Some socks, some answers.

I think the worst thing about knitting a sock a day is going to be the complete lack of blog fodder. I mean, there’s really only so long that you can type “Hey look, another sock” before things get sort of boring for all parties concerned. This time next week you’re all going to be hoping for one of them to spontaneously burst into flame and singe my hair or for a stampede of ravenous goats to break into the living room and buffet-lunch on my stash, just for the interest.

By the way…hey look, another sock.


and, while I’m at it…Hey look, another sock.


I’ll distract you from my incredible monotony of the sock-a-day quest with questions from yesterdays intriguing set of comments. (I really feel the commenting on this blog is top notch. Clever, respectful of others, intelligent and yet a little bit smart-assed. Really top-notch.)

Jennie and Carina had the same thought, and Carina writes:

I do have to ask, though: What did they do with all those socks? Were people so rough on their handknit socks that they needed a new pair that frequently? What about darning them? Odd. It sounds like there should be mounds of socks hidden somewhere.

They sold ’em. One of the reasons that these knitters of yore produced so darned much was because they sold them for money to support their families. Knitting stockings wasn’t something you did if you were well off. You bought them (likely at a fraction of what they were worth) from people who knit them to supplement their incomes. I bet it really lights a fire under your knitting fingers if you’re going to starve your kids if you don’t finish a sock.

Amy writes:

Weren’t all those stockings knit with heavier gauge yarn? So the number of stitches per inch were less than the 8 or 9 you’re getting? If you’re going to compare, it’s got to be apples-to-apples….

Clever knitter, that Amy. Sadly, this only further damns me to the fires of slothful, shiftless indolence since while it is true that the stockings that the knitters made for their own families were often of heavier gauge, the stockings that they were selling were of much finer yarns, and often knit at a gauge that would finish you and I. A staggering 10-20 stitches to the inch or (take a deep breath) even greater. They knit on steel knitting “pins” and these were frequently the equivalent of US size 0000 or smaller. (That’s about 1mm everywhere else.)

Liz notes:

“Children as young as four were being taught to knit at this time in England, and certainly by the time that they were seven or eight they were expected to be making stockings in a way that contributed to the families income.”

This may explain why my friend in Dublin has a dicken of a time finding decent yarn and why the present day population finds her interest in knitting “quaint”.

Yup, in the Sad but True category, there’s lots of people walking around who have a negative relationship with knitting because they associate it with work. These cultures have often dropped knitting faster than Michael Jackson going into a cosmetic surgeon the minute it wasn’t necessary. “Why don’t you knit a sock?” sounds, to these people like “Why don’t you chop logs for fireword?” Knitting as an industry, particularly a low-class industry is a persistent belief in many places. When Joe was on tour in China a couple of years ago he went with a knitting rock’n roller (hi Colleen!) who pulled out her knitting during sound check once or twice. She was immediately asked to stop by the locals in charge of the concert, since they didn’t want her to look bad. They didn’t want her to look low class. She was supposed to be a better class of person than that. Here, knitting is mostly a relaxing pursuit of the idle rich (remembering of course, that comparatively speaking, you’re rich if you’re not knitting for food money) and that’s certainly not the case in many parts of the world.

Jan asks: asks:

I don’t think you’re crazy, I can do a sock a day. It’s just the why so many socks for Knitty Gritty that I don’t get.

Excellent question. Knitty Gritty apparently (I’ve never seen it…we don’t get it on TV up here in Canada.) works like a cooking show. I can’t knit a whole sock in 30 minutes, (I still have some connection to the real world and what is possible in it) so for the purposes of illustration I need to knit a whole bunch of socks at various stages. They call these “step-outs”. (The things I’m learning…)

I need a just cast on sock, a sock with the ribbing, a sock ready to begin the heel, a sock with the flap knit ready for short rows, one with the short rows done ready to pick up for the gussets, one with the gussets picked up ready to do decreases, one ready to begin the toe and one ready to be grafted. (I think. Like I said. Still learning.) Then, for the purposes of inspiration and illustration, I need a bunch of socks that are a variation on the same pattern.

Adds up to a lot of socks. Turns out I’ve likely sunk myself too….since I just got an email from them saying that I shouldn’t be using metal needles (That’s a big deal. I don’t own any dpn’s…never mind 10 pairs (each step out stays on the needles) that aren’t metal. I only like metal for socks.) and that all the step-outs all have to be the same colour. (That , my gentle knitters, is the sort of thing that would have been far more useful to know before I knit the first two out of a colourway I can’t get more of…but c’est la vie.) I don’t even know if I can get enough Fleece Artist in one colourway in time to pull this off. I’ll be calling the producer of the show now, and suggesting to her that I am at my very best when I am a charming renegade making my own rules….you’ll know she didn’t buy it if you see me lying in the road surrounded by half knit socks waiting for a Mack Truck to end it all. A sock a day is one thing. A soul crushing do-over is another.

Rachel H writes:

Ok, so you’ve got the production timeline crazy covered. Good for you. But what about the attention span crazy, I ask you? The fact that yours is, well, short and skittish and a sock is a sock is a sock no matter how many beautiful colours of Fleece Artist you get to knit it in? How long till the call of the Sea Silk or that Kate Gilbert sweater in the new IK wails to you so loudly you think you’ll go mad from the strain of Just Knitting Socks. Or spinning, now that you know you can spin cashmere and Claudia and I both know you have cashmere in your stash just begging to be brought out and fondled and loved and made to flow gently and softly and sublimely through your fingers on its way to becoming beautiful yarn that won’t want to be a sock…

I’m only thinking of you, dear. Really.

You know, I really love Rachel, both in real life and in her career as a professional commenter, and that’s why I’m sure she’s going to understand completely when I come over to her house and smack her a little. Right after I knit another sock.

229 thoughts on “Some socks, some answers.

  1. Be strong honey. You can totally do this and think of all the Christmas presents that will be done. I mean, you will get to keep the socks, right?

  2. There is an old Jewish proverb I’ve come across–if one person calls you an ass, ignore him. If two people call you an ass, ignore them. If three people call you an ass, invest in a saddle. Now I’m not calling you an ass by any means, but I’m afraid that I’m in the ‘are you insane’ group. A sock a day would turn me into a blithering idiot in short order.

  3. One sock is different from another sock. Now if you showed the same sock every day for weeks (as I could do — “See? I knit another three rounds!! You don’t see it? Oh.”), now that would be boring. But a different sock every couple days? I wanna see ’em.

  4. Smack her with the sock. Definitely.
    The metal needle thing is probably so they don’t catch a glare from the studio lights. I bet you could borrow some, just for the show, and then put your beloved metal ones back in the socks when you’ve finished.
    And blow off the nay-sayers, anyway. People don’t read this blog because you do perfectly normal things that anyone else can do, people read this blog because you are a crazy knitting fiend, and that is totally a compliment, I promise.

  5. Assure that producer that people watching a knitting show will get more out of the examples if the step-outs multi-task: cast-on and look at what wonderful yarn you can use; heel flap and look at what an interesting pattern can be created; short-row and see what a varigation can create. All to keep the eventual sock-knitting pro from dropping sock-knitting from a brain freeze! Know what I mean??

  6. This sounds familiar…you should commiserate with Annie Modesitt. She’s gonna be on Knitty Gritty, too, and it seems the dissemination of info from the show folks to her is just as “timely”. Absolutely no knitters on staff, obviously, since there seems to be no understanding of the effort involved??

  7. If they ask you to make them all over, they are not true knitters who would understand the significant amount of time it takes to knit a sock, not to mention the time it takes to pick out what color you want, what size needles to use, materials for the needles (metal, bamboo, birch, etc), and thus this entitles you to completely ignore them and show up for the show with a bunch of various colored socks. I personally would have a hard time knitting socks when there is cashmere to be spun. I can barely convince myself to finish Christmas presents at the moment with kid mohair/merino top sitting at home. Good luck!

  8. You can do it! Besides, no matter what the producer says, I don’t see Vickie Howell being completely in the “follow the rules” category either, so the different colored socks should be fine… People watching won’t get confused just because the sock “magically” changes colors when you go to the next step.

  9. I am in love with that pink sock. Seriously, I want to marry it and have it’s babies.
    What yarn/pattern are you using?

  10. The same color requirement I can understand, though I would not bothered if they were different.
    What I can’t grasp is the no metal rule! I watch the show, and now that you mention it, they always have wood or bamboo. I’ve tried those for socks and wanted to scream. Those of us who know, would appreciate you setting them straight!

  11. Look at this show as an opportunity to get a jump on the holiday knitting insanity — reuse the socks (once you finish the incomplete ones post-show) as gifts *raises hand and volunteers address shamelessly* Same sock, same color, no metal needles — who are they kidding — they’re booking the YarnHarlot here! And to join in the rest — omg, I’m like only 4 or 5 in commenting!

  12. “I am at my very best when I am a charming renegade making my own rules”
    Words to live by.

  13. Oy vey. You need some elves.
    Do they all need to be knit by you? I’ve got plenty of bamboo dpns and perhaps our sock yarn stashes share some colorways in common. Seriously. Lean on your minions, if that’s possible in a way that would make life easier (as opposed to just more complicated). We could Fed-Ex the socks directly to the show, even.

  14. Keep going, Steph and don’t listen to those troublemakers! Keep going, y’hear?
    (I’m saying that because if there is one thing we can all be fairly sure of by this time with you, sweetheart, is that sooner or later, and probably sooner, a great big Heffalump or at the very least a team of Boy Scouts, is going to come bursting into your kitchen and send all dem socks to blazes! It just sort of happens in your life, doesn’t it? I can’t wait. I’ve pulled up a chair (yes, yes, I brought my socks too).)
    Celtic Memory Yarns

  15. That Rachel H, she’s great. She’s got a point though. As far as I’m concerned you can regail us with sock history all you want. It only makes my appreciate my handknit socks more.
    I’ll be at Lettuce Knit next Wednesday night, I can not wait! I’ll be toteing a box of my sock yarn along with me too, at Rachel H’s request!

  16. I wouldn’t be worrying about monotony and lack of writing material: you conditioned your hair with hand lotion! I have every confidence that you will create blog fodder as a matter of course.

  17. I am in love with this particular challenge you’ve set yourself, but I’d be in jail by now if I were in your, er, socks, having throttled the KG staffer who waited until now to mention the “no metal” and “matchy match” aspects of the challenge.
    No idle hands, indeed.

  18. It’s one thing to knit a heck of a lot of socks in a short amount of time. It’s another thing completely to knit the same colourway sock over and over and over and over and over again in a short amount of time.
    I’m going to order a straitjacket for you. You want it in small, or medium?

  19. I don’t think your sock a day habit is odd at all, it could be much worse (like a pack a day). But I’d like to know how many socks you will be giving away as Christmas gifts this year.
    Speaking of Christmas gifts…I know you have a no appliance rule in your house, but what about the appliances that give us more time to knit? I know a crock pot can be used for dying, so we won’t go there. Can we still be a good knitter if we request one of those robot vacuums (So you can be turning a heel and vacuuming at the same time)?

