Thursday, July 2, 2009

The pursuit of hand-knit sock happiness

I first started knitting socks about two years ago. I'm not good at it, easily frustrated by it, and certainly not fast. But it's entertaining on those nights where I just 'have' to watch TV or when it's too warm to hold a quilt for binding.

Several weeks ago I finished these socks. They are very thick; way too thick for my taste to wear in shoes, so maybe house socks in winter or to wear in boots. As soon as those socks were done, I couldn't wait to start another pair. In fact, I wouldn't let myself start another pair until I'd finished them.

I've struggled with understanding short-row heels and have several sets of directions to try in the pursuit of happiness. Tried a heel and it came out perfectly (I was in love!) but the sock was too short and the heel too shallow. Knit, rip back. Knit, rip back. Knit, rip back. I wasn't willing to waste all my time finishing a sock that wouldn't be worn, so I perservered. I honestly ripped this sock out probably six times (from the heel to the arch) before I had something that fit and something I was happy with. Not only that, I finally understood what was going on with sock shaping! You are seeing it now it its half-a-sock glory because it's taken me 6 weeks to get this far and I don't see a 'pair' anytime in the near future. [Although 'near' is relative... can you believe it's July already? In 2009?]

Do you remember that I once said I was a tight knitter? My gauge on this is ~12spi and 13rpi on #0; that's a whole lot of knitting to do over and over on a 10.25" foot. But I don't want a sock that my foot is going to be sliding around in or one that the light shines through. The cramps in my hands tell me I may have to relax those specs a little if I want to continue knitting socks, but for now it is what it is.

And can I just say that all that ripping is a testament to this yarn (ONline Supersocke; thank you, Miss Howdy for the recommendation); for the number of times it has been ripped and re-knit, it doesn't look one bit different than it did when first pulled from the skein. I know it will wear like iron. And yes, I know it's not a particularly attractive color scheme (cough), but it was cheap on sale and expensive plain yarn would not have been nearly as entertaining to practice with.

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