I’ve recently fallen into the habit of knitting socks. Something I never thought I’d do, thanks to the distant memory of my first try at socks – knit using worsted weight beige acrylic (yes, it was in the 80s, why do you ask?). With no thought to gauge, I fired up the double-pointed needles and got stitching. When they looked a little big, I just shrugged, and kept knitting. (Well, it was a while ago, I’m just guessing about the shrugging part). When sock number one turned out a little large (think Christmas stocking), I dutifully cast on and knit it’s partner. Then I had two huge, beige, acrylic knit socks. I was
so proud finished.
Years later, I started thinking about socks again. Knitting magazines were showing patterns for perfect, lacy socks modelled on delicate, dancer feet. Yarn shops were full of delicious sock yarn. It was the self-patterning ones that did me in. Really, who could resist?
I started with buying sock yarn, determined to make something other than socks with it. It was so yummy, so squishable, so pretty. Once I started buying it, I couldn’t stop. I bought some with aloe and jojoba oil in it that was heavenly to hold. I couldn’t resist.
I did start with other things. I made a scarf.
Then, I made another scarf, a little more complicated, and a lot longer.
And then, I finally broke down and made a pair of socks.
They weren’t the best socks. The yarn I used was thinner than what the pattern wanted. I had to use bigger needles to get the right gauge (see, I do learn from the past). The knit fabric came out loose looking. I used the knit-on cast-on, so the top edge is not very stretchy. But they fit, and they are comfy, and I love them in spite of their imperfections (and maybe a little bit because of them).
So, emboldened by the first pair, I made a second pair. I used a different pattern (the one in Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s book Knitting Rules). I used a better cast-on (the double cast-on). I made a decent pair of socks, and I was proud.
Then I joined Ravelry and discovered that I was the last knitter on the planet to discover the joy of sock knitting. How did that happen? Now I am not only knitting another pair of socks, I’m buying more yarn, I’m planning new sock projects and I’ve bought an entire book about socks (Vogue Knitting’s Ultimate Sock Book). I very nearly joined a sock club, and suspect that I will not resist next year. And I am visiting the web site of the lovely and talented Tsarina of Tsocks, lusting over her patterns. She has turned sock knitting into an art form.