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Sunday, October 08, 2006

MG: socks past

answers to Socktoberfestive sock history questions:

When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class? my first real pair was completed in August 2005, a little more than a year ago. i thought, read, swatched, and practiced sock-knitting for a few months beforehand. previous to all this, i didn't really care for socks (i am now devoted and enamored thanks to Nancy Bush), but all these beautiful handknit socks displayed themselves across the knitblogosphere, the anatomy was fascinating, the techniques intriguing. i wanted to know how it worked. i wanted to try it too. a hubby who luuuuvs socks like little ones love blankeys was reason for the first pair.

i learned by googling and obsessing over all sorts of online sock-knitting articles. most helpful were: Socknitters FAQ, knitty's toe-up toes article, knitty's Socks 101. i read about toe construction and tried with worsted yarn; collected templatic wisdom like knit socks x-inches smaller than this measurement and start shortrows y-inches before heel; knitted a practice footie with yarn directly off my hand spindle.

What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time? socks for hubby with Knit Picks variegated merino, figure-eight toe, shortrow heel. made with the guidance of a sock formula Stasia used to have up. it was comforting (and fun) to repeatedly (have hubby) try on the sock as i knitted. he even ungrudgingly proffered his foot out of the covers while trying to sleep so i could test the fit. these seem to be wearing well, though they endure only light, indoor wear.

What would you have done differently? i didn't think about matching shortrow spines from the RIGHT side of the fabric, so um, inside-out versions of each other on each side. the second heel had to be knitted mirror-image so matching spines were both on inside or outside of foot.

i'm still refining how i like to shortrow. there is the regular slip-stitch-then-move-yarn wrap (counter-clockwise wrap on knit side; clockwise on purl side), the move-yarn-then-slip-stitch wrap Wendy uses (clockwise knit side; counter-clockwise purl side), and YOs. yarn overs currently winning. i haven't tried Japanese short-rowing yet. misocrafty's excellent tutorial has catalyzed clarifications on how/when seating of the wraps matter.

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed? not much experience here... but i have to say Knit Picks merino was a good place to start. inexpensive yet tactilely satisfying.

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method? clover mini-circulars whenever possible (smallest i have is 3.3mm. very sad since i like socks in a finer gauge); DPNs. the dangling needles of two circulars stress me out. i don't enjoy scooting stitches around the magic loop.

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?) hm... shortrow heels have a clean look and no extra fabric about. they are also simple to make up as you knit along. flaps look more tailored and can continue color or texture patterns to the heel. i think of shortrow as beloved default and flap as special purpose.

How many pairs have you made? only three. heehee. there have been many false starts and abandonments:

but only two completed pairs other than hubby's socks:

even writing this out was educational. thanks, Lolly!


  1. wow, that's a lot of cute socks. :) I like the last pair the most!

  2. Good god. Share more about those knee-highs, immediately! I will not take no for an answer!