Home > knitting > Marker and markers and markers, oh, my.

Marker and markers and markers, oh, my.

Everyone who sees me knitting asks who the socks are for.  Because no one knits for themselves, right?

The socks are for me. Not because I’m selfish, but because they’re the first ones ever.  This means they’re the practice socks, the learning ones.  No one should have to wear them but me.  Yes, I’m trying to make them pretty, so I’ll be proud to wear them, but the fact is, I’m also going to wear them with high-top shoes, so very little will actually show.

As proof – sock 1.2  is looser than sock 3.2 at the same point, so it’s somewhat larger. It’s also softer.

This is not surprising.  The first sock had twisted stitches as I relearned how to knit and purl, which makes it denser, plus this was the third time I was going to wrestle with short rows and fail.  I was tense, and my knitting tightened.

I was relaxed this time, so looser knitting.

This is because of the stitch markers, which broke the stitches down to manageable numbers.  Instead of worrying about 32 stitches, I only had to think about 8 stitches at a time.  And counting eight is easy – just divide them in the middle and there are four and four, and most humans can count four at a glance. 

And they stayed put while the spilt ring moved, so I never lost track of my wrapped stitches.  More than that – since I would be wrapping 9 on a side, it was easy to see when it was time to turn the toe – the last wrap stitch was on the other side of the ring marker.  I designed away the biggest problem I had with short rows.

Oh, there were problems – the short rows kept slipping off the needles since I did all this on the subway and in my doctor’s office and later on the ferry boat and then on the bus, but I find it easy enough to pick up.  And I knitted an entire row I should have purled, and I spent some time tinking each stitch, reknitting it and then knitting it.  I’m guessing there’s a better way, but I didn’t want to rip and I’d have had to knit each stitch twice anyway.

When it came time to put the work on four needles, I decided I wanted to keep counting easy – I picked up and lost stitches all the time in the first sock.  So, there is now a tiny ring marker on each needle, dividing each one into two batches of 8.  I just pull harder when I go past it, as I do when I change needles.  This was very helpful when I picked up stitches to close holes – when I decided it was time to decrease, I knew just where to do it, because I had two batches of nine. 

So, yeah, relaxed.  Nice.

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