Tuesday, December 1, 2015

What to do with hole-y socks Part 5

 I am sure you are wondering when this will end. Soon, my friends, soon... Even I am totally out of the upcyclling mood now. I am just documenting what I've already done.

 Over the years, I have made many mug cozies. Unlike the disposable cup cozies, these involve having to go through a handle, and therefore need an opening in the side. I love the idea of a sweater for my mug as I think hot liquids in ceramic mugs cool off way too fast. But I have not come up with a perfect design yet and I will continue to experiment.

 The last one I made a few years ago was a coaster/cozy in one. I attached a circular coaster to the bottom of a cozy similar to the one I will show you. But it falls off half the mugs I've tried it on. Attaching a coaster is not a great idea, either. But these experiments have taught me many things about cut knit edges which has helped with steeking real knitted objects. If you are afraid of steeking, what better way to get over it than by cutting into a sock with a hole? What is the worst that can happen? You have to throw it out!

 In this case, after I made the finger-less mitts, I was not happy with the way the cut edge unraveled. I stabilized with sewing after the fact but I thought, why not use a crochet steek? So I tried it.
 I started with this. It is the leg of a sock, with a hem where it has been cut. The ribbed edge is the cuff of the sock.
 Crocheted steek instructions can be found on Kate Davies's blog, and Eunny Jang's blog. I am not going to cover them here but focus instead on working the technique on a tightly knit sock. I used sock yarn and then I went to thin crochet cotton, which I did not photograph.
 It is possible to work a crochet steek on a sock, but it is not worth it. I ended up having to use a very tiny crochet hook to get into the stitches. That hook kept splitting the yarn and the crochet cotton. But I persevered.

 And finished it. Once fully across the length of the piece and then part-way across. I pulled them both out because it was way too bulky. You can see that in these photos. That is only one side of the steek. I'd have to repeat that on the other side and the bulk would be way too much. Not pleasing at all.

 So I went back to another steeking technique that I used on my Rose Lace Collar. It is fast, holds quite well and adds no bulk at all. What is it? Back stitch along one leg of a column of stitches. On the Rose Lace Collar, I did 2 rows of back stitch - one along each of the legs of a column of stitches. But for this I just did one.

 Can you see it? I used a slightly different color of blue. The thread is doubled and I just make sure that I am making tiny stitches so that each knit stitch is secured by at least one back stitch. It took me less than 10 minutes to do this with a lot less aggravation than the crochet. It worked like a charm. Those are the cut edges above in the two photos - one of each row of back stitches.

 I stitched down the right leg of one column of stitches and up the left leg of a column of stitches with two separate rows of back stitch. I left one whole knit stitch in the middle of the two rows of back stitch. I cut along the center of that column of knit stitches. So it was very close to the stitched row. For a larger project, I would probably leave a bit more space. For the fingerless-mitts, I probably wouldn't.

 Then I picked up just below the backstitched row - 3 stitches for every 4 rounds of the sock - and did a 2x2 rib o each side. On one side I worked 4 yarnover buttonholes. That is just a yarnover followed by a p2tog to keep the rib pattern but it could be a yo and a k2tog and one can work the decrease before or after the yo.
 Completed ribbed edges showing the insides. I whip stitches the edge to the ribbed edging to keep it neat.
 Finally, I went through my button collection (mostly from sweaters and coats that I no longer own) and found 4 small buttons. The yo buttonholes were very small given I was using 2 mm needles. The buttons are all the same size but they don't match. Oh well.

 The problem with this mug cozy? It is too tall for most mugs. So I still don't have a great mug cozy design. But this one will also work for disposable cups (unlike my coaster attached one) and can be used on insulated mugs, if needed.

 I have one last item I made from sock parts and I think it is a winner. They are earbud cases and they use parts of the sock that I've discarded so far. So hold on and the series will soon be over!

For your viewing pleasure, here is a photo of my Jenkins Turkish spindle family and a couple of sample skeins I spun on two of the newest members.
 From left to right, Egret, Swan, Agean, Lark, Delight, Finch and Kuchulu. I got the Egret at Rhinebeck but haven't spun on it yet. The Lark and the Finch were acquired recently in updates at the Jenkins website. I just happened to be online when they were going on sale and I lucked out in getting them. They sell out in minutes.
 Abstract Fibers Merino/Superwash Merino/Silk in Huckleberry spun on the Finch.
Abstract Fibers Targhee in Hopworks spun on the Lark. I didn't think I would enjoy spinning dyed brown fiber but I did. 

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