Clothing · Knitting

Sock it to me!

My finished pair of socks
My finished pair of socks

They say that a change is as good as a rest, so for the last couple of weeks I’ve changed my crochet hook for knitting needles.  I’m not much of a knitter to be honest, my Mum has always been a whizz with the knitting needles so there never seemed any point me doing it as well.  I learnt as a child but haven’t knitted anything for at least 20 years.

I while ago I started following the Winwickmum’s sock along group on Facebook because I loved the lovely socks people were posting and the general chat.  I didn’t have any intention of knitting a pair of socks, but then I saw some sock yarn while out shopping and thought ‘why not?’.

King Cole Zig Zag sock yarn

Well that yarn has been sitting on the shelf for about six months while I’ve been busy making other things but it’s been nagging away at me.  Each time I looked at it I’m sure it was say ‘chicken, huh! Not up to the challenge, huh?’.  With six other projects still on the go, I really shouldn’t have but I couldn’t stand it any longer.  After a long perusal of the instructions on Christine’s blog I sent off for a set of DPNs – double pointed needles – and a short circular needle.

The needles came. I got the wool off the shelf and felt it, ‘so thin’ was my first thought.  I’m used to crocheting with double knitting wool and this 4 ply sock yarn is so much finer.  And the needles, 2.5mm, were so fine too, not what I’d used when I learnt to knit all those years ago.  But Christine’s instructions made it sound that anybody could knit a pair of socks and so I set about knitting my tension square and then onto the first sock.

I was surprised how quickly it knitted up, well there was only 68 stitches on my needle after all and at the end the week I had a sock.  A sock with lots of mistakes in that was actually just a bit too wide for my  foot but definitely a sock.

This is what happens when you loose your stitch marker and try to wing it!
This is what happens when you loose your stitch marker and try to wing it!

I think the sock turned out too wide because although I did a tension square first I don’t think that truly reflected my tension once I started on the sock itself.  When I was doing the tension square I was just getting back into knitting after a break of something like 20 years, it was much finer yarn and needles that I’m used to and I was a bit tense so my knitting was tighter than once I relaxed into making my sock for real.

Inspite of all the mistakes in this first sock, I still wanted to make a pair I could wear so I started on sock two using less stitches, making sure my markers where in place as I did the decreasing on the heel and toe and low and behold I soon had one good sock finished and sock number three was even quicker to do.

On the home straight, starting to decrease the toe
On the home straight, starting to decrease the toe, note the stitch markers firmly in place

In knitting these socks I have mastered using DPNs and a short circular needle and am still not sure what I prefer.  The points on the circular needle are very pointy and to start with made the finger on my right hand sore.  I then swapped to the DPNs and found that better but fiddly having to keep swapping needles.  I swapped back to the circular needle and found a better way of working somehow and the problem with my index finger disappeared.  Like all things, practice makes perfect and though I’m not perfect yet I’m getting better at knitting with both these types of needles.

Using the short circular needle
Using the short circular needle

The yarn I used for this pair of socks was King Cole’s Zig Zag which is  4 ply mix of 75% superwash wool and 25% nylon, the colourway was Spring Meadow.

Oh and whilst out shopping last Saturday I somehow bought a ball of sock yarn, it was half price and I couldn’t resist, so this may not be the last pair I make but first I really must finish off some of my WIPs.



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