Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Heels and Toes

One of our apple trees is doing its best to jump into spring. Unfortunately, the weatherman last night indicated another cold front is dropping down and might bring us some mountain snow Friday and Saturday!

Some of you have asked about heels and toes on antique sock machines. It was hard for me to imagine too, when I first got Doris. If you can picture the machine as a face on a clock, we paint with fingernail polish 4 markings. One each at 3 and 9 o'clock to indicate the half way point and then another marker at 5 and 7 o'clock.

The back half of the needles are raised up and then are out of work. This allows me to work just on the front half of the needles to form the heel or toe. I crank back and forth, raising one needle up with each row. That slowly brings me down to the two front markers which indicate the center of the heel or toe. Then (wrapping as I go to prevent a hole) I slowly start dropping one needle on each side to work my way back up to the half way point.

This forms the gusset.

When I'm back to the 3 and 9 o'clock markers I place the back needles into working position and work one final round. Then I add about 5 rnds of waste yarn and remove the sock from the machine.

At that point I place the needles onto double pointed needles and close the toes by hand using the kitchener stitch. Voila!

I decided to put some leftover sock yarn scraps out for the birds to use in their nests. So far tho, none have taken me up on my offer!


Tracey said...

I just don't get what bird's are thinking these days! I have been putting angora rabbit hair in the trees here and...nothing! It looks like I have been decorating for Halloween as the birds won't touch it. Thanks for the lesson about Doris...very interesting.

Heather J said...

I have wondered about heels and toes. Thanks for the demo and explanation. Is it still early for nests?

Caffeine Girl said...

That is fascinating. I'm not sure I can envision all of it, but I have some idea of how Doris works!

I hope some birds take advantage of your generosity!