Thursday, September 27, 2012

Why yes, I have been knitting socks.

I haven't been wanting to blog about my sock projects for a while because I thought that they were way too similar to each other to be interesting. After all, a sock is just a sock and there are only so many ways to knit one, right? That type of thinking is misguided. A sock is so much more than just a sock. It is a place to master techniques, a place to have fun, and a place to relax. I am working on a total of three socks right now: one for my mom, one for my old roommate Laura, and one for myself. Each of these socks are different and they each have their own challenges.

The socks that I have been knitting on for my mom are one of my oldest WIPs. We went to a different yarn store about a year ago and I told her that if she got a skein of sock yarn, then I would make her a pair of socks of her choosing. That year for Christmas she had gotten me Cookie A's Knit*Sock*Love pattern book and fell in love with the Wedge socks. I cast-on and discovered that the way the pattern went had a lot of short-rows to get the effect. I've done short-rows before and these were in garter stitch! That meant that I didn't even have to worry about picking up the wrap-and-turns because they would just blend in with the fabric. For some reason, I always mess up on these rows. I just passed the garter stitch short-row heel on the first sock.

Last year before we graduated, I told Laura that if she ever wanted to get me fiber or yarn to make her a pair of socks out of, then I would make her a pair. I got a text a couple of months after we graduated to ask if that offer was still open and I told her yes. She sent me the sock yarn she wanted her socks out of and a bonus skein of sock yarn and a 4 oz braid of fiber for me to play with. I decided to get working on her socks right away. That way when I got frustrated with mom's socks, I could just pick up hers and happily knit on them for a while. The pattern choice was up to me and I had a strong itch to make Cookie A's Monkey socks again. I especially wanted to do the No-Purl variation. I also decided to sub in a short-row heel for the socks to make them look more like store bought socks and hopefully fit similar since I don't know how high her arch is. (Seriously, take a look at your regular socks next time. They use short-rows to shape the heel) I also put in a stockinette stitch foot because it was something I had never done before and I believe she would be the type of person to appreciate a plain foot.

The last socks are very special to me. When my family and I went camping right after I graduated, we found a store that I got some fiber to spin up into yarn. After some debate, I decided to go ahead and make socks out of that yarn even though I don't think I have enough of the yarn. To solve this problem I found a single skein of sock yarn in my stash and used it for a contrasting cuff, heel, and toe. I also wanted to do an afterthought heel on these socks just because I could. It turns out that the contrasting yarn is almost a perfect match for the yarn that I spun. The sock I finished feels a little tight on my foot, but I think that is because I used a different sock needles than I am used to. I will love these socks anyway because I took them from fiber to yarn to finished object. I just need to knit the second sock so my other foot won't me cold!

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