Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sock Knitting

A couple of years back I had a yen to knit socks after a friend was raving about how nice and comfy  hand knit socks are. I purchased yarn, some needles and this book.
However, I discovered that there is a dedicated language of sock knitting that causes confusion for the uninitiated- toe up or top down, four double pointed needles or circular needles or the Magic loop or even two- at -a -time!
It was all just too much so I began to search for a class, looked all over the city but couldn't find anything within reasonable driving distance so I abandoned the project, well, sort of put it on the back burner protem.
Then a couple of months ago I happened to walk into Joann's for some notions when they were promoting their classes and lo and behold, a sock knitting class! Of course I signed up and took the class-it was only two sessions, but that is really quite adequate as long as you already have the basics of knitting. I learned the English style as a very young child rather than the US so I had a few adjustments to make, different instructions, abbreviations, methods of increase /decrease, cast on and off etc.
The teacher agreed to give instruction for toe up-my preference- although her preference is for top down. I liked the idea of toe up for a couple of reasons, you can get a smooth, ridgeless toe and a more accurate sock fit as well as the ability to use up the entire ball of yarn by making the leg part longer instead of having partial balls left over. The method we learned was on two circular needles so there was a learning curve there to adjust to that technique and I found that it really helps to have two different colored needles!
This is my first completed sock, I plan to begin on the second one as soon as I get this quilt frogged as I do not want to suffer from the infamous "second sock syndrome"!! I used a heavier yarn for this first pair, the needles were larger, I used US#6, and the yarn being thicker it knit up faster and the stitches/errors were easier to identify. I have only a couple of yards left of the ball of yarn and decided to use the roll over cast-off method. I see only one mistake so that's not bad for a first effort.  I have learned a couple of techniques that will help me in future sock making, and I found a plethora of tuts on Youtube answering just about every question you might have. There is also a way to knit in a fine nylon thread at toe and heel to reinforce those areas that wear out first-I plan to try and incorporate that in my next pair.
 This is the DK Superwash yarn, DK is one step heavier than regular sock yarn I think. I have enough regular sock yarn to make three pairs for ordinary use, but this first pair will be my around- the- house- in- my- slipper socks for winter.


Gari in AL said...

Glad you found a class. And your sock looks great. I need to try a sock with DK weight yarn.

Cactusneedle said...

That's something I would like to try also. I have bought a how-to book, needles and several skeins (enough for 3 pair) and just need to DO IT! lol

farmlady said...

Look at you.... knitting. Good for you. I'm impressed. This is on my bucket list, but I think I need a class too. I can't read the written directions.
I love the color. Be sure to post a photo of the PAIR when you're done.
Good for you...