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OK...we have the materials ready, we have measured our feet, we have the pattern in hand, and so off we go.

Before I start, I will warn all of you...I am not responsible for any Spinners Online Compulsively Knitting Socks that arise from these lessons. If you get like me.....halfway through one sock you are planning for the next pair. There is nothing.....may I shout....NOTHING .....that feels as good on your feet as handspun handknit socks. I am a Pisces, and we are very aware of our feet, so its not all my fault.

Socks are the perfect use for 4 oz of fiber spun firmly into a 2 (or more) ply yarn. Who among us will confess to having bits of this and that in our fiber stash? 3 oz of a nice wool and 1 ounce of something else combine nicely for socks. Knit the socks..experiment with the gauge and if they come out a tad them once through your washing machine and VOILA they fit.

The Cast On:
It is most important to cast on loosely to get the socks to stretch over your ankles as you put them on. If you have been used to using a cable cast on, or a loop cast on, bite the bullet and learn LONG TAIL cast on. The web page mentioned in the MATERIALS post will help you out there.

For those of you who simply KNOW you cast on tightly, cast on over TWO needles..this will force your loops to relax to a reasonable looseness.

These socks are not fussy in fit or in needle sizes size is used throughout. Most sock patterns will call for a smaller sized needle to work the ribbing and if you are so inclined and have the materials available, do so.

OK...get your circular needle and park yourself for a while. Here we go.

I hope that by now you have printed out the pattern and have a hard copy to work with and mark up. Keep a pencil nearby when you knit, and add notes to yourself on the pattern. You will be surprised how helpful these can be later on. Circle the SIZE and STITCH NUMBER you will be following. (Make sure you have put down somewhere the LENGTH of the sock LEG you want (to the floor), and the LENGTH of the FOOT, and, of course, the actual circumference of your foot.)

I will reprint parts of the pattern here and go through it all......anything in quotes"" "" is from the pattern.

The Leg:
With the circular needle, cast on 32 (36, 40, 44, 50, 54) sts. Join. Use a marker to mark the beginning of the round and work as follows:

To measure your yarn for cast's a tip that works quite well for 95% of the knitters I teach. If you end up being in the minority, please don't whine. ...holding the end of the yarn in your hand, wrap it around the needle LOOSELY 10x. That will measure off the amount you will need for 10 sts. Measure off by eye....more yarn in that length for every set of 10 sts you need to cast on..and then add about 4". Make your slip knot there and proceed with long tail cast on until you have the stitch number you need.

Now, here's where the pattern says "Join." With circular knitting, it is vital that you NOT twist your cast on edge when you join your stitches together to knit in the round. Here's a tip......once all your cast on stitches are on.....lay your needle down on a flat surface with the 2 points at the top of it. Have the yarn that comes from the ball of yarn on the RIGHT and the last cast on stitch on the TOP RIGHT point of your needle. Look at your cast on stitches and turn the edge that has some bulk to it to the INSIDE of the circle. KEEP IT THERE. Make sure there are no wrap-around twists along the needle cable...if there are, turn all the stitches around the cable and even out the rest of them that follow (like ducks in a row). OK. Knit the first stitch of the TOP LEFT point of the needle with the yarn coming from the right...knitting that stitch on to the TOP RIGHT point. You are joined. Put a marker in the place back before you knit that first stitch.

OK...what sort of ribbing do you fancy for your sock? The more socks I make, the less ribbing I use..I HATE to purl. I am reduced to 1" of ribbing these days. You, on the other hand, may want these socks to stand up by themselves in a downpour, and want them to be ALL ribbing. GO FOR IT! You will find that the first few rounds of knitting on these needles is tight and difficult. That is, unfortunately, part of their charm. You will either put up with it or hate it. Some folks are know to start sock cuffs on double pointed needles and work the first few rounds that way, and then knit the sock onto the circular needle once some natural stretch is built into the stitches with the knitting.

You have to create the height of the LEG minus 1.5 - 2". Those of you working from the kits I sent...realize that you have enough yarn to make the socks 6" before the heel (if you are knitting to the gauge in the pattern), so either find oddments in your stash and plan on using them for STRIPES in the sock, or the TOES, or BOTH. This design "feature" actually helps in the creativity department, so be creative if you need to be.

If anyone decides to put in a color pattern or a compressing cable stitch pattern, do holler and say so...I have tidbits to share on those ideas.

OK... so knit your sock to your desired length and we'll get started on the heel next.
This material ©2000 Claudia Krisniski
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