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Since I'm on a roll... - Random babblings of a fiber-obsessed nutcase

About Since I'm on a roll...

Previous Entry Since I'm on a roll... Dec. 23rd, 2009 @ 09:32 am Next Entry
Let's see, the final tally yesterday was 4 complete pairs of socks. So, since Sunday, that means I've ripped thru 12 balls of yarn, for a total of 6 pairs of socks. Not bad for about 8 hours of cranking! (And 2 hours of grafting...but we won't go into that. By sock #3, I wanted to knit hats. By sock #7, I wanted to poke my eyes out with my darning needle and switch to knitting nothing but scarves. By sock #12, it was FUN FUR scarves. :lol: And, I LIKE grafting stitches!)

Anyway, since I'm off and have time, and am avoiding my chullo (3 colors per row....I'm almost done with the first round of motifs, and about to start the 2nd..there are 3 motifs total. :sigh: It's gonna be a GREAT hat, but.....I prefer socks. Even now. :lol:), I decided to show what a "standard", per-the-instructions-that-came-with-the-original-CSM socks look like, and compare them to *my* favorite way to knit them on the CSM.



First up, the "standard" CSM socks. (Messy) Ribbed top, knit leg, short-row/hourglass heel, knit foot, short-row/hourglass toe. A pair of socks knit like this take (sit down, now!) 20 minutes TOPS to whip out (WHEN the CSM is obliging. When the ribber acts up, it adds time. This pair took about 35 minutes, because, while the ribber worked perfectly, the cylinder decided to drop 4 stitches. I don't know why....I'm trying to figure that out.)




This is the Salvia ee yarn that was on the CSM photo from yesterday. The socks are LOUD, but not LOUD-loud. I...I'll wear them, but they're not my favorite pair (those are up later! :lol:)

Here's a closeup of the "standard" top:




I do NOT like it - it's messy. It's ugly. It's FAST - basically, you start out with waste yarn, put on the ribber, knit a few rounds, tie on your sock yarn, knit 1 round, put every other cylinder needle out of work (pull them up, basically, so they won't knit), knit 2 rounds slowly - making sure all the needles knit, and don't drop any stitches - then push the needles back into the work and go to town. It's fast, the stitches won't run when you remove the waste yarn...but it's UGLY. I don't know how it'll look after a wash - these are hot off the grafting needle - but I don't like it. I just wanted to try something different (these were pair #4.....I was getting loopy. :lol:)

Here's the standard hourglass/short row heel:




It's prone to have a hole at the corner (didn't notice it on these..but it happens. :shrug:). You can fix that by futzing with the yarn when you put the needle back into work - I didn't on these. IF there's a hole, I might go back and darn it later. Might not...:grin:

The toe is the same as the heel, but instead of knitting around again (like you did for the foot), you tie on waste yarn and knit THAT around. This means, of course, that you have the full amount of stitches to graft when you pull it off the machine...I like grafting, but 4 pairs of 54-stitch socks got to me. Let's not mention Sweet Geek's 72-stitch socks, OK? I'm trying to recover...

Now, here's *my* standard socks:




This yarn was procured for me by hugh_mannity a few years ago. I LOVE bright socks, but tend to buy the same colors when I get sock yarn: blues/greens/earth tones. I love them, too, but...BORING. It's fun to have someone else inflict their idea of bright socks on you....I think this is my favorite pair of socks I've ever had. So far.....:grin:

Closeup of the top:




I usually knit 4 rows, hang the bottom row on the needles (with the current row), knit 1 row, then add the ribber, transfer stitiches, and rib for....however long. This pair has 10 rounds of ribbing - that's enough to hold up the socks, but not too much for the ribber to handle. (At this point, it was getting cranky...I don't blame it. This was pair #3 yesterday. :lol:)

The heel:




It looks like a hand-knit flap heel, doesn't it? You do it the same way - you knit a flap on half the stitches, then put the 2 "sides" out of work (on mine, with 54 stitches, I knit the flap on 27, then put 9 on each side out of work). You carefully replace the edge stitches 1 at a time (to turn the heel - it's easy to do, hard to explain), then put the edge stitches on the 9 needles on each side (like the gusset). It adds a good 30 minutes to each sock - but I think it's worth it. For MY foot. The short row heels tend to slip around - I do wear them (because of the speed), but prefer these.

I...OK. I Love my CSM, but it's a cranky beast that drives me nuts. Would I recommend one to people? Yes...IF they're not put off by the price or steep learning curve. Yes, it's a simple machine....I've had mine since 2001 and I STILL have issues with it. You have to have just the right tension, weight, speed, lubrication..and the blasted things change on an hourly basis, it seems. :lol: The ribber is the worst offender - there are lots of people that simply don't use theirs, because of all the problems. (You can do mock rib, you can do hemmed-tops, you can do what I've done in a pinch - pull the "ribber" needles out, knit your cuff, then come back and pick up all the dropped stitches in purl and rehang them. Time-consuming, yes - but faster than trying to fix 14 dropped stitches.)

If you want handknit socks, but can't knit on the small needles required, then a CSM is the answer (it's why we bought mine to begin with. Luckily, this last surgery SEEMS to have fixed the wrist problems....but I'll keep the CSM anyway. I like the speed. :lol:)

Oh - you CAN knit small socks on the Mattel "Barbie" knitter.....I've done it. They weren't the prettiest socks around, and I had to baby it on the heel....but it's possible. (What can I say - I was bored. And it was handy.)


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