  20. Just tell me the Yarn and needle size, toss together a generic pattern and I will send you a sock or two made to your needed level of completion.
    No body said you had to knit them all yourself

  21. I’m very curious about why no metal needles. While they haven’t been my first choice for sock knitting in the past, I’ve found that they’re the only thing that don’t get bent by my apparently bionic hands if I’m using a needle size smaller than, say, a 1. Very practical little buggers.
    And another question about this Knitty Gritty sock marathon. Why can’t you just use socks you already have sitting in the drawer as your sample socks, for the variation on a theme thing? I’d assume that you’ve amassed quite the collection by now.
    While you’ve been knitting a sock a day, I’ve been packing about a box a day. We move on Sunday. (2 days from now.) Looking at the pile of empty boxes and the house that still has things in it, I’m now realizing that a box a day isn’t nearly as impressive a feat as a sock a day. Rest assured that while you’re slaving away with your wool, trying to meet a deadline, I will be up to my tonsils in cardboard. Perhaps literally, depending on how this whole packing thing goes. I much prefer projects that involve wool, but alas, my wool now lives at the new house. The goal is to eventually join it there.

  22. You could knit them on metal DPNS then replace the metal ones with wood/bamboo ones, if only for the look of it, and then I imagine if you got two or three pairs only you could rotate those needles between each step-out sock. Or something like that…

  23. I think you do just fine with using whatever comes your way to make excellent blog fodder. I can tell because you post many times each month and keep the knitters of the world amused (and informed!) while my blog has exactly one post (from mid-October, I believe). Keep up the fine work while I look for an appropriately available cable TV to watch you on!
    I forgot to tell you my family’s “foreign substance on hair” story. When I was young my mother was of the “makeup and hairspray before leaving the house” crowd. One time she was in a hurry, grabbed the big aerosol can on the shelf in the bathroom, and started spraying. By the time she really looked at what she was doing, her hair was covered in spray window cleaner (think white and foamy). I use this story all the time in first aid class to teach kids about reading labels and storing things properly to prevent poisoning and other accidents.
    Keep those socks a-comin!

  24. Regarding the metal needle problem–I agree with the others–knit them on metal needles and then switch to those short birch needles for the show. Maybe your Lettuce Knit friends can loan you a batch of them, and then they can get a credit on the show which could be cute. I don’t think that socks at various stages being different colours would be a problem–the viewers will “get it”–however I suggest that for the more complicated sections like the (heel flap and gusset)you use socks which are light coloured and not variegated to better show off the stitching and structure. And then, at the end, wow them with those Meg Swansen long dark green and cream socks with the undulating lines around the instep and arch.
    I’m really enjoying your step into history, and think of the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto which has some wonderful examples of early footwear. I think that the shoes in those days were also ill fitting and would wear down socks in no time.
    I inherited a stash of darning yarns to “match” the old lisle stockings and socks as well as darning eggs etc. But these would have been from the 30’s and 40’s.
    Good luck on Knitty Gritty. It sounds like they are really delving into the knitting stuff. Gill Deacon on CBC had a “schtick” on knitting today, but it was the same old stuff about the celebrities who knit and how knitting isn’t for grandmothers anymore. I had hoped for something novel. But they did show how to fix a toilet, and that was useful.
    Marlyce in Windsor, Ontario

  25. I never understood socks either. Why waste that georgious yarn on something that falls apart so fast. How about a sweater, a scarf, a hat, a jacket, you name it. Socks? They are unappealing, bulky, but that is just me.
    I love your blog Stephanie, your lace scarf is absolutely breathtaking.

  26. Renee the Sequel,
    Better make it a small. She could wriggle outta the medium. And frisk her for dpn’s first…didn’t she write somehting about being able to use one to pick a bathroom lock at a party?

  27. Oh, to listen to the, er, conversation between you and that KG producer, hey, you could charge admission and donate to ‘the’ charity. sheesh.
    Stand your ground, missy, be dauntless! (You realize I’ve written that before..more than once, …you’re just always getting yourself in the thick of it,eh?)

  28. They’ll never know *who* knit the sock, couldn’t you enlist a pal or two to help knit up a few of the step outs?

  29. Time to raid Joe’s stash of socks. Doesn’t he like them all exactly alike? Unravel them back to each stage and voila, socks in various stages of completion. You can steam out the kinks of the unravelled yarn and re-ball it. (Sorry, Joe.)

  30. Let me tell you a funny story about Knitty Gritty. Well, not really funny….but I am NOT bitter.
    I emailed them a few months ago about an idea for the show. The idea involved the fact that hand made stitchmarkers were so hot right now. I told them that I had started my own business, KnitWit Momma Stitchmarkers, , and I would be happt to send them some.
    Well, they emailed me, said it would be a great knitbit, and they would get back to me. They did do the knitbit, just left me out of it.
    They did what was best for them, and I understand that…. but sure made me a bit mad ๐Ÿ™‚
    Of course I am over it now ๐Ÿ˜‰

  31. See, now I’m sort of starting to feel guilty. I’ve enslaved my friends to test the patterns and make the step-outs for my episode. Does that make me evil? I think you need to start farming this stuff out so you can lounge on the sofa eating bon-bons and watching Oprah all day, just like I do!

  32. Oh my. The idea that they would tell you about the socks all needing to be the same color AFTER you started! What a downer! I know you can knit a sock a day, but to have to do all of them in the *same* yarn? Don’t they know that you’re the Yarn HARLOT? You’re wanton with yarn? Are they NUTS??? I agree that you should do what you want and *don’t* do those socks over.
    Be strong and determined.

  33. Tell that producer she needs to send you ten sets of those Lantern Moon ebony needles to replace all of your metal ones. Fair is fair, after all.
    They’ll whine about “budgets” but if those shows weren’t lucrative they wouldn’t do them.

  34. I thought along the same lines as tunde until I actually tried on a pair of perfectly fitting knit socks. They’re absolutely -wonderful-, and they’re not monotonous to work on like scarves are (or as big a commitment as a sweater). I’m a big fan of hats and socks as “simple background knits”.

  35. What do you mean you can’t have metal needles?!? Its the only kind of dpn I own! Do they think you are less likely to poke your eye out with bamboo? That wood hurts less when you sit on it? Are they truly worried about the clinky noises that metal needles make and that their microphones will actually pick up the sound? If so, they need a different sound guy.
    Good luck to you on the show. Sorry I won’t get to watch, but I don’t have TV at all. BTW–How many more days do you have before you go?

  36. I’m really surprised the show asks for same colour socks, from what I heard it was crafty and original and having dozen of different designs and coloured sock would show just how original and chaotic you can go with socks. As for the DPNs, can’t you get marinade sticks cut to look like needles to hold your stitches for the show. You don’t really need them to be super solid just for the show right?
    Oh and also, looking at new socks everyday is not boring at all! But I agree it doesn’t make the most fascinating post titles ๐Ÿ˜‰

  37. Rachel, I suspect, is a siren. Spinning hadn’t really occured to me until I read what she so beautifully wrote, “Cashmere..gently…softly…sublimely through your fingers…” Very intriguing!
    In the meantime, jab the producer with the metal needles you’re not supposed to use since he neglected to mention that rule at the outset. Can’t wait to see you on DIY!

  38. Safety first! All those little wooden needles in those tiny sizes are highly fragile and could cause someone to lose an eye AND give splinters upon breakage and be a huge liability for the show-you have to think of them of course and so it is just not acceptable to use wooden needles-see how easy that was? ๐Ÿ™‚ (If I can be of further assistance in justifying anything for you, let me know!!)

  39. I guess I understand the need for your steppin out socks (potential cool pattern name!) to be the same yarn, but…why do they care what needles you use? Seriously. They’re your socks and you prefer metal dpns. Do they think their viewers aren’t bright enough to know they don’t have to use metal needles? Or will the glare of the overhead lights cause you to accidentally fall off the sound stage? (Yikes. Maybe you should take that under consideration.)
    I vote for the herd of ravenous goats–or a pack of fiber-crazed squirrels.

  40. i’m totally confused. why don’t they want you to use metal needles? are they afraid someone will be poked? or do they make a glare in the lights? that seems a bit bizarre… not to mention it seems impossible, totally and completely insane, to try to do a sock a day on bamboo. those british kids were using metal, i bet. early addis?

  41. Wow, I hadn’t even thought of that…the old “just whip until stiff peaks form, like this one that I happen to have right here all ready made…” trick.
    At least you don’t have to worry about the oven being on, though, when you reach in to get your “et voilร , a completed sock is just about ready to have the last stitch cast off” example. Which may, in fact, explain why I have yet to finish a sock…
    You want to borrow my Universal Sign of Danger sticker?

  42. I don’t mind all the socks at all. I’m still trying make it through my first pair so see all your variations might help inspire me to dust off my WIP and turn that heel. (Oops, small Freudian slip, I typed “hell” instead of heel…)

  43. Wow–I got a mention and a quote. I’m blushing over here! Eeek!
    I wasn’t clear, but I was thinking of the people who were buying the socks. I mean, how many socks did they need to buy? On the other hand, I hadn’t taken the poorly fitting shoes idea into account. You can only darn a sock so much before it’s just not worth it anymore. Hmmm. I wonder what was the average number of pairs the average person owned until the 1940s or so. We know most people didn’t own many clothes in general, but maybe they owned more socks.
    Oh, and screw the producers, etc. Make the socks you need and make them deal with the needles issue and use the different yarns as product placement for advertisers. That’s all just crazy–you can’t make 10 or 12 pairs exactly the same on needles you hate. Even the sock knitters of old didn’t do that.

  44. With that many socks to knit why knit adult socks. Just knit kids socks. I have always heard that the camera adds 10 pounds so those kids socks should look like adult socks on the television.

  45. Why in the world can’t you use metal needles? Good grief. Let them provide the needles their sponsor is pushing if they want you to use something else — and I do believe that is the underlying issue. Maybe you can explain to Knitty Gritty viewers that there are different needles for different knitters and that YOU like METAL. Steph, you may want to decide that you really don’t need Knitty Gritty as much as they need you!
    I no longer watch these knitting shows. The few I saw were poorly done and taught some very poor techniques — all the more reason you need to stand your ground and ask them why they asked you to teach something if they’re going to dictate how you do it. Who’s teaching this lesson anyway? Just my 2 cents.

  46. Do all these ‘step outs’ have to be adult sizes? Like, most people aren’t going to notice that your ribbing is only 40 sts, but your heel flap example is on a 60st sock?
    I was going to suggest putting them on waste yarn instead of non-metal needles (you do know it’s cause of the glare—so no highly polished wood ones either), but I guess you’ll need to be able to drop the first one and start working on the next, LOL.

