Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New Year-New Challenge! Socks! Socks! Socks!


   It seems to me that last year was the year of the baby knits! I spent more time making baby items than anything else since my family seems to enjoy breeding (2 great-nephews born a day a part!). Then when it came to holiday knitting I was completely overwhelmed and rushed! I did not get time to learn new techniques which, if you are a hobbyist you may know, is sort of the point of having a hobby!
     So this year I have issued myself a challenge: master sock knitting! Do not get me wrong. I can knit socks. I have made several pairs of perfectly beautiful socks, however, they are all based on the same pattern. In the past, sock knitting completely intimidated me to the point that I felt I would never enjoy this staple knitted item. Even the vocabulary was scary: gusset (um...what?), heel flap (why would one's heels need to flap?), turning a heel (what in the world does this even mean?), pick up stitches (Huh? I already have stitches on my needles!), and the scariest of all: Kitchener stitch! (What in the world is this? I KNOW the Knit stitch, the Purl stitch, and I can even do Yarn Overs...but KITCHENER??? WHAT!?!?!?) All of this kept me away from knitting socks. Until one day I came across the pattern that changed it all: Incredibly Easy Socks on! ( is the BEST free knitting/crochet site in the WORLD!) Something clicked! I could do it! I made socks!
Knit on size US 3 needles using a mystery sock yarn from Joann's Mill Ends bag
     After completing my first pair of Incredibly Easy Socks I made another, and another, felt confident enough to try variations, and even found another pattern on to try: Catherine! But no matter what pattern I found, I have learned that I keep coming back to the Incredibly Easy Socks basics: the heel flap, turning the heel, and the toe decrease, even the dreaded Kitchener stitch. In other words if there are more than 64 stitches in the pattern (Incredibly Easy Socks have this many) then I am at a loss. Instead of the regular Catherine pattern I ended up making a modified version. From cast on to the end of the 8th repeat of the pattern, it is the standard Catherine pattern. However, when I got to the heel I once again reverted to the Incredibly Easy sock pattern.
They look really wide but this is PRE-blocked!
This is knit on size US 1 with mystery yarn from a Joann's Mill End bag

     I want to get over this. I want to be able to make any pattern for socks. I want to be able to look at a pair of socks and feel confident that I can follow the pattern to the letter. Eventually, though, my goal is to be able to create socks without a pattern! In order to do this I need to be able to master sock knitting.
     My challenge this year: knit one pair of socks a month for the entire year! I have already set this in motion. I bought pretty yarn. I bought smaller needles. I searched for hours on to find different sock patterns. I joined a group on to help me with the challenge. And...I have already knit my first pair! On top of that I have cast on 2 more different pairs already as well!
     Please note that I have been knitting socks for about a year but I have NEVER got beyond the Incredibly Easy Sock pattern. I LOVE this pattern! I do not want anyone to think that there is something wrong with only knowing one pattern for socks because there isn't. I could knit this pattern forever but in order to grow as a knitter, to enjoy my hobby more, and to learn, I feel compelled to expand my knowledge!
         *See links below for patterns!

Another Incredibly Easy pair

Another pair of Incredibly Easy socks!

A LONGER pair of Incredibly Easy socks!

Incredibly Easy Socks