Lest you think I have lost my senses and went teetering precariously in a basket up in the sky whilst being suspended by rope and hot air, I'd like to dispel that notion right away by saying that I'm talking about socks. Ever since I can remember I have been irrationally fearful of hot air balloon rides (irrational only because it's not something that happens without your decision to take part, generally, unlike spiders which can happen upon any unsuspecting soul whether you like it or not, thereby making that a completely rational fear), and a recurring (rare, but recurring) dream I have involves me falling out of one, sooooo....
What were we talking about? Oh yes, socks. There has been a lot of sock-knitting photos popping up in my Instagram feed, and this made me really want to get back to knitting socks. I had bought some Patons Kroy sock yarn in 'Meadow Stripes' months ago, and figured I'd get around to using it. Be warned--I haven't blocked these yet so they aren't picture-perfect
I started off on those teeny nine inch circulars, but switched to DPNs for the heel flap and turn, then back to the circs. I know that short row toes and heels would probably be easier, but this part right here is my favorite part of sock-knitting--
--right there. That part where you pick up the stitches and turn the heel and get the gusset decreases going. It just looks so very...sock-y.
Because I didn't figure out my yarn stripes before I knitted, I ran into a slight hiccup when the skeins started at different color spots. Not wanting to risk running out of yarn, I decided to make two differently striped socks--
This does not bother me like I thought it would, as it adds that handmade 'thing' to it that absolute matching perfection would lack. They're the same, but different. The second sock I did using the magic loop method, and things got a little fiddly for the heel flap and turn--I think I prefer this method least.
The second pair I made from Knit Picks Felici sock yarn, in 'Balloon Ride.' Oh. My. Heavens. I don't think they always have this yarn available, so if you like to knit socks try this one out for sure. It is deliciously soft and sublime. I think it would also make a great sweater, if you've got the patience for a sock-weight sweater.
I went down a needle size for this pair, and they fit me perfectly (the others are just a touch bigger than I prefer, but they still fit fine). Otherwise, same stitch count and everything. I wish I had made the leg about an inch longer, but it's fine. I don't usually wear high socks anyway. It's more like a "dang, I could have used almost all the yarn" sort of thing.
These I wanted to be the same as I think the thick stripes not matching up would bother me more than the skinnies not matching. I knit these entirely on DPNs, but girl genius here did the gusset decreases on the wrong stitches, so there's a little bit of laddering going on.
I can't wait to wear these. I stocked up a bit on the Felici yarn, so I've got plenty to keep me going here (those little balls are my leftovers from this pair)--
I used the Winwick Mum sock-along pattern for both of these, the only change being the needle size between pairs. The instructions are free on her blog, OR she's also got an e-book you can buy so it's a little more handy to use on a device-that's-not-a-computer. The short circs actually make the knitting fly, but can be a little tougher on the hands until you get used to the short needles.
Aren't socks funny things? I always thought you'd have to be some kind of genius to make them, but once I did I thought "Hey, that's kind of fun!" And trust me, I am not a genius. Not even close. But really--you knit a tube 'this' way, and then you have to, while keeping everything connected, turn that tube 'that' way so it goes in an entirely different direction, and you have footwear. Every time I make something like this I send a silent 'thank you' to our knitting ancestors for figuring things out so the rest of can feel like rock stars occasionally.