Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Socks and rugs

This is my second pair of Nexus Socks (pattern by Jon Dunn-Ballam), and they're a belated part of Mum's Christmas present. Thankfully she has tiny feet so I've been able to do the small size and they don't take forever. Only one more to go.
I've now perfected my sock pattern for my Other Half, and this pair of socks is going to be a little different. As he's a big, clumsy man who has spent far too much of his life wearing tube socks (socks with heels are a foreign country), his socks need to be a little more robust than 4 ply gives. So I decided to try this 6 ply Zauberball. It's a lovely yarn, which knits up easily and is stronger than standard 4 ply sock. I did a 1x1 rib at the top as he often turns down the tops of his socks, then did a 2x2 rib for the body to improve the fit.

As part of the experiment, I also bought a tiny circular needle on which to knit them. A Knit Pro 40 cm 2.75mm, to be precise. For a sock this size (70 sts), it turned out to be just the right size to hold all the stitches, no magic loop required. The tips are wooden and though it took a little time for me to adjust knitting socks in this way, now I've got the knack it's very comfortable. I think I might have to invest in more Knit Pro needles. I'll certainly be making another pair of socks in this way.
And now for my new toy. Before Christmas I sold quite a number of my old books on ebay and decided to splurge some of my takings on a loom. So I bought this handmade rigid heddle loom off ebay and though it took ages to arrive, it turned out to be a good buy. For my first project I decided to use up left over yarn to make a rug. If you know something about weaving, you may notice that the heddle is on upside down and the warping isn't quite right, but that's why I did this project, so I could make mistakes and it wouldn't matter.
Getting the sides consistent was a challenge, but I definitely improved as I went along. The warp was made of some cotton I've had in my stash for years, and I beat down the weft with a dog comb so the warp doesn't show through. Other Half pronounced it very warm under his feet, and for a first project, I'm rather pleased with it.

This week I'm hoping to get some projects off my needles, before I go to the Stitch and Creative Craft show in Manchester, where I'm guaranteed to come back with more things for my stash cupboard...

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