  47. I understand completely. I’ll leave the door open, put a log on the fire and have a glass of Merlot waiting for you.

  48. What are they – the TSA? No metal needles? I’m not fond of non-metal.
    Steph – pardon me for asking – but from the photos, it looks like you’re knitting PAIRS? It seems that they are only expecting one at each stage, and if they are all the same color, then it makes sense as a progression – but they should certainly have said this up front. In any case, if you’re thinking you’re knitting a PAIR for each stage – you can cut your work in half.
    Even if you stay with multiple colors, you’ll have time to knit the mate for them to be presents before the holidays – right?

  49. I’m with Tina. Is that pink sock old enough to be courted yet? It’s fabulous. Please, please, please post a link to the pattern.

  50. I for one am thoroughly enjoying the sock history. And for the record, I do all my socks on wooden needles. They are more delicate and you have to be more careful with them, but they hurt less when you accidentally poke someone on the train. Also, metal hurts my hands.
    I agree, the metal needles would probably catch a glare from the studio lights. But I think its perfectly reasonable to ask them to provide you with some wooden stand-ins. Stunt needles, if you will.

  51. From the beginning, I haven’t doubted that you could do the sock-a-day thing…And I think Rachel H deserves what’s coming to her…j/k

  52. Poor Harlot. You not only have to be faithful to the idea of knitting only socks for a while, but socks in one colorway (when did “colorway” become a word?). You’re going to be so sick of socks that you’re going to have to go barefoot for a month, not a good idea in the Canadian winter. Your publicist should arrange for you to visit Arizona now; the weather is lovely.

  53. That makes perfect sense to me – the step-outs are all supposed to represent the same sock. But it would have been nice if they told you.
    See, now that’s where I would lose it. A sock a day and all in the same color.
    Do they really expect you to provide all your own needles as well? That seems like something that should go in your contract in the future, like those rock stars who said put a bowl of M&Ms in my dressing room but take out all the orange ones.

  54. I like the pink sock yarn. And you can do it. Just tell the producer, who obviously doesn’t knit, that knitters will understand.

  55. I totally think you’ll be able to talk about socks for days and weeks on end. I’m still thinking about them. I’m sure if you can write about socks for two days you can write about them for twenty.
    This also reminded me of something I heard on the public radio the other day. 365 Days 365 Plays. The playwright wrote a play a day for a year.

  56. Hey, I’m fine with seeing socks! Even identical ones. Take close-ups of the fine points for all us newbie-er sock knitters who’ve been sockBorged by you. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Your call re renegadeness sounds good to me. Don’t these guys have a standard handout figured out yet? Grief.
    For those wondering about metal needles… Intense lights + TV cameras + shiny metal = random, super-bright, horrendously distracting flashes. Imagine an intermittent strobe light at just the wrong times. When focusing on a close-up. Yeah. But you’d think they’d have– Well, see ‘handout’ above. Although Stephanie, you could simply look down your nose at them (I know you can do it, height doesn’t matter), and say calmly, “Well, I am a Knitting Goddess. You have to expect *some* lightning.” [eg] More practically, yeah, have *them* provide the non-metal needles. And someone who actually knows how to knit to transfer the socks to them while you’re in makeup or something.
    Now quick, call for knitting volunteers at a Lettuce Knit Knitty Gritty Sock-In! Help the Harlot! Save Our Stephanie! Don’t Jinx Joe’s Sox! Speed Steph’s Sox! Knit Grit Some Wit! Stick Sox On Sticks! Vague VIP’s, Verify for Veritas! Top Throwers Trot Through Ten Toes! (Somebody shut me up…)

  57. I have no problem with all socks as I love knitting socks. I don’t understand why it can’t be metal needles? What difference does it make? Are they promoting a wooden needle manufacturer? Do metal needles not photograph or come across on video well?

  58. Oh, nooooo!
    I hate to break the bad news, but what you need is one sock, with the cuff in one color, the leg in another, the heel in a third, the gussets in the fourth, the foot in a fifth, and the toe in same one as the heel. This will illustrate the architecture and sequence of socks generally. I do top down, but just reverse if you’re doing toe-up.
    After that, you need only a single sock for each part of the sequence of knitting a sock: one that you cast on the cuff and knit a little; one with the cuff done so that you can begin working the leg; one with the leg done so that you can begin working the heel flap; one with the heel flap done so you can show the pickup around; one with the pickup done so that you can begin working the gusset; one with the gusset done so that you can begin working the foot; one with the foot done so that you can begin working the toe; and the last on which you can finish the toe.
    Boring as it may be, the colors on the partial socks should match the colors on the complete sock. By the time you finish them all, you’ll have multiple pairs, all matching.
    And for purposes of television, they should be plain yarns in fairly light or bright but definitely different colors. Variegateds and darks won’t show up well for the camera. And all different colors and styles will just confuse viewers.
    I have an illustrative sock photograph that I will e-mail separately.

  59. You could always subcontract your sock. You must have local friends that can help. Do your kids knit socks? (Now that you’re on the floor laughing hysterically…)

  60. If Julia Child didn’t have to be consistent with her stepouts, you sure don’t; she understood, as do you, as do we all, that there is way more to be learned from the exceptions than from the rules. You’ve already got several days’ worth of lemons; now go for it and make lemonade out of ’em. As Diane H. says above, you are now set up to offer illustrations not only of different stages of sockmaking but also of the different behaviors of different types of yarn in different contexts (hmmm, and while you’re at it you can wear your rue with a difference). Just make it clear to them that that’s value added! Don’t kill yourself doing what the producer wants (or rather turns out to have wanted); make the producer want what you do.

  61. I see why you love the commentors — all wisdom resideth there. You just have to sort it out. Nae probelmo, I’ve done it for you. The person who said “Lantern Moon ebony doublepoints” was right on the (ahem) money, and if they won’t buy them for you I’ll bet they’d be deductible as a business expense. Iris was the other star, with her point that you don’t need to knit pairs, after the first two, but partial socks — or sock, since they’re each supposed to represent the same sock at different stages. So the whole project’s just going to go faster and faster, as you do less and less on each step-out (knitting step-ins would be more likely to up their ratings, though.)
    In any case, the boring bit is probably done even as you read this and chuckle tolerantly at us making suggestions you’d long since figured out — aren’t we adorable, thinking we’re helping? And the dazzling-range socks will get so far ahead over the weekend that you’ll have plenty of time to spin on Tuesday. For the gansey. Which isn’t done. Wheras the shawl is. And the gansey probably needs more yarn (didn’t we figure out that the gansey probably needs more yarn?) Especially if you haven’t turned on the furnace yet — willowy Joe is probably getting colder faster this year…
    Rachel, make mine Shiraz. I’ll bring the 70% Green & Black dark chocolate. She can take us both out at once.

  62. Wow, sounds like those Knitty Gritty people are very demanding when it comes to their socks. I say you just go on with your bad self and if they don’t like the socks, well then they can knit the new ones in between scenes ๐Ÿ˜‰ On some tiny little 0000 needles at 20 stitches / inch.

  63. Who makes these rules? I don’t see a problem making the socks in different colors. I know they are all suppposed to be the “same” sock, but cooking shows get away with having a second cake waiting in the oven, and it’s usually obvious that they’re different. (Oh look, here’s a baked cake waiting in the oven for me to show you…)

  64. I will personally write to Knitty and tell them that the ONLY reason I added their show to my TIVO was because you were going to be on it. Furthermore, I could care less if your “step outs” are all the same colorway! The novelty yarn scarf dude had all sorts of “tripe” up there!! (I am not a yarn snob, just some of his stuff was a bit too froo froo for me!)

  65. “No metal needles” is probably because the sponsors listed at the end of the program don’t carry them. I’d guess that they wouldn’t like my stash of nylon circulars either.

  66. All the “rules” upfront would have been a really nice way for the producers to go with this situation. I’d tell them too bad – it is what it is – and it isn’t like we don’t all know you knit a bunch of socks ahead of time. There’s no secret here. And Rachel – not so helpful here – really.

  67. Holy crap you’re going to have a lot of dpns by the time this is over! Get on with your bad self and your sock a day. I wish I was able to accomplish such a feet…haha, I made myself laugh:P

  68. Rachel’s comment and your response made my day, seriously (it’s been a very bad day). Don’t you just love a good smart-ass? Congrats on Knitty Gritty, can’t wait to see the episode!

  69. When I was looking for wool in Ireland and abso-bloomin-lutely stymied for why I couldn’t find any, I was informed that the English had one of those rules that sheep couldn’t be raised for wool for sale in Ireland, thus there never got to be much of a business.
    I always like to be able to blame somebody.

  70. 1) I think the idea is that it looks like you are knitting one sock in the 30 minutes even though you really have several in various stages of completion. I think you should insist that they don’t match precisely to stop living that lie. Surely the point is that viewers see all the important stages, not that they get the insane notion you could knit one in 30 minues.
    2) if the commentor before me is correct about the metal needles, ask the producers to send you 10 sets of non-metal needles from their sponsor by courier so you can put the part finished socks on the right sort of needles. You’ll have to knit a couple of rows with non-metal needles in the program but there is no reason not to do the pre-knitting on metal. And certainly no reason to pay for those needles (or the yarn for that matter. Surely they could send you some yarn.)

  71. You know, there’s only 1 way I like my Yarn Harlot, and that’s renegade!!
    Also, all these pairs of socks that you’re knitting? You could auction them off for Tricoteuses Sans Frontiรจres. Well, unless you want to use them for Christmas presents.
    Just a thought on a very hectic, busy, rainy Friday here in NH.

  72. Okay, I wasn’t familiar with Knitty Gritty so I just went to their website and found this:
    “Wearing knitting on your feet might not sound that exciting — until you realize weโ€™re not talking about making socks but about fashionable kicks that are sure to set you apart from the rest of the pack.”
    They’re dissing socks! You gotta show them how wrong they are! Power to the sock knitters!

  73. Tell the producer that you will be quite happy to transfer the socks-in-progress to wooden DPNs should she choose to provide them. Also, point out that knitters are a fickle lot and that, by having your step-ins knit in different yarns, you will intrigue the knitting community far more than one sock knit 10 times from the same yarn.
    FYI, in cooking, the step-ins are called swap-outs. And, even in cooking shows, the swap-outs that come out of the oven are not always in the same type of pan that they were in when they went into the oven. Most shows presume a certain amount of intelligence on the part of the viewer that no, you can’t roast a turkey in half an hour. Same should apply with socks.
    Either than or just bring your wheel and your cashmere and tell ’em you’re on strike.

  74. I checked our DISH, and they carry the DIY channel on the DishFAMILY package, but not the Top 60 nor the Top 120, and then again on the Top 180. Now isn’t that the strangest thing? Didn’t you think that these different packages just kept adding on channels? But nooooo…., they actually DELETE some?!? So no chance for us to marvel at all the stages of Yarn Harlot Socks….

