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ye olde black art: sock knitting

a woman knitting socks

a woman knitting

Is it the perverse love of doing things The Hard Way or the connection with the Old Ways that makes us love discovering age-old paint formulas, dog-eared Herbals and the handwritten pattern for grandad’s Gansey?

I was just reading a favorite blog, machen:do – ‘What Did Tolstoy Know About Knitting’ in which the author quotes a passage from War and Peace, which describes a near-magical knitting technique of knitting two socks at once. What black art is this? How wonderful, to never face the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome again! I’ve been solving it by knitting two socks on two different pairs of needles. Can’t do it with Tofutsi though. And then, a kindly commenter added a link to a knitty article from last year: knitting two socks in one. Ah! The Secret is revealed! Though, given that I’m having trouble following the pattern to shape the front of a simple, chunky Zoomy jumper…..

…. I wrote this post years ago. I’m republishing it, since my original blog has gone. Those socks are still on their pins, unfinished. Meanwhile step further back and have taken to spinning, not with a wheel, but with a drop-spindle. One day soon I’ll resort to hand-grinding wild grains with a stone and wearing skins.

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