Saturday, May 31, 2008

On Socks - Part One

First Socks
Not long after I became a Knitter, my friend Barb said to me "you should try socks – they're fun".  Socks, I thought, who'd want to knit socks ?  They look hard and there are all those tiny stitches on itty bitty needles – no thanks.  But as I attended knit-ins and guild meetings all around me knitters were knitting socks! Well – there must be something to this, I thought, perhaps I should try it. That first pair was certainly confusing – it took several tries to find a pattern that made any sense - the instructions that worked for me were in Sally Melville's book, The Purl Stitch.

But Barb was right – it was fun!

I was so excited – I had actually made a pair of socks !

As much fun as the first pair had been, I was not satisfied with the common heel or the fit of the ankle or the pointy toe.  Barb explained that she uses several size needles to achieve the perfect fit – the smallest size for the ribbing/heel/toe, the largest size for the calf, and a middle size for the ankle and instep.  That would take care of the sizing issues but what about the weird heel (to me, a new knitter, the 'common heel' [flap, heel, gusset] seemed weird) and pointy toe.

Off to the library and to the internet I went in search of the perfect (for me) sock techniques.  I was amazed by the myriad of choices – cuff down/toe up, common heel/short row heel, wedge toe/modified wedge toe/rounded toe/anatomical toe, double points/two circ's/magic loop needles, not to mention the myriad of colors, fibers and stitch patterns.  This was so exciting – I could be my own designer!

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Knitting is magical!