CapricornLass wrote: »
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!
Laura_Elsewhere wrote: »
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...
CapricornLass wrote: »
I do love your socks, Laura. They are such wonderful colours.
Its something I've never tried - perhaps I should!
thriftwizard wrote: »
thriftmonster have you thought of remodelling secondhand tweed?
PollyWollyDoodle wrote: »
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.
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