Sunday, September 5, 2010

Popping the sock cherry, part 1

neener, neener, nee-ner!

They have been staring at me, I tell you they have, that stinkin' sock yarn and tiny little 2.5mm needles just daring me to do something with them.  Every time I go look in my box of fingering/dk yarn it stared up at me, taunting me to actually do something with it, I really hate cheeky yarn so I'd close it back up in the box and forget about it for awhile.  So I have been avoiding, avoiding, avoiding working with it, but since I just got a new box of smooshy yarn goodness I decided to finally use up the last remains from my last large order in April.

After much dithering and hemming & hawing I finally picked out a pattern, Monkey by Cookie A. from the winter 2006 issue of Knitty.  After seeing that there are over 12,000 projects using this pattern I thought it wouldn't hurt to use it for my very first pair of socks.  Plus there are lots of discussions about it in the Ravelry forums so adjusting it to fit my 'How the legend of Sasquatch was born' feet shouldn't be that much of a problem.

After fortifying myself with a large dose of chocolate I made my gauge swatch, okay, that wasn't so hard.  I then ran it through the washer and dryer and realized I won't be running my handknit socks through the dryer, the washer maybe, but definitely not the dryer.  The hanging ends of the yarn from the cast on and bind off felted somewhat and I fear what would happen with socks that actually get worn by my Amazonish feet (no worries, I have no desire to cut off my right breast, but I can tell you I understand why they did that, bowstrings snapping across really hurt!).  So according to the gauge swatch my stitch count is 7 stitches/inch but the pattern is 8stitches/inch.

Considering my gigantor feet and looking at adjustments to the pattern that were made for bigger feet I realized being off gauge actually worked to my advantage, I would have a sock of 9" instead of 8" as in the pattern, perfect for me! You know what they say about the best laid plans though, but more on that later.

Casting on was a total pain in the ash, I am doing this with the magic loop method rather than with double pointed needles.  I have a set of US 4's that are sock needles, but hey are so short it is really uncomfortable to knit with, so circular it is.  I used the cable cast on (I lurve this method, use it for just about everything) and boy do those stitches love to twist around the cable.  So I got it cast on, did the ribbing for the top and then onto the pattern. The pattern itself wasn't really hard, it's just like the lace I've been knitting, up til the heel flap, eek!  But I read through the pattern a few times and found some KnitPicks videos of Kelley's Sock Class on YouTube, and then got started.  Hey, this isn't so hard I even added in one more slipped stitch along the side as not only do I have Godzilla feet but I have an extraordinarily high instep/arch as well (remember those tight jeans that zipped up the calf from the 80's? I couldn't get my feet in them cause my arch was so high).  Uh oh, now I have the heel turn!  More videos and repeated reading, then woohoo, conquered that little devil too.  Then I just had to do the gusset, but now that I have wrapped my mind around what it is I am supposed to be doing it doesn't really seem that hard, yea me!

To be continued...


  1. Socks really aren't so bad once you get used to it. I think the tiny needles and yarn scared me a bit at first, but once you get going, it's really a great "on the road" project too! I just wish I wore them more in CA. I like making them but just don't wear them enough.

  2. I think I have ice water instead of blood, I live in a beach city in Southern CA, about 10 minutes from the beach and wear socks with slippers all winter in the house. I get cold everywhere!


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