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Wales, United Kingdom
Documenting one couple's attempts to live a more self-sufficient life.

Tuesday 28 June 2011

The second sock

It's possible that the weeding may have been neglected this week, and the runner beans may be desperately searching for support, and the tomatoes may have been begging for new pots, but I did get my second sock knooked.

My first pair of hand knooked socks

I think the left one may be slightly shorter than the right, but never mind. Because there is a left and a right, I added little blobs of purple to the outside of the ankles, to make it easier to tell them apart.

Another picture of first socks

They are very nice and snuggly. Pebble agrees.

Out of interest, I weighed my pair of socks to see how much yarn I'd used: It was 40 g. I could get ten pairs* out of that cone of wool. That's 50p a pair, which isn't bad at all.


* Yes, I know 40 goes into 452 eleven and a bit times, but I'm allowing for maybe making some slightly longer socks, or perhaps a more complicated pattern. I may get bored of plain stocking stitch after a few pairs.


  1. Hi, Rachel.

    I first found your blog when I went foraging for knooking information and instructions. The first thing I noticed were the socks - the stitches are so smooth and neat. My work doesn't look quite as good yet.

    The finished socks look great!

    What's even more impressive is that you made the knooks yourself. Can you please give me any tips on how to make my own tiny knooks? Working with the pointy things (dpns and knitting needles make me uncomfortable). Plus, I can already crochet.

    Cheers from the Caribbean. ^_^

  2. Hi Water Pegasus :-)

    I'm not sure I can help with tiny knooks - if I make them too small they tend to break - but I can advise on fairly small knooks.

    I start with straight twigs then use a very sharp craft knife to whittle them into hooks. First peel/scrape the bark off, then carry on shaving the wood with the knife until the surface is nice and smooth.

    Before you spend too long on the surface, you might want to focus on the hook, because it can all go wrong here. I cut the end at a slant, then make the notch. This is done in small steps, first a cut into the wood, almost straight across the twig but not quite, then a more angled cut to meet that, shaving small pieces of wood at a time until the notch is as deep as you need it.

    If the twig you've chosen isn't solid right through (and a lot I've tried are soft in the middle), then the hook will break. If this happens, I suggest giving up and trying different kinds of wood. I don't know much about Caribbean trees, but I've found holly to be excellent and oak is quite good too (though harder to get smooth).

    The eye for the cord is delicate work. I make dips in each side of the stick, gradually making them deeper until they meet in the middle.

    I'm not sure how much sense this will make without diagrams - I hope it's useful. The main thing is to find the right kind of twigs and use a very sharp, pointed knife.

    Good luck!

  3. Thanks very much for the DIY suggestions, Rachel. I'm pretty sure that the strongest wood fiber around here is mahogany. Not sure if I could whittle that... I'll ask around.

    Would you consider sending me knooks you've made (of a size under 4 mm) We could always negotiate pricing via email if you accept.

    Yesterday I knooked some swatches of fingering weight yarn using your instructions on the blog. It looks like the method demonstrated in videos by LeisureArts on Youtube. I also made a swatch using PixJen's method (also on Youtube). Her way should produce twisted stitches but both stockinette swatches look the same to me. I'll post links if you'd like.

    So hot here tonight in the Caribbean. Hope you are well.

    Cheers. :)

  4. Hi - sorry for the slow reply, I had to think about that. Yes, I could probably sell you some knooks - I'll email you to discuss further.

    I have to say, mahogany knooking hooks would be very cool, though. I imagine that would work well.

    We're finally getting some hot weather here, after a miserable cold summer. I don't suppose it's anywhere near as hot as it is with you, though!

  5. Actually, you'll have to email me, as I can't find your address. Cheers!

  6. Hello Rachel

    Thanks for your reply and sorry that I'm late with mine. I've sent an email to your gmail account as listed in your profile. Hope you get it!

  7. Hi Rachel,

    I've been late with my replies as well but there's another email waiting for you. There are pictures and another 2 or so I'd like to show you when my current project is finished.

    Cheers. ^_^


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