020 Fashion on the Ration Challenge: 74.5 coupons left out of 74.5
    (66+8.5 from last year)



    2019 Fashion on the Ration Challenge: 8.5 coupons left out of 66
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