Sunday, October 08, 2006

Sharing Stories

Well friends, with the advent of Socktoberfest upon us, I wanted to post my sock knitting history.

When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class? I wanted to learn how to make socks shortly after I learned how to knit. I joined a knitting group and had friends that knit socks and I desperately wanted to learn how. I took one mini knitting lesson on socks, but never went back to the class as it was canceled. I then took a sock knitting class through one of LYS in town on bigger needles, but what I learned is that I did not like knitting socks on dk-weight yarn. I definitely wanted to knit socks using sock weight yarn. After the class, I cast on for socks with sock weight yarn and have been using it ever since. Thankfully my friends took pity on me and helped me through that first pair of socks!

What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time? My first pair of socks were made with a self-striping, fair-isle pattern out of Regia. They are holding up fine I'm sure. Since my mother "stole" them from me a couple of years ago. She hasn't complained that they've worn out, so I trust they're still intact.

What would you have done differently? Probably gone down a needle size, but at the time, I was a much looser knitter, so the size 2 needles I used seemed fine. But on my second pair of socks, I had to go down a needle size. Other than that, I had no real problems with the socks, but I had friends holding my hands the whole way through.

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed? I've mostly knit socks using Regia, Opal, Lang Jawoll and Trekking. I've liked knitting with Regia, no problems there. I really like Opal sock yarns. I've made one pair of socks using Trekking and loved it, but this was some time ago and now they have all these new crazy colors of which I've seemed to amass about 4 more skeins of sock yarn this past year. I plan on knitting with Lorna's Laces and Koigu this month to test out some different to me sock yarn!

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method? I honestly can't imagine crocheting socks, although I hear it exists. But I don't crochet, so that's not an option for me anyhow. I knit socks exclusively on dpns. While many don't enjoy knitting with dpns, I've never had a problem with it and if it ain't broke, I'm not fixin' it. My favorite needles to knit socks with are Pony Pearls. Although when I recently worked some socks with a lace pattern, I did have to switch to aluminum needles just for a pointy end to work the lace. I really don't care for bamboo needles for dpns as they break too easily for me and they're not cheap. I refuse to keep replacing needles that can break if I look at them the wrong way. The Ponys work well that way for me.

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?) Hell flap all the way baby! I tried short-row heels once and I couldn't figure out what I was doing and just ripped it and went back to my heel flap.

How many pairs have you made? When I went back and counted, a total of 16. I made one pair especially for my mother and later made a pair for me that when I was done, I really didn't care for them much so my mom took them off my hands. While I was visiting during the Xmas holidays one year, my mom took one of aunts around to show her the socks I made for her and made the mistake of pulling out a pair that I had not "made for her", but brought with me to wear. She kept insisting that I made them for her and I had to tell her that I knew I hadn't, as those were the first pair of socks I made for myself! But I let her have them and figured I was off the hook for making her a pair of socks for awhile, as she managed to get 2 pair in about 2 weeks time. I've made one pair of socks for M and 2 pair for M2 and I have 10 pairs of socks in my sock drawer for me. Very nice! I love my handknit socks and I can't wait to get started on new socks for me during Socktoberfest! My personal goal is just to knit with some of the handpainted yarns that I've succumbed to buying, but have yet to knit with. Koigu and Lorna's Laces will be mine!

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