Monday, January 4, 2010

My first socks

I did it!  I made a pair of socks!  I've been knitting since I was 12.  I already admitted my age yesterday, so if you do the math, I've been knitting for a million years.  OK... 43 years.  I've knitted some pretty complicated stuff and I consider myself an advanced knitter.  But I've been afraid to make the leap to socks... until now.

I learned to knit in Sunday School.  My SS teacher taught 6 12-year-old girls to knit that year.  We got together on Saturday mornings to make mittens.  We made mittens, mittens, mittens.  People donated yarn and we knitted away.  Big, small, all colors.  We ended up with a box of mittens.  When winter set in, we donated that whole box of mittens to a shelter.  We ended up with no mittens of our own.  But we had a life long skill.  I lost track of that SS teacher, but she really understood her roll in nurturing us and teaching us life skills that reflected our values.

This is self-striping yarn.  One thing I didn't consider is where I started each sock in the color run.  I'm not sure if I care that they match or not- but it's something to consider. I made these socks, one sock at a time, cuff-down, on 2 circular needles.  I used the beginner pattern in Cat Bordhi's book, "Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles".  Once I got over the fact that it LOOKS complicated to knit socks on 2 circular needles, and just took it one step at a time, it really isn't that complicated.
My now grown son always loved Lego's.  When he was really little, he didn't think he could build one of the big complicated sets.  I took out the direction book and covered all but the first step with my hand.  I asked him if he could do that first step.  Yes.  Ok-- do it.  Now... look at the second step.  Can you do that?  Yes.  Ok- do it.  A few hrs later- he had a police station.  When I find myself overwhelmed by a complicated task, I remember the "Lego Lesson".  I guess it's like climbing a mountain--- don't look down!

Socks look complicated.  Granted- they aren't a first project for a new knitter.  But you make them like Lego's... one step at a time.

If you're a knitter who wants to jump into socks, my advise is to take a class, OR surf around on the internet.  You can find videos that show you each step.  I got hung up on grafting the toe so I looked for a video on the internet.  Bingo!  Some nice lady who made a video showed me how to do it.  The internet is a wonderful thing.

I gave these socks to my BFF for Christmas.  Her reaction when she opened them made it all worth it.  She said, "You're giving me your first pair????"  Yup.  And I'm so glad I did.  It reminded me of the mittens when I was 12.  I received more than I gave. 

I started my second pair over the holidays.  For this pair, I'm doing 2 at a time on 2 circular needles.  I'm using the same pattern.  When I get a little more done on them, I'll show you a picture.  I want to get a few quilts made so I'll only be knitting in the car (as a passenger) and in waiting rooms and places like that.  It will take me a while.  I'm primarily a quilter, but I call knitting my backup hobby- or take along hobby.  I usually have a knitting project in my purse.  For me, knitting is as much about the process as the product.  I love wearing what I knit.  But the real fun is in the knitting.  So-- I really don't care when I finish a knitting project.  I just like knitting.


Barb said...

Awesome socks!!

Margi said...

Great socks! I'm a sockaholic myself, prefer to make them over anything else! It took me a while with the self striping yarn to remember to start the second sock in the same place but come to find out, I'm the only one who paid attention,,,everyone that got them loved them just the same and didn't even notice! LOL

Micki said...

Great socks and congrats! I have made socks with one circular needle using the magic loop technique. I will have to look into doing two at once with two circular needles.

quiltmom said...

I have knit a little too, Sue, and tried upteen different other crafts( candle making, crochet, macrame, embroidery, ceramics, pottery,doll making, fimo clay, and beading are the ones that come to mind but the only ones I come back to these days are beading and quilting- still have yarn so who knows - maybe I will pick up knitting again. Your socks turned out great and I am sure that your friend really loves her socks.

Happy knitting and quilting.

Colleen's Blog Long Island NY said...

The hardest part of the sock is turning the heel. I love your socks. I made a pair last year out of yarn that was partly soy fiber. How weird is that?

Maria said...

LOVE your socks,great colours!!!!

mrh191 said...

I would like to take credit (maybe) for inspiring her to knit her socks. I've made about 6 or 7 pairs. And there are pictures of me knitting in the driver's seat of a car, but there was standstill traffic in a jam on the interstate :)

Sue said...

Yes- you did inspire me to knit socks! But what really tipped me over was going to the 2009 Sock Summit with your sister. Pretty soon, we'll have her knitting socks, too! (Readers... these are my nieces).

Exuberant Color said...

that is how I feel about quilting, it is the process, whether I finish it all or not isn't important, it's the piecing that I love.

I've done a lot of knitting in the past but I've never tried socks. I think maybe this is the year I will try them.