I had a pattern and a yarn kit from Let's Get Crafting! Knit and Crochet Issue 37, which was apparently an easy sock pattern for beginners, so I've had that set aside for ages, hoping one day to finally make the socks!
I'd like to start by saying I never really intended to make these socks as socks I would actually be able to wear, purely because I thought they might turn out a bit rubbish, or might not even fit! This whole process was more about having a shot at knitting socks, and experiencing things in knitting I had never done before, such as turning a heel. That's why I kept this pack of free wool aside, instead of adding it to my car cushions I made a while ago, as I did with all my other free kit wool, as I wasn't too worried about possibly wasting it if I ended up throwing the knitting across the room.
This pattern didn't come with a desired gauge, so I just ended up going for it and hoping for the best. I also used the magic loop technique on an 80cm cable, which after a workshop at the lovely Ginger Twist Studio in Edinburgh, I am really comfortable with it for knitting in the round!
So here is the first sock I made, according to the pattern.
This is the second attempt really, as I got as far as the heel in my first attempt, and made some mistakes, and in trying to pull it back a couple of rows, ended up pulling the whole thing back! The second attempt worked a lot better and I managed to make it to the end of the sock without any more rage quitting.
To finish the sock off you had to use the Kitchener stitch, which was a technique I hadn't used before, but basically makes it look like the seam is more knitting instead of sticking out as a big seam. It was a really easy technique to actually use (I used a combo of this Craftsy post and this video tutorial), however, I had a bit of a lump at one side, and it wasn't as neat as I would have liked.
When I was finished the first sock I was happy I had more or less managed all the technical stuff in the pattern, but my sock was pretty messy. And I think a lot of this was down to the colour changes. There were so many to get those stripes, and loads in the heel, and it meant my tension around the colour changes just wasn't the best, so there's a lot of quite wide holes in places. My colour changing technique isn't always the best, and usually better hidden at the edge of knitting, but there was no place to hide here!
I decided I would knit the second sock but I would do it all in one colour. This way I could get another practise at all the difficult, new bits, but wouldn't have to worry about all the changes and ALL THOSE ENDS!
So here's my second sock!
I used pink because it was the only colour in the free kit I hadn't used, but as you can see, I ran out near the end and had to use a little grey from my stash. I thought grey went lovely with the pink and I didn't want to risk running out again and having to do more changes than I needed to.
I am much happier with this sock. My bits where the round starts and ends in much neater in one colour, along with my heel and my decreases in the foot.
My Kitchener stitch on the toe is much neater too, though I still have a little bump where I started it, which I'm not sure how to get rid of. I think with a bit more practise, maybe watching more videos of the technique will help with this. The video I watched was joining two pieces of flat knitting, instead of finishing something in the round, so maybe I'll hunt out a video of someone actually finishing a pair of socks and see if that makes a difference!
And best of all, both socks actually fit!
Though as I said, I don't think I'll actually wear them, I think I'll use them to protect my newly purchased sock blockers. I really just wanted to see if I could actually knit a pair of socks and I can! I've always had it in my head that socks are like the Holy Grail of knitting, so I'm pleased to see I can actually manage them.
I blocked my socks (with a little help from this Craftsy post) by washing them on a quick cycle in a dedicates bag in my washing machine, then popping them on my new sock blockers and leaving to dry.
I plan to knit more socks in the future, but I think I'll make sure I do them in one colour to avoid all the colour changes for worries of making them messy! I've been looking at some lovely self-striping yarn on Etsy and Wool Warehouse, and there is plenty to chose from, so I think I'll work up to that. That way I can work in one colour, but my socks can still be a bit different!
So if knitting socks is scaring you, just got for it! Knitting still gives me the fear, but I managed it, and I'm really keen to give it more goes in the future!
Also, if anyone has an easy sock patterns please let me know! I'd love to try out some different patterns.
- Let's Get Crafting! Knit & Crochet free kit.
- Stylecraft Special Double Knitting.
This project is a step towards completing my New Year's List. You can check out my progress here.
- Clear as many free and purchased craft kits as possible.