It’s Like Riding A Bicycle
Whoever came up with the expression, “It’s like riding a bicycle” may not have gotten it exactly right. Or maybe they did.
What Else Is Like Riding A Bicycle?
The last time I cranked out a sock was back in September. Since I wanted to test out my new yarn on the Gearhart circular sock knitting machine, I got it all set up and ready to go. Or so I thought.
It is NOT like riding a bike. Or perhaps it’s exactly like riding a bike.
Have you ever gone back to bicycling after years of not bicycling? I have and it wasn’t quite as simple and easy as people would have led me to believe. The first time I bicycled after decades of not bicycling at all, I found I had to re-establish some level of confidence that the bicycle would stay upright while I rode it. Steering was wobbly as well. It wasn’t like completely re-learning. But it also didn’t come back completely naturally until about 30 minutes of riding.
Similarly with the sock machine, my first attempts after a few months were wobbly at best. I kept forgetting steps. Like when to put heel tensioning on and off. Or how far to advance the carriage before engaging the ribber plate and needles.
And it turns out that I had also bent the yarn carrier just a little bit. But that was all it took to wreck my first couple of attempts at cranking a pair of socks. Some of the settings on this finicky machine have to be within a micrometer of accuracy to work correctly.
Two things about the failed socks. First, the failures had NOTHING to do with the sock yarn. The yarn was perfect for use on the machine. In fact, it’s better than most sock yarns I’ve used. Second, I was able to unravel/rewind my mistakes and complete a beautiful pair of socks.
First of all, I think Noro could hire me to come up with new colorways of Kureyon! This bits and bobs hat came out as probably my favorite of all 18 hats I made using Noro.
In fact, I liked it so well, I had to give you a more full video view of it.
As noted above, I was also able to finish the third and final experiment with the inexpensive yarn.
Once I was finally able to re-acquaint myself with the antique circular sock knitting machine, these socks turned out incredibly well. I did use a contrasting yarn for the toe. But the leftover yarn from the main sock indicates I needn’t have tried to conserve on the yarn. One ball of the $3.65 yarn will definitely make a full pair of man’s socks (I’m a US size 10).
Finally, I also started spinning up some more of the Jacob roving I’ve had for a long time.
This time I’m going to try and make fingering weight yarn from it.
I met a family of farmers at my craft show who raise Jacob sheep and it got me very excited about working with local fibers again.