Saturday, 24 March 2012

The Joy of Socks

I wrote this post nearly a year ago and it never got published. It's a good one though - shows how my writing style's changed and apparently I was able to sort out adding photos then. I thought about adding them now but it's linked up really well and I really must get ready for the lesson tomorrow. Anyway, enjoy:

I know, I know, not a very imaginative title but it does put forwward what I want to say... I'm talking today about the joy of socks and not just any old socks - hand knitted ones! The joy of creating, smooshing, wearing and even washing hand knitting socks!!

I'll start by saying that it's Thursday the 30th of June and I'm only just cooling off from the last four days - blimey! On Sunday even I could barely knit it was just. That. Hot. Blurgh. Not nice for knitters and crocheters. So I've turned to socks.

You'll know by the amount of sock yarns that we have in stock, that we LOVE socks here at Knit Nottingham. In fact, I'll admit it's a little obsession of mine... I just love the tiny, tiny stitches and the fact that they're quick and easy and I don't have to worry if my bum looks big in a pair of socks!

I've not counted how many pairs I've made in the four or so years I've been knitting them but I would guess it's in the thirties. And that number's only growing since it's about the only thing that my Dad will wear that I knit for him...

Anway - here's a little short of all of the socks that I could muster at short notice - you'll notice there are some not in pairs - even hand knitted socks don't escape the dreaded sock-eating-whilst-its-in-the-wash-monster...


My first sock is the bright orange one - hideous acrylic and holes in my short rows but I did it before I was told I had to be scared of knitting socks. It's funny what you can do when there's nobody else to tell you not to! That's a single sock because in a drunken moment my best friend and I decided to swap socks so we'd be bonded forever. She's lost hers....

Anyway, if you fancy knitting something tiny, easy, dead fun and useful, here's my pick of the best free socks from around the Ravelry and the suggestions for our yarns:

Silver's Sock Class

I've given you this because it's a bog standard basic pattern and works for lots of different gauges (with a little input from you). It's a top down construction, meaning that you work from the calf past the heel and finish with the toe. Once you've done one you'll have a good idea of how the components come together and honestly, you'll be able to knit another sock with your eyes closed! Good for beginners. I'd recommend the Zig Zag sock yarn because it's good and cheap, there's a good range of colours - male and female, and the zig zaggy stripes will keep you interested. Nice.

Target Practice

I've not made these before - but I've admired them since about forever. Absolutely gorgeous and a really interesting concept. I'd say you'd need to have knitted some socks before you attempt this, although really, take no notice of me - it's only sticks and string! I reckon the Fortissima Sock would do for this. It's slightly variegated which will do nicely for this pattern because the lines of pooling will follow the bias of the material.

Komet Socks

Here's a pair that I have knitted. And loved. And my sister ruined. I don't blame her, well maybe I do, but it's my own fault really for only knitting for her in superwash yarn. The yarn I used was from an ebay shop called Angels and Elephants - lovely pinks, greens, purples and blues but mixed together to make some greys - absolutely gorgeous but really expensive! Anyway, I finished them in the middle of summer, tried them on and put them aside to wait for winter - they would have been so mega warm! They caught my sister's eye as she was getting things ready for the wash and - yep, you guessed it. Boo.

But I gave what was left of them to a good friend from knitting club and she made the most beautiful felted brooches and they're in my shop!!

Lovely ey?

I'm going to recommend the Cygnet Truly Wool Rich 4-Ply as a good solid coloured sock yarn in well over 20 shades for only £2.50 for 50g! Blimey! Choose a lighter shade to really show off the stitchcraft. Just a note on this pattern, it's really not a pattern. It's written in German and you only really get the chart. You have to work out how much and how to cast on, what heel and what toe to do. But I promise it ain't hard!


Finally the Skew sock. Which I have sort of knitted. It's one of my many, many, many UFO's but I think it's hanging about for a reason - they're knitted in Colinnette Jitterbug which is a lovely yarn but there's really not much yardage at all, so I'm gonna end up with some short short socks and I'm not sure if I like that look. Also note that because it's knitted on the bias the socks aren't suitable for those with over wide feet, unless you want to do some real maths - the material just won't stretch like normal knitting. It's also a toe up design, obviously meaning you work from the toe to the heal to the calf. There's plenty of designs like that but nothing that looks so striking.

I'll recommend the Fortissima sock for this one because it works as non-defined stripe which will work well with the bias, emphasising the flow of the stitches. It's also our most expensive sock yarn, only £8 though - not too bad, which I think works well with such a special pattern.

Anyway, no more sock talk, I've got work to do!

See you soon,

Eleanor. :)

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