Monday, 20 January 2014

Gasp! I made socks!





I know some knitters knit socks almost exclusively and I never expected to be one of them, but with pair 1 in the bag I can see how they become addictive. They are a great portable project.

I was looking for a knitting project for over Christmas (knitting in front of the TV when you have visitors is a bit more companionable than sewing on a noisy machine in another room!). By coincidence Kristen from K-line was running a knit along on her blog to knit a pair of socks in a week using a pattern she devised and made available for free.

I looked for a yarn without too high wool content due to itchiness issues.  After much debate on Twitter I went with Opal Rainforest which is super wash with nylon to make it hard wearing.  The colours are beautiful and I love the striping effect.

For some reason Blogger wants you to see this pic this way around.  Thanks Blogger!

 I ordered a few colours to get the hang of socks (and in case my first pair came out unwearable!). The colours I chose were Tom the BardLea the Drummer and Rudi the Saxophonist (odd names as apparently they are names after endangered rainforest species). After deciding to give the first pair to my mum she chose Tom the Bard which is a mix of greens, blues and turquoises.  I used Addi Lace needles as Kristen recommended and really liked them - the join between needle and cable (which is my pet hate with circulars) is so smooth and never catches.  As I'm a tight knitter, I went up a needle size to 2.5mm which worked fine.  To widen it a little round the leg as my mum hates tight socks, I added 8 additional stitches to get an extra 1".  I knitted the rest as per the pattern, adding a couple of extra decrease rows to lose the extra stitches during the toe shaping.

The pattern is really easy to follow with charts to keep count of the number of repeats you've done. Kristen uses magic loop on circulars as I did but she shows how to use the pattern on dpns too.

The only issue I had was in doing the Kitchener stitch for the toe. Sock 1 was terrible (unpicked and redone several times in different methods until I gave in and just sewed it up) but I found a clear tutorial for sock 2 and it worked really well. You can find it here.  Here's a pic of the good one - you're not getting a pic of the bad one!



So there are at least 2 more pairs in my future (and N wants a purple pair - I am hopeful I can get a small size pair out of the wool I have left after knitting a adult pair so I'll be trying a pair for her in this colour first.). 

Have a look at Kristen's tutorials and pattern if you'd like to give it a go. Did you knit along? Have you made socks before?

20 comments:

  1. I got hooked on knitting socks several years ago. Haven't made a pair in a while, tho. Working on a pair of fingerless gloves at the moment - my first try at magic loop. (I usually use DPNs). Your socks look great!

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    1. thanks very much! i really like magic loop. DPNs are not for me - they always fall out!

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  2. They look so good Joanne! The kitchener stitch can be tricky the first couple of times you try it but once you get into a groove (in a quiet place with no interruptions) it works beautifully. I also joined in Kristin's KAL because I had never tried magic loop before but I an slooow and have a ways to go with my socks yet.

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    1. thanks andrea - i think that was my problem with sock 1 - i was trying to stitch it while watching a good film so i probably wasn't concentrating. look forward to seeing your socks!

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  3. I totally get how addictive sock knitting is - ever since my first pair, I seem to have some constantly on the go. Yours are lovely - I'm definitely going to check out that pattern.

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    1. thanks - it's a very simple pattern and works very well for customising to different sizes.

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  4. These look great! I don't knit so am baffled by the terminology in this post, but enjoyed reading it nonetheless. One day I will take up knitting and it will all make sense!

    And I hate when Blogger does that! Why can't they include the ability to spin a photo round?!

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    1. thanks helen - you should try knitting. i knitted a lot when i was PG and n was small.

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  5. They look FAB! What a great job for your first pair! If you don't like grafting the toes, I'd say try some toe-up socks. No sewing required, rather like top-down jumpers. Another way to use up part balls is on multi-coloured, striped socks.

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    1. thanks very much! toe up socks could be interesting! or maybe i should just practise the kitchener a bit more! i am hoping to get a pair for n (she's 5) out of the remains of the ball.

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  6. Eeek! So gorgeous! I LOVE your first pair of socks. And I can't wait to see the socks in your future. So happy you participated in the KAL. xo

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    1. thanks kristin! i need to make some to keep as i gave these away (which i was very sad about!). thanks for a great pattern!

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  7. Having only recently started knitting, I attacked sweaters/cardigans first, but socks are on my list of things to learn this year! I love when something goes from being 100% foreign to something you love doing almost overnight :) Your socks are really cute - hopefully your other socks won't get too jealous of all the fun ones you'll be making! ^_^

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    1. thanks amanda! socks are so nice and portable to knit. i thought they would be really hard but kristin's pattern and KAL made it very simple to follow.

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  8. I've never made socks, I'm too scared of them. Well, I made a pair, but I used a super bulky yarn, 10 stitches per 10 cm and I was bored to death knitting the second sock. I think I read somewhere about the second sock syndrome or something :)
    I always have cold feet and I bought sock yarn in different colors so I can spoil my feet, but I didn't build up the courage yet to start working on a "real" pair of socks.

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    1. This is a great pattern to ease you in gently! Kristin's instructions are very clear and as it was a knitalong there are blog posts and links to videos to help you. Getting on with the second is hard but I believe people knit both socks together it the same set of needles? Could be worth trying?

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  9. They are gorgeous- I made my first pair using Kristin' s pattern and KAL too :) and I had the same problem with my first attempt at kitchener stitch. I'm now on my third pair of socks-so easy to come and go from ! Chris

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    1. 3 pairs? wow! i need to get onto the next one!

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  10. OMG are there no end to your crafty talents! Your socks rock :) Great job doll and gorgeous colours. Love the yarn names too xxx

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    1. thanks rehanon! i need to make more now!

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