Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I must be crazy...

...no I am crazy. I am going to knit long underwear for my daughter A. It all started with A. buying three 3-pound cones of sock yarn from Webs. She was going to skein the yarn, dye it, and then sell the skeins. Then she decided that skeining was a hassle and she'd rather buy skeins in bulk. So this old German kept staring at these cones and asking herself "what to do, what to do?".

And then in her October 3rd post, Tichiro -knits and cats (in German) presented patterns from an old German knitting magazines which included long underwear. You may want to click on the link and scroll down to October 3 and take a look at the photos. They really are a hoot, particularly the men's knit jockey shorts.

As my eyes fell on those cones of off-white sock yarn, I knew what to do with at least part of one of the cones: Knit A. underwear. Of course! what else would one do. A good project for evening knitting for these older eyes. Now, realize that the instruction for the ski underwear is only a paragraph long. That includes both top and bottom. So much is left to the imagination or the assumption that grandmother or mother knows how to knit and can help you. The commercial yarn is no longer manufactured, I think; no thickness is given; no needle size; no amount of yarn indicated; only the instructions of casting on 80 stitches for the waist and eventually increasing to 220 stitches. Mine is not a family of hour glass waists, so to the drawing board I went. A swatch was knit, washed, blocked and measured and, cast on accordingly on US 2 (2.75 mm) needles.

Oops, the beginning was big enough for a 60"+ waist which, of course, was followed by visiting the frog pond and casting on again. I am on my way now and will keep you updated about this adventure.

As an aside, after the end of WWII, my mother and friends knit undershirts for us children. After all, human beings needed to wear undershirts since God unlike the animals hadn't equipped us with fur. (In fact when I visited my mother in Germany with two small children in 1966, my mother immediately commented on the children not having under shirts.) In order to save yarn, the shirts were always knit in a drop stitch pattern. This long underwear won't be knit in a drop stitch pattern. I have plenty of yarn.

Knit on Merrily!


  1. Actually, I think it is a great idea! Hmm...I go to WEBS often and I better not look at those cones. I'd say your daughter is pretty lucky!

  2. I LOVE Tina's blog!!! :) So nice to see someone else reads it too! Good luck on the new knit! Can't wait to see it finished!

  3. Yes, I think you *are* crazy. Well, maybe not crazy for knitting the undershirt, but pants too??

    I do like the idea of knitting with nearly white yarn in the evening light.

  4. Fantastic! I had underwear that my mom knit when I was a little girl, she made them out of cotton and I had them in ever colour under the rainbow to match my knit outfits. I was one well dressed child...lol. I also remember my mom telling me that after the war she knit her own bras! She tried to explain to me how, but as a teenager I was way too cool to knit bras...lol

  5. I'm going to have to follow your blog just to see how they turn out!