Thursday, December 2

Selfish socks

Spent a few hours last night making up some socks on the Passap (I skipped Knit Wits because I have a sore throat). I figured I'd dash a few pairs off, and barring the sewing up, they'd be pretty quick. Boy, was I in for a surprise (this always happens when I get arrogant).

First up was the Colinette Jitterbug. It played havoc with the machine - it's well spun and is probably slightly too thick for the "Easy Passap Sock" pattern that I use. But I'd forgotten, it had been knitted up into a CSM tube ages ago. I'd planned to make a simple tube with an afterthought heel. The sock came out too wide so the whole lot was frogged and rewound. So the yarn was pretty kinky. I usually keep all 4 masts threaded up on the Passap, but I had to take some of the other yarns out when it got rather too friendly with the Jitterbug. So, lots of knots and tangles (and I'm not sure, but I think this Jitterbug may be unbalanced). Got to the rib section and although it was knitting off, it was incredibly hard work. I decided to scrap it off on waste yarn and add the rib by hand. Discovered a dropped stitch in the heel, too. So much for a fast sock!

So, I thought I'd give myself a break and knit with the Lang Jawolle I picked up at Ally Pally. It was much, much easier - it knitted up like butter. This yarn has slow colour changes (like Mini Mochi or Noro Kureyon) - in fact, this one is a very similar colourway to Mini Mochi, but being superwash, I'm hoping it might actually be useful as a sock. The mini-mochi sock shrank immediately and I'm left wondering who I know with size 3 feet, 'cause it's no good to me. I don't have time for handwash socks! So anyway, I scrapped the Lang Jawolle one off on waste yarn so that again, I can knit the 2x2 rib by hand.

Because of the way the Passap E6000 is designed, once the yarn is threaded up, it's impossible to remove the knitting from the machine without breaking the yarn. Unlike a Japanese machine, the yarn is fed through several closed loops on the tension mast, and finally a black bobbin-like yarn eyelet. There's no way you could pass a ball of yarn through there unless you wanted to unwind the whole lot through the machine. So the yarn has to be snipped, which means two more ends and a knot to deal with. Ah well, such is life!

Finally I decided to tackle some "Fyberspates Dream Sock" yarn. This one is in lovely summery colourways (I think the colourway was "Hannah's Summer"). It knitted off fairly well, except at one point where there was firstly a rather thick bit, and then a section when presumably it snapped on the winding machine, and there was a rather ratty metre with two "spit splices" in. Once I got past that bit, all was well. This one was ribbed on the machine, so is now sewn up and complete, and is just waiting for a mate.

Who am I knitting all these for? Well, I'm not sure (I really want the Lang Jawolle ones though! Rainbow/slow variagated colours are my fave!). It occurred to me last night, when I was rooting around for a jumper, that I have rather a lot of knitwear, and only one body to put things on. I spend time making garments to cover my curves, when I (a) don't actually need them and (b) could get smaller garments done in less time. I think I need to have a good sort out - I wore the "Clarisse" tabard to work on Tuesday, and have had a trail of angora following me ever since. A lot of my knitting is like that - it seems like a good idea at the time (or I don't realize it's angora, in the case of Clarisse), but when the garment is finished I (a) don't like it or (b) rarely wear it. Being a process knitter, it's just for the challenge. The finished garment is almost just a bonus, an annoyance almost, because now it's done the fun and challenge has ended.

So I came up with a plan this morning - I'll just knit things that interest me, not particularly in my size - and keep them in a bag. Once there's enough, I'm sure there'll be a charity that would like them. I've done this before, but only as a side project. I need to have a good sort out of my knitwear, for a start, because there are some nice items that I'll probably never wear, that could benefit someone else. Julie, one of the Knit Wits, always knitted for other people, and we begged her to knit something for herself just once. I have the opposite problem it seems - I'm a selfish knitter who occasionally knits for others! I'm not saying I'll never knit another item for myself (I'm part way through a sweater dress that is definitely going to be mine!), but I need to seriously rethink what ends up being a permanent resident in my wardrobe.

Either that, or I need more room to store all this knitwear! :)

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