So You’ve Always Wanted to Knit a Sock? or Not.

So you’ve always wanted to knit a sock?  or not. If not, I hope you’ll return to the blog tomorrow.

A math teacher friend and former colleague is preparing to knit her first pair of socks.  She inspired this hand knit sock post. My friend in Florida who is finishing a pair of socks she started knitting for her son about five years ago and now she has the time to knit the second sock.  I think she is on the toe already.

When I first thought of knitting a pair of socks, I thought it looked too difficult. Now I average a pair a month.   My friends say” it’s too much trouble” but the way I see it, I’d be in trouble if I didn’t have sock knitting in my life.  Especially now as we are staying at home.

A blog post by knitter, author and designer Susan B. Anderson describes in detail  How I Make My Socks and is a great start. There are patterns on Ravelry and videos on YouTube.

These striped socks are knit with some very smart yarn that knows how to stripe all by itself, it’s the way the yarn is dyed.  Looks complicated, doesn’t it? The following 4 pairs of socks are knit in West Yorkshire Spinners Signature Yarn from UK bought at McWalker Yarns in Millvale PA.  Although their physical store is closed you can still order online.  (and if you are out of work you can apply for a $50 mini-grant for yarn to knit a project during isolation due to COVID-19 click name of store to get details or order knitting supplies, sock or otherwise)

This first pair is knit by a friend and neighbor who just started knitting in December.  Her first pair of socks.  She knit them on 2- 16″ circulars, one at a time.  She is a very tidy knitter.  I helped her along the way and she watched a couple of videos but she is now finishing her third pair.  Every once in awhile she needs reassurance she is doing the knitting correctly but she’s got it all by herself now.  I am proud of my excellent student and I think her socks look great!

All West Yorkshire Spinners Signature Yarn

 

You have a smart phone? a smart TV?  Here’s some other smart yarn. And you can wash these socks in the washing machine. There is a handwash setting on my machine  I air dry mine.

There is Regia Yarn by Schachenmayr and cotton yarn Tutti Fruiti II,Regia Design Line or Regia Pairfect by ARNE & CARLOS 4-ply (fingering weight). 75% Virgin Wool and 25% Polyamide. I finished both pairs that are shown  completed. Kid socks (in the middle photos)_are fun to knit and take less time.

 

Allergic to wool?  Here are two skeins of cotton sock yarn and a pair I knit for a friend

If you’re a blog follower, you might remember my poem The Satisfaction of Sock Knitting on an April post four years ago.  

A Handknit Sock

There’s a math to it. The cast on. Count
the multiples of four.
Last year it was hats and cowls.
This year, socks.
I want to try the fish lips kiss heel.

It’s a simple thing. How a sock is knit.
You start with yarn.
Needles as slim as toothpicks.
Terms like toe and gusset and cuff.
My friend says, "it’s too much work."

There’s a rhythm in the repetition.
The making. Clockwise circles.
Some throw, some pick.
Row after row after row.
In time you get length and warmth.

There’s the calm you long for,
around and around and around.
Turn heel for a path to Zen.
You think of those you love.
The grandmother who taught you.

The wet squeezed out,
pairs hang to dry. Later fold
their softness, admire the colors,
ignore imperfections.
Find comfort, hidden in shoes.
My squishy hand knit socks.

or my page on the Comparative Analysis of Knitting Socks when I started six pairs before Christmas using all different methods- two at a time on a  long corded (32″) single circular needle – Magic Loop, there was a single sock on an 8″ circular (that took a few inches to master) a single sock on two 16″ circulars, the set of sharp double point needles- one at a time, and then wooden and metal needles to add to the mix. Toe up, cuff down.  Fish Lips Kiss Heel, Flap and Gusset, Afterthought Heel and Eye of Partridge.

Maybe someone reading this blog post will get some needles and sock yarn and give it a go. If you decide to try it, please share your photos and experience as you start knitting socks.

Learning to Knit Mittens

Five hours in. Knitting a mitten.  A Baby Alpaca yarn mitten. I looked at the clock. I knew what time I turned on the TV and what time I turned it off .Time to stop knitting and get to bed.

The Weekly Photo Challenge is relax but I remember some people found learning to knit stressful. Have to get past the possibly awkward part of learning the basics before you get to the Zen. Holding the needles. Finding the right place to stick the point.

My friend Ann texted (after a volley of texts about the miserable weather and whether we really NEEDED yarn) that she’d pick me up and we’d go to Oakmont to the Yarns by Design store.  She brought a fingerless mitt and a matching cowl she’d completed and since I had the same pattern at home –Susan B. Anderson Waiting for Winter Mittens pattern– I felt inspired to knit mittens  Thanks, Ann.

Now I Thought I’d start the new effort in the morning .. but the new yarn spoke to me and I started.

Ann said they worked up faster than socks. She’s right about that!

 

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Knitting Socks – with a little help from experts 

This post started with Steve bringing me a bowl of beanie weanies for Sunday night supper. 

I looked at the color of the bowl, the sock I was knitting, and the teal of my new robe from Christmas. ( thank you, V- it is very cozy)

  
I try to keep the blog IRT for the most part.  

The last sock yarn I used was for a Sockhead Hat by Kelly McClure Pattern (thanks for the Chocolate and Cherries yarn,Toni). 

Then I thought of all the references I am using to tutor myself to knit socks again. Reading about the knitting is good preparation.

I’d started a pair of socks simultaneously on two circular needles about two years ago. (Thanks for the yarn, Molly) but bought new size one double point needles yesterday to knit them singly. 

I used to worry about “SSS- second sock syndrome.” Listened to Alicia and Natalie on a Mastering the Knits Podcast talk about socks and yarn and more socks and felt inspired.

Also, my long time friend, E, brought me a Christmas gift. A book –Knit Socks! –shaped like a sock -by Betsy Lee McCarthy 

 The two books have exclamation marks in their titles.   

Additional References pictured above 

-The glare of the Round white OTT light -so I can see on a winter night

– Susan B Anderson “How I Knit My Socks”

Susan’s Blog link
-Stephanie Pearl-McPhee   Knitting Rules!

Yarn Harlot link