Sunday, 1 February 2015
Hand-made socks are such a joy to make and to wear. Each pair is unique, so soft & cushy.
Many years ago I taught myself to knit socks using an ancient pattern. The heels on my first two pairs were a bit wonky because I had misread the instructions. I finally figured out how to turn a heel properly, and have made many more top-down pairs. I have sometimes used cable patterns but my favourite socks to make are what is known as "plain vanilla socks" on 4 or 5 double-pointed needles.
Then I mysteriously fell into sock-knitting rut, about 2 years ago. I became aware there were other techniques out there such as toe-up, using 2 circulars, toe-up 2 at a time, ... Surely I should push myself to learn something new.
So I bought a pattern book to learn how to knit 2 socks at a time. I also knit individual socks using 2 circular needles. And honestly, using circulars killed my sock-knitting Mojo. I realized that I really enjoy working with double-pointed needles. They make for a small, portable project, ready for an outing at a moment's notice. For some reason, the floppiness of the circulars drove me nuts and I hated having to push all the stitches along those long needles all the time. I was trying so many new techniques all at once, that I stopped enjoying making socks altogether.
I finally found my sock enthusiasm back a couple weeks ago after reading Tanis Lavallée's blog. Perhaps I just needed someone to reassure me that toe-up socks were not a big deal. There was a link to the funny Cat Bordhi toe-up cast-on video, and another to the afterthought heel.
To celebrate this new found knowledge I tried my skills out on a new pair of toe-up, afterthought heeled socks based on this cardigan, to use-up some leftover scraps. They were so much fun to make! I can see making many more toe-up socks in the near future, perhaps always having a pair in the works.