  75. Don’t look now. but Joe is behind you secretly relishing the fact that you will have so many DPN’s. He is thinking that the next time you rent a car perhaps just perhaps it will be one of THOSE DPN’s that is lost and you just won’t care..

  76. I’m sorry. My brain got stuck on the ‘no metal needles’ part.
    Um, question? {raises hand tentatively, knowing it is probably a really stupid question the most Fashionable Knitters will scoff at} What’s wrong with metal needles?!?!

  77. If the need is only for a ton of socks and they don’t all have to match, why not ask to borrow back the hundreds of socks you’ve knitted for gifts and use them? I’m sure everyone you’ve ever given socks to would be thrilled at the idea of their own socks being on TV!

  78. A couple of weeks ago my family went to Barrie, Ontario on vacation. We live in Indiana. It was cold and being newly addicted to knitting I said “I am cold. I need to knit a scarf!”
    I had my husband look on his phone for the address of Lettuce Knit so we could go there when we were in Toronto. He thought (once again) that I might be crazy but he came up with an address. I asked him if it was the new address because I know the store had recently moved. He assurred me it was. Guess what?! It was the old address and we drove up and down the street but never found the new and improved Lettuce Knit. I even stood out on the one way street asking everyone who passed by if they knew where the store had moved to, and NOT ONE PERSON CLAIMED TO KNOW! Perhaps they thought I was a lunatic and they were saving the secret for themselves.
    I had grand plans to buy yarn for a scarf and to get some new sock yarn, as I really love making socks. I had dreams of knitting a sock on the way home. Alas, no yarn could be bought because we couldn’t find the store. This fact nearly reduced me to tears along with my children whose little eyes could only peer out the van window at the crazy lady on the street begging for directions to the yarn store. I knew it was so close I could almost smell the wool fresh from the sheep.
    So, if you have too many socks, I would graciously accept a pair that would replace the ones I didn’t get to knit all the way home.
    I don’t know who to blame, my husband or his inability to find his way around the internet. Our “resort” in Barrie did not have internet access so his phone was all we had for access when we were in Toronto.

  79. I agree with Heather. I was thinking that when you’re done with the socks that you could either auction them off or give them away as prizes for Tricoteuses Sans Frontiรจres!
    Maybe knowing that you will eventually give the socks away for a good cause will help you to knit the 8,000 socks in the same colorway.

  80. Knitty Gritty is in big trouble, I think, with these revelations to the yarnharlot knitting community. We demand respect! Keep Hollywood out of knitting! Metal knitting needles came before television cameras.

  81. ARRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! Okay…I have pirate socks to make for my boyfriend’s father for x-mas (mens size 10-huge feet) I’m stressing out because I’m experiencing technical difficulties with the pirate motifs around the leg. I’m stranding and I’m trying to get the strands loose enough so the sock will fit over the heel, but tight enough so the stitches will be nice and tidy. So MS. Knitting Godess…I bow down to your ability to knit a sock a day…and awknowledge (as this is your blog) your bragging rights…but if your blog is now going to consist of picture after picture of your wonderful…perfect….socks I will go crazy. I love your socks…you are the knitting master…but please publish something else tomorrow…I must have my daily dose of harlot…but I can’t abide the evil reminder of people who can knit a sock a day….

  82. First of all, I giddy with excitement and honored by being quoated!(sp?) Hehehehehe
    Ok, they should all be in same color, but did they say SAME YARN? They could all be say blue, but not the same yarn, or all pink but not the same yarn, yes?
    Metal needles will reflect the studio lights and cause glare, so that I actually understand. I personally preffer bamboo for socks, even if most of my dbl pts are in fact metal. The bamboo, or wood which is my second choice, are easier on my hands when my FMS flairs up.
    Now I am gonna go giggling cause of the quoate!

  83. You know, next time you could delegate. We commenters could have bushels of socks prepared in time for your deadline… Just sayin’
    Also, two things that contributed to the need for more socks in the olden days and two things balanced them out a bit on quantity needed. +1) Shoes didn’t fit as well so there was more uneven wear. +2) Laundry often consisted of simmering in a cauldron of water and scrubbing on a washboard with strong lye soap. -1) People weren’t as inclined to change their socks as often (some were totally against washing their bodies!). -2) Unless you were in the elite high class, you made do with a pretty standard outfit with at most a few changes of clothes.
    Stockings for the elite? A riding habit for a brisk ride before breakfast, a nice dress for spending the day at home, a fancier dress for going visiting in the afternoon, and a ball gown for the night’s entertainment = four pairs that day. Stockings, luckily, could be worn with multiple outfits, unlike the gowns that were often worn once in public and then either given to the maid or disguised with a new collar and trim or some such.
    Knitting with 0000’s is fun. I have a couple of sets. Wouldn’t want to do it for a living, though!

  84. As if I didn’t admire you before out of all reason, the fact that you PREFER metal needles I can only whisper in awe! I use bamboo because those wicked little metal ones slide out of my sadly-inexperienced hands and socks and cause great fits of weeping which seriously alarms the cats. But again, if I’m going to knit socks at one of my reenactments I’ll HAVE to use metal ones, which were in wide use in the 18th century here in the Colonies. That’s why I only knit toques at events, cheekily (and erroneously) using bamboo. It gets worse: when I’m safely returned to the 21st century I put ’em on circulars but please, don’t blow my cover. Rachel H’s comments about temptation got to me too — your pattern that you used for that beautiful variegated scarf is delicious and EASY and I have two of them started in other yarns. I am a weak, weak woman and steal a few minutes on them in between the toques. How does one develop Discipline, s’il-vous plait????

  85. Rachel H’s comment had me drooling; my daughter would have called it ‘yarn-porn’ which is very appropiate when you think about it!
    Can you ask the Nice People who make the programme if they feel like up-loading it to u-tube? Very Nice People? I’d love to see it too.
    Rachel F

  86. The commenters speaking about the studio lights are correct–you’ll look like a bunch of sparks on screen and it will be difficult to photograph individual stitches, which I assume is the point of the demo. I agree with the others that you should ask them to send you a bunch of bamboo or wood needles to replace your metal ones since they’ve been so darned tardy with their demands!

  87. If anyone can makes socks-socks-socks day after day, day-in, day-out into great blog-fodder, it is you! But if you do come up empty some day, I always enjoys the shares on what other family members are up to – just sayin’ Kabira

  88. OMG You have to knit step puts for them ALL in the same yarn, thats about 7-8 socks at different stages ALL in the same YARN.(already said that –just can’t imagine it) LORDY the same yarn in 7 socks would be enough for me to step out of the whole gig. On top of that no metal needles ! WHAT ??? Do any of the people at Knitty Gritty knit socks ? YOU can still do it though –you are the “HARLOT” so just GO for it and show them .

  89. Considering the whack schedule they had and have Knitty Gritty on (I can’t watch unless I tape it), I’m pretty sure the DIY PTB and producers don’t knit.
    And I’m wondering if the next surprise the producer will tell you is to knit up a step-out on larger size needles & yarn for the camera to pick up. I’ve seen this done on previous eps. They were even done on different colored yarn due to the weight & needle change, so I’m wondering why the producer is insisting on the same color.

  90. Okay, now I’m sure we all want to know what they have against metal needles… and can’t you just knit them all on metal needles and slip them onto wooden ones right before the show? Just don’t tell them. ๐Ÿ™‚

  91. I HAVE seen knitty-gritty – and the hostess is lovely, but seems to have very recently acquired knitting experience. She interrupts the guests a lot – so much so that contacting their website for more info is almost always a necessity to complete the valuable info that she cuts short during the show.
    I hate seeing “famous knitters”, whom I admire getting cut off by this gal.
    Be strong Stephanie!! Don’t take it personally! Talk louder than her!
    They fill up the time that should be spent enjoying the glow of the famous knitter with these lame “knit-bits”, where hostess tells you that you can straighten circ.s by warming them up,
    or other “not useful to the information at hand but the producers know so little about the subject and think that anything slower than an MTV subject change pace is too slow” tidbits about knitting.
    Sorry to be so negative – there are beautiful colors on the show and any exposure for knitting is good exposure and more than it used to get.

  92. Ok Steph, I don’t say much usually, but I’m from Boston (very near) and my Yankee/Italian mouth is going to run off….. ready?….. ok here goes….
    I’ve SEEN Knitty Gritty – I no longer watch it (I will, however, watch your episode happily). In my, not asked for but given anyway, opinion, they should be kissing your “arse” for even BEING on the show, never mind telling you you can’t use metal needles and the socks all have to be the same colorway – I think you should just be your Harlot”y” self and wear the birks and use the metal needles and use some wild colorways ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’ll be the BEST show they’ve ever had ๐Ÿ™‚

  93. I hope you started with the to-be-grafted sock, so you can progressively go “ha! I think I’ll be done… NOW, in the middle!” Good luck. =D

  94. Aha!!! Now I get it. I vote for the “charming renegade” approach. And who owns so many DPNs? No wait–replace them with bamboo BBQ skewers (shortened, of course)–tee hee. Sadly we don’t have cable TV so I won’t get to see this one either.
    Love ya still.

  95. (In the “Yeah, what she said” category)
    What’s with the no metal thing? The closest I can guess is that they will be too shiney and sparkly under the lights. Or, is it an evil plot by the wood marketing board? We may never know. I’ve actually gone the other compared to other knitters. I started out on wood and switched to metal for almost everything. Strange.

  96. I haven’t had a chance to read the comments, so maybe this has already been said a hundred times, but, how about we give you some help with all this sock knitting especially if you have to do it over? Be like Santa – get some elves.
    I hereby volunteer my elf self…

  97. All I can say is you ROCK! But seriously, size 0000 needles? What are they, tiny pieces of wire? My fingers cramp up on size 1 or 2 needles, I can’t imagine knitting with size 0000 needles. Then again *I’m not worthy* (bowing to my ancestors!)

  98. myabe Franklin’s friend Delores and the sock yarn stash at his house will come to your house and then …. and then…i can only keel over in laughter!

  99. I have much faith in your knitting, Steph. I have seen you knit socks fast enough to make my jaw sag a wee bit, and that was while giving a darn great Q & A session. If I can knit up my first sock ever in 3 days, I know you’d handle the cottage home industry just fine.
    As for the Knitty Gritty producers, waiting this long to tell you the parameters of what they expect is unprofessional. They work down the block from my apartment, and I can smack them around if you would like. Just let me know and I’ll be on them like white on rice.

  100. I don’t have any insightful ideas on dealing with the show stuff but I wanted to let you know that even if it was all socks, all the time I’d definitely still be here. Seeing all the socks in fantastic yarns is here is what made me want to give sock knitting a go. I’m currently about halfway through the second sock of my first pair. I’m hoping to finish it soon because I’m 8 weeks from due on my first baby and I want those socks to come with me to the hospital!

