Monday, October 7, 2013

The Wee Ones


I had a question in the comments about the mini-socks included in the picture of my most recently completed handknit socks, so I thought I would go ahead and share some details and the background of my crazy wee socks.
 
The Story:
 
About ten years ago my wonderful Columbia Weavers and Spinners Guild brought Lucy Neatby to town for a sock workshop.  I had only recently made my first pair of socks, and was eager to learn more.  (I am eternally grateful to the guild for giving me a scholarship to attend the class.  Thank You!)  The class itself was delightful, and so was Lucy! 
 
Lucy had brought with her several suitcases full of goodies - which included a bunch of miniature socks.  Being so new to sock knitting, I had never even considered that possibility.
 
I was smitten!
 
That day I ordered Lucy's book Cool Socks, Warm Feet from her, largely because it included the recipe for making minis.  When it arrived I pulled out the leftovers from my very first pair of socks...and a love affair was born.
 
As the wee one was very little, taking practically no time at all, and as I enjoyed it.....well, an idea was born.  From that point on, I've made one mini to match each and every pair of socks I've knit.
 
Believe it or not, this obsession (and it IS an obsession) has a practical side. 
 
Socks are funny things to knit....they are intended for heavy use and because of that they do wear out at some point.  Some of the hand painted yarns also fade quite a bit.  As I do actually LOVE the yarns I buy, it's really nice to have a record of what each and every yarn looked like when it was pristine.  It's a fun record of what I've done!
 
So what do I do with them?  Until two years ago I used my minis to decorate my personal Christmas tree each year.  (I have a handwork tree, my husband has a Star Wars tree.  That's just the way we roll in this house!)  However, when I found a sock at the base of our stairway - courtesy, no doubt, of my daughter's kitten who has an unhealthy obsession with all things yarn - I put them away so that the cat couldn't permanently disappear any of them. Since then they've mostly been in storage in my desk.  My sister-in-law gifted us with the frame you see above last year, and since then I've used it to display my most recently finished minis.  I do have some ideas about how to put them all on display....but I haven't fully settled on anything yet.
 
The Details:
 
I have made 72 minis to go along with 73 pair of socks.
 
The 73rd pair was made with a heavier yarn, and miniaturizing it wouldn't have been worthwhile. 
 
I've only ever gifted one mini.
 
They are all knit on 2.25 mm DPN's.
 
I have always used Lucy Neatby's 24 stitch mini-sock recipe as my starting point.
 
In the beginning I would save my leftover yarns and would make them 4-10 at a time.  With my 50'th I started to make them as soon as I had finished the socks. 
 
Each sock measures approximately 2.5 inches from cuff to the bottom and 2.5 inches from the back of the heel to the toe.  They are about one inch wide.
 
Most of the socks incorporate details used to make the socks they commemorate.  This includes size, cuff/leg style, foot style, and beading/pattern/colorwork options. 
 
There are three minis that were knit plain because the lace or cables on the big socks were near impossible to replicate on such a small scale, and the last two colorwork minis (and probably all to come) I chose to do the contrast color for the cuffs, toes and heels rather than try to incorporate the pattern.

Yes, I do leave the ends hanging loose.  I've used those to help attach the minis to ribbons and the tree, and so I keep them as a helpful tool!  They also help plump up the socks a bit to give them shape.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! They are too cute and I must get my hands on that pattern. Thank you for indulging me with your story!!
(I went to Drury---there will always be a big part of my heart that belongs in Missouri.)