I have always said that there is such a thing as a parenting gene, and if you were lucky, both of your parents were born with it. My son was lucky in that one of his parents was born with it and the other parent was smart enough to realize it and let me raise him.
I am starting to think that there is such a thing as a sock gene. Some people are born with the ability – nay – the love of knitting on teeny tiny toothpicks that makes itty bitty stitches so it takes yards and yards of thin yarn to produce one inch of knitted material which encompasses a calf. My sister was born with that gene. Me – not so much.
But the idea of being able to knit socks is very appealing to me. It is practical. We live in the Northeast. It is cold here – alot. We all wear socks. Most socks that we wear are not overly exciting – they are more functional. So the idea of having a sock drawer full of beautiful socks knit from hand-painted yarns is appealing. It is just the making of them that leaves me – unhappy.
First of all, in order to knit socks you either have to know how to knit using the Magic Loop method (don’t know) or how to knit using two circular needles (don’t know) or how to knit using four to five of those teeny tiny toothpicks at a time (see my post on “I HATE double pointed needles”).
But my sister loves to knit socks (see her blog A Work In Progress linked on this page) and I love to knit things to share with my sister. And they are useful, dog gone it!
So I am making a pair of socks. I am following the Java Sock pattern you can find in the Winter 2010 edition of Knitty at Knitty.com. (Another free pattern – got to love that!!) I am making them for Chip because he will wear them no matter how bad they turn out and if they are too small for him, then they will fit me (since I have a hard time believing anything made this small will actually fit around his foot even if they tell me this is the Men’s size).
If you know me, you know that I never start with just a basic “here is what you learn on” sock. I had to do one with little cables (see my blog post ‘I Love You Glenna C.”) And I had to use a varigated sock yarn I got on sale – which completely wipes out any possibility of being able to see the cable pattern in the sock that I spent so much time working on learning. Kinda seemed doomed from the start.
Yet, there is a slight glimmer of hope.
I did the heel turn.
And I don’t think I messed it up. This is what it looks like now with the heel turn done.
You can even kind of see the difference between where there is a cable stitch and where it is straight stockinette stitch. Hmmm. Here it is looking at the inside of the heel flap.
Hmmm. I even think I understand the directions for the gusset, which comes next. (Though it may not work out because I lost track of how many rows I knit when knitting the heel flap itself so I might be off 2 (or more?) rows.)
I have even finished a project that used five needles for the whole thing!!! At least these were bigger needles with yarn I adored. I got Danielle and I each the book Knitting New Mittens & Gloves by Robin Melanson because – again – mittens and gloves are very useful things when you live in the Northeast. And the gauntlets on the cover just screamed out my other sister when I saw them. But when I looked at the patterns I started to feel a little unsure about whether I could make them – so I just started with the first pattern.
I made the Accomplice Wristwarmers from this book doing five needle knitting with size 7 needles. Much better than the size 1 needles I am using for the socks. These wristwarmers are perfect for someone who knits because they do not come up very high on the hand – so they don’t get in the way of your hands when you are knitting. They use two stitches – the first being a bar stitch which I was not thrilled with. It requires you to make regular yarn overs which you then pass over two stitches to make the bar. Yarn overs, however, tend to wrap pretty tight to the needle so it can be a fight getting your left needle through the wrap to lift it up and over the following two stitches. I just could not develop a rhythm when knitting it. I liked the second stitch – the linen stitch which is at the very top of the hand. It is a denser/tighter stitch which I think gives the hand portion more structure. This close up shows both the bar stitch and the linen stitch
The yarn for these was Araucania’s Nature Wool Multy colored and I can’t tell you how much I loved watching this yarn move through its color changes and how nice it felt in my hands. It was easy to make these just because I liked to sit with this yarn. I really like the Araucania yarns – which we will address in a later post on yarn sales (sigh). I have an idea on what I am ultimately doing with these wristwarmers but for now they go into the Christmas box.
And I go back to working on the socks.