- Abby Franquemont
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I spent the weekend largely on the autoknitter, and have been rewarded with this:
In case it’s hard to tell, that’s a grand total of 5 pairs of socks. Now, frankly, I think I’m going to get 3 pairs for real, and end up ripping the other 2. I have another pair mid-rip — some of my temporary “hold this till I can fix it and see if it’s really worth fixing” solutions make ripping annoyingly slow so I haven’t finished ripping ’em yet.
By the end of Friday night, I had managed to finish the cranking portion of a Proof of Concept Sock!
Lest anyone be unfamiliar with the term, “proof of concept” is one that I came to via the software world — it’s a roughed-in, not fully fleshed example that, well, proves the concept can work, without doing all the real work involved in the final product. Basically, it’s a functional rough draft that has issues. This proof of concept involved one skein of Patons Kroy, a healthy dose of skepticism mixed with perseverance, and some blind faith. I was absolutely positive that I was misreading the 1922 instructions which stated “The toe is worked exactly the same as the heel, save that in the second half [a one-stitch difference].” I wasn’t, but my execution remains off. The toe is just not as round as I thought, which is actually fine.
After the Proof of Concept sock, I daringly worked a tube from a thing of handspun that I had sitting on my end table, which I’d wanted to swatch as a stockinette item regardless, and which, hey, this’d be a lot faster! And from that, I concluded that indeed, my handspun yarn splits a heckuva lot less than millspun, sheds less, wears better, and actually, thinner yarn was easier for me to see — so even if I didn’t get useable socks, I resolved to do a little more practice with thinner yarn.
And as far as other decisions/lessons learned by Friday night, I had concluded that the 1922 manual, which definitely has an opinionated tone regarding “the cleverness of the operator” and so forth, had a good point about not letting your work run off the machine, and I concluded that the overused purple Patons Kroy with which I had practiced would be just the thing to use to prevent my work from running off the machine. Although this raises other logistical questions, but that’s for later. But that’s why the pile of socks in the chair above looks rather more like a giant tube with funny lumps and oddly placed stripes. Stripes of waste yarn are used as sock delimitors and in lieu of having to do any setup. Even though I have significantly improved my speed with the setup bonnet.
I’m still a ways from ready to put the ribber attachment on. There remain too many things I need t be able to watch the inside of my tube-in-progress for, and the ribber would block that view. Not to mention too many times I’m dropping stitches and too much I’m still learning about tension, weight, stitch length, yarn selection and how it changes the aforementioned things, and I think I have my sequencing off on the heel thing, so for a while it’s going to be purely stockinette socks with hemmed tops or else I’ll separately knit on ribbing, or do a crochet edge atop the sock.
Lots more photos here, lots of things I’ve been messing with as I go…