So, if you're wavering about making socks, I encourage you to give it a try. Just be warned, you may get addicted *laughs* If you'd told me a couple of years ago that I would be handknitting socks, I would have thought you were crazy. Now I want an entire sock drawer of handmade, colourful socks!
Thursday, 19 January 2012
Socks are Hard
I’ve posted before about how much the world of blogging introduced me to projects and ideas that I’d never considered before. The most notable of these has to be socks... And as I have seen a few of my favourite bloggers venturing into the land of sock making recently, I got to thinking about them in probably more depth than is healthy *laughs*
My second ever pair of socks, and probably still my favourites!
I’m sad to say that I don’t recall the blog that first introduced me to the concept of hand knit socks, but from the moment I saw them I wanted to make my own pair. There was just a small snag; I was a beginner with only a scarf and a half under my belt. The blogs on which I saw these wonderful creations seemed to belong to wonderfully accomplished knitters who could no doubt knock up a pair of socks in a matter of moments while juggling a million other crafty and clever things. But for me, well, socks would be far too hard. Wouldn’t they?
The comments on the blogs I was reading supported this idea, saying how impressive the knitter was, how hard it was to knit socks, how the commenter daren’t try because it would be too tough.
I put the idea out of mind for a while, though not before I bought a beginner sock kit just in case (containing a ball of sock yarn, a set of DPNs and a pattern - incidentally, I still haven't actually used that yarn yet *laughs*). The kit scared me off somewhat, the pattern written with strange and unnerving techniques I had never heard of. I put it to one side, having confirmed my impression that socks are hard.
So as not to waste the kit, I actually used the double pointed needles, making a pair of fingerless mitts. Somehow the fact that I was successfully knitting in the round on 4 needles passed me by and I didn’t register that if I could do that, then surely I could knit socks.
As I got more confident in blogging, I started to comment on other blogs, often replicating the “wow, so clever, socks must be so hard” comments I’d seen so many times before. Yet the responses I got from the knitters always refuted this; telling me that they’re not that hard at all, use a beginner tutorial, take it one stitch at a time, watch youtube videos for the parts you don’t understand...
And then it clicked. I used all of those resources for everything else I wanted to knit, so why not socks? One of my first projects was a jumper, because it never occurred to me that I couldn’t do it. Yet somehow I had got caught into the idea that socks are hard.
So, I made a pair of socks *grins*
My very first socks - they're a bit tight and shorter than ideal, but they look and function like socks! Success *grins*
Guess what... They’re not that hard. Once I had made them, and my blog posts showing them off demonstrated just how excited I was to have managed it, I started to get the same comments on my blog that I’d seen before on others’... Socks are so hard.
I don’t know why socks in particular seem to inspire obsessive joy in those who can make them (I have had a sock on the go ever since I started my first one!) and terror in those who fear that they are too hard *ponders* If you can follow instructions, you can make socks!
Now, I absolutely do not consider myself anything beyond a beginner in the world of sock knitting. I am still awed and intimidated by some of the patterns that I see other bloggers making and how quickly some people can make them. I’ve made 6 pairs (I shan’t count the pair I've just cast on *laughs*). Some were done cuff down and some toe up, but all of them have been plain or ribbed, nothing fancy. One of my goals for this year is to branch out into more involved patterns, but the fact is anyone can make socks. Really *smiles encouragingly at those who want to try but haven't*
I even made man-sized socks, my first toe up pair and my first attempt at magic loop.
There’s a wealth of information online; through Ravelry, youtube, tutorials and the fabulous blogs out there. I used the ever popular Silver's Sock Class for my first (and many subsequent) pairs... It's wonderfully step by step, breaks it all down and has lots of pictures.
Wow, that turned into a bit of an essay, didn't it *laughs*