In a previous post I’d listed some of my professional accomplishments over the past year. Here is one of my personal achievements for 2012…
I began to knit socks in the last months of 2011.
I’d learned to knit, oh, three decades ago but aside from a couple of scarves and a butt ugly sweater for my first boyfriend it wasn’t something I stuck with. About five years ago I started to think about knitting my own socks (partly because I couldn’t find socks that I wanted to buy…what is it with all these awful commercially-made socks?). I’d never tried to knit socks before because I thought it would be difficult and I thought the result would be ill-fitting and itchy. I had two friends who were already knitting their own socks and I finally thought, “well, if they can do it…”
I knew after my first pair that I was hooked.
One of the things I love about socks is that there are several separate stages: the ribbing, the body, the heel flap, the gusset, the foot, and the toe. What you are doing at each stage completely changes. This keeps it interesting and you feel like you are making tangible progress.
Another thing I love about making socks is that at each one of the making stages there are so many options: What kind of ribbing would work best? What colour or texture pattern might you use for the body? Which toe variant will you use this time? Really, it’s all just endless variations on a theme…and we all know how much I love to work in multiples 🙂
In 2012 I knit three and a half pairs of socks. As with most things I don’t know how to do, I researched sock-making on the internet. I decided to knit top down and on circular needles. One of the excellent video tutorials I found (and have stuck with) is Kelly’s Sock Class.
I made my first pair out of variegated wool with a knit 2, purl 2 rib and the sock body done in a basic stockinette stitch:
I decided I wasn’t big on self striping yarns. I wanted to try solid colour with visual texture. My second pair was knit from Sweet Georgia wool in a gorgeous colour known as Ginger. I used a knit 1, purl 1 rib, a basket weave stitch for the sock body, and a column heel flap. I was really pleased with how this pair turned out.
My third pair (the unfinished pair I am knitting the mate for now) was knit in a grey heather wool, using a knit 1, purl 1 rib, a farrow rib stitch for the sock body, and an eye of the partridge heel flap. They are simple, and I like that they are girly-er than a straight rib sock.
My fourth pair was knit in a stunning burnt orange Sweet Georgia wool (easy to understand why I jumped ship on the grey pair halfway through so I could run this sassy colour through my fingers). I used a knit 1, purl 1 rib, a cable pattern in the sock body, and a column heel flap. I decided to make these socks a bit longer in the body than my previous socks (I almost made them too long – I was dangerously close to running out of yarn for the toes of this pair!). These socks look like they were super complicated to make, but in reality they were no harder than the basket weave.
My personal sock-making goal for 2013 is to try knitting a pair of knee-highs in a lace stitch. Maybe something like this…