I love knitting socks. I love giving socks as gifts to people, I love wrapping peoples feet in thousands of stitches that hug them all day long. I love the way hand knit socks fit my feet and on a cold day in Michigan (3/4 of the year) I love the way they keep me warm.
I do have one problem with socks. I love the looks of lacy and cabled and patterned socks, they are wonderfully feminine or girlie if you want. My problem is each time I start a wonderful patterned sock I give up. I knit vanilla socks. I change up the toes and heel to what I feel like doing, but I like to knit the plain stockingette socks. I can read and knit, knit in class, knit and watch a TV show or movie and not have to think about what the next stitch is. They fit the foot and I almost never have problems. I do love self-striping yarns and in my opinion, they look best in plain sock mode, I almost never knit with a solid color yarn for socks, which I think look best in patterned socks, maybe that is why I do not knit with it.
All that eye candy of the pretty socks (Cookie A for example) makes me feel like I should be doing more. They make my hand itch to want to do the yarn overs and slip slip knits of the patterns. I want frilly, lacy, patterned socks, but my hands only want to do the plain socks. What does this say about me?
I do like to change it up a bit with heels and toes, I like the afterthought or peasant heel, with heel flaps I do a slip knit pattern or the eye of partridge with gussets, I am going to try the fleegle heel on my next pair of socks. I also like the short row heels (the pick of wraps shown on this website is wonderful for no holes.) I also love to learn new toes. The ones I stick with are the standard decrease (k2tog,k2, ssk), the star toe and the short row toe (all three are shown on this site). My all time favorite though is the fan toe found in Queen Kahuna's book. It fits the toe perfectly and can be changed for toe up or top down.
Toe up or top down:
Which ever way you like to go, there are patterns for you out there. Mostly I knit socks top down. I like to do the decrease for shaping instead of picking up stitches. I think either way is great and both have added benefits. Like I said about the top down, you can shape easier, but with a toe up you can try it on easier and make sure it fits before you turn the heel. I think it is just the way you like it and neither is better, just go with the pattern you have.
When I began knitting socks, I tried Dpn's first and promptly gave up. I still wanted to knit socks, and a friend had the book by Queen Kahuna Crazy Toes and Heels. I made my first pair of socks two at a time on two circs. I thought I was using a size 2 needle like it called for, but I didn't know at the time that Addi Turbos are in European standards and I made a pair of very tightly knit on size US 0 socks. The next pair I made I tried the Magic Loop way of knitting. I thinks it was my third pair that I went back to DPN's. I now love my double points and knit socks on them almost exclusively. As a teacher of sock knitting, I try to get the person to try dpn's first, because if you know the sock make up on dpn's, you can switch that to either of the other two ways and it makes reading patterns easier.
Second Sock Syndrome:
This is something that most people who knit one sock at a time gets at one time or another. I get bored with a sock yarn pattern, or a sock pattern, don't like the heel or toe, find a new cast on or off and want to change up. That is when my one lonely sock gets set aside for greener pastures. I do try to eventuly go back and finish up the pair, so they can be given as gifts, because I have lost the love. Not that they are not great socks, but I have just fallen out of love with them. The socks I keep are ones that I am still in love with when I finish the second sock.
On the needles:
The reason I started this rant about socks, is because I have 5 pairs on the needles right now.
1. I have the Thuja socks going in Art Yarns Supermerino. I am about 60% finished.
2. I have Tiger socks going in Opal Rainforrest Tiger print. Just a plain stockingette sock with a short row heel. 50% finished
3. I have Slinky socks going in Noro sock yarn. It is a stockingette, reverse stockingette pattern with an after thought heel and a star toe, You would think it would be an easy knit up, but again, it is a pattern and I have to think when doing it, so it sits. 35% finished
4. My hand dyed socks the green and orange blanks. (one I had to ball up because the Cat likes the taste of it and he tried to eat the blank). This as I said before is being done in a short row toe up pattern. 20% finished
5. Last night I started the Twisted Stitch socks from the More Big Girl Knits book. These are done in Cascade 220 and I am doing them in a magenta color. These socks are the reason I am posting about socks. I really want to make them, they are cabled and pretty, but I am afraid I will give up on the pattern before I get it done. *sigh*
On other news for this week:
I picked up my Birthday crafting from the ceramics shop. I love the bowl and coffee mug. No they are not perfect, I didn't want them perfect. I can buy perfect. I wanted them to look like me, good, but not perfect. and the inside of the bowl . Other birthday news, I received my birthday 2008 swap from Beth. She did a wonderful job of spoling me. Thank you again.
The Lacy baby blanket was finished and is off to it's new home across the street to the new born.
I have made up a baby sweater for someone I know, not naming names yet :)
I finished up some washclothes and tawashi's (I see I need to dead head my rose bush).
I made the Seraphina Shawl on Saturday I plan to wear this at stitches as a cover up in the cold classrooms.
And, as if I haven't had enough already, I started to spin last week. Lori at knit night taught me how to spin and let me borrow some spindles to try and gave me some of her roving to play with. I love it. On the 4th, when we went down to the waterfront to watch the musical fountain and the fireworks, I took my spindles and spent an enjoyable time spinning while answering many questions about where I bought the " neat top toy" LOL! oh the muggleness of non-knitters! I think Lori has given me passage to a new addiction. I have been planning out what roving I will purchase at the Michigan Fiber Festival instead of what yarn I want to buy. Heck I have 12 totes, plus bags stuffed everywhere with yarn, I NEED roving. *evil grin*
I think that is all for this time, happy stitches to all...