Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Yarn Fest: War and Peace Sock Class

It wasn't until I uploaded this photo that it occurred to me that my knitting above sort of looks like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. 

Funny.  I must be hungry...?!?

While at the Yarn Fest, Belinda and I took one class.  Some folks go to these events and take a lot of classes but the classes are not cheap. The classes are about $100.00 for a three hour session (and that's the Early Bird Rate for signing up by a certain date; otherwise classes are about $110.00 each). 

We decided upon a class called "War and Peace Socks" by Kate Atherly.  In this class, we learned the technique for knitting two socks at once and the socks are knit with one sock inside the other! Crazy, right?!?!?  Apparently, in Leo Tolstoy's book entitled "War and Peace", the technique of knitting one sock inside another is mentioned in the book's epilogue.  I found an article about it HERE if you'd like to know more (the article includes the passage from the book that mentions the socks).  I found it interesting.

"War and Peace" was written in 1869, so the sock technique referenced is NOT new.

I have never tried double knitting but it turns out that knitting one sock inside of another uses the double knitting technique. 

If you look closely above, you can see I am knitting a chocolate colored sock on the outside and peanut butter colored sock on the inside.  On the needles, the stitches alternate between the dark and light colors.  The socks are actually being knit right sides together, so when I am working on the chocolate colored yarn, I am purling and when I am working the peanut butter yarn, I am knitting.  The instructor had us use dark and light contrasting yarns for the purpose of instruction and to learn the technique. 

The technique is just fascinating and it was a great thing to learn in a class setting. I cannot imagine trying to learn this technique just from reading written instructions.  While it's complicated and tricky, it's also incredibly logical and intuitive just so long as one has already become proficient in knitting socks from the cuff down, in the round, and with a heel flap, heel turn, gusset, etc. 

All in all, I am really glad I took this class.  This little mismatched pair is almost done but is full of little problems. I'd like to make another little pair following the pattern instructions a bit more carefully and to re-inforce what I learned in the class.  The big downer about this technique is that it simply is not a good way to knit socks. It is not easier or faster; it's like solving a puzzle.  Our instructor said it best when she described the technique as a "party trick" or a "parlour trick".  I guess hearing that made me feel a bit deflated... as in... "well then, why the heck did I take this class?", but I am tickled to have learn what I learned. 

Now, why am I craving a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup?

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