Fibreshed garment update: planning

swatch for a pair of socks

Swatch for a pair of socks

I’ve started on my first Fibreshed garment. A pair of socks.

Started is perhaps too big a word. I made a swatch which tested my gauge, but it also made people worry the fabric would be too scratchy for socks. Had I blended the yarn with too much Shropshire?

I knitted about two inches of fabric in the round as a prototype. My intended sock wearer gave the prototype a test run. Perhaps he’s one of the tough older generation, perhaps he didn’t take this too seriously. Whatever the reason, he’s happy with the texture so we’re going ahead!

Another concern that fellow knitters brought up is that my sock pattern might not be the correct size. So I googled how to size socks. Oh my, has that brought the nerd out in me! I found an awesome sock pattern generator that writes a pattern according to your measurements and gauge (only available in inches, so I convert to metric).

I was so impressed by this article on fitting socks that I bought the author’s book on the subject. So far, I’ve learnt that these things extend the life of a hand knitted sock:

  • Good fit: resists abrasion, which would wear away at the yarn
  • Gentle washing: especially because there’s no nylon in these socks
  • Wear in shoes: wearing as slippers increases abrasion
  • Use tightly twisted, multi-ply yarn and knit densely: makes for a stronger fabric
  • Maybe use sock blockers: because my yarn is 100% wool

Luckily, my intended sock wearer has conventionally sized feet, although his heel protrudes more than average. I’m not sure yet what I ought to do about that. There’s also instructions on how to reinforce heels, so I might adjust my approach more as I read further.

I’ve already knitted up and pulled out about four times, I expect I do so several more times before I’m done!

A post script on connections

I recently got to meet Nicki of one Year one Outfit in person for the first time! We’re planning two talks to introduce Fibreshed and #1year1outfit to Melbourne. It’s exciting to work with Nicki, as she’s the person who inspired me to start researching the Melbourne Fibreshed in the first place. Of course, I asked if I could see her outfit from last year, which is even better in real life 🙂

I’ll update the Fibreshed Melbourne facebook group with details on the talks when we’ve locked them in. Hope to see you there!

This entry was posted in Fibreshed Melbourne and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Fibreshed garment update: planning

  1. Go Girls! Wish I could join you….XS Paddock To Ply
    That calculator is great, looks like I might have to reverse stitch the current pair on my needles 🙂

  2. norma says:

    I’m very keen on vintage stitching books and I remember reading that you should always reinforce heels in socks – and I know there were many more places in various garments which were brought up for reinforcing. Our foremothers were very keen on garments that last.

    • cheliamoose says:

      I assumed I would need to reinforce the heels and was surprised how little it’s mentioned in modern sock making instructions. The book I bought notes that heel stitches are in themselves reinforcing. It balances the benefits of reinforcement against the risks of making the sock uncomfortable in the shoe and mismatching reinforcement yarns, both of which can result in extra friction which has the opposite effect from what we’re aiming for! Having said that, the book also strongly recommends using sock yarns with nylon which I’m not using. I’m planning to ask my sock wearer where his socks wear through most often, and just reinforce those areas. What do you do?

      On a side note: I just read through that second last sentence again and giggled at how many permutations of ‘wear/where’ there were in it. Do you think we’ve developed a new tongue twister?!

      • norma says:

        The yarn tongue twister!
        I haven’t made socks – just mended a lot. I find that I have to be careful to mend with very similar wool or it does wear the surrounding stitches very quickly. I use scrap wool jersey to reinforce mine when they get thin and darn through that. That’s my most successful method – that’ll last a year for me. Not sure that’s helpful?

  3. cheliamoose says:

    Yes, that’s great feedback Norma! Thanks for walking me through how you do it, and what results you’ve had 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s