Sooooo…socks! Yep, I knitted me some socks. Actual, wearable socks knitted on double pointed needles, you guys. I like to think that I’m a pretty accomplished knitter, but my knitting resolution for 2013 was to learn to use double pointed needles. Cos they really used to scare me! What the hell, four tiny little needles, all inserted somehow into your knitting, boinging around of their own free will and causing absolute havoc! No thanks. But after my obsession with this book, I was determined to face my knitting fears.
And I did, ahead of schedule! For Christmas 2012, I knitted Christmas baubles for friends and family…
But I was still quite frightened of socks. There’s a heel to turn, foot shaping and of course making sure it actually fits your foot! I needed a nice simple pattern to gently ease me into the world of sock knitting. My friend Sophie is a sock-knitting whizz, and with a bit of inspiration and encouragement from her, I finally went for it. I chose Jane Brocket’s pattern from her gorgeous book The Gentle Art of Knitting, and set to work.
I used Regia Funstripe sock wool in a perfect-for-me colourway of pink, blue, yellow and brown. This wool stripes as you knit, so it’s really lovely to see the random colours emerge! After a fiddly start, I was away. And you know what? It wasn’t all that terrifying. Just some ribbing, then a lot of knitting in the round. I realised that with socks, there is rarely any purling. Because you’re going round and round in a circle, you simply knit away, so all your wrongside stitches stay inside the circle and your lovely outer side is all knit stitches. Great!
Then we got to the heel and there was some deep breathing, but Jane’s instructions really are clear and simple, and she guided me through well. Bit more knitting, a fiddly toe cast-off (as you can see from the bumpy toe on my right sock), and it was done!
Oh, and then there was a second sock to knit…I launched into this straight away, because I knew the curse that befalls many sock knitters: putting off that second little guy. You’ve achieved the first one, it looks lovely, but man, there was a lot of plain (i.e. boring) knitting going on there. I’ll just do it…later. Another day. Six months on, arghh I still only have one lonely sock! I wasn’t about to let that happen, and I think I knitted the second sock even more quickly than the first.
My next sock attempt may well be the french knot polka dot ones from Anna Wilkinson’s lovely book. Until then, I’ll pad around the house in my new striped lovelies, gazing at them adoringly and high-fiving myself. Cos, you know, SOCKS. I can knit ’em.