I know, I know, I haven't talked about sock machines in ages. I am happy to report they don't hold it against me (grin). My NZAK just needed a few drops of Forsyth's miracle oil and was soon purring away again.
But, what did I forget? How to knit a fast short-row heel/toe, apparently. I ended up with a terrible toe, all holey and scrubby on my delicate little feet (snort). Well, it didn't feel good, anyway, delicate or not!
So, I rehung the toe. To do this, I cut the sock off with about an inch of waste yarn on it still. The machine still has the second sock and a few inches of waste yarn after it still hanging, though I suppose I could have removed them and started with a bare machine, I didn't.
Then, I hung the stitches on the top (not the end of the toe, but what would be grafted onto from the very last row I'd knit) between the hash marks away from me, and as I did, pulled those needles up and out of work, just like at the start of a toe (since that's where I'd be once I rehung the sock).
I continued on around as I could, following the row I'd started with,hanging stitches and moving the crank to the back where the needles were up, until I had a "toe shape" sticking awkwardly up from inside the needles and needles with stitches all the way around. Then, I tinked (unknit, unraveled, frogged, ripped...) the waste yarn off the toe and tossed it. Then, I tinked the toe itself and wound it into a little ball. That left me with a toeless sock ready to go on the sock machine (yay!!!) and a little ball of yarn (a toe's worth, grin) attached to it.
I threaded the yarn through my yarn feeder, up to my mast, and then down to a contraption on the floor made specially for the occasion.
What would you call it? a Yarn Trap? That's what I ended up with. A dinner plate and a pyrex measuring cup; I've seen the pyrex used that way before for plying yarns. It worked really well in this situation, too.
I knew the little ball would have danced all over the floor, gotten caught by a cat or wrapped around a table leg at just the wrong moment. This way it was in its own slippery but controlled environment, feeding out as I needed it and merrily bouncing around as it unrolled.
It was terrific, and guess what -- it took the same amount of yarn to do the toe right! yay! Socks for me.
For the curious, these socks were knit from Brownsheep sock that I dyed during one of my sock yarn dyeing workshops to be self-patterning.
And next up ... socks from my own handspun sock yarn :-) can't hardly wait!
For more sock machine posts, see the SockMachines topic. There are related posts on dyeing self-patterning yarn and spinning sock yarn.
For great sock machine discussions, I recommend the Circular Sock Machine group on Ravelry or the Yahoo sock machine lists. And my favorite sock cranking blog remains Soxophone Player -- keep cranking, Doug!
posted 13 January 2009 at http://askthebellwether.blogspot.com/