Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Sock Knitting: The Beginner

I've wanted to knit socks since I first got back into knitting and crochet in 2012. While I can knit them quite cheerfully out of DK yarn and 5mm needles and call them bed socks, making them out of actual sock yarn to wear in shoes has always seemed beyond me.

Too small, too fiddly and maddening in the extreme. I have tried many different techniques, with varying results:

DPNS: Fiddly - oh my goodness, SO fiddly! This is the technique I've always used to make bed socks and never had a problem, but on small needles... Just no. Like wrestling a hedgehog.

Short circulars: I probably knit my fastest on this as you can just go round and round round, instead of stopping every now and again like you have to do on DPNs and magic loop. I thought these would suit me as I tend to knit with my fingers right up near the points, but using these I discovered that I also like to rest my wrists on the end of the needles. Not being able to do this made my wrists ache after a while, so while I love these, I can't really use them. I'll hang on to them, perhaps I can figure them out later. I'm sure they'd make knitting patterns easier too.

Magic Loop: I didn't think that this technique would ever work for me. I tend to use Chiagoo needles (one of my favourite things is my set of interchangeable Chiagoos) but I couldn't get on with them in Magic Loop. Interchangeables just do not work for Magic Loop and I found that the Chiagoo cable just had too much memory for this beginner. I've tried a few different fixed cables and my favourite is Addi Lace.

Magic Loop has, to my surprise, become the technique I think will be my go to for socks. Thanks, in part, to a video on how to avoid ladders, which had been plaguing me.

Next up, I had to figure out what size worked best for me. I have quite a tight gauge and nothing I do seems to loosen it up. So after a lot of trial and error, 2.75mm seems to be working (at the moment!).

Right now I'm working on a general sock, cuff down, practicing the magic loop technique and familiarising myself with all the parts of a sock. It's slow going, I'm still only on the leg, but I'm enjoying it and I think I'm actually getting somewhere! Once this practice sock is finished, I want to have a go at making one to fit me and then one that would fit Rich, using Custom Socks: Knit To Fit Your Feet. If I can get those nailed, oh just you wait and see how mad I go on sock yarn. Brace yourself...

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