Totoro Mittens, originally uploaded by Marjotse
It seems like whenever I start to get a handle on my to-knit list, up pops some ridiculously cool knitting pattern that seems to have been created just for me. What’s up with that?
P.S. I don’t usually admit to being this narcissistic, for obvious reasons, but seeing as I’m blogging All About Me these days I figured it wouldn’t come as too much of a shock.
P.P.S. It makes me laugh to write a postcript that’s just as long as the main entry. I’m silly that way.
Most of the knitting I do gets given away, either to loved ones or people who could do with a bit more love—but I rarely knit for myself. The occasional hat, fingerless gloves in winter, and of course socks, but I rarely wear sweaters or other large knitwear even when I do have the patience to knit them.
Cowls, on the other hand, are my favourite thing to wear. Without the fussy ends of a scarf, cowls are practical and yet special, the perfect little take-along hug in case of a chill.
So when this arrived in my mailbox, I felt like I’d been hugged from 4,000km away.
Making zingy salad lunches with peanut butter & celery, and loitering here.
Just a few days until it’s officially the turn of the season, and I can’t wait!
When I first started knitting socks, it was for the challenge. I’d heard so many good things about the satisfaction and sense of wellbeing achieved through knitting socks, and seen the fascinating patterns that were being developed. When I first heard these tales of delicious yarn and a Zen-like state of bliss I resisted taking the plunge: I sold socks for a living and had every kind of sock coming out of my ears. I’ve since discovered that wearing handknit socks can make me happier than any number of commercial anklets, stripy knee-highs or squishy cushion-soled workhorses.
I first learnt to make socks top-down, from the cuff, using the flap heel method, but moved on to the even more challenging figure-8 short row toe-up sock after working through this excellent tutorial.
Toe-up socks appealed to my appreciation for thrift: I loved the idea that you could continue knitting the leg of the sock until you ran out of yarn. But therein lay my downfall: the problem with leaving the choose-your-own-length leg until last is that, for me, what keeps me knitting a sock is the challenge. I find turning sock heels endlessly fascinating and magical, and think of it as ‘the good bit’. So, in a toe-up sock, after the good bit is done & I’ve only got the leg standing between me and a finished sock—well, let’s just say I’ve got a lot of short handknit socks in my sock drawer.
Recently, however, I was so keen to knit Cookie A‘s gorgeous Maelstrom sock that I knit the pattern as written (very rare for someone who can’t help but tinker with patterns or recipes)—and rediscovered the top-down sock in the process.
The top-down works for a little cheaterbug like me (hey, I can’t be the only one!) because it means the leg is only a precursor to the super-cool heel-turny part. Then when the heel’s done there’s only the foot and toe to go—both essential features for a wearable sock, so there’s no room for shortcuts! It works for me, anyway.
What’s your favourite sock-knitting method?
Seems I’m crazy for sock knitting. Every moment I can I’m knitting socks or thinking about knitting socks, and frequently both at the same time.
My general excitement may well be due to the exceptional testing experience I’ve received: big props and shout-outs go to Lisa of One Dropped Stitch, Sandra aka Cookey, Meagheen and Iris who have kindly offered to test knit my newest sock, carrot&stick from an open eye, Becky, Suzanne of For the loves of, and longtime genius Emily.
Big thanks also to Wiste for hosting us.
Just a super-quick, lazybones post in between, you know, doing stuff.
P.S. The test knitting continues here. Comment or pm me if you’d like to join in.