Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Knitting Socks, a crash course

My Mom still thinks knitting socks is a sport for sissies.
I, on the other hand, haven't knitted socks since 5th grade.
No, that's a lie. When I went to nursery school and didn't have much money I knitted striped leftover yarn socks for the whole family.

Here's a crash course for beginners.
1. You need 5 double pointed knitting needles. 12 stitches on four needles, 48 in all, plus one extra to fold over the first needle to make a ring.
The rib is made by knitting 2 ordinary stitches and 2 purled
till the rib is as long as you like it.

My mother is holding the wool tread over her index finger.
This is the easiest and fastest way to knit. I have seen on videos that the Americans let the tread hang loose and use their right hand to cast the tread under or over the needle.
That is also a possibility.

2. The heel. Take half the stitches, 24, and put them on one needle.
Knit forwards and back, one row plain stitches and one row purled, so that the knitted fabric becomes "stockinette". Begin with plain stitches on the outside of the stocking. Repeat these two rows till the heel is as longs as your own heel. Then cast off two and two stitches together, begin with # 12 and #13 till you don't have any stitches left on the needle.
This is the easiest, but not necessarily the prettiest way to make a heel.
3. Knitting the foot.
Use one needle and pick up 12 stitches on the left side of the heel and the forth needle to pick up 12 stitches of the right side of the heel. Now you have 48 stitches and four needles again. Knit plain stitches till the work is as long as you want it. Preferably till it reaches the pinky toe.
As you can see this casting off leaves a distinct seam under the heel.
4. Casting off the sock. Knit every forth stitch together for a round, then knit 2 plain rounds. Knit every third stitch together for the forth round. Knit three plain rounds. Knit every second stitch together and two plain rounds. Then knit two and two together till there's no masks but one left. Cut off and pull the tread through the last mask.
You are watching my mother making a pair of socks for a dear friend of mine.

This casting off is called a round casting, opposite the casting off for mittens, which is callled pointed casting off.
Good luck and please let me know if you understood my oh, so plain recipe.
Here's an American You Tube version that actually may be easier to understand.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Even though my mother only lives 120 kilometers away from us, she's living in another world. We have coast climate, mild winters, cold summers. My mother, who is living at the end of a long fjord, surrounded by high mountains, has cold winters, but mild summers.

This winter the snow hasn't stopped
coming, day after day, week after week. My mother's veranda was filled till over the brim. Her nice son in law offered to give a helping hand as we were visiting. The second Sunday of February is Mother's Day in Norway.

My mother (85) is considering snow a personal offense, and said, "No way you are going to ruin your health on shoveling that snow.Let me do it!"

She just got carried away, using all her fragile might to hold Gunnar back. Actually she hasn't had this much fun in years.I find Gunnar very patient and generous, giving my mother the opportunity to play.

After Gunnar had picked snow and ice for half an hour, he finally was able to open the veranda door, and my mother can sit in her chair and get some spring sun in her face. Wasn't that a great gift for Mother's Day?

Originated by MaryT, check hers for today