Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Necessity is the Mother of ... Re-Invention?

I made John a pair of socks. It was the first time I ever "turned a heel" that didn't involve an insult or the end of a date. At first, as I struggled along, I thought John was going to have to timeshare one sock between his feet. I figured I'd be so relieved to get a sock-like shape that I wouldn't bother with the second. Fear of having to make a second one that matched the first loomed over me. Actually, once I figured out how to read the pattern, knitting the socks really was quite easy, and the second done in a click!

So I decided I needed a pair of house socks. I went to the store and picked out a brightly colored "fuzzy- snuggy" yarn for my socks. Didn't think for a second there would be any problems with making another pair. WRONG. I bought a "thick" yarn for my socks, where his socks and pattern called for "worsted" weight yarn. Okay. I can handle this. Different gauge is required. I started to do the math to convert the pattern over to handle the yarn I'd purchased. About a half hour later, I had it all figured out, except for the part where I had to cast on and decrease in 1/4 stitches.

There had to be an easier way. There are millions of sock patterns out there. I got on the Internet and found a pattern that used the thicker yarn I had. Next problem - the pattern called for size 13 double pointed needles. I don't own any. And with good reason - you can only get them via special order, through the company that provides the free pattern that needs them. Really. Just try going to your average craft store and find double pointed size 13. I did. Everyone I asked about them either laughed, or looked shocked. Most didn't believe they exist. Sure they exist, if I want to pay $12, plus S&H online and wait a week. NOT ME.

So, Yes Martha Stewart fans, I MADE myself a set of size 13 double pointed needles. I bought a dowel (56 cents!) that was the same size (9mm), cut it, used a pencil sharpener to make points, sanded them with both fine and superfine grits, and polyurethaned them. (See my lovely supplies photo above.)

They are perfect! Now I have my yarn, a pattern, AND my own homemade needles. Talk about doing it yourself! Now I just have to get brave enough to translate yet another sock pattern.