I have decided it was time to try something new on my circular sock knitting machine. I’ve been making lots of ‘normal’ socks and now that I have the ribber down, it is time to add to the heaping pile of knowledge that comes from learning how to use this hunk of metal.
I found a site online (erlbachergearhart.com) that has free CSM patterns and so I obviously downloaded them all and am slowly working through them. The first one that I’m going to talk about here is called “Fair Isle Heart Sock” and is the first I attempted because of it’s little hearts all the way around the leg. I was inspired by the upcoming February 14th and all it entails.
I started the pattern thinking it would be moderately easy but boy was I wrong. I think I ended up trying the hardest pattern first! It turns out that switching from one colour to the next on a CSM is VERY difficult and frustrating. It requires a lot of counting, a ton of concentration and the complete ability of being ambidextrous.
Just to drive my point home, the 5 rows it takes to make the hearts take about as much time as the rest of the sock. I’m sure if I kept making them it would get faster but until then, it takes about three quarters of an hour just for the hearts.
I made the sock on my 54 cylinder with a ribbed cuff and I used our wool I talked about getting processed in my last few blog posts and I think it turned out great. I really like the pattern even with its difficulties. When I first saw it online I thought the hearts would end up being a little too long and squished for my liking so I tried to alter the pattern but failed. It’s hard when you’re limited to an exact amount of needles. In the end though the hearts look well proportioned though so all is well.
The pattern calls for a mini checkered border on either side of the hearts (top and bottom) as well but that was the most annoying part so I skipped it after failing miserably during the first attempt.
Another difficulty I had was tension. The way that worked best for me was to hold the two different coloured yarns in my left hand separated by fingers so I could easily interchange them and cranked with my right. The problem with holding them though is that the tension was constantly changing depending on how hard I was tugging. If you look closely in the photos you can see what I’m talking about, some of the stitches are looser than others.
As frustrating as this learning curve was, I am happy to have done it and am enjoying my hearts immensely.