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.  
Dissatisfying heel
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.  
11/10/2012 05:18:53 am

I like your reflection on the infinite possibilities of sock construction


Your comment will be posted after it is approved.

Leave a Reply.