  101. Well, I thought that it was odd your socks weren’t the same colorway. I guess I should have shared that tidbit. I always thought the show’s staff knit all that stuff, which I found impressive. Now I’m even more impressed knowing each designer does it. You should enlist the help of some knitting friends. (Just for the record, I am a very poor sock knitter.)

  102. Hey, Steph, just wondering what angle you are taking with the socks. You mention short rows and flaps so are you demonstrating a flap heel with gusset or a short row heel?
    I am wondering only because Knitty Gritty already did a show on knitting socks with a flap/gusset heel, top down, with drawstring toe.
    Here is the url to the info about that particular episode with Karen Baumer:,2046,DIY_18180_36323,00.html
    I only know this because I learned to knit from a book as a pre-teen and was never successful knitting anything with no resources, no mentor and nothing but red-heart yarn from Wal-Mart (very, very small town).
    I revisited knitting a few times throughout life, but when I was a new mother, thirty-something, and hankering for a new hobby (I had dabbled in traditional hooked rugs, crochet and quilting, but either they were hard to do with a baby in the house or just didn’t “do” it for me)I ran across Knitty Gritty.
    I watched the show about socks in utter fascination about 20 times and thought, “I can totally do that!” Went to my LYS and bam! I was a knitter and a totally successful one at that. Knitty Gritty changed my life! Now if I go a day without knitting, I am a wreck!
    Anyway, just wondering. I would be totally happy to help make your swapouts. I’m a darn good sock knitter.
    Might I suggest you just assign some folks to make the swapouts and ask them to make them on Crystal Palace bamboo in a certain size(most everyone I know has them). We could all send our projects to you post haste and you could send the needles back to us later. They probably aren’t going to compensate you for all those needles necessary for the swapouts, are they?
    I would love to help,
    Jen in Indiana aka Socknitster

  103. Your story about knitters dropping knitting the minute it wasn’t “necessary” any more reminds me of a story I read about spinning. Apparently many women gleefully chopped up their spinning wheels for firewood as soon as it was possible to get a reliable supply of millspun yarn or mill-wover fabric. ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s why, when I do spinning demos, I tell people that in the 21st century, it’s FUN to be a handspinner. In the 17th century, not so much.

  104. why not contact one of the companies that sell the wooden/bamboo dpns and tell them what you are going to do with them. They will be thrilled to provide them for you–free advertising.
    I also think that you can send these little socks out to helping friends to help you out knit a few of them or up to a certain step-out.
    Knit the whole sock with your current needles and just change them to the wooden ones when you are on the set.

  105. Yay, rams! I’ve been waiting for you to remind our beloved Harlot of the gansey. Clearly, you’ve been on hiatus…or rather, waiting for just the right moment…

  106. So you got the same email I did, Stephanie, from Knitty Gritty . . . we must have the same producer. I thought about you and your many colors and what you might be going to do about it. I suggest that you point out to them that in order to live up to your name Yarn Harlot you cannot possibly be monogamous through such a long series of socks. Also, if they want wooden needles, just tell them to buy them and have them there for you to replace your needles with. You need not knit with them. And – phone Kathryn at Fleece Artist and she will head out to the dye house herself and make you more yarn, I am sure. Well, back to my own step-outs — all in the same color I might add, not being quite so rebellious as you are. I haven’t even counted how many I need – I am just starting with the whole sock, and working my way down, so that in the end the step outs will seem to go really fast.

  107. Snort. I’m so with Rachel on this, and please don’t come and smack me too. I totally wish I was cable-ready enough to receive whatever station Knitty-Gritty is on, but no. I’m in Rochester, NY with a pair of rabbit-ears and a dial-up internet connection, alas. When it’s all cheaper, I’m so there. But for now, I’m knitting by the fireside, listening to NPR.

  108. Tell that producer that I TIVO every episode of Knitty Gritty and one: I won’t anymore if they work you into an early death and two: why can’t they show some new shows?
    Hold onto your sanity. It can’t be any worse than the Knitting Olympics.

  109. When I told my s2 yr old daughter about you knitting a sock a day(I left out the Knitty Gritty thing)Her comment was…
    “Is YarnHarlot doing ‘IT’ again?”
    I thought you might appreciate that comment.

  110. First time posting . . . Hi Harlot! Hi everyone!
    Okay, the folks at Knitty Gritty must know about Second Sock Syndrome, right? So don’t they realize that by requiring you to knit all of those exemplars alike they will be inducing, like, Eighth Sock Syndrome? I mean, that sounds downright hazardous to one’s health. Plus, given that their audience is made up of knitters, why in the world do they think we want to see the same yarn over and over we could see a bunch of different yarns?
    P.S., you have inspired me to commit to knitting a sock a week for the next 3 weeks to make a birthday deadline. That must make me an uber slacker.

  111. I just want to know how you get your socks to look smaller at the top…they must stay up better. C’mon, ‘fess up. Is it smaller needles? Different pattern? Your socks look lithe and lean. Mine look a little slouchy.
    But I love knitting socks. WE’re moving right now, but I stuck my sock in my purse to work on just in case I have a couple of minutes when the husband isn’t looking!!!!

  112. I just want to know how you get your socks to look smaller at the top…they must stay up better. C’mon, ‘fess up. Is it smaller needles? Different pattern? Your socks look lithe and lean. Mine look a little slouchy.
    But I love knitting socks. WE’re moving right now, but I stuck my sock in my purse to work on just in case I have a couple of minutes when the husband isn’t looking!!!!

  113. having had to do step-outs for quilt mag photography I can totally identify … they want them all to be in the same fabric as some quilt I finished x months [ or years ] ago and the fabric is no longer around … I substitute something similar and they can like it or lump it basically.

  114. Don’t smack Rachel – make her knit some of the step-outs!
    Is that beautful blue with rainbows yarn (above the pink sock picture) Fleece Artist? If so – what color? number? I must have some!

  115. oh do i feel your pain! i’m filming for one of the sister shows, crafters across america, in two weeks, and i’ve got to do step outs of the fabric collage portrait i made for them. it’s like doing painstakingly similar collages, and just going a step further with each one.
    i’m sorry we don’t live closer together b/c i’ve promised myself that after i finish the next one, i get to sit down and have a beer. or two ๐Ÿ™‚ bet you’re starting to feel that same way!

  116. me again … forgot to add … I’d tell ’em if they want you to have all matching non-meatal needles then they can provide them … You can knit on your own needles and then just switch them across before they tape the show right?

  117. Uh oh Steph…in regards to the Knitty Gritty show and its requirements: you’d better check out Annie Modesitt’s blog ( of 11/14 where she was all set to knit steps of a hat & dog sweater in certain yarns that she’d received from a manufacturer and then the show called and told her that the yarn colors she’d used in her samples were too bright to look good under the camera lights and she had to pick all new colors!
    Just to be on the safe side, you’d better have your color choices approved before you knit any farther!

  118. You should get to make the rules for the socks. Any color, any needles. I have seen swap outs that aren’t the same color/size ect. I am sure that the other people watching will get that they are the same thing. (we are pretty smart, us knitters)… off to stuff my bag with yarn for or trip! (I am feeling rather like the harlot herself)

  119. I have handled some 18th Century stockings (which go over the knee) with my very own white-gloved hands in musuems. From my own research, and that of several friends, I can tell you that a typical handknit stocking (from the period when the knitting frame was invented) was of wool (cotton and linen were also used), knit VERY tightly, for the size yarn, and was 10-14 sts per inch (12 was fairly common).
    I do not believe that someone knitting in their spare time could knit a stocking per day…a shepherd type, sure, or someone whose family role was income from stockings, but not the average housewife.
    You have knit TIGHTLY to get those stockings done! But, on the other hand, “done” was clearly the goal…there were lots of mistakes in period knitting! And these stockings were shaped, up the back of the leg, on either side of a seam stitch (purled or garter stitch seam stitch), and had garter stitch or some such variation at the top, not ribbing. Knitted in clocks at the ankles (both sides of each ankle), designs in purl stitches.
    So, although Rutt is the definitive book on the subject, there are a few mistakes in it, and I think 6 pr per week for an average handknitter is one of the mistakes (I could be wrong, but I would need convincing!).

  120. Okay, I read through all the comments, and nobody’s mentioned this thought yet: if they want all the shots of all the socks to be in the same yarn and pattern, why can’t you have one, just one sock, knitted up, and bit by bit frog or tink it back, reinsert the needles, and have the cameras shoot it from there, and then go on to the next step back, repeat as needed. You’d sacrifice the time spent knitting that one sock, and maybe you’d need two so that you wouldn’t have to undo a kitchenered toe.
    But meantime they are out of their minds if they think their show would be better presented to their viewers with one single color and pattern to display. Absolutely out of their minds. The metal needles/lights/cameras interference thing makes sense, and I was waiting for someone to say that as I read (thank you Monica PDX and those after her!) But the rest–I want to see YOUR socks, not theirs! (Um, my new computer can be a TV, which means it’s the first TV we’ve bought in all our 26 years of marriage. Just don’t tell the kids.)

  121. More history: In the 18th C, for instance, most people had at least 7 shirts/shifts (the basic undergarment) and a few sets of clothing, more than one pair of shoes, and many pairs of stockings…we know that from death inventories.
    Stockings were darned, and refooted as necessary. Shoes were NOT poorly fitted, and sometimes were made with both feet identical (on one symetrical last), and sometimes not, but either is comfortable…after a few wearings, you can TELL left from right, and they mold to your feet…they are leather after all (think sheepskin slippers…they are made identical, and they conform…faster, of course, but the same principle). I know this because I’ve WORN that sort of (reproduction) shoe. No big deal. But there was a lot more custom work available to the average person then, so problem feet were easier to fit than now!

  122. I can’t believe that they aren’t at least providing the supplies for this! I mean, why do they plug the makers of the yarn and needles and such on the show if they aren’t getting freebies out of it???You should definitely hit them up for the yarn and needles if they expect you to do it their way. I mean, if you BUY all that stuff, you are basically paying THEM to be on the show. AND plugging the yarn and supplies. THAT’S NOT RIGHT!!!

  123. I just thought I would de-virginize myself on the posts here. I wanted to thank you for your blog. I am a nursing mom who learned how to knit last year. I am reading Yarn Harlot every day as I nurse my daughter to sleep for her naps. You bring much laughter to my life…and of course always having my wanting more for my stash.
    Actually, the biggest gift you’ve given me is feeling less guilty for buying more and more and more yarn.

  124. It’s very comforting to me to know that I’m not the only one who sees her own demise under the wheels of a big-arse truck. Makes me want to, oh, I don’t know, knit a sock. ๐Ÿ™‚

  125. ya no–right before you told us about your conversation with the Knitty Gritty person I was thinking that if they want socks in a progression then they probably want it all to look like the same sock. Even though no one (well I hope no one) would ever believe you had just miraculously knit the entire leg in the 10 seconds between showing the ribbing and starting the heel. If your wonderful LYS does not have enough wooden dpns please let me know and I will ship you some Global Express.
    Oh and please remember to stretch those arm and hand muscles frequently. We don’t want you coming down with carpal tunnel right before your big TV show. Namaste.

