Can you take one more post about this pair of socks?
This post will hopefully encourage anyone who has wanted to make socks but tried and gave up.
This pair of socks was started in August, 2016. It was meant to be a plain vanilla toe up sock and I don’t usually drag those out forever. I had taken this sock with me on my trip and was determined to finish it but just couldn’t get motivated.
When I got to the heel, after knitting most of it, I just didn’t like the look and ripped it all back. That’s never good and that’s where I usually would give up but I love this yarn (Miss Babs Hot Shot Sock in the BFF color). After ripping that heel out and searching for another pattern, that’s when I found the Sockmatician pattern. Since the foot was already done using 64 stitches, I had to fudge a it on my measurements but it worked out fine. Next time I knit this pattern, I’ll use 56 or 60 stitches, depending on the yarn.
After knitting the Sockmatician heel, my hands were hurting and I just wasn’t loving knitting. I had been using Knitpicks needles, which I’m usually ok with but these seemed to be very draggy. It felt like I was having to pull to get the needle through and then the cable even seemed draggy so I switched to a pair of ChiaoGoo metal needles with their very slick and sturdy red cables and suddenly, knitting was a breeze! The first sock was finished within a few hours and the second sock is started.
If you really want to knit socks and have tried and not been happy, here are some suggestions to try:
- Do you love your pattern? If not .. whether you feel it’s hard to read/follow or you don’t like the fit, switch patterns. You can either rip back to the beginning or figure out a way to make the pattern you had been using work with the new pattern. Remember . . always take any knitting pattern one step at a time. Don’t worry about step 5 until you’ve finished steps 1, 2, 4 and 4. For the most part, I don’t even read ahead. My head begins to swim if I get to a part I don’t understand and it keeps weighing on me. Almost all the time, by the time I get to step 5, it all makes sense.
- Do you love your yarn? If not, put it aside! It doesn’t matter if the yarn is relatively inexpensive or terribly expensive, if you don’t like the yarn, the project is probably not going to be fun. You can put it aside and come back to it later or you can give the yarn away or bury it in the bottom drawer for 10 years. Don’t let one yarn you may not like ruin sock knitting for you.
- Do you love your needles? If not, get yourself another set of needles! You may be using double points, one long circular, two long circulars, 2 shorter circulars or, with one sock at a time on a short circular needle (probably other needles). There are extremely sharp points, more blunt points, with circular needles, there are stiff cables, very flexible cables.
With knitting, I give the same advice as I do with most other hobbies: Don’t buy a bunch of anything (do as I say, not as I do!) until you know what you like.
With yarn, there’s the content, the weight, the colors, the feel – so much to consider. Because of spinning/dye process/manufacturing, the exact same content may feel different in yarns. Some wool is scratchy, some is not. Some yarns hold up well for socks, some do not. The yarn I love may not be the yarn you love. My tastes change. Most of my sock yarn is tonal. Lately, I have a love for pretty self striping yarn with a coordinating heel/toe.
I will go out on a limb and recommend a couple of my favorite sock yarns. For the most part, I will only use a wool/nylon blend (not 100% wool) for my socks. This is not an exclusive list, of course, but these are my go to sock yarns.
As far as needles, especially for those of us who are older, not only do we need to find a needle that feels good to us but some needles, even though they appear to be exactly the same, cause pain in my wrists/fingers. I mentioned the wooden Knit Pick needles were causing pain and I’ve used them for years without pain. I think, because I’ve gotten so use to using metal needles, that the flexibility of the KP wooden needles had me holding them with a death grip. Nothing wrong with the needles – just a change in how I was holding them.
My favorite needles are:
- ChiaoGoo – There are sets of interchangeable needles (sock size and regular size – 2 different sets) and there are fixed length cable circular needles. I love all ChiaoGoo needles!
- Addi Click – I love these mostly because with the way the interchangeable sets click, they will not easily come undone while knitting. I do have some fixed Addi needles that have cables I don’t like so I’m a bit hesitant to buy those without being able to feel the cables.
If you’re wanting to knit socks and haven’t tried it, please give it a try. It’s so fun and it’s portable and if you find a good pattern, after a few pairs, you’ll memorize the pattern and be able to knit socks in your sleep . . almost!
If you’ve tried knitting socks and haven’t been successful but still have the sock knitting desire, please give it another try with different yarn and maybe different needles.
In 10+ years of knitting socks, I still love it and socks are my favorite things to knit.