Putting My Money Where My Foot Is

I’ve been knitting off and on for over 25 years. I’ve made all manner of things–headwear, neckwear, hand- and armwear, tea cozies, dishcloths, hot pads, blankets, baby sweaters, baby booties, and I don’t even know what else. What doesn’t show up on that list is: footwear. At least, not adult-sized footwear. I should note the one small exception to that. One of my first actual projects (maybe my actual first project) was a pair of bed slippers. I actually finished both of them. They were not exactly the same size as each other and there were some mysterious holes in one of them, but I finished them, seams and pompoms and all. I believe I used some stylin’ pink acrylic. I can’t find a picture or pattern that is exactly the same, but they were something along the lines of this. I got the original pattern from a random “learn to knit” booklet from goodness only knows where. They were really something. I think I even wore them once.

Okay, I’m stalling. The salient point is that socks have been my Achilles’ heel (get it?) and I have been too intimidated to try them for a long time. I learned a lot about various fiber arts from my ex’s mother several years ago. She is a brilliant artist, quilter, rug hooker, spinner, weaver and knitter. She didn’t knit as much during the time I knew her due to arthritis but she was always churning out a pair of socks. She ooohed and aaahed all my projects and I drooled over her socks. I’ve been collecting sock yarn, needles and patterns for years. I would love to have awesome, well-fitting colorful socks to wear, but I have never even cast on for a pair. Every time I start to think about it seriously, I get a vision of those pink slippers and I get discouraged.

Today? All that changes! I have yarn. I have needles. I have books, patterns, references, advice, pointers and tips. And I have a virtual knitting group that’s going to nudge me over the edge and into the abyss of sock knitting! Stay tuned, folks, because I will be sure to share my eventual successes and my missteps (get it??) along the way. I have about an hour and a half to change my mind, but for now I’ve tentatively selected this yarn and this pattern for my first foray into footwear.

IMG_3354And if the universe hadn’t already pointed me firmly in this direction, I just heard my daughter’s voice over the baby monitor (she’s upstairs “napping”) saying, “socks! I said socks! Socks!*” so it’s final. I have to knit some socks.

*She is probably telling the story of her first word, which did just happen to be “socks”. We’ve been talking with her about that lately.

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25 comments

  1. Maggienesium · September 11, 2015

    You’re a bad ass knitter, you’ve got this – I mean even I can do it 😀
    I loved this puntastic post so much and I’m seriously excited you’re trying this! Maybe you can teach us a thing or two 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • alexand knits · September 11, 2015

      Ha! We’ll see about that. I just dug out my US 1 dpns to start a gauge swatch. They’re new in the package (from when I bought them close to ten years ago). They looked a little small so I checked them on my needle gauge thingy…yep, they’re US 0, not 1.

      I have a few orphan dpns from a thrift store batch. There are three size 1s in there. Not quite going to cut it…!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maggienesium · September 11, 2015

        Whoa you’re hella fierce! I have never knit in anything smaller than a US 3! I inherited three US 1’s but I’m not exactly there yet. I figure it’s kind of like in kindergarten when you are given really fat crayons to start off with, I’m starting out with the big needles 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • alexand knits · September 11, 2015

        I adore that analogy! It conjures up a mental image of someone knitting with jumbo crayons. Which could be kind of cool.

        I’m regrouping and changing up all my plans–I think I’m going to do tincanknits’ Rye pattern instead. That uses worsted or aran weight yarn and size US 3 and 5 needles.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Maggienesium · September 11, 2015

        Ooooh cozy/lazy day socks! That sounds awesome!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Maggienesium · September 11, 2015

        And if you do knit with giant crayons let me know… I wonder if there are any that would dye the yarn as you knit, because that would be all sorts of fabulous!

        Liked by 1 person

      • alexand knits · September 11, 2015

        Whoa. What if you knit with white/light colored yarn and open markers??? It would be like performance art meets knitting! You could switch marker colors periodically to keep it interesting!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Maggienesium · September 11, 2015

        Even better! I have a bunch of sharpies and light colored yarn – now all I need is to finish up a couple of UFO’s and I’ll let you know how it goes/do it on Live Knit 🙂 Thanks again for hanging out, I had a wonderful time and am so making it a thing!

        Liked by 1 person

      • alexand knits · September 11, 2015

        Thanks for putting it together! I’d definitely like to do it again.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Maggienesium · September 11, 2015

        Let me know some dates/times that work, because I really want to make it a thing 🙂

        Like

      • Maggienesium · September 11, 2015

        Could you do circular needles? That I can’t help you with because they scare me but, since you know how to use them that might keep you on track for socks 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • alexand knits · September 11, 2015

        I could…but I would have to do magic loop or use the two circular method, and I really just prefer dpns. I briefly considered trying to do some combination of dpns and a circ, but I quickly nixed that idea!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Maggienesium · September 11, 2015

        Good call! I’m all about dpn’s – especially for sock knitting. I just think it’s easier to keep track of where you are in the sock that way.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. GGmadeit · September 11, 2015

    Well socks it is!! If the baby said socks them you simply must! Get to it my new fiber friend

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Talya · September 11, 2015

    I cut my sock teeth on worsted weight socks. I took a class by Antje Gillingham at my LYS (when it was still open). We learned how to do this pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/womens-basic-toe-up-socks on two circulars. Well actually- I learned the magic loop method for this one with ONE circular needle before I got to the class, and she told me just to continue that way, since it would confuse me to switch. I am glad I chose worsted weight for my first socks, though. They knit up FAST!

    Liked by 1 person

    • alexand knits · September 11, 2015

      Yeah, the more I think about it, the more I think worsted is the way to go this time around. I’ve picked out some lemon yellow superwash and am swatching it now. I don’t mind finer yarn and smaller needles, but it would be nice to get quick gratification on these! Especially since my Drachenfels is fingering weight and there is no end in sight there!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. pkcacciola · September 11, 2015

    I’m also using worsted weight for my first pair with size US 3 DPNs. They work up a lot faster. I’m so happy you’ve decided to try it! I am knitting a hat with sock yarn and it takes forever 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. polwygle · September 11, 2015

    For the longest time, my older daughter always referred to yarn as “socks.” I wonder if she was actually just requesting that I make her a pair. Oh, I second using Antje Gillingham! I have her second book which goes into toe-up and cuff-down methods.

    Liked by 1 person

    • alexand knits · September 12, 2015

      That’s so cute! My daughter (almost 3) pretends she’s knitting hats and things for her lovey and stuffed animals. It’s pretty sweet.

      Like

  6. Bekki Hill · September 12, 2015

    Good luck with the socks – not that you need it. Look forward to seeing them growing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lizi's Life · September 13, 2015

    I love sock knitting! I can usually finish a pair in a fortnight (quick knitting for me)😜. They’re very addictive once you start..Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Cathy · September 13, 2015

    I was terrified of socks before I actually found myself knitting a pair one day! It’s funny how it feels like a complete different knitting, but actually it’s way easier than it seems. You just need the right yarn (not itchy), the right needles (figure out if you prefer dpns or magic loop, both work. and avoid using metal dpns, because when they keep dropping all your stitches you’ll feel sorry. wood is way less slippery.)anyhow, can’t wait for those socks to appear on your blog !

    Liked by 1 person

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