Toward the end of every year I genuinely look forward to writing up a list of New Year’s Resolutions. I’m odd like that. I’m ok with being odd like that. I think I enjoy it for a couple of reasons:
1) I LOVE learning new things. There is always some new art or skill I want to learn and the list is a promise to myself that this year I will be learning something that I have been itching to try.
2) Also, my resolutions list has a bucket list quality to it, since I include things like the tattoo that I want to add or the trip I want to take. Again, something I really want to do. So, even though my list may or may not include the ever-present “lose 10 pounds” or “organize the garage” they are deposited in with a plethora of things that delight my soul so they don’t seem as daunting or dreadful.
In recent years I have always included a new knitting goal of some kind on my list and one thing I came to realize as I accomplished these skills is that, very often, they weren’t as daunting as I had thought they would be and I gained more confidence to try more and more things. This year one of the items of the list was “learn to knit socks”. That I have been longing to do this is clearly evidenced by my ever-growing pile of sock yarn as well as the 4 books on sock knitting and patterns I have added to my shelves.
I love the Online Knitting community and have loved seeing all the gorgeous socks and Box of Socks Knit-a-Longs that people were producing and decided it was time to get started.
That being said, I knew I would need some hand-holding to learn how to turn a heel and do the reportedly dreaded Kitchener stitch to close the toe. So naturally I went to KnitWitts for the Wednesday Night Knit group. (I swear this shop doesn’t pay me to talk about them, they are just that awesome :).
The sock pattern that was introduced was the Mercury Sock pattern that I had been hearing so much about, so I was thrilled to try it. This sock has a nice lace pattern to it that works very well with a solid color that doesn’t obscure the detail. I decided on Cascade Heritage Sock Yarn in the Primavera colorway and this turned out to be a great choice since the patterning has a leafy quality to it which matched this soft green very well.
At first the word “lace” kind of worried me (lace=intricate and complex) , but this pattern has a simple 5-row repeat pattern the most challenging of which is the SSK (slip, slip, knit) and that is not difficult to learn.
As I did one repeat after another the pattern emerged and I loved how it was knitting up.
Kelly (still my hero!) walked me through picking up stitches when turning the heel and doing the Kitchener Stitch which required focus but wasn’t as terrifying as its reputation had led me to believe. One thing I would add to the tutorial I’ve included is to pull the working yarn very, very tight every few stitches. Once I had finished I had a very nice, professional looking toe and a completed sock that looked great. I immediately cast on the next sock and am well on my way to completing the pair.
I don’t expect to have a full 12 pair as some of the Sock Knit-A-Longs are doing since I have other projects I have going as well, not to mention, you know life, that constantly interrupts my knitting time. But I hope by the end of the year to have 3 or 4 pair and to add even more next year. I’m going to get a nice box to put them in, maybe something with a Paris theme?
So wherever this year takes me at least I’ll have some pretty, soft, hand knit socks for the Journey.
P.S. In case you are curious the sock books on my shelf are:
The Joy of Sox -some pretty clever chapter titles in here 🙂
Getting Started Knitting Socks-picked this up a library book sale this weekend for $1 !!
Next week: Buying Indie Hand-Dyed Yarn Online as a competitive sport!