  126. I am a Toronto knitter with a second sock almost at the heel stage on birch dpns, if you so desire them. They were supposed to be for last Christmas, so it doesn’t really matter if I get them back before this coming Christmas ๐Ÿ™‚
    Seriously, though. They are all yours if you like.

  127. Another example of items knit for a living (which of course you also see in shetland is etc) would be the Cowichan sweaters (and related accesories) knit by the Coast Salish after “wage labor” jobs came and they could no longer live in a traditional fashion.

  128. Since I had, independently, the same thoughts as Cari and Rachel H., I’m going to say them again. Get the rest of us to do some of the knitting, and switch the bamboo or wooden needles into the socks on the last round before they’re going to be filmed. I’m 40 miles away from you, and Lettuce Knits is blocks from my cousin’s apartment I run away and hide out in sometimes, and I’d love to have an excuse to see him and the store. And don’t you think I’d just love to wear a pair of socks that I could say to the uninitiated, “Oh, yes, when these were half-done, Steph took them on Knitty-Gritty, so they’re famous?”

  129. Your poor if your knitting for food money? Oh dear so that’s what I am now. The payment for my last knitting job guessed it right into the grocery bill. I suppose it’s come full cycle since I’ve taken money out of the grocery bill to buy yarn..hmmm?

  130. I’m behind in commenting, but I never doubted for a minute the sock-a-day thing, and the stats you found to back yourself up there are awesome.
    And now, you will HAVE to knit at least a sock a day because we’re here. An audience. Sitting, hands clasped (who am I kidding, needles clicking) waiting, watching, refreshing browsers, checking to make sure you do your socks. You can’t not do them now, because we are the dreaded peer pressure. Do you want to look bad? (not that it’s at all possible, I mean, just look how good you make lotion look!) So. go ahead, put another row on some other project in secret, and then finish off another sock because we’re watching you. (and loving what you do!!)

  131. So who says socks have to be dull and boring??!! There are about a million different color and pattern variations to add some spice…

  132. Do remind those blithering idiots who run Knitty Gritty that unless the knitter is insanely rich, we don’t own matching knitting needles for that many socks. We also like to bury yarn companies in unreasonable demands for a certain colourway and no matter which one you choose to use, it will be sold out within a couple of days so if it’s already sold out, we will all assume that other knitter’s got there first.
    If they insist on creepily matching needles for all the socks, why do things over? Why not just slip the stitches to the “proper” needles at the last minute, in fact, why not make them buy all the needles and slip them over when you get there?

  133. no metal needles?? what kind of crazy crackhead people are these???!! good heavens…it’s not like you’re using nickel-plated needles that would give off a nasty glare on the camera. (which is the only reason i can imagine that they wouldn’t want you using metal)
    and…i almost don’t even want to mention this at all. but…with all of this…sockiness, will you cut back your Christmas knitting, or will it just push you even closer to the breaking point?

  134. I guess I’m just repeating to you what has already been suggested/advised: 1) the “no metal” needles rule must be due to the possible glare caused on camera; and 1) as for knitting the same color sock bit for each part of several different socks?!?! Who does KG consider their target audience…3-year olds who don’t knit. We all knit socks, we understand the differnt parts of a sock. We would be quickly bored with the same sock yarn for every little “bit.” Do it your way…Rock on Harlot…be yourself. It’s why we love you ๐Ÿ™‚

  135. Hello there, I am a faithful reader and I have to say that I would question anything or anyone that bills itself as hip. I think this comment should apply to the last post, but you get the idea. In my humble opinion, you, by default are hip. While a show that has to call itself hip is seriously lacking in hipness. This is just the way of cool. You don’t label it, it just is. The fact that you back away from the label of hip screams that you are hip to the hip, ha ha, or at least very punk rock!

  136. Just another opportunity to get more dpn’s??
    Grab it with both hands…
    I’m always losing my dpn’s i know they’re in the house and i know that my DH and DS doesn’t eat them but i really don’t know where they are….
    Perhaps in de UFO bin or maybe having a live off their own…it could be you know…
    Had a great laugh about Rachel H. i understand why you love her and want to smack her both. Just great.
    take care.

  137. When you survive the hassle of preparations, the hassle of travel, the hassel of traffic and the hassle of pre-tape fuss, yours will, hands down, be the best episode of that show in about forever. Soldier on, and make that dumb show about knitting, instead of the APPEARANCE of knitting.
    Have fun!

  138. Oh hey! I have in my posession some of the wire 0000 needles you speak of. They belonged to my relatives who were from Germany. I secretly wonder if when I start using them I will get visions of their former exploits. They are kept in a metal cone shaped holder.
    Also, I adore this sentence: I bet it really lights a fire under your knitting fingers if you’re going to starve your kids if you don’t finish a sock. I adore you for writing it.

  139. Go Harlot go! I think you should just be your charming Harlotty self and do the socks your way! It will be much more interesting for you (I shudder to think how boring it would be to turn out a sock a day in the same color! Ugh! I can barely get 2 socks done because after I see how the color and pattern works, I get bored. Serious second sock syndrome here! Now I do both socks at the same time on on long circular needle. Very cool!
    As for gauge, I got to see an amazing pair of hand knit, hand spun socks at Hancock Shaker Village this summer. These socks were so beautifully done that I could have cried. We have several accomplished knitters on staff and the Consensus was that these were knit on at least 0000 needles if not 00000! The yarn was 2 ply and the socks were just freaking amazing! You couldn’t find a mistake in the knitting or the spinning. The gauge was at least 25 stitches to the inch, if not finer. (Since these are so valuable and delicate, we really couldn’t handle them and the work was so fine that it was tough to count the stitches.) Just amazing! I’m such a knitting tortoise! So you just be your Harlotty self and knit those socks anyway you like. We’ll still love to see them! Go Harlot Go!

  140. Does anybody know what did the 000 needles looked like after they have been used a few (dozen) times? I have my mother’s old needles – they vary between 40-60 years old and some of the thiner ones(that is UK size 14 – is that US size 0?) are quite bent through use. Surely a needle half the thickness must be like kniting with wire!
    As for yet another picture of socks Stephanie, we don’t mind: they are beautiful socks.

  141. It truly boggles the mind to consider what my Shetland foremothers did to get by. My grandmother has letters sent to her father by his grandmother in Shetland, whom he never met. He apparently provided much of her support when she was too old to get by on her own. Not much safety net to be had if you got too old or ill to knit, and the payment system was much like that of the company store in the US – they were sold staple goods and yarn on credit and then paid so little for the stockings that they could never stop knitting. Virtual slavery.
    Make you feel better about this whole TV thing?

  142. And by the way, I agree with Colleen about old shoes. We have a tendancy to think about what people did in the ‘olden days’ as one thing forgetting that there was a huge range between the poorest people who might only have had 1 pair of shoes and socks repaired many times and the rich whose wardrobes would have been almost as well stocked as a modern one. The rich had shoes made to fit on individually crafted lasts and these are the people who would have bought the very fine hand-crafted socks produced on the thinest needles.

  143. Where do you get your sock patterns? I would love the socks with the ripple ( fan and feather) stitch!

  144. Where do you get your sock patterns? I would love the socks with the ripple ( fan and feather) stitch!

  145. Where do you get your sock patterns? I would love the socks with the ripple ( fan and feather) stitch!

  146. When I first read this, my initial thought was “Run, Rachel, like the wind!”
    Now, after reading all the comments, my overwhelming thought is “Run, Knitty Gritty, like all the hounds of hell are after you, because you have woken the sleeping giant that is the Comments, and it is not pleased.”

  147. That pink/red sock is very pretty – looks familiar too….
    I am not a sock a day knitter – I have to spin and work on the swatches for my shawl and … and … You know the rest.
    However, I have gotten the first sock of my red/pink feather and fan sock done and started the second.
    is there a toe up version of that picot cast on that I see on your pink sock? I put 1 1/2 inches of ribbing at the top of mine, but that picot edge is very pretty.

  148. You know what I do when I can’t get enough knitting done? I ask people to help me knit. It’s a win win situations actually. You could trade them excess yarn for knitting. There are many people who would love to help you! In case you haven’t noticed, knitters will do just about anything for yarn…

  149. “Here, knitting is mostly a relaxing pursuit of the idle rich (remembering of course, that comparatively speaking, you’re rich if you’re not knitting for food money)…”
    True…but you *have* to have $$$ to afford the hand-dyed/hand-painted/silk blends…whatever..unless you’re willing/able/have the space/time to do those things yourself… ๐Ÿ˜‰
    What amazes me is that those folks were also carding, spinning and dyeing for food money!!
    Now, where did I put that sock I was working on?

  150. I’ve been watching your blue socks for a few days, and I must say that I really like that colorway. It’s pooling so well.
    A sock a day–ugh! I find knitting socks at a leisurely pace to be a guilty pleasure, but often think that I would have to knit much, much, much faster if my family (and/or its income depended on my knitting).

  151. charming renegade…love that!
    I just wanted to add my voice to the chorus admiring the pink feather and fan sock. Also to say I will be looking for you on DIY(I have no idea if we have it or that there was a knitting show but I’m so going to look!)

  152. Commenting on socks is fine by me, just don’t mention Interweave Knits Winter edition, mine hasn’t winged its way over to Blighty yet and there is a jumper I so badly want to knit and get done for Christmas!! ( All other gifts have been knitted apart from one last pair of silk slippers, I have cleared the decks especially- is it here- is it buggery!)

  153. I understand the no metal thing with Knitty Gritty. On a technical basis, it has to be the “no glare” thing. In reality, I’ll betcha it’s an asthetic thing for the director or producer. “Wood is prettier, more organic.” But speaking as one who insisted on knitting socks with Magic Loop on bamboos, and broke THREE sets in TWO weeks……who they heck are they trying to kid??? Bring on the metal needles!!!
    I wish I got the DIY network, so I could see if these Knitty Gritty guys are crazy. I have a feeling they are……..well, you know what I mean, crazier than even knitters consider healthy.

  154. Being an insanely tight knitter (many people think I am quite laid-back, which is because they don’t notice how I put all my control issues into my knitting), I get about 11-12 sts to the inch in your standard sock yarn. I am also inordinately fond of ribbing. I also average about one sock every three or four months. I would totally starve.
    Speaking of control issues, what is with those KG people? Do it your way.

  155. Just tell them that here in Canada, in a secret Nova Scotia laboratory, we have developed the technology for yarn that changes colour in response to the interaction between the knitter’s brainwave emissions, and um… positronic echolocation in the immediate environment. But we promise to use this power only for good.

