Monday, January 16, 2017

My First Socks

I never thought that I would become a sock knitter.  Being under the impression that DPNs were required for the entire sock project was not something I relished - they often feel like wrestling octopuses (octopi?) - and I felt that was definitely more trouble than a pair of socks were worth.

It wasn't until Lucy of Attic24 started knitting her own socks on tiny circular needles that my interest was fully engaged.  Circular needles are a cinch for me as most of my knitting is in the round.  I followed Lucy's sock posts avidly, drooling over the self-striping sock yarn and the rainbow of colours available.  It wasn't until I had read Winwick Mum's Basic Socks pattern all the way through just after Christmas that I felt confident enough to try.

I bought a pair of 30 cm, 2.5 mm Addi circular needles and a skein of Cascade Heritage Silk Paints yarn in Mulled.  The yarn is a scrumptious blend of merino wool and silk with deep, saturated colours.  It was, quite simply, a joy to knit.  It wasn't so fun winding over 400 yards of fingering weight yarn into a ball by hand, though.  *sigh* I think I need to invest in a ball winder.  Any suggestions?

I was slightly terrified of turning the heel and using Kitchener Stitch to graft the toes.  I had heard through various knitting grapevines that both of these techniques can strike terror in even the most skilled of knitters.  I needn't have worried, though.  Christine is clearly an experienced knitter and teacher and by following her pattern and her step by step tutorials online, what I thought would be an experience fraught with frogging, sweating, and swearing, was actually quite enjoyable!  I am quite pleased with my heels and my grafted toes.
Turning the heel was simple, too, as it felt remarkably like knitting a sleeve cap.  I only had to frog it once on one sock as I miscalculated my decreases.   Even using DPNs while knitting the toes was easy-peasy! Christine even tells you how many stitches to put on each DPN in her online tutorials! I really feel that if you can knit, purl, decrease, and knit in the round you can knit a pair of socks.

One unexpected bonus of my sock knitting experiment was an improvement in my hand and finger joint pain from my psoriatic arthritis.  It has really helped to decrease the inflammation and my overall pain is so much better.  Now, if I could only figure out how to knit with my feet, I'd be set! LOL!

I have cast on my second pair already - this time for my daughter - using as lovely merino wool from Knit Picks in a super fun colourway.   I have two balls of Opal sock yarn on their way to me and I'm really looking forward to getting stuck in with those.  I am mesmerized by the colour choice and watching the self-striping magic unfold.

This pair has been constantly on my feet since I finished them and, for the first time in I don't know how long, I have warm feet in winter!!!

What's on your needles?  These socks are my second completed project for 2017.  My first is a beautiful cowl that I knitted from a kit which my lovely friend Theresa gave me for Christmas (among other gorgeous knitty goodies).  I still have to block it, even though I've been wearing it constantly, and photograph it.  My To Do List grows and grows.....

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