Monday, January 31, 2005

Unventing

I think I might have actually unvented something. At least, I've never seen anything like it before, and coming out publicly, I'm sure you'll all let me know if you've seen knitting like this:

one sock

Sure it looks like a sock. In fact it is a sock, but with a funny sole.

I took a class at SOAR 2001 from John Yerkovich and Priscilla Gibson-Roberts on Shepherd's Knitting. They wrote an article for SpinOff, the summer 2001 issue.

It really is Bosnian Crochet backwards (how's *that* for esoteric?). Shepherd's Knitting is single crochet, done in the back loop only, always in one direction. It is used in Korsnas sweaters, which I first noticed in Nordic Knitting, by Susanne Pagoldh. There is also a more recent article by Carol Rhoades in the January/February 2004 Piecework.

To achieve the traditional fabric, the process must be done in one direction only, or circularly. It creates a firm fabric, suitable for hard use areas of a garment. It makes an inflexible fabric though, and when used for boot socks, the result is not form fitting like socks we would wear today.

So the challenge was to create a sock that fit, and had this hard wearing fabric in the areas that get the most abrasion: the soles, heels and toes. The process I unvented is to knit the insteps, then switch to crochet across the soles, and then back to knitting on the insteps. It was a dance of needles and hook, with the two processes joined at the juncture each round. The crochet torqued slightly, but it is not noticeable in the wearing. The two techniques needed to match up in the row gauge, so a bit of fiddling with needle and hook sizes was necessary.

The yarn we used in class was a singles, because the process is best done with a z-twist yarn. I adjusted that to a cabled yarn: two 2-ply yarns replied in the z direction to make a firm, z-twist 4 ply final product.

They came out well, I wear them in the cold mornings inside my slippers, and, so far, they show very little signs of wear. They are thick, warm and form fitting socks, with hard wearing soles. The socks were shown in the Fall 2004 issue of SpinOff, but my description of the process must have been too obscure (you think?) because it was changed to a *short row technique*, which it is not.

I'm not sure my unvention is useful in any other way, but as sock soles it seems a neat trick.

2 socks

I also made up a silk bag, again of 4-ply cable yarn, which shows the traditional technique in a more usual setting:

silk crocheted bag

It has lucet drawcords in the same 4-ply cable silk, and is shown with the soon to be ubiquitous dime.

The raised bands are Bosnian Crochet, essentially the same technique reversed: single crochet in the front loop only. Like stockinette, the technique has two sides, each creating their own textural interest.


6 Comments:

Blogger claudia said...

Nope. Never seen anything like this combo of knitting and crocheting. The texture change between the two is really interesting.

8:42 AM  
Blogger gw said...

Lucet drawcords, eh? I'm not going to say a word...
*Lovely* stuff!

12:09 PM  
Blogger Charleen said...

Very interesting technique - beautiful socks. I remember the article, I think I tried it when I was making some small bags.

1:53 PM  
Blogger LauraJ said...

Loud yearning howls. Now I know what I am going to do with a bump of uninspired apricot roving... gonna add red splashes to make better yarn and try to live the kind of better life that will allow me to try such a color mix. I would make these socks like a Blind Follower and count myself happy. I think I like the change from angular design to little Aegean wavelets at the tops a much as anything.

5:20 AM  
Blogger LauraJ said...

Loud yearning howls. Now I know what I am going to do with a bump of uninspired apricot roving... gonna add red splashes to make better yarn and try to live the kind of better life that will allow me to try such a color mix. I would make these socks like a Blind Follower and count myself happy. I think I like the change from angular design to little Aegean wavelets at the tops a much as anything.

And I have been wondering about a sock with Tvaand-knitting soles and normal insteps.

5:22 AM  
Blogger David Benjamin, The Yarny Guy said...

Hi Sara,

Those socks are beautiful! I'm introducing my application of Bosian crochet on my blog in a series I'm doing on drapey crochet.

It creates a fabric that is as thin and drapable as knitted fabric and has some give to it. It works up pretty quickly as well.

I even been able to figure out how to do it working continuously flat instead of only in the round.

My blog is at www.AYarnifiedLife.blogspot.com

I'd love to see other projects you've done in Bosian crochet.

David Benjamin

10:47 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home