Socks are fun to knit. While there are some knitters who never knit socks, there are some who only knit socks. A basic sock leaves a lot up to the discretion of the knitter. There is a cuff, a heel, and a toe, with leg and foot between them, and because there have been people knitting for hundreds of years, there are lots of different ways to create these parts. I love that socks are based on measurements, and that you can make a sock that fits just based on the wearer’s shoe size. I love to find a favorite method for each part, use it a few times, and then find a new favorite method. I’ve been knitting socks since 2005, and plunging head first into the knitting part of the internet since 2009, and I still come across new ways to do things that tickle my fancy. I’m looking at those numbers, and they don’t seem long enough ago to encompass what I feel I’ve learned about fiber arts in those years, but, to put it another way, I spend an average of 3 hours a day on fiber crafting, and so those years add up to 5,000-10,000 hours.
I learn new skills with each new project I undertake and with each old project I do a 2nd or 3rd time, and spending 50 straight days a year crafting means that I’m learning a lot. Even so, I’m surprised to see how things I made, even a year ago, feel far away and foreign. Places in a pattern where I had to make decisions look strange to my eyes now, because I’ve learned new techniques that I would use instead.
I’ve been busy recently working on projects for folks at Thanksgiving and for folks at Christmas, and for weddings that are happening in August (yeah, I know, but it is better to be ahead than behind I say!). I’ve gotten through everything I wanted to do for Thanksgiving, and Christmas still seems far away, so I got inspired to finish a project that has been hanging around since May 2011. The project is a pair of socks that were supposed to be for an August 2011 birthday, but instead they will be for a 2012 Thanksgiving.
Hard won toe
Technical Notes: My goal is to avoid taking the first sock apart and have two matching socks at the end of the process. I did not, however, make it simple for myself. In 2011, apparently, I hadn't yet learned to keep detailed notes about pattern changes, because I looked at the finished sock, looked at the directions I had stuffed into the bag with the extra yarn, and had some troubles. After trying to start the sock cuff-down and knitting a few rounds, I figured out that the finished sock is knit from the toe up. I can still access vague memories of being so enamored of Judy’s magic cast-on
that I would use any excuse to employ it, and also being so interested in the Interlock Bindoff
, that, again, any excuse or pattern tweak seemed reasonable. The Interlock Bindoff looks almost, but not quite like a Twisted German cast-on, thus my cast-on confusion. They may, very well, operate under the same principles, because they are both very stretchy. Figuring out how many stitches were cast on was another challenge. Well, less of a challenge and more like I didn't look that closely at the toe of the first sock before I plunged ahead, so, a completed toe later, I realized that I had cast on 28 stitches on the first sock, and only 20 on the second, so I ripped it back again. Now I’m on the almost right track and should be able to finish the foot without further incident.
I did an afterthought heel on the first sock (a heel knitted after the rest of the sock is finished). Now, as you would expect, I have a different favorite heel, which is knitted during sock construction. The afterthought heel I did has a thicker side seam than I would like. I’m torn because I don’t want to do a bunch of ripping back, and I can’t employ my new favorite heel technique anyway, but if I can find a satisfactory solution, which I think I have
, then I’ll be pulling out the heel on the first sock and doing something a little more elegant.
The pattern for these, by the way, is Jaywalker