Sock It To Me, Beowulf 6

I am a fast knitter, but nowhere near record fast.   Last I heard, one of the fastest knitters in America was knit designer Lily Chin.  She went onto the David Letterman show, and cast on for a sweater at the opening.  By the end of the show — two, two and a half hours? — she had knitted an entire sweater for Dave, who is not a small man!    Now that is fast.  (How was it done?  I didn’t see it, but I deduce big yarn, big needles, and a simple pattern that she knew well.  And knitting like the wind, of course.)

Having started the Hwaet sock all over again, seven days of energetic knitting gets me down to the heel shaping.  As you can see, it looks great.  Adding six rows of 1×1 ribbing just below the scalloped edge makes it much less curly, and it fits me well enough that I have high hopes that Alma will be able to wear them.  In this photo you can see clearly the markers I am using, a dark pink one for the beginning of the round at the back of the leg, and a light pink one exactly halfway around in front.  Markers are one of the many underhanded tricks knitters use to keep their place in an elaborate pattern.

At this point the sock is about long enough that I am ready to begin the heel shaping.  The art of turning the heel of a sock is truly magical, and most of us rely closely upon the sock directions.  Especially in such a complicated color pattern, I am not going to exert independence here.  So I am following the pattern exactly, and after the heel increases and shaping I am here.

In this picture you can see the spool of sewing thread I am knitting along with the main color.  The idea here is to make the heel area a little more enduring.  These little practicalities are handed down like phoenix eggs, from one knitter to the next.

Next up:  On beyond heel!

My new novel Speak to Our Desires is out exclusively from Book View Press!

And check out my earlier BVC ebook, Revise the World.



About Brenda Clough

Brenda W. Clough spent much of her childhood overseas, courtesy of the U.S. government. Her first fantasy novel, The Crystal Crown, was published by DAW in 1984. She has also written The Dragon of Mishbil (1985), The Realm Beneath (1986), and The Name of the Sun (1988). Her children’s novel, An Impossumble Summer (1992), is set in her own house in Virginia, where she lives in a cottage at the edge of a forest. Her novel How Like a God, available from BVC, was published by Tor Books in 1997, and a sequel, Doors of Death and Life, was published in May 2000. Her latest novels from Book View Cafe include Revise the World (2009) and Speak to Our Desires. Her novel A Most Dangerous Woman is being serialized by Serial Box. Her novel The River Twice is newly available from BVC.


Sock It To Me, Beowulf 6 — 6 Comments

  1. Sewing thread in the heel! Thanks for that tip. Do you use cotton or polyester?

    I’m working on a Lupine Lace pattern sock in a mild gray and pale blue variegate, 100% cotton. Sewing thread in gray will work nicely. I’ve got thread . Lots and lots of thread but it’s all polyester. I’m a bit hesitant to mix fibers.

  2. For real endurance there is nothing like man-made fibers. If they bury you in a sweater knit out of Red Heart acrylic, it will outlast your corpse.
    It would be imprudent to use cotton sewing thread here, because cotton may shrink. They sell woolly nylon for use in heels and toes, but I find it rather thick as a carry-along. Polyester sewing thread does not affect gauge at all and you cannot feel it in the finished product. And as you can see, with a close color match, it is invisible to the eye as well. But is a little bit more challenging to work with.

  3. Brilliant. If I ever finish these scarves I’m crocheting (and I’d better finish fast, it’s getting warmer down here) AND a quilt for the niece’s graduation, and several other projects, I’d like to try a pair of socks. Good to know tricks to make them last longer and still feel soft and comfortable!

    These little practicalities are handed down like phoenix eggs, from one knitter to the next.

  4. When you do, find a Beginner’s Sock Pattern. There are patterns designed for worsted-weight wool, which will be ever so much easier to handle.