Okay so I’m half lying about this post being about my first pair of socks. Technically they are my first ‘pair’ of socks, although not my first attempt at making a pair of socks.
About two years ago I decided to embark on my first ever sock knitting journey, which was, to make some socks for my Nan’s birthday who was at the time undergoing treatment for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (she’s now in remission). I started the journey albeit a little naively without doing any research into sock knitting what so ever, a rookie mistake.
I bought my sock knitting pattern, my double pointed needles, my 4ply ACRYLIC yarn (my poor Nan) and learnt each step and technique as I went along, not realising just how long a sock would actually take to make! So as you can imagine the day of my Nans birthday arrived a lot quicker than I could get a ‘pair’ of socks completed. This meant my Nan was given one sock nicely wrapped up for her birthday, with the promise that the other would be finished in the near future…
Now here we are TWO years down the line, and does my Nan have her pair of socks? The answer is… NO (cringe). Second Sock Syndrome (SSS) caught me and I just couldn’t bring myself to pick up my double pointed needles again.
For two years the thought of knitting socks make me break out into a sweat. I felt nervous every time I would see my Nan just incase she brought up the dreaded second sock! I found them so boring to make and I was so uninspired by the end result. That was until I was introduced to The Winwick Mum’s blog by a friend. I joined her Sockalong Facebook page and everyday I would be bombarded with photos of beautiful handmade socks. All of the group members were so helpful and supportive to one another, so I decided to give sock knitting one more try.
I purchased Christine’s (The Winwick Mum) Super Socks book which gave me all of the information I needed to get me over my sockphobia. It explains how to knit a basic pair of socks using three different techniques:
- Using double pointed needles
- Using a short circular needle, and
- Using the magic loop technique.
I chose the latter, as ever since I’ve learned the magic loop technique it’s all I’ve used when I’ve needed to knit sleeves or hats in the round.
It explains how to do each technique from start to finish. From the top ribbing to turning the heel, right down to the dreaded Kitchener stitch toes.
She writes about which yarns are the best to use when knitting socks, I now know this to be a blend of wool and nylon and NOT acrylic (oops), and what size needles are the best to use. There is also a pattern on how to knit socks with 8ply (DK) yarn plus so much more helpful information, and if there’s something you need to know that isn’t in the book then the helpful Sockalong Facebook community are on hand to help.
I knew I would need an amazing yarn to keep me interested in the project and to encourage me to make a pair of socks and not just one. I did some sock yarn research and came across Felt Fusion on Facebook. It is literally porn for yarn lovers, her hand dyed yarns are beautiful. I took a look at her Etsy page and bought her Amilia colour way in high twist merino/nylon sock weight.
To be honest she has so many amazing colour-ways in her portfolio but this one was extra special because…it had already been dyed up and I wouldn’t have to wait a few weeks to receive it🙊.
It was as amazing to knit with as it looks. I used 2.5 addi 80cm circulars and cast on 60sts for the starting rib. I followed Christine’s pattern in her book and finished my first sock in 3 days and my first ever PAIR of socks in a week.
Don’t get me wrong they are far from perfect. I did the SSK totally wrong on the heel as Christine recommends you purl into the second slip stitch instead of knit as its less likely to leave a gap. I also made the stupid mistake of combating the Kitchener stitch whilst my demanding toddler screamed at me because the IPad ran out of battery (bad mum alert, but I just really wanted to finish my sock). Although I purposely did the heel wrong on my second sock so they would match, I didn’t make the same mistake again on my second socks Kitchener and I waited until said toddler had gone to bed.
I’ve even gone on to make my second pair of socks for my mum for Mother’s Day which I will write a blog about soon. I really will make a pair for my Nan for her birthday this year, promise!
Thanks for reading,
Here is a picture of the sock that will forever haunt me:
The sock pattern was lovely and in noway did it have anything to do with me having a sockphobia, I really think that it was down to the materials I was working with. I am definitely not a double pointed knitter and as much as I love using acrylic for other projects I just don’t think we gelled with one another when I used it for a sock.