  156. If you get a moment (sounds of raucous laughter inserted here) could you explain why you prefer metal for socks? ‘Cause I loves my wooden (bamboo) needles, especially when I’m working with dpns.
    The only downside to bamboo is that my next-to-youngest cat likes to chew on them. I shall knit her a muzzle.

  157. I just read your “History of Sock-A-Day”. If men, women and children were indeed knitting stockings in great quantity, who was wearing multiple stockings and where are all those stockings today? Surely there would at least be the skeletons of these hand knit wonders hiding in our ancestors attics.
    I think it is all a hoax to add another load of guilt onto our already overburdened backs. Just like the hoax of long-skirted, aproned pilgrims preparing mouth watering turkey dinners every November to celebrate survival in the hostile wilderness of North America. In reality, they were thankful that a couple of wise natives brought them some dead fish. And of course the natives were in actually bringing fertilizer for the crops.

  158. In India most women of my mum’s generation knit to save money, because acrylic blends and quick hands were a cheaper option than store-bought readymades, and for my generation of women this was totally uncool, domestic, Victorian and anti-feminist. I’ve also had people ask me if I really couldn’t afford to buy socks. But when you do something as a chore, it’s difficult to relate to someone who does it and can afford it for leisure.

  159. Since you knit your socks on metal needles is it possible that after you get each sock knit to the point it needs to be for the show you could put the stitches on stitch holders or safety pins then when you get to the studio they could provide you with the needles for the show socks? Just slip the stitches off the stitch holders and then slip the wooden needles through the stitches? Just a thought. Surely they can’t expect you to buy a lot of knitting needles you’ll never use again or can they?

  160. Didn’t have time to read all of the comments, so I don’t know if someone else suggested this: could you ask others to knit some of the stages (personally, I’ll step up and volunteer, just give me an early stage. My blog isn’t called slowknitting for nothing.)

  161. hehe, i read thru your comments… it amazes me how many of your readers think that knitty gritty’s rules are for/about what the knitters want. ๐Ÿ˜€ i work for the company that owns DIY network. and have worked in tv production for a few years… they probably dont want metal needles probably because of lighting issues because, heck they give a good glare just for regular lights at home! and we all know that metal dpns do not come in neutral colors ๐Ÿ˜€
    as far as the colors of yarn, it’s still all about lighting… just because you are using a pretty pink or orange doesn’t mean it’s going to be a pretty pink or orange on camera at all! it could just be a horrid glare across the screen with no definition of the stitches at all.
    i think knitty gritty wants the show to be very basic (which is why vicki interrupts the person alot, to express again how things are done)and is why they want all your socks to have continuity. however i would have thought that knitty gritty would atleast supply you with the yarn/needles that you need to complete thier show.
    good luck being on tv!! ๐Ÿ˜€ you’ll do great! i cant wait to hear about the production side of doing the show!

  162. Here I was, all bummed out because my dish package doesn’t contain DIY… until I read todays post. Give me a break. While I personally knit with brittany birch dpn’s (never tried metal)… I think it’s pompous of them to tell you after the fact what they expect of you. Little upfrontness would’ve been nice eh? Good luck!

  163. You know, some of your commenters knit for others for a living. (I’ve tested a couple of patterns in my time…) If you feel the insanity creeping in, by all means, delegate! I’m sure there’s a few thousand knitters that would be more than happy to knit a few socks for you.

  164. On history: Corrie ten Boom tells us in her book The Hiding Place that when she and her sister were in a concentration camp in Germany during WWII, those women who were not able to do physical labor were put in the “knitting brigade”. No specifics are given (like yarn weight, needle size or sock size) other than that the socks were “woolen…army gray.” The knitters had a quota of socks (the number was not specified, but note the use of the plural) that they were required to finish every day. Wow.

  165. I can’t believe they didn’t tell you the socks all had to be the same from the get-go. They obviously do not knit. A real knitter would never ask another knitter to do such a thing. Nonetheless, keep knitting. I love socks ๐Ÿ™‚

  166. well, since you just need socks in various stages of the same yarn…you can just knit them all from one skein after the other. granted, you would then have to frog them all and have bits and pieces of yarn…they don’t expect every step to be attached to the ball as well, do they? and to go buy non-metal needles? man oh man. they should provide for some of this.
    i hope you show us a big photo montage of all your steps. that’d be neat!
    i don’t get the show here either (in illinois) because we don’t get digital cable. cable and internet are expensive enough as it is!

  167. I have been loving the sock columns, so don’t worry that it is boring blog fodder. I have to comment about my recent Interweave Knits obsession…the sweater on the cover! I. love. it. I have only knit about 2 years and usually wouldn’t take on a difficult task like that sweater. But passion overtook common sense and I said, “I have to have that sweater.” So…I bought the magazine on Thursday about 1 p.m. and the yarn about 2 p.m. (always rush to you LYS so the purchase can be made before logic enters in). I found a gorgeous deep red extra fine merino and I intend to knit the sleeves long. For the record, it will not be this year’s holiday sweater…reality enters in during the execution of yarn patterns whether you like it or not!

  168. “Adds up to a lot of socks. Turns out I’ve likely sunk myself too….since I just got an email from them saying that I shouldn’t be using metal needles (That’s a big deal. I don’t own any dpn’s…never mind 10 pairs (each step out stays on the needles) that aren’t metal. I only like metal for socks.) and that all the step-outs all have to be the same colour.”
    Wow. And it’s knitters who run this show? Don’t they know that of course you’ve already started on the bazillion of socks you need to make? Oh well, at least you have an extra pair of socks around the house! ๐Ÿ˜€

  169. I’m a huge fan of you and your blog but and this is my very first ‘comment’ so I’m nervous that it’s not going to be worthy/witty enough … apolpogies in advance for that! Could I trouble you to tell me what feather/fan pattern you’re using and which yarn/colourway for the pink sock? I LOVE it.

  170. I had an interview with the producers of the Canadian Deal or No Deal today and when they asked me what I would do when I was out east for the show I told them that after buying an obscene amount of yarn, I would try to meet the Yarn Harlot. I do believe they think I’m insane….but I can’t be right? Cause I’m a KNITTER!

  171. Look up Blue Peter… kids TV show by the BBC… for almost forty years now they have used the phrase “And here’s one I made earlier…” The earlier one is never the same colour scheme and often is a variation.
    You are following in the footsteps of an age old tradition, tell Knitty Gritty it demonstrates how different all the sock yarns can be.
    Or better yet, tell them to “Put a sock in it…”

  172. Wow. If *I* had to knit that many socks in the exact same color and pattern and on a deadline, I think I would impale myself on my dpns. Repeatedly.
    ~ eyes rolling back in head here ~

  173. While I applad your sock a day goal, And I think your wedding shawl is breathtaking…what’s happening with Joe’s gansey?

  174. Stay positive, it’s totally gonna be okay.
    By my count, you need 8 “step-outs”, which is waaay less consumption of both time and yarn than 4 full pairs of socks. It’s probably equivalent to like 1.5 to 2 pairs. Quite frankly, you (the specific harloty you)can probably get most of it done on the plane and in the hotel the night before. Save the ‘just cast-on step-out’ for last and do that 5 minutes before the show starts.
    And if anyone ever doubts you (including yourself) remember, you are an Olympic Gold Metal Knitter!
    I’m looking forward to your episode. My Tivo is already set.

  175. You know that pic you showed of that lady knitting while that huge bag was on her back? I was thinking that it was full of socks…..

  176. it’s so sad but true. My mother and her sister both do not knit because as children, they had to knit their own clothing. This means knittings equals labor to them and they prefer to buy their knitted items now. It was actually my grandmother who loved it that even when she didn’t need to knit, she chose to for pleasure. She taught me when I was 9.

  177. Oh, Harlot.
    Sometimes I think the world has it in for you. Other times, I think it has everything in store for you!
    Where are all these socks going, post knitty-gritty? the girls? ๐Ÿ™‚

  178. Personally, other than Addi Turbo’s, I don’t see the metal needle thing, but what’s the deal with them not letting you use them? Also, don’t they realize that we are all aware of how TV works and think that it’s ok that you don’t want to knit a hundred socks all the same? What’s the pattern for the cute pink socks?
    Have fun with Knitty Gritty, wish I could get it here.

  179. Hey…..I knit for money, but for you Harlot, you get a frebbie.Call me up some time. Just saying,
    Yo Rachel, you’d do it for free to, right, you know for your friends?

  180. Those needle bigots.
    It’s not like I’ve ever sat down to knit with my metal needles and thought, “Boy, I need my shades because these colored metal needles are giving off a wicked glare.”
    You’d better get contacts because the next thing you know is they’ll be banning your glasses because of the glare. Wa-wa.

  181. I think the Harlot must know… if she asks for help, she’ll get it. How many baby “fruit hats” were knit? How much money for Knitters Sans Borders? If she wants socks… on non-metal needles… all she (YOU, Harlot!!!) has to do is ASK.
    Provide a pattern, a color, a yarn, needle size, a gauge, and an address. SOCKS WILL APPEAR.
    It’s almost effortless and full of love. Love ya, Tina (Copywriter in the pharma industry)

  182. Ok – I read all this stuff about “a sock-a-day”. I feel sooo inadequate now. I am lucky if I can finish a sock in two weeks! and I have never been that lucky! Not with regular sock yarn anyway. If it is worsted or DK weight perhaps. I can do a baby or a toddler sock that fast – maybe.
    Now I cannot travel back in time and knit with the other lovely ladies of earlier times – because they will laugh at me and make fun of my inability to knit as quickly as they! I don’t know how to knit any faster! I don’t know what I am doing wrong! But I do like my socks – and I will keep knitting. I will just have to pretend that I am sooo busy that I cannot get things finished as quickly as everyone else. (While I hide in the closet and knit.)

  183. For the one who questioned the attraction of socks, I must say that socks are one of my favorite knitted items to own. My wife has knit me a few pairs, and they wear much better than store socks. Also, I have very pointy toes, and always wear boots (for motorcycling) and so on, so socks made with all these quirks in mind are *way* better than anything one can just go and buy.
    For the knitting-of-necessity vs. knitting-for-fun split, I have in the past teased my wife and her friends along those lines about all these hobbies that once were drudgery that people wished to escape. I envision, a hundred years from now when everyone has robots that do the household chores, that there will be housecleaning clubs, and dishwashing guilds, and LDCS’s (local diaper changing supply stores) for the serious hobbyists. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  184. Well it would be a pain in the neck, but maybe a Knitty Gritty intern could do this instead of you:
    Have Knitty Gritty supply all the wooden needles. Bring your socks on the metal ones, have them swap the needles out for all of the swap out socks and maybe you’ll even get to keep ’em.
    God forbid the person doing it drops a stitch!

