Barbara Walker … week 4

gillianknits.comIt struck me this week as I was making these socks that Julie had it OK. The only people who would know of the success or failure of her efforts were her husband, herself and the occasional dinner guest. Food was eaten and the dishes done each night. I, on the other hand, must photograph my knitting and show it to anyone who may want to look (granted, at this point, it is only a handful of people but the potential remains). When I saw this stitch, Escalator Pattern from Chapter 2, Simple Knit-Purl combinations, I immediately thought socks. It was not a great thought as it turns out. I must admit, I am not a sock expert by any stretch of the imagination. I, and I say this with trepidation given the esteem with which sock knitting is held, have never really believed in knitting socks. Gasp. When I saw my mum do it as a child, I saw how little time they lasted and felt sorry for her. With 8 kids, she didn’t have a lot of knitting time, so it had to count. Sweaters, hats and mitts were passed from one child to the next, but socks developed holes in what seemed like no time. I have been told that this is because the knitting was too loose and she should maybe have used a smaller needle, but old prejudice dies hard and I have probably only made about 5 pairs before.
Heather and I have worn slightly different socks on each foot for a long time. If we got one of those batches of socks that had a different colour stripe, we would often wear two different colours together. She went as far as to get mad at Alan if he sorted the laundry and matched the like colours together. I understand from the talk in the change room at fitness that this is a common practice amongst “the youth”-many aquafitness participants having grandchildren. I wanted to do something like this in these socks.
I changed the stitch in the second sock (the purple one) as an experiment. A few stitches after the Escalator Pattern in the book, Walker talks about how, if you are doing several rows of reverse stockinette stitch. you may want to switch it to garter stitch to reduce curl. I decided that on the second sock, I was going to do this because there was a real tendency for the sock to slouch, not a good thing in a sock. In fact when I was knitting the pink one, manatees and Michelin men kept coming to mind. Barbara Walker must have blocked the swatch before photographing it in the book, you have to really tug on the pink sock to make it look like the sample. In the purple sock, instead of three rows where purl appears on the front, I switched it to two rows of purl with a knit row between, turning the reverse stockinette into garter. It actually looks a lot more like the example in the book than the real stitch. These socks also used Crossed Knit-One Purl-One Ribbing from Chapter 3, Ribbings and Heel Stitch from Chapter 5, Slip-Stitch Patterns. They are DK weight.

right side out, with upturned brim

right side out, with upturned brim

from the top with right side out

from the top with right side out

This hat incorporates Crossed Knit-Two Purl-Two Ribbing from Chapter 3, Ribbings and Waving Rib Pattern from Chapter 2, Simple Knit-Purl Combinations. She mentions that the back of the stitch is nice too, so I made the hat reversible. Here is the inside. I think I like the “inside” better, especially the top.
inside out, with brim down

inside out, with brim down

inside out from the top

inside out from the top


I made one more hat this week using Mistake-Stitch Ribbing from Chapter 3, Ribbings and Slipped-Stitch Ridges from Chapter 5, Slip-Stitch Patterns. I really like how the top worked out on my second try (frogged the first one).
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