Saturday, July 04, 2015

Am I an "Elite" knitter?

When I knit the stuff that everyone else was knitting, I never considered myself an elite knitter.

Now, I knit stuff that some (or even many of my readers) do not believe can be knit.
I use tools that almost no other knitters use.  These allow me to hand knit fast.

I have knit a dozen pair of good ski boot socks so far this year. The socks from commercial 5-ply sport weight gansey yarn were knit at 8.5 spi, and socks from 6-strand 2x3 cabled 850 ypp  worsted were knit at 7 spi.   We like these yarns for cold weather boot socks. A pair of these socks is some where between 20,000 and 30,000 stitches - about the same as an adult sweater knit at 4 spi.  However, because the fabric is much tighter, the effort to knit is much greater.  On the other hand, 3 or 4 pairs of those snow socks is about the same number of stitches and the same effort as a good gansey from commercial 5-ply.   This spring, I also did some knitting of my own 5-ply, 1,000 ypp yarns, on 2 mm needles@ 10 spi,  but that is a different post.

Socks that are felted down to size tend to keep shrinking under the heat and friction of back country skiing.  Worsted yarns, knit tightly to fit, do not shrink.  These socks can be washed, and put on wet, and in a very few minutes they will feel dry and warm. (Or, they can be machine washed and tossed in a cool dryer. Start with swatches!!)   This does not occur with more loosely knit socks, which must be fully (and very gently) dried prior to being comfortable to wear.  For years, I hiked with a pair of socks dangling and drying on the back of my pack. (Sometimes commercial, and sometimes my hand knit.)   Now that I have learned to knit tighter,  I can wash my socks and put them on wet. That means I only need to take one pair of socks.

It is not necessary for you to believe for the technology to work.  In fact, if you do not believe it, then I am the ultimate Elite Knitter.  The more that you do not believe, the more astonishing my knitting. The more astonishing my knitting, the more I must be  the ultimate Elite Knitter.  To demote me, you must show that everyone can knit a couple pairs of good, tight snow socks per month.

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