Thursday’s Tour: Circles of Hell!

“Nothing ere I was made was made to be
Save things eterne, and I eterne abide;
Lay down all hope, you that go in by me.”

from “The Divine Comedy – I: Hell” by Dante

Don’t say I didn’t try to warn you! I’m sure this photograph is a vision of hell for any sock-knitter. These are four pairs of DH’s socks that I’ve had to put out of service until I can figure out how to darn them.

It's a Hole-y Show

I’m tempted to try the Yarn Harlot’s approach: Shout “Darn!” before throwing them in the bin. However, I haven’t knit DH enough socks to be able to afford to do this. Indeed, the scant number of socks available is what’s leading to this in the first place – as I realised from reading OfTroy’s blog recently. She has over 30 pairs of hand-knit socks so no one pair gets enough wear to wear them out. I know, I’m reeling at the thought of it too!

My reason for exposing you all to this is not for the shocking “horror show” effect but because I recently got Cat Bordhi’s new book: “Personal Footprints”. In it, she introduces a novel method enabling you to make a template – your personal footprint – for each person you knit socks for.

Basically your first sock – your “discovery sock” – is your tension swatch with which you check and note your gauge and foot measurements. You mark all the information down on your footprint for the next time you knit a pair of socks – with the same yarn. That’s the important bit. Each personal footprint is only relevant for the specific yarn used. Hence my need to weed out those yarns that are not cutting the mustard i.e. this Motley Crew.

Clockwise from the top we have:

  • Schachenmayr nomotta Regia “Color 4-ply /4-fädig”: yarn becomes black with wear first and then wears through – at the toes;
  • Yarn Addict “Superwash Fingering”: that’s a slipped-stitch heel that’s worn through – can’t believe it!
  • Lorna’s Laces “Shepherd Sock Multi”: not only holes but the colours faded with wear – compare the ribbing on the leg with the soles!
  • Artesano “Hummingbird 4 Ply”: that’s linen stitch that’s worn through there, I’ll have you know!

On the other hand, the socks made with the following yarns look as good as the first day they were made:

  • Lana Grossa Meilenweit “Mega Boots Stretch”
  • Zitron Trekking (XXL)

So, if I’m going to set up a Personal Footprint for DH it will only be with these yarns. I will blog separately about my conclusion for my own pairs – similarly, only two out of five yarns used so far “make the grade”. So, I just have to figure out what to do with the stash of sock yarn I’ve acquired to date. Keep on knitting until my number of pairs is in double-figures at least, I suppose.


2 Responses to “Thursday’s Tour: Circles of Hell!”

  1. helen (of troy) Says:

    if DH wears shoes (not sandels) try this:
    cut off toe (a row or two above hole)
    pick up stitches (unravel a round if needed)
    knit new toe.

    if possible, use a solid color that matches/coordinates.

    (and while you are at it, count yourself blessed that DH wears colorful socks and doesn’t demand grey, or grey, or dark grey or really dark grey or black!)

    the hole in the heels? not so easy–
    but EZ does have ideas for socks knit from heel (from a provisional cast on, down bottom (sole) to toe, from toe up to instep..(then the leg part is knit in round)

    this allows you to cut out heel (and gusset) but NOT instep) and reknit heel and sole and toe (and she did this in any old color!)
    you end up re-knitting 1/4 of the sock–but the part that shows (instep and leg) remain the same (the heel, sole and tip of toe are in contrasting yarn.

    its not bad to plan ahead;buy some really nice sock yarn –hand painted, or what ever, and then some other sock yarn (a 50gm ball) of something to mend with!

    • undermeoxter Says:

      Thank you for the tips – some light-bulbs going off for me!
      All is not lost with my stash of not-so-durable sock yarn collected to date – just gotta get me some durable yarn in co-ordinating colours – I’m all for post-rationalising additional yarn purchases!

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