Tuesday, March 1, 2016

"Boring Gray Leg Warmers" and "Long Leaf Lace" Socks

 "Boring Gray Leg Warmers"

Could a knitter find anything less interesting to knit?  I doubt it!  I started these leg warmers last winter and just recently finished them.  Speedy Road Runner I am not, but in my defense my mind was engaged in so many other tasks daily that I was almost too exhausted for even this mind numbing project at night.  I did think for a few passing moments about "decorating" these mundane mosey pair of warmers but figured I didn't have the time and who was going to see them anyway so they will stay boring gray, undecorated and hidden behind my pant's legs.

They are knit out of Paton's 100% sport weight washable wool yarns, 16" long and big enough around that they will fit over the leg wearing a sport weight sock!  It gets cold here in Maine in the winter.  They will be nice when I want to wear a pair of my too tight fur lined Merrell clogs 
(http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B9TX8M8/ref=twister_B00D89EI3KL) to a get a heavy sock into the shoes and have to go bare footed.  I can also pull them over another pair of knee hi full socks for that added boost of warmth.

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Now that we have the boring leg warmers out of the way.  Here's a pair of 100% Wool Super Wash yarn socks from Knit Picks, hand-dyed with detail work down the back of the calf socks I knit a while back.

The back lace pattern design is from Alice G. Walker's book "A Fourth Treasury of Knitting Patterns."  The chart is a pattern in the lace section called "Long Leaf Lace."  This pattern was not complicated if you can read a chart.

Do I expound on knitting charts? Okay, I will but if you are not interested or already know how then you can just skip this part.

I LOVE KNITTING FROM CHARTS!  Can I yell this any louder?  Probably, but I'll save your ears and my fingers typing it again.  I never really knew how to knit very well at all until about 20 years ago unless it was simple.  One day I ran across a DVD on sock knitting and I really wanted to learn how to knit socks so I bought it.  Oh, I had made a couple of sweaters, one about every decade of my life for gifts, simple projects but I really really wanted to learn to knit socks.  Reading the patterns made my eyes glaze over and looked oh so complicated but I just had to learn how to knit them.  I bought the DVD and went through it dozens of times, took notes and eventually learned how to knit a sock!  Hooray, SUCCESS.

I HATED with a fierce passion reading, tracking and getting through a knitting project with those complicated long drawn out written patterns.  I always managed to mess them up and they were just a mystery to me for the most part and a struggle UNTIL I learned to read charts!  Wowser, CHARTS opened the door to a knitting world that I never thought I would be allowed to enter.  The universe of knitting came flying out that door and landed squarely on my head!  That was a very good thing!  Once I got a few chart symbols under my belt then I was off and running.  I was knitting anything, everything and making up knitting patterns.  It was like living in another world of x's and o's and a few slants.  I couldn't be happier.  Then it was on to knitting in the round, Fair Isle and all forms of complicated design work.  What a joy to be able to finally visualize (from a chart) where I was going.  Of course along came the Internet and You Tube so another learning resource that was visual helped a lot along the way to make things easier.  CHARTS, the only way for a visual person to learn knitting in my opinion.

If you struggle with the endless and laborious written knitting instructions for the millions of knitting projects out there then pick up a book on knitting charts like Barbara Walker's and you will be in knitting heaven.  Once you have the basic knitting principals learned then the road will widen and the horizon will be limitless.  You will never look again at the miles of knitting verbiage that passes as fun and easy.

On to my "Long Leaf Lace" socks and the back of the calf!  


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