Better late than never, I joined Socktoberfest today. How could I not? I love knitting socks. I have considered recently just not worrying about knitting anything but socks (have you noticed that my output of late consists of many small things, made in twos?). I haven't knit a sweater in ages and ages...
When did you first start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?
My first pair of socks were this lovely green pair, which I made in December of 2004. I bought the yarn at Rosie's because I was in love with the color (I love green... unfortunately, I can't wear it anywhere near my face -- it makes me look sick. So my feet seemed like a good place to put it). I pulled a pattern off the internet (I was new to internet knitting... I have no idea where I got it) and ploughed away all on my own. I was pretty new to dpns too, so it's amazing I managed it at all. I had to do the first heel flap twice because I didn't understand the instructions for turning the heel. I also remember the revelatory moment when I realized what it meant to "pick up" stitches. When I finished these, I was so proud. I remember looking at them and saying, over and over, "I made these. I made them. Socks. I made socks." I still get a twinge of that wonder every time I finish a pair.
What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time?
These green ones were my first pair, and they have held up badly! Check out those toes! I also wore them to death, crammed into my boots and such. That probably didn't help. Ditto that the yarn was not made for socks (although for the life of me, I can't remember what it is!)
What would you have done differently?
Well, for starters, I would have checked gauge (does this sound familiar? I still don't check gauge with my socks!). But I don't think I understood gauge all that well at the time. They are too big. I wear them all the time anyway. I also probably would have taken the time to weave the ends in. Maybe.
What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
I love Lorna's Laces. I love the way it knits up. I also like STR, although I've had serious piling problems with it (anyone else had this problem?). I haven't tried a whole lot outside of these two, other than Knit Picks, but I'm starting to branch out. Nature's Palette sock yarn was a delight to knit with... so squishy.
Do you crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
Crocheted socks? (can you write "crocheted?) I prefer DPNs. I keep trying Magic Loop, because it seems like a good idea, but then I do it and remember that I hate it. Oh well. I really just love using dpns and use them whenever possible. When I relearned how to knit, I started using dpns right away and have never really taken to using circulars for small knitting.
Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
I've only ever made two short-row heels, and it was awkward both times. I want to get the hang of it, but when it comes down to it, I prefer the heel flap. I like the way it looks too.
How many pairs have you made?
Let's see... 7 pairs for me(one of which I can't wear!), 2 pairs for my mom, 3 pairs for friends... so 12 in total. I still have four OTN (at least one of which is a gift).
What made me happiest today? I'm heading out to the last fiddler's convention of the weekend today and Julie and I have been calling to coordinate the packing. This morning, she called me to ask if I had any size 6 straight needles she could borrow. I almost cried. I spend a lot of time with Julie and the whole time I've known her, she's never knit a stitch. The idea that we could knit while hanging out is almost too much! I know this is dorky...but it makes me happy.
Speaking of dorky, one more anecdote and then I leave you. Last weekend, I went with Julie to Morehead Kentucky for a square dance (she was calling). While there, I was talking to a girl named Sarah, who I have just recently met. I think she knew that I was a knitter, but when she saw me working on my Road to Oslo socks (I knit in public all the time), she pulled out a sock she was working on (her first) and asked me if I could help her fix a mistake she had made. I took a look at the socks and realized there was no fixing the boo-boo. I also realized I recognized the sock she was making.
Jennie: "Hey, did this sock pattern come from a book?"
Sarah: "Yes, it's --"
Jennie: "Is it the Gentleman's Fancy Sock from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks?" (keep in mind that I don't even own this book)
Silence. Both Julie and Sarah look at me like I'm crazy.
Sarah: "Um. Yes."
Jennie: "Was that too dorky for you guys?"
Julie: "Just a little bit."
Then we all laughed. So... yeah. Big sock dork.
P.S. I just spell checked this and found that "knitters" is not in the blogger spell check. grrr....