Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Time trials

I didn't join the Knitting Olympics (Go Team Wales!), preferring mild, stress-relieving projects at this particular point in my life. But oddly enough, I started knitting with a stopwatch at my side this week. This is because a stranger asked how long it takes me to knit a pair of socks, and I realized I have no idea. "A couple weeks," I said, "depending on how much time I have to work on them." But it got me thinking: how long does it take me to knit a pair of socks?

While I'm at it, I thought I'd work on some updates to my preferred sock pattern. I could use some new pictures.

I began with a Turkish cast-on, but onto one circular needle (40 inch, size US3). I tied one end of my yarn (Mountain Colors Bearfoot "Indian Corn") to the flexible cable, held the needle next to the cable, and looped my yarn behind, up over, and around 12 times. Then I tied the second strand on to the bottom cable and made 12 more loops.

Trying to keep the tension tight, I knit across these stitches. When I turn to do the other side, I first dropped the temporary knot off the needle, pulled it tight and held it back out of the way, and knit across the other side of the cast-on loops.

I'm increasing for the banded toes this way:

K1, YO, K up to the last stitch on this sock, YO, K1. Repeat around.

On the next round, you'll twist the yarn-overs so they don't leave holes. Knit the first yarn-over through the back loop. You can do the same to the yarn-over at the other end of the sock, or you can twist it the other way to make mirrored increases. (I find it easiest to drop the yarn-over off the left needle, pick it up again from back to front, then twist the stitch by knitting through the front). This has the same effect as lifted increases, but it's easier to do because the stitches aren't pulled so tight.

It took me about an hour and half to make the toes. Here's a picture of the socks after nearly two hours knitting time.

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