Socks. I never really knew what I was missing, until I wore a pair of knitted socks. I don’t think there’s a single knitted item that I’ve ever made, that’s drawn as much (mainly undeserved) admiration and object-envy as socks.
The second knit-a-long (KAL) that I’m taking part in this year is the ‘Socks with Sarah’ year-long sock KAL. It’s organised by Sarah of brilliant Knitting Sarah blog fame. This is a wonderful, low-stress KAL that I can work on alongside any other knitting I’m working on. The object of the KAL is to knit socks, for a year, a little each day, aiming to incorporate sock knitting into everyday knitting so that, slowly but surely, we each build up our collection of knitted socks and practice the skills involved in sock knitting.
So far, I’ve produced two pairs of socks. The first of my efforts for ‘Socks with Sarah’ was made with West Yorkshire Spinners 100% DK Bluefaced Leicester ‘Country Birds Collection’ in the ‘Blue Tit’ colourway. The double knitting yarn knitted up so quickly, it was lovely to work with and I love the effect it gave in the finished knit. The pattern I used was my fail-safe double knitting sock pattern, A Simple Knitted Sock Pattern for Beginners by Anna Hobbs. The pattern’s so easy to follow and results in some genuinely lovely and well-fitted socks.
These socks were actually a very late Christmas gift for Graeme. I wrapped up the ball of yarn in his Christmas stocking, but it’s taken me quite a while to turn that ball into actual socks! He seems pleased with the finished socks anyway, although they’re a bit small. Might need to use two balls of the yarn if I make him a pair from this again!
The second pair of socks that I’ve knitted for the KAL in the past couple of weeks are the recommended beginner socks for the ‘Socks with Sarah’ KAL, the Basic Sock by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas in Rowan Felted Tweed DK.
The shade isn’t quite raspberry. It’s actually quite dark red, with lovely little flecks of other colours.
It’s called ‘Rage’, although that seems far too angry for some nice cosy knitted socks! The pattern was excellent – very easy to follow, with detailed instructions and images of the tricky bits! Although I’m not really a beginner sock knitter, I loved the opportunity to knit something simple but really lovely, and I wanted to use the recommended pattern for the KAL to get me into the spirit! I’ve managed to make these two pairs far quicker than I expect I’ll normally be able to manage, mainly due to the thickness of the yarns and the simplicity of the patterns. I don’t think I’ll be able to keep this pace up for very long at all!
I learned how to knit socks quite early as a knitter, but I’m quite stuck in my ways. I always knit them top-down. I always use 4 double-pointed needles. I always use a slip-stitch heel and graft the toe with kitchener stitch. While this means I no longer fear knitting socks, it is pretty boring. So the second thing I’m hoping to get out of this KAL – as well as a beautiful sock drawer – is some variety in my sock-knitting skills. I haven’t managed it in these two, but maybe next time…!