My sister and I learned to knit as youngsters. Our housekeeper, Thelma, started it all off with a knitting spool, or corking, making long wool tubes using a spool with some nails hammered into it and scrap wool. This wool would then be sewn into spirals to create circular or oval…well…things. While I had dreams of making a carpet, I believe I got at least to the teapot trivet size. Then someone taught us to knit….not sure if if was Thelma, my grandmother, or my mother, but I generated a few multicoloured scarves. Over the years, I’ve made a couple of sweaters and some baby clothing, but the slow pace kind of wore on me. So I switched over to needlework, mainly cross-stitch and tapestry work.
Then hit my early 40s and my eyes started to blur. I’ve been wearing bifocals for a few years, but they don’t quite give me the vision I need, unless I work under a really strong light. My last project (still undone) is an asian-style picture of blue and white china with red poppies, and there are multiple red wool colours that are driving me crazy. So I set it aside.
With the advent of cold weather these past couple of weeks, I started to crave some cozy socks, big fat ones to wear around the house, and possibly in bed. (How elderly does that sound?) So I popped into a knitting store a few blocks from home and picked up a Sirdar pattern and basic supplies for some thick, yet oddly lacy socks. I churned those puppies out in under 12 hours of focussed knitting over 3 sessions (okay, I watched a lot of TV at the same time). They are a little large…I think the sizing for the socks was listed in men’s shoe sizes, not womens. Oops. So I’m going to try washing them (by hand) to see if they’ll shrink up a little.
I had to head back to the store to get a wool needle to sew these up and a stitch holder so that I could move on from the twist tie that I had used for the first sock of the pair. Feeling a little like a crack addict, I also walked out of the store with 12 more balls of the same wool (but in grey) to make a roll-neck sweater (the one on the left.) My dealer is an older European woman, the owner of the store, who was very helpful, although she DID use the word “addicted” in discussing my second trip to the store in 24 hours. She has a gorgeous selection of wool, and I should have no problem feeding my new habit.
The wool I’m using for these first two projects is also from Sirdar and is called Hug, a 50-50 wool/polyester blend that is very soft. It knits up (in stocking stitch) kind of like fleece…a bit fuzzy on the right side and soft but not fuzzy on the wrong.
I’ve started on the sweater, and am about a third of the way up the back. It’s much easier than the socks as it is straight stocking stitch with no increases/decreases or pattern until you get to the shoulders. I’m hoping to get the sweater done in a week.