Not ranting today

Well, not yet anyway…

Instead I’ve decided to sit back and enjoy the process of knitting socks. To celebrate this I’m answering Lolly’s questions for Socktober Fest.

  • When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?

I’ve knitted on and off for about 15 years, and the last knitting spurt I had was when I was pregnant for my now 14 1/2 year old. That was until about 4 years ago.

I had been dabbling in silversmithing and beading and other crafts over the years, but was always fond of fibery things. My sister, the weaver, had recently started dyeing her own yarns, and on one of our trips to a yarn store with her, I was surprised to find how different the yarn market had become… the yarns were deliciously soft and the colors spectacular.  No more acrylics or scratchy wools.
This opened up a whole new world for me. I also decided I needed to have a craft/hobby that was more portable, so I took my first plunge when I found this very beautiful funky, yet complicated pattern that required about 15 different colors of yarn. What was I thinking? I suspect that project stayed in the bag barely started and is lost in the stash somewhere and may even have been chucked out in frustration. Eventually I fell in love with some Cherry Tree Hill Merino Sock Yarn that just begged me to try again. So this time with a simple pattern in hand I managed to fight my way through learning to knit with teeny, tiny dpns, turning a heel and through what I later found out was second sock syndrome (I had previously suffered from second mitten syndrome, but didn’t know it was contagious). After all that, I finally managed to complete a pair, well sort of a pair, of socks.

  • What was your first pair? How have they “held up” over time?

Individually my first “pair” of socks looked adequately sort of like socks, but next to each other? well, maybe fraternal twins? At least they were the same color and texture and they sort of fit. One was a bit loose, the other a bit tight. But I proudly wore them and eventually they got holes in the soles and toes, which I then attempted to learn how to darn. Again, sort of successfully. But they are loving placed in my sock drawer, and although I have several new, well matched hand-knit socks in my drawer, these still come out occasionally to keep my toesies warm.

  • What would you have done differently?

Absolutely nothing, I still love these socks.

  • What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?

I don’t think I’ve met a sock yarn I didn’t t like yet. But if money were not a consideration and I was independently wealthy I have to say I would knit all my socks with Henry’s Attic Silk and Ivory (50% Silk / 50% Merino). They just feel so good while your are knitting them and even nicer to wear. It also helps to have a sister who dyes beautiful colorways for you.

  • Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?

After my fraternal pair I started searching for better way, found that people were knitting both socks on two circular needles, and I thought what a great idea! I tried learning through on-line sites, but I just didn’t get it.  I eventually stumbled on to Queen Kahuna’s site and ordered her book Crazy Heels and Toes. By the time I finished my next pair I was smitten. Eventually with all the knitting (practice) my knitting tension has become more even and now I’ve gone back to using bamboo dpns. I actually find that it’s faster for me to knit them this way.  There is less fussing and keeping track of where you are on the sock AND pattern.  I recently saw someone using the magic loop and knitting both socks on one big circular and I have to learn that trick!

  • Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)

Flaps are second nature to me now, but I want to try the short-row again with the short row toe.

  • How many pairs have you made?

I’m not sure of the exactly number, but I’ll guess more than 10.


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