  185. Ok – I can’t knit socks on anything but metal needles.
    I tried. I got some lovely bamboo dpn’s. I snapped ’em like the toothpicks they were thinner than.
    1 -2 -3 and there was more than $10 in slivers dangling from my tidy little stitches.
    Nothing slows down knitting progress like jagged bits of wood catching on your merino.

  186. Oh, I bet there are people who would knit some of these “step outs” or whatever they are for you. I can see why they would make the show better, like those cooking shows where they have things made ahead of time and pull them out as needed…I don’t know or can’t remember what your deadline is, but I think people would be glad to do it…come on Toronto! It would be easiest if your helpers were all in Toronto, which I am not, but even I would be prepared to mail something if there was time to do it. Think – you could make a joke of it. Every time you pulled out one out to illustrate the next stage of knitting, you could refer to the knitter (well, this person didn’t get too far…and this one knit the heel and had to rush off..or something) it could be a real hoot!

  187. Dear Stephanie – GAG (Get a grip)! Why do YOU have to make all the socks? I bet there are 20 people you know from your LYS who plan to make socks for Christmas. If you provide the yarn, I’m sure you can find some of them who will make some plain old socks. And then those socks will have the added value for having been on TV, and handled by the Harlot! I bet you could even prompt them to use the right color needles. I would volunteer, but distance(time) and postage costs would be an issue. Just a thought…

  188. I have endless admiration for your project of a sock a day. I couldn’t do it-never-no way-but you can.
    As for “Knitty Gritty” and the people who produce itโ€ฆ they should be drop kicked into the end zone (hey it is Greycup, a prime oppertunity to knit if ever there was one) for not communicating their requirements more clearly in the first place. Multiple colourways will make it more entertaining! I agree with te posters who suggested knitting everything with metal dpns then putting only what you have to onto bamboo needles for the show. It’s a reasonable compromise. GOOD LUCK!!

  189. I’m pretty sure you can only use wood because Brittany is one of their biggest sponsors. You should call Brittany and see if they’ll send you some free needles. Or maybe the producer will.

  190. Wow. I am humbled that you have chosen my comment to highlight. Thanks (blushing).
    Had I known this (stop outs) was why you were knitting all those socks, I would have asked about colorway/style being the same. Those shows want it to look like you *can* knit a sock in 30 minutes.
    I’m sure you’ll get it done, and inspire others watching the show to try knitting socks (little do they know their addicitive properties – perhaps they should make them knit one a day to kick the habit?)

  191. As for the dpn’s, can’t you just transfer the socks to them at the show? Have theproducers provide them, or borrow them from all of us.
    Not sure when you’re taping, but we can all mail you some of our completed socks to display a range of completed projects, then you’d only have to knit the partials – that’s only about 4 socks total, right?

  192. Ah Stephanie,
    You give me hope. I need to finish a sock by the time my father-in-law arrives…tonight at 9pm. I’ve got the cuff…gotta go now.

  193. Oh, it just occurred to me, all you have to do is call for people to send you their unfinished socks at specified stages of knitting in a specific yarn and color…For example, how many pepople have half finished socks in (colour of your choice) Regia 4 fadige that they would be willing to pop into the mail? How many people have bamboo dpns (size 2 mm, for example) that they bought, decided they couldn’t stand and left to moulder in a drawer? Now I’m getting carried away I think.

  194. I think you should really scare the “no metal needle” people and knit them all on 2 bamboo circulars! Hee Hee
    They need to get a grip – knitters are NOT going to care if the swap outs are not all the same color! How boring would that be, anyway?!!!

  195. I had to comment on this, since I met someone else that is going to be on Knitty Gritty!
    Down here in San Diego, I was talking with a customer in the fabric/craft store I work at (off duty at the time) and a gentleman, burly like, fluffy brown beard, had an armful of SugarN’Cream yarn..okay so it was three balls and something else I couldn’t see, but it was something to do with knitting.
    He chimed into our conversation and said he was going to be on KG doing (I think) his own designs or some such and offered some encouraging words to the lady I was talking with.
    As for your sock a day.. I couldn’t get through the heel turn on one sock!! Although I have finished a worsted weight lace shawl.
    I’m working on a Christmas stocking that was supposed to be done by 11/15…right.
    I fully understand about the metal needles and glare… have done some stage work, but they should have let you know when they first contacted you!!!
    Whoops, did I say that? How about, … no that’s not nice either.
    Here’s a little way to get back at them for short notice. Arrive and have a few you ‘forgot’ to swap and be the little knitting diva you are (HA!) and have someone run out right away and get you some. If it’s a knitting show..they should have some right there shouldn’t they?
    You’re an inspiration and constant source of humor for everyone. You underestimate the power of one voice.
    Keep it up!

  196. I’m finally commenting. I learned to knit 5 months ago (is it really that long?) when I spent 5 weeks on hospital bedrest while pregnant with my son. We kept him in until 33.5 weeks though after 6 weeks of ruptured membranes so I’m very happy with that time. I’ve already noticed that the speed of my knitting has improved immensly since I learned. From what many people tell me, I knit rather quickly. If I can do that after 5 months of knitting (I knit when I nurse now), then you can certainly do a sock a day after as long as you’ve been knitting!
    But… if you start to get Knitter’s ADD I suspect that you could easily put out a call for help on your blog here and be instantly drowning in hand knit sock examples to take to the show. Donate them to charity afterwards! Or to servicemen or something really cool like that.
    As for the bamboo, I second, third, fourth or what ever the suggestion to knit them on your preferred needles and then just transfer them to bamboo needles for the show. Why stress yourself out by knitting with needles that you don’t like?
    Thanks for such a great blog. My two older kids love to look at your pictures while I read the text. (I like the pictures too.) And we’ll all be enjoying the many socks that you will be showing us!
    I’ll get lots of, “Knit me that Mommy!”

  197. In a strange moment of congruence, I knit one sock yesterday. And started a jumper. And I enjoyed it. I don’t think I’d enjoy it EVERY day, but if I was allowed to do other things while I knitted (watch TV, listen to podcasts) I think I could hang onto my sanity.
    When I was in china, whenever I ventured out into the fields you would see peasants (that’s what they call themselves, people, don’t go PC on me!) knitting as they watched bison, or packed loads of vegetables along the road to market. In contrast, the rich kids that I taught rarely even wore knits, except in winter when you can’t really not. Very class conscious country, China.

  198. ok now see thats different- various stages of socks? that makes you even slower. stopping, starting etc.
    and they do all the same colorway because it provides continuity, anyway i wonder if they dont let you use metal because they dont film well?
    knit on sister. if any knitter can do it -you can.

  199. Clearly the folks at Knitty Gritty have never used metal dpns. I used to use bamboo or the Pony Pearls, but then by some weird act of nature I ended up with a pair of Boyes (not too odd, really, they’re at all the chain craft stores in the US–more so than the woodens)and I haven’t looked back. Perhaps they should furnish you with a few sets of those swanky ebony dpns to console you for the show …

  200. So have you thought about a call-out to knitters, and a big knit-along to create the socks you need? We could each knit one sock and post it to you ASAP… Stress over. Just choose a yarn and needles we can reasonably/easily procure locally, and we could have them whipped out in no time! Overnight shipping, and BAM! You have all the socks you need! We might even have the right yarns in our stashes that we’d be willing to help you out with…
    Just a suggestion.

  201. OMG…more power to you Steph, but really, I must admit that this has me questioning your sanity…a sock a day? I love socks, but damn!

  202. Real women delegate! I agree with others who’ve said you must have someone else knit partial socks with you. I know you know some top quality local knitters!

  203. Just starting watching Knitty Gritty recently – yay for the DVR!
    I can totally see the step-outs and them wanting them all in the same yarn. Assuming that the socks you’ve knit up to this point are the “inspirational” ones and you still need to start on the step-outs, I highly recommend a light colored non-variegated yarn for those. The producers might not have thought to mention that to you. When you work on them, there will be a close-up on the knitting so that the audience can see what you’re doing (Vicki will make you knit slowly)…and just as you would recommend a new knitter use a light non-variegated yarn, that will show up better for the camera.
    I don’t get the ban on metal needles though. I’ve seen metal circs used on the show before. Personally, I would request a reimbursement if they want you to buy a bunch of needles just for their show that you’ll never use again.
    Can’t wait to see your episode!

  204. I can’t knit socks I have tried and I have tried, it just does not happen for me! ๐Ÿ™ I love hand knitted socks, growing up my mother always made me socks I was the envy of all my friends, I think I am going to have to call her in Australia and request a pair of hand made socks, as if I wait for my own efforts to turn into a pair of socks I will be waiting forever!

  205. Did anyone read the newspaper report out of Canada? Basically the story read as such.
    “Mysterious maiming occured at Rachel, the commenter’s house”. The story says she was found bound and gagged with beautiful half finished socks, however, was unfortunately maimed with metal toothpicks… The story goes on to tell how the crazed attacker then before escaping out the door, stopped to lovingly fondle the victims current knitting/spinning projects. We live in a sick, sick world…

  206. Ooooh, that Rachel is evil. I want to go spin some cashmere and I don’t even know how! Was she a member of the Spanish Inquistition in a previous life?

  207. Sign me up as another volunteer sock knitter. Send pattern and yarn requirements (and suggestions for a variation) and I’ll send back a sock in any stage, even completed.

  208. Just tell the TV people we’re all smart enough to know there are multiple socks. So it really doesn’t matter if they’re all the same colorway, etc. In fact, it’s a disservice to make it look like you’re doing an entire sock in one short show. Then all the new sock knitters, inspired by your appearance, won’t understand why they’re so slow. Although, if anyone could do the entire sock live during a taping, it’s you!
    PS – I like the idea about using one pair of wooden needles and changing them with each sock change.

  209. Or you could always just pretend that e-mail never got to where it was sent…I mean, I had a computer meltdown, I can’t access MY e-mail–why shouldn’t that sort of joy spread?

  210. Hey Sweetpea-
    What dates are you taping on? I’ll be out there Dec 4, 5, 6… I haven’t started my step outs yet. That’s train/thanksgiving knitting. ๐Ÿ™‚

  211. You don’t own DPNs??? Then how are you knitting all of these partial socks? And, what are you going to do with those partial socks? I would take some completed ones off your hands (pairs only) just to give them a good home, yannow. But partial ones? I dunno, could be a problem.

  212. My husband talked me into knitting him a Dr. Who scarf…the “real one.” That means 13 feet of garter stitch (45 stitches on US 6 needles with sport weight yarn). THIRTEEN FEET! That much mindless knitting requires great TV to knit by.
    So here are some suggestions (all available from Netflix)in no particular order:
    1) Jeeves and Wooster (Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry)
    2) Hercule Poirot series
    3) Rumpole of the Bailey
    4) Nero Wolfe (A&E series, with Timothy Hutton)
    Nero Wolfe and Jeeves and Wooster are my particular favorites…I could watch them over and over!

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