Thursday, 24 January 2008

Very Clever Sock Knitting

Many years ago (20?) I bought 'Knitting in the Nordic Tradition' and have been intrigued ever since by the following quote in it (from Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace) and accompanying comment about the mystery of knitting two socks simultaneously:
" 'Ann Makarovna has finished her stocking,' said Countess Marya. 'Oh, I'm going to have a look at them,' said Pierre... Pierre went into the children ... 'Now, Anna Makarovna,' cried Pierre's voice ... 'when I say three you stand here ... Now, one, two, three!' 'Two, two!' cried the children.
They meant the two stockings, which, by a secret known only to her, Anna Makarovna used to knit on her needles at once. She always made a solemn ceremony of pulling one stocking out of the other in the presence of the children when the pair was finished."
"The maid's pattern is still a secret. How Anna separates the two stockings is still uncertain. the quotation makes one wonder how many knitting details and fine points have been lost during the years."
And then yesterday I came across this. How exciting! Mystery solved! : two socks in one

Tuesday, 15 January 2008


Well, things are rendered rather difficult at the moment because of all the secrecy surrounding the Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap. it means I can't post about any of the crafts I'm doing for it in case the partner I'm 'spoiling' comes across my blog (and she probably will during 'quidditch') and learns what she's getting. So I can't tell you about the yummy yarn I got last week from Texere yarns, or how I'm making the bag that's part of the kit, or what needles I've ordered for it, or what I'm doing about the stitch markers!

I can tell you about my non-swap projects, and there is a little to report here, despite how much time I'm spending on my Hogwarts homework. I have reached the heel on Durmstrang 2, and the adjustments I made to the pattern have resulted in a very good length that should be alright for all but Hagrid-sized legs. When it is finished I will post a picture for you to compare the two (Durmstrang 1 and Durmstrang 2!).

'Vesty thing' and 'Aidan's scarf' are only just simmering on the back of the knitting stove where I occasionally give them a slight stir!

I have cast on in black sock wool for a mobile cosy for my friend, Varsha, who celebrated her 40th recently and hasn't yet received the present from me that she truly deserves for being a wonderful, supportive friend. I'm going to knit some I-cord in a metallic silver yarn for the trim and a drawstring on the cosy, a technique that Lesley kindly taught me at the last Bradford Spinning Guild meeting. I'm also going to line the cosy and incorporate a pocket in the lining for a handsfree kit.

In and amongst all this I must make time for my French homework and, of course, some ironing!!!

Monday, 7 January 2008

Charting Durmstrang

Inspired by various patterns that other knitters have made available online I've decided to chart and write up the pattern for my Durmstrang socks. I want eventually to share it in PDF format, which means I'll have to learn a new skill because I've never done such a thing before. The Fabulous Dave has offered to guide me through this process as he does a lot of PDF stuff in his job. I've seen that Ravelry have a 'contributions' section where it seems it would be possible to place the pattern, though I'll wait until after the Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap because I've offered the finalised pattern as a prize there, and think it would be a bit mean to give something as a prize that is already freely available online!

I've modified the pattern because while I think I can get away with the shortness of the sock on my dwarfish pins (I'm only approximately 5' tall!) I'm sure it really would look too short on Miss Average, and positively half-mast on Ms. Tall. I've also taken account of the aesthetic improvements I made to the first sock as I knitted it, and I've improved the way the charted pattern commences. I haven't typed up any worded instructions as yet, but here is a teaser chart for anyone who's interested: