Saturday, April 21, 2012

S is for Socks

first complete pair of socks
Creating: Seems like a lot of my recent posts have been "creating" posts.  That's just the way the letters worked out.  In a typical blog post here, one that is not part of the A-Z Challenge, I write about a little of each: reading, eating and either weeding (aka gardening) or creating.  I tend to do more garden posts during the spring/summer and more posts related to knitting and other creative pursuits during the winter.  The nature of the seasons in my little corner of the world. So, what I am saying is if the "creating" posts are not your interest, check back in the upcoming days or read some of the older posts.  There are loads of recipes in here and piles of my opinions on books, if that is more your cup of tea.
Anyway, S is for Socks, specifically hand-knit socks.  I was inspired to try socks when my friend Steph, who had only recently learned to knit, asked me to help her with the socks she was knitting.  I think she was turning the heel, a tricky process when you know what you are doing, and even trickier when you do not.  I had never made socks but can usually read patterns well enough.  So in a not-so-quiet corner at book club, we muddled through it together.  Her socks turned out large and bulky, which was fine because they were to be worn with her ice skates.  I thought, "If Steph can make socks, why can't I?"  And I signed up for a class.

The first sock I made was huge.  I have narrow feet so it was very floppy on me and I never got around to completing the pair.  I bought new yarn, smaller needles and tried again.  This is my first pair, which I now realize has faded a bit because I wear them a lot.  The yarn is self-striping. I am not entirely sure how it works - it might be magic. 

Two at once, toe up, on one circular
As I completed this pair, marking down how many rows I did from top of the cuff to start of the heel, and how many rows until decreasing for the toe so that I could make the second sock the same way, I thought, "Wouldn't it be easier if you could do them both at the same time?"  And as I neared the end of the second sock and saw how much yarn I had left (enough to make another sock or not?  I can't tell!), I thought, "Why wouldn't you start them from the toe, make the bottom long enough to fit the foot, then turn the heel and knit either until you run out of yarn or had them as tall as you wanted?"  And the entire time I was knitting on 4 double-point needles, occasionally dropping a stitch off the end and starting a run in my socks, I thought, "Why wouldn't you do this on a circular needle instead of double points?"  So I searched the internet and found a pattern for two socks at once, toe up, on one circular needle.  Yahoo!  I thought.  And then I tried it.  And I found a new meaning for darning socks.  "Darn socks!" I exclaimed as I chucked them across the room, then retrieved them and ripped them out, time and again.  So I found a class, two socks at once, toe up, on one circular needle and a lovely lady who was a retired kindergarten teacher (and therefore had the patience of a saint!) taught me what I couldn't learn from the internet.  And I have been knitting socks this way ever since.  Last spring, I taught my mom this sock method.  She was a good student, but convinced herself that she didn't remember how once I was not there to help.   Someday we'll finish those socks, Mom.

E's socks
Socks are one of the few things I make for other people as I tend to be kind of stingy with my knitting.  I will only knit for people who I think will appreciate the time it takes to create these things.  E has socks, Mom has socks, my sister has socks.  There are more hats out there than socks and I have made a handful of baby gifts as well, but I like socks.  I want to run around with no shoes on when I have hand-knit socks on my feet so that everyone can see them.  I tend to wear them to book club or other places where I know we will be taking shoes off.  And of course I can wear them to work all the time, since I work from home and almost never wear shoes.

When was the last time you had socks that you wanted to show the world? 

Until we knit again,


Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Oh, I LOVE your socks! I I were E I'd wear them every darned day! (Get it? Darned?) I wish I could knit. I think we're born with certain talents and some just elude us. I've tried and tried to knit but I've come to the conclusion that a knitter I will never be. Doesn't mean I don't appreciate how wonderful your socks are!

Thanks for the visit at my blog and the follow. Hope you're enjoying A to Z!

Melanie said...

I love my socks but have a tendency to "keep them for good". Dumb I know but I can't help myself. Mine are purple and wonderful!
Love, your lil sistah

Lynn Proctor said...

so cute---they are so cozy looking

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