Finished: Socks!I have fallen in love with sock knitting. If you would have told me I would be knitting socks back when I started knitting, I would have never believed you. As I've mentioned in the past I was somewhat of a garment-knitter snob. I only wanted to knit garments - sock knitting was for granny's. Why on earth would you want to knit socks? Which is kind of ironic considering the fact that most non-knitters consider knitting in general to be a 'granny thing' - you'd think I would be more open-minded. I guess, like most people, I had the stereotypical mental image of thick, scratchy, itchy, socks.
I'm not sure when I started to warm up to the idea of knitting socks. I guess, when I started to open up to the idea of knitting other things than just garments, socks just naturally came along with it. But when I started watching knitting podcasts and I saw so many gorgeous pairs of hand knitted socks pass the screen I finally started to realize that they are actually an accessory that can add a fun or cute touch to your outfit.
I was still a little bit intimidated by the idea of sock knitting. By watching all the podcasts I heard so many unfamiliar terms, like 'heel flap and gusset', 'fish lips kiss heel', 'heel turn', 'gusset decreases', 'after thought heel' etc., etc. - sock knitting just sounded very involved. But come december, I just couldn't resist any longer. I already had some sock yarn in my stash - Drops Fabel - which I purchased ages ago for another project but the yarn wasn't right for it (I didn't know what sock yarn was when I ordered it). I had to order needles but unfortunately the needles I wanted - 100 cm KnitPro Zings - where out of stock everywhere and I had to wait for them to come back in. Finally, at the beginning of January I cast on my first pair of socks.
My first experience of knitting socks actually wasn't great. Fortunately I realized that this had nothing to do with the concept of knitting socks - it was the yarn. Drops Fabel is rather rough. I found it uncomfortable to knit with and I also don't really like the way it feels on my feet. I also found the colour rather boring, so that is why I turned them into short socks. It was a good test run though, and the socks turned out quite well. It gave me a chance to test the fit and tweak the pattern to make my own recipe. The pattern I used was Voolenvine's Favorite Socks and I also watched the Craftsy class Essential Techniques for Sock Knitting by Ann Budd. I highly recommend this class if you want to learn sock knitting because I think it helps to have a visual explanation for things like turning the heel and picking up stitches for the gusset.
My second pair of socks was on the needles quickly after. This time I used the now very famous Regia Arne and Carlos yarn in the Summer Night colorway. The yarn was a birthday/Christmas gift from my mom. I had seen some people on Ravelry who knitted it with white contrasting heels and toes and I did the same. I did use Drops Fabel again but for just heels and toes the yarn is fine. I found my first pair of socks a bit too tight around the foot and the toes so I went from a standard 64 sts to 68 sts. Then I knit the socks just past the end of my pinky toe before starting the toe decreases. I only decreased to 36 sts, making the toe quite flat but it just really fits my feet a lot better than a more pointy toe.
On to the third pair of socks. I wanted to use a self striping yarn again and got some Bergere de France Goomy 50 in "Imprim Prun". I decided it would be fun to make up my own pattern for these so I designed something with cables. (Bizzarly enough I was browsing Ravelry a few days ago for some sock patterns and found an almost identical pattern!) I made one more tweak in the fit this time: I didn't really like the way that the heels of the other socks fit, so I decided to give the "Dutch heel" a try (how appropriate!) and I fits me só much better! This will definitely be my go-to heel from now on. These socks took a lot longer to finish because the cables where very tedious to knit, I think due to the tight gauge, so I got a little fed up with them half way through.
By now I have already acquired a sizable amount of sock yarn, including some lovely hand dyed yarn from indie dyers like Baerenwolle and The Wool Barn. I really blame the knitting podcasts for the all enabling! Needless to say, you will be seeing many more socks on this blog (don't worry, I still mainly consider myself a garment knitter and am still obsessed with vintage knitting!). The pair of sock I currently have on my needle are for the mister - to my surprise as per his request. They are just a boring pair of black socks so I am definitely trying to plough trough them as quick as I can so that I can move on to the shiny hand dyed sock yarn!