Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Cable and Moss Stitch Socks

Last night I finished these socks for Socktoberfest.

The intended recipient of these socks has little feet and I sure hope they fit. The pattern is from Sensational Knitted Socks and it's cables with moss stitch between, done in Knitpicks Gloss in Concord Grape. They're very cushy and soft and I'll definitely be knitting this pattern again. It was so easy and mindless.

I've been looking at yarn winders and swifts and trying to figure out what the best combination to order would be. In my quest I stumbled upon what seemed like a really great idea to try while I make up my mind -- I had no idea one could use a Kitchenaid Mixer and a lamp to wind up a hank of yarn.

Here's what I did: For my 'mock swift' I took the finial off the top of a rather large table lamp so the shade would spin freely. Then I draped the hank of yarn over it and gave it a test spin to make sure it wouldn't fall over and crash to the floor when pulled upon. Shockingly enough, it didn't fall over and I was satisfied enough to proceed with the experiment. I then took my dough hook and basically put on it a piece of cardboard that I'd cut, folded and taped around it. I had to wedge inside a felted coaster in order to keep the cardboard from slipping. I then put the dough hook onto the mixer, wound the yarn around it a couple of times and turned on the mixer to the slowest speed, and voila...the yarn began winding around the cardboard. Incredible! It took me a minute or two to figure out how to hold the yarn so it wouldn't spin up over the cardboard and onto the top of the hook, but once I got the tension right, it worked amazingly well. The resulting yarn ball doesn't look as tidy as the kind you can apparently make with a real yarn winder, but it certainly beats having to wait around for someone to hold the hank for me while I wind it into a ball by hand.

I'm thinking now that the lamp shade worked well enough that I won't even bother buying an actual swift, especially since I've been working so hard lately to declutter my home and a swift is just another large item I'll have to find space for. I do think I will probably buy a real ball winder at some point though since dealing with the cardboard around the dough hook was a little bit cumbersome.



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