Sunday, 1 February 2015

Toe-up Socks

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.

Project notes

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