Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Socks, Toe Up

Last winter, I spun a combination of llama and alpaca. One strand of llama and the other alpaca to which I plied the two.
 This shows just how small the yarn is. The red blob on the left being my fat finger and the needles being size 1's.
 I'm using my daughter's book, Socks from the Toe Up, with a little help from her. I don't read patterns well and even though I've made seven pairs of socks, they were all pretty standard and from the top down.
 The problem with the top down method is how hard it is to keep trying on the sock to know when to change to another section of the foot like the heel, instep, and toes.

Everybody has their own unique set of feet and mine are hardly candidates for modeling sandals, being I have these stubbed off crooked toes. The second toe being longer than the big toe, a Kinghorn trait I inherited from my dad.  This requires a wide toe base.

No, I never, ever, ever paint these toes and bring attention to them. Not my crooked fingered, stubby, work worn hands either. Besides, nail polish and garden dirt aren't a good combination. Yes, I admit it, I love the feel of garden dirt under my feet and between my fingers. To me, long polished finger nails are just too good a hiding spot for germs. A bad bad combination with a love of cooking. 
 My other problem is a high bottom arch and almost no arch on top at all. This move not being easy while holding a camera and early in the morning on a 52 year old ankle. You other 50 some year olds know just what I'm talking about.

The ankle on up is a no brainer match for about any pattern so starting with the part of my foot hardest to fit makes sense. I have also found the sock much easier to try around the knitting needles as I go along. That is if I'm not trying to hold the camera in hand and contort my foot for a photo. 

And I couldn't help but think about my ex-son-in-law with expert only, ski slope toes. I'm mean a steep, steep slant from the big toe to the little toe. Thankfully none of the grand daughters inherited those unattractive toes but this tow up method would work great for them too.
 I started with the easiest toe design in the book and even then I had to have my daughter explain it. LOL After two starts I had a wide enough base and off I went. Here, I'm knitting with size 2 needles.  The size 1's reserved for the knit one purl one ribbing around my skinny instep.

One of my handy dandy knitting project bags in the background. I love them.  I've got a scarf I'm working on in one and these socks in another. We'll talk about the scarf later.

I knitted to just a little shy of covering all my toes. Hard to show with having to photograph with my hands while the sock threatened to slipped upwards off my toes but you get the idea.
 I always do ribbing around the instep as mine is so... narrow. My husband is the opposite with a really high top arch and he needs more room in this area.
I'm to this spot on both socks and I'm becoming a bit concerned about the heel. What will the instructions tell me? Will my top down short row method be the same, just backwards? Will my daughter have to explain the directions? LOL We will soon know.

When these pair are done, I'm going to branch out and try one of the other toe up methods in the book. The ones not marked easiest. And I'll even try a new heel method. Yes, I'm actually going to learn to knit, not just do the same patterns over and over with a few changes of my own.
I can see I'm going to have to purchase this book for my own. Especially now since Toni is knitting socks herself. Her's, the very first pair she has ever, ever made are fancy yancy. She being far more talented than I. Am I jealous? Not one iota. It just means I have a daughter and a precious friend, who is also my teacher and I love it.  Now to make up that list of teach me's before she comes home to see our new grand baby, her niece.
One of which is how to knit two socks at the same time on 40 inch circular knitting needles. You can do this with the toe up method also and I've got the book on how to do this method going from the toe down. Won't be any big deal to switch to toe up. I think? I'm sure my teacher can figure it out. I've tried following this book's instructions once. Okay, several times and became all befuddled so badly I had to quit.

I've ordered some, on sale, hand painted sock yarn for just the occasion. Not that I don't have plenty of hand spun but when I was ordering larger needles from Knit Picks, I couldn't resist. Those colors were calling to me, "I need to come home with you." Who can resist such alure?

And even though I'm going to learn to knit two at a time, I'm not sure I don't want some of those tiny circular needles our daughter is knitting her socks with. They are cool. The needles and the socks too. Where did she get them?

Now I really have to go and get livestock chores done. I've then got bags to sew and I've some imitation tortoise shell buttons to make along with a flower water buffalo horn button, and start on some lily buttons made from Jade. Kirk promised to drill holes in my other buttons tonight.

This is my day without the munchkin to run after. I'd better put the pedal to the metal and get going. I've also some yard work to get done today before the rain fore casted for tonight. Whew! Run, run, Holly run!

I also need to find those buttons so I can finish that possum hat. Oh where, oh where can they be?


  1. I'm teaching you what? Oh wow, I had better get a couple of books out and corner Amy so I can learn how first. :)

  2. Knitting two at a time, toe up, on one long circular is my favorite way to knits socks-I am a magnet for "second sock syndrome" so this avoids it! It's easy, Holly, and with your teacher-you'll have it in no time!

  3. You are my hero. Can you believe I haven't tried it already?