Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Off the cuff...

A couple of years ago I started knitting socks sans cuffs as presents for my friend, C, who was buying machine-made socks and ripping off the cuffs. They were too tight/uncomforable, apparently.  I discovered that when you knit cuffless socks, the edges roll.  This was pleasing to C and to me.

Thus commenced my interest in unconventional--i.e. unribbed--cuffs.

A while later I made myself a pair of socks in Noro. They were difficult to knit because the yarn, a blend of silk, wool, and nylon, has very little give. Thus the cuff, although ribbed, lacked elasticity.

Noro sock with flat, inelastic rib on left.  On right, Noro sock with seed-stitch edge at top.

You can see how un-gathered the rib is on the left sock. Its flatness made me think there wasn't much functional point to ribbing with this yarn. The second pair of socks I made from Noro (Silk Garden Sock Yarn) I didn't bother. The seed-stitch edge of the right sock is barely perceptible, but prevents rolling.

I love these Noro socks. They're super warm and despite the stiffness of the yarn, they're soft and comfy. It's counter-intuitive, I guess, but one of the treats of all Noro yarns is how surprising they are in so many ways. At any rate, I think of these socks as mood rings for my feet. The colors are so unexpected and psychological.

From sock cuffs or lack of cuffs, it was an easy transition to other differently-cuffed clothing. As I mentioned in the last post, I'm into mittens with unconventional cuffs now.

So it goes. I'm looking for future opportunities to expand my cuff repertoire. (I've made two sweaters, years ago, that had bell sleeves with no cuffs.)  These basket-weave cuffs are done with a cable needle. Maybe next time I'll do a thick horizontal cable as a wrist-wrap, then knit the mitten up from there.


Last night the TV weatherman mentioned we're in the darkest part of winter. Here in Rhode Island we've had very little snow, and a lot of frigid.

Photo of Wood River taken today, around 4 p.m.
It feels like everything's under a spell. I saw this pattern on Ravelry, and thought it would be a fine knitting project for February.

The Winter Blues Hat, by Glitz Knitz.  Photo credit:  Brook Taylor

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