Thursday, November 10, 2016

One, Two, Three, Purl

Socks, socks, socks!

I had a new fascination with knitting socks this summer. Small and portable projects, socks can be mindless, keep my hands busy during TV, relaxing and useful. My first pair was a simple Plain Jane/vanilla pattern.  I followed a tutorial by Kelley of Knit Picks. Her 13 part YouTube video was excellent for the first time sock!

First Ever Knitted Sock

Your options are endless. The five main components of the sock can be styled to your liking and still cover your foot! The top of the sock can have a cuff, or not. Ribbed cuffs can be 2 x 2, 1 x 3, 1 x 1, twisted or any combination.  My favorite is the 2x2.

The leg can be plain or patterned. I found the patterned yarn, whether it is self striping or variegated, is better suited to the stockinette. Solid and tonal colors show the pattern of stitching, like cables and purls.  This is true of any project, not just socks. Why use the effort of an intricate stitching pattern, if your hard work is lost in the yarn color changes or texture?

Fish Lips Kiss Heel
Heels come in several styles. The first, and maybe the hardest, I learned was the traditional heel flap, turn and gusset. Then onto the Fish Lips Kiss heel pattern. This is a short row version that has become very popular. As of this writing, I have not tried the German short rows or the afterthought heel, but I will eventually.

Hermione's Everyday Sock
Vanilla Latte Socks
As with the leg, the stitch pattern can be continued down the top of the foot.  Stockinette is nearly always recommended for the bottom of the foot, but you do have the option to knit plain on the top as well.  Toes have options, too.  Round or square.

Needles and method are another choice.  Do you like to knit flat and seam, or knit in the round?  Do you knit on double pointed needles or circulars? Do you want to knit one sock at a time, or knit two at once?  Magic loop or 9” circulars?

Too many decisions?  Some are no brainers because of your experience.  Some decisions come from trying new techniques and experimentation. The best part of the whole process is that you choose!  Whatever feels best and knits well. Knitting is a fun hobby and the fabric it produces can be conservative or wild and crazy. Enjoy the process!