Today was the last bit of the World Wide Knit in Public weekend. So what did I do? I knit in public. I went back to my local cafe and worked on my Cal sock.
As you can see, I’ve turned the heel and I’m working my way through the foot. Let me tell you, a stockinette stitch sock, while brilliantly mindless knitting, can be a wee bit tedious by the time you get half way down the leg of the second sock. Great for bus rides, terrible for cafe knitting. I think the new rule will be two pairs of socks going at all times, one for public transit, one for sitting with a lovely mocha and ham and Gruyere sandwich.
Interesting thing happend to me on the bus the other day. A woman sat next to me while I was working on the sock. She asked what I was making. I told her it was a sock and moved it so she could see the heel. (You wouldn’t belive how many people think socks are scarves while they’re still on the needles. It’s crazy.) Anyway, the woman tells me that she’s always wanted to make socks, but never has becasue turning the heel looks hard. Turning the heel. Only a knitter (maybe a crocheter, I’ve never seen a crochet sock pattern) would say something like that. Other key phrases include: purl, short row, garter and stockinette. That’s when I knew she was a knitter and I didn’t have to figure out how to explain it in English.
For those of you who think knitting a sock would be too hard because of the toe or heel (I’ve been told those are the scary parts by knitters on a few occasions), let me reassure you. Turning the heel is just a series of short rows. If you can knit, purl, knit and purl two together and slip a stitch, you can turn a heel. When that little 3-D bit starts to poke out, you feel clever as hell, but it’s a really, really simple process.
The toe is even easier. You just start decreasing about 2 inches from the end of your foot until you have about a third of the stitches you started with. To bind the toe off, you’ve got several options. You can pull the end through all of the stitches (like you would with a hat) and call it a day. You can do a 3 needles bind off. Or you can do the Kitchener stitch and graft those ends together in seamless comfort. The Kitchener stitch is often considered the “right” way to finish off a sock, but to my way of thinking, as long as the sock doesn’t unravel, you’ve been victorious. Easy peasy.
See that nifty little blue thing with the beads? That’s my sock needle holder. It holds all five of my needles together when not in use, simeltaneously keeping my sock from falling off the needles and keeping the needles from poking holes in my little blue knitting bag. Despite the fact that the blue bag is made to carry needles and yarn, it’s still pretty easy to put puncture marks in it. Ask me how I know. I’ve seen shiny, elegant little versions of these, but this guy was free with my favorite British knitting magazine Simply Knitting. It’s my favorite for two reasons: It always comes with something free and it always has an Alan Dart toy design in it. I highly recommend it.
I really enjoyed my cafe knitting time today. However, Darkness is trying to convince me that I need to work off the calories: