Knitting for Therapy

That’s *FOR* therapy, not *AS* therapy. Know anyone with arthritis in the feet? Or just unusually cold feet. As knitters we can help that. As spinners we can really help.

This all started as a discussion with Judith McKenzie about Angora and its properties. She mentioned that it was used by hospitals in blankets for therapy. I investigated this and found she was correct, of course. But beside angora, what can we use for socks that will help? After some experiments, this is what I tried:

For non-spinners, try Knit Picks Andean Silk twist. With 55% Super Fine Alpaca, 23% Silk, 22% Merino Wool, it is warm and reflects heat a great deal. At $1.99/ball it's a great bargain (3balls minimum per pair). You must knit in some structure to hold them up for all that slinky goodness. I added ribbing starting mid-foot up to leave room for swollen tootsies. Knit on #3’s and using my standard 52 stitches (think deck of cards), afterthought heel with white woolly nylon. At the moment, this is so soft and warm that it is in the running for one of the top 3 socks I have ever made.

For spinners, try blends. I used alpaca leg wool mixed with a crappy but crimpy and felty brown unknown wool. Alpaca for softness and felty wool to hold slippery ends in a bit. My foot area is made from 2 plys of recycled cashmere (each two ply), 1 ply woolly nylon, 1 ply crappy brown. That makes it cling and reflect heat. It gives me a chance to use recycled cashmere leftovers in a machine washable sock. The alpaca legs just fuzz right out when washed – yummy and soft.

During the stormy times when joints move poorly, I try to stick to simple patterns for ease and distraction. At the end of the day, I have a new hat. (original pattern photo - Magknits Fake Isle).

So that got me thinking about favorite socks. What is YOUR favorite pair of socks ever? They can be handknit, handspun or store bought. Now, the hard part; tell me WHY it is your favorite. I think I would have to say my fav is a pair that has sat in my drawer for at least nine years. I loved them so much, I let them take up space just so I can remake them someday. They were combed grey Jacob and multicolor Kid Mohair spun into a 3-ply sport. Sadly, they shrunk more than I planned and blew out the heel/leg. I will honor their existence by remaking them.

Hot sauce is good for arthritis too. Fiery foods booty (and today's pretty apple).

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