February 7, 2007

Let's Talk About Sox, Baby

Until very recently, I had never knit a single pair of socks. In the Muggle vs. Knitter debate on whether knitting socks is a worthwhile endeavor, I must say, I agreed with the Muggles. I just did not see the point. In fairness, I live in a warm climate where you don't necessarily need wool socks, hand knit or other, but I digress.

However, the more I saw, read, thought about knitting socks, a crack in my thinking began to grow. It was NOT that I had an epiphany wherein I suddenly saw the virtue of hand knitting socks. I was still pretty firm in seeing sock knitting as a waste of my knitting time. But I started to think of sock knitting as a knitterly right of passage. I was getting the creeping suspicion that if I were to be a true Knitter, I'd have to knit at least ONE pair of socks. I decided to make a pair so I could say I'd done it and then it would all be over and I could go back to sweaters. I even asked for the yarn as a gift so I didn't have to pay for it myself.

Here they are, my first pair:

Yarn: Lorna's Laces, Shepherd Sock, Safari Colorway
Needles: US 2 DPN's (started with bamboo but one got bent so I switched to aluminum)
Pattern: Step-by-Step Cheat Sheet for Socks from Knitting Rules!
Result: Cute but too big. The sizing problem is purely operator error. I know I have small feet and willfully did not adjust for that. I knew I probably should have used US 1 DPN's but I wasn't acclimated to the small yarn and needles and I wussed out. And I had some problems with ladders which messed with my guage. But I did improve as I went. The second sock is better than the first one.

Flushed with a sense of accomplishment upon completion, I thought, "maybe this sock knitting thing is kinda fun after all..." I also thought, "I can do better. I WILL do better."

Here, then, is my second pair:

Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill, Supersock, Serengeti Colorway
Needles: US 1 DPN's (I dipped my toes and found the water to be fine)
Pattern: K2, P2 Rib using the Yarn Harlot's no pattern sock recipe also from Knitting Rules!
Result: Much better! Smaller needles, fewer stitches, ribbing, and starting the toe decreases earlier means these socks actually fit me.

I'm going to give them away.

I actually knew from the get-go these would be a gift. A colleague of mine (a non-knitter) whose feet are about my size (smaller, if anything) got me a job not too long ago. It was a good job and hopefully will lead to more like it. I needed a worthy way to thank her. I overheard her say she's looking for thin, wool socks. She'd only been able to find those thick wool socks to wear with hiking boots. Ah Ha! A reason to knit socks! Also I gotta say, bless her soul for knowing that if warmth is what you want, wool is where it's at.

So there you have it. I've now knit two whole pairs of socks. So is that it? Is it all over with me and the socks? Well...it seems that I've bought this:

Lorna's Laces, Shepherd Sock, Glenwood colorway

Which somehow turned it to this:

It's official. My adventures in sockland have shown me there are reason's to knit socks, sock knitting is fun and socks are pretty much the perfect port-o-project. Clearly I've changed sides in the Muggle vs. Knitter sock debate.

Still, there is no way I'm giving up on the sweaters.