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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Socktoberfest meme - because all the cool kids are doing it

When I first started to knit back in 2000, the wee little English Lady who was teaching the class showed us a sock she was knitting. The yarn seemed so threadlike, and the dpns were tiny. It seemed like an exotic and difficult project. When I picked up my needles again, I kept hearing more and more about knitting socks. While checking out the wares offered by the vendors the Seattle Fibre Fest this April, I decided all of a sudden that I would take the plunge. I bought a skein of hand-dyed sock yarn - the seller reassured me that 450 yards was enough even for a pair of size 11 socks, and told me to knit them on size 0 or size 1 needles. I also picked up a copy of Cat Bohrdi's book on knitting socks on 2 circs, and got it autographed by Cat.

I was beginning to see the light...

When did you start making socks?
This summer - Sarah Janet(Secret Pal extraordinaire) sent me a magic loop booklet, a skein of Socks That Rock, an addi circ, and the inspiration to give it a try.

Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?
I taught myself using online tutorials

What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time?
I used Wendy's toe up cast on tutorial and her generic toe up pattern to knit a very basic pair of socks with the STR. I ummm haven't finished weaving the ends in yet, so they haven't been worn officially.

What would you have done differently?
The first sock is a little too long; should have made it a bit shorter. I had intended to use the Mata Hari pattern, but wimped out and did a simple stockinette stitch; I should have attempted the pattern.

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
The Socks that rock is lovely to work with - I started working on some socks out of Opal yarn, and it was a shock how splitty and scratchy it was. I used some DK cotton/microfibre yarn for SockWars - it was great to knit with because it went so quickly

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
I don't crochet. [I can't even do a crochet cast on. My mom tried to teach me crochet and I kept sliding the stitches along the needle as if I was knitting.] I have used dpns for some socks that I started (like the ill-fated Jaywalkers in the previous post), as well as for a pair of "pedicure socks". The Sock Wars socks, and one of the 2 pairs I am working on right now are Magic Loop. I heart Magic Loop big time, although if Somerset is feeling frisky, she tries to chew on the cable while I am knitting. I can see myself saving dpns for patterns like Jaywalker where it is easier to keep track of the pattern if you have the sock on 4 needles.

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
I like a flap heel because I find it difficult to pick up the stitches when they are double wrapped when shortrowing. I also have problems with gaps when I pick up stitches with the heel flap, but I try to minimize this by twisting stitches.

How many pairs have you made?
2 pairs of "real socks", 1 pair of pedicure socks. Right now I have 2 pairs on the go - the one that is seeing the most action is a pair I am knitting for a Secret Pal.

Comments on "Socktoberfest meme - because all the cool kids are doing it"


Blogger SarahJanet said ... (Tue Oct 10, 04:30:00 AM EDT) : 

Man, I'm so happy I sucked somebody else in. Woo, enabling!

I'm knitting with STR right now (Pomatomus!) and I love it. I made a pair of stockinette socks with it and liked it ok but didn't quite get the mad love, but now I totally do. It looks so good!

As for using DPNs for socks with pattern - dude. Stitch markers are your friend. I have seriously not picked up a set of DPNs since I learned how to magic loop. I had one pair languishing on DPNs, and once I switched it over it went about a thousand times faster. If it's a pattern that requires a bit of attention (like Pomatomus, and Jaywalkers at first although you learn to read them very quickly), I throw on a few of my many stitch markers, and I can easily follow the pattern's instructions for needle numbers.

Down with DPNs!


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