I just finished my first socks. My first hand knitted socks, ever. After almost a decade of knitting (what, really?) I've taken my needles on a trip to ground level. I know knitted socks are quite popular; There are people who solely knit socks. I never was one of those knitters: I did enjoy seeing knitter's socks and their enthusiasm for different methods, but I've never had the urge to cast on any myself. This changed around a week ago, when I was browsing through my Istex books and a little sock pattern caught my eye. The urge to cast on for one right away hit me hard.What better time to teach myself new things, and knit my first socks than just before my final exams and (gasp) thesis writing... right?
The socks are made using a combination of Alafoss lopi, for the main portion of the socks, and Lett lopi for the contrasting colours. For the stripes, two strands of different colours are held together to create a marbled effect. I just loved the effect that produced. I might try it with Plotulopi for a different project. I almost squeezed this pair out of one ball of Alafoss lopi, but had to break into a second ball for the final two or three rows of the second sock. All in all, good value for a pair of socks. It will be interesting to see how they will hold up to wear and tear. I'm pretty confident that they will hold up well, because it is Icelandic wool, but you never know.
The day the yarn arrived was a happy day. I had anticipated that it would take me quite a while to finish the socks, because there were new techniques to learn and the aforementioned thesis demanded so much of my time. It turns out that Icelandic wool puts my knitting speed into turbo mode. Okay, maybe the relatively thick yarn and needles had something to do with the speed as well. I knit most of my projects on needle sizes 3-4-5, so knitting Alafoss lopi on needle size 6 was something new for me. I didn't even have the right needle size. I was pretty shocked! I sort of assumed that I probably had multiple versions of any size of needle by this time. I was wrong. Some days of looking for the mail man later, and my new wooden dpn's and I were finally on my way.
I know they are not the most elegant socks, but I really like them. They are the kind of socks that I wear a lot during the colder months. Taking sock pictures was something new. I'm used to taking finished project pictures, but sock pictures are a whole different kettle of fish all together. That's one of the fun parts about learning how to knit socks: There is a whole new world of knitting and styling to explore. Second-sock-syndrome has always been some mythical term that I heard of but never experienced for myself (and still haven't!). There are shelves of self striping and patterning yarn that need to be examined. A dazzling amount of different heel methods that so far have gone untried in the Treehouse. There's a whole lot more to sock knitting that I still have to discover.
It will be interesting to see where my sock knitting career will lead me. I don't suspect that it will make a large dent in the sweater, shawls and hats hegemony but you never know. Are you a sock knitter? What are your favourite sock yarns/patterns? Do tell! I've got lots to learn.
Have a great week!