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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My First Socks

Okay, so most of you know that I am a newbie knitter and that Lila and I took a Mother-Daughter knitting class from our friend Susan (who also weaves baskets) this past spring.  I knit a couple of scarves one of which was basically a long row of different blocks knit in  patterns which I found in "A Treasury of Knitting Patterns" by Walker (which I found at the goodwill) and "Learning to Knit Visually" which is the resource book that I use when I'm stumped by something in a pattern.  Which is often.  When I'm stumped by the answers in the book, I go to Susan or another knitter.  Which is often.

So, after the scarves and a few dishcloths, I was feeling emboldened to try something I figured would scare the bejesus out of me and either turn me into a "real" knitter or send me sternly back to my spinning wheel.  Socks.

I found some lovely sock yarn by Paton in varied shades of green, brown and grayish.  I had some idea of knitting these socks for my dear friend Kristie's birthday, which was three weeks around the corner.  Now there were a few fatal flaws in this logic:  1.  Kristie's birthday was three weeks away.  2. I have never knit a pair of socks before.  3. Who would give their best friend their first pair of socks?  4.  Did I mention that her birthday was a mere three weeks away? So, I started these socks in April. 

Well, I finished that first sock pretty darn quick!  Yes, there were some issues- mostly with accidental increases but I figured out what I was doing wrong fairly quickly.  No I didn't go back and rip them out.  Let them be reminders of mistakes made and lessons learned.  Battle scars.  Turning the heel wasn't as scary as I had heard it to be, but there were confusing directions about picking up stitches along the gusset...I had to ask for help.  There were too many stitches to end up with the number I was supposed to have on my needles.  That's when the enlightenment came- I was told you can just pick up the number you need along the gusset to get the correct can CHEAT at knitting!  That was a liberating discovery let me tell you!  WHY didn't the book just say that??

So I was feeling rather proud and a bit cocky at my first sock and ventured into the world of bragging to show it off.  My feeling of accomplishment was quickly doused by the many people naysayers who said "Ya, well where is the second sock?"  As if knitting one sock was no accomplishment at all!!!  I quickly learned of the dreaded "Second Sock Syndrome (SSS)".  I've found that SSS is akin to leaving University with your field research under your belt, your graduate classes taken and passed with flying colors, but your thesis unwritten.  All for naught until you sit down, write that tome and get grilled by the inquisition your graduate research committee and have that leather bound volume gathering dust on your bookshelf (which is where mine resides).

Well, May rolled along and we are well into Teva season even here in the UP.  There is no hurry after all to finish a pair of wool socks that won't be worn until September.  I did cast on to my beloved size 3 DPN's and quickly whipped up the ribbed cuff, and my knitting bag followed me wherever I went most of the summer.  I managed a few rows here and there and finally got to the reinforced heel.  On a conference call last month I turned the heel, which was promptly ripped out because I can't count, listen and talk at the same time. 

Then- last night I did it.  Finished the second sock. Learned  that you don't have to use the Kitchner stitch if you do a three needle bind off, which is less confusing.  Wove in my ends (and discovered I really need to leave them longer).  And, Voila- a pair of socks.  Which I will wear and waggle in the face all those naysayers who thought I'd never finish.  Hopefully the second pair will go quicker....


  1. hi! i just discovered your blog through your esty glad, because you had me in stitches :P!!
    they are just BEAUTIFUL. you should be so proud! that's a huge achievement for a newbie knitter (ur not a newbie anymore, hunh!?). next time you make a pair of socks and people demand to know where the other one is, you should ask if they knit it up for you? :P. or tell them one sock is a sock puppet...two is an article of clothing. make it seem sincere and you'll never be asked again!
    happy knitting!

  2. Nice work. I have yet to muster the enthusiasm to even start a pair although it is on my to do list.

  3. Sherry. I must say, this may be my favorite post in Spinners End. . But, I was right with you at every stitch here. Being Nana's daughter, I did learn to knit at a young age. I have knitted scarves, baby blankets, sweaters, hats, mittens. But socks... HA !....NEVER ! Turning the heel has always turned me away to something else. And they are most lovely too! I still get mine from Mom. So huge congratulations and a big gold knitting star to you, sister!