Eye catching

One problem I have is tinnitus and I discovered that the noise of the carriage made it much worse, so I shall now have to save up for an electronic. Having done very little knitting since Christmas, the workroom has been empty. However, I did manage to finish something I’d virtually completed last year. I’d promised myself a wall-hanging and it was in four panels – two in the centre with Siamese cats (still, after 40-odd years!) and two end panels with single and double ‘ladders’, into which I threaded multi-coloured lightweight chunky. I trimmed the fringe and my son put up a long pole. I made four hangers and then we put it up on the rear wall of the living room so it draws the eye as you enter the door.

Perhaps the recession will persuade people to get ‘doing’, as we did during the war. I remember getting cards of sock darning wool from Woolworths and wherever else, when I couldn’t spare clothes coupons for ‘real wool’. We used it to make the ankle socks we all wore to save wear on the heels and toes of our very precious (and very scarce!) stockings. I also used up all the oddments of 3-ply I could find to make a stripy front for a jumper when I could only get enough wool for the back and sleeves – and very dashing it looked, too. I’m knitting very simple socks at present, because I have chronically cold feet. Cast on sixty stitches on one needle, divide on to three needles as you knit the first round; 6ounds in rib, 20 in pattern (often double moss stitch) then another 6 rounds rib and knit a fold line – purl one, knit one, instead of knit one, purl one. Naturally, if you were a purist you turned the sock! After that there’s 20 rows rib followed by 20 rows stocking stitch (what else), then divide for the heel of your choice. Finally, stocking stitch for the length of the foot and turn the sock through before decreasing for the toe. You were then on the wrong (purl) side, which made the toe grafting easier.

The trouble came when you lost a needle, because it was impossible to buy steel sock needles during the war, all the metal had gone to the war effort! To do your sock on two needles, you planned the seam for the centre back, knitted as far as the heel, then left 15 stitches each end for the heel. You continued the front foot to the toe and then did a ‘short row’ toe; as you continued back up the foot, you picked up and ‘knitted in’ a stitch on each side as far as the heel – where you knitted another ‘short row’ toe and grafted the stitches to your 15+15 stitches and sewed up the back leg seam – just like socks on the machine! It helps to look back and have a laugh!

Best wishes
Edna Cahill
Isle of Wight