Knitting is a fantastic art – I am sure I don’t have to convince any of you of that. One of the things that makes it so fantastic is its diversity. I was at my regular Sunday group yesterday and we started talking about the amazing diversity in knitting. If you’ve read any other posts on here, you already know about my affinity for cables and fair aisle. The truth of the matter is that I like almost all aspects of knitting. Textures, colors, lace, modular, … just about anything. Another great thing about knitting is that there is nothing stopping you from learning more than one facet or niche in knitting as well. It’s such a vast area of knowledge to learn that it would be a shame to only explore one area.Well, being the naturally curious person I am, I want to learn as much of it as I can. That being said, I’m wanting to take you on a journey with me as I knit a pair of socks. Okay, it probably won’t be just one pair – all right already, it definitely won’t be just one pair. The truth of the matter is, there is no way it could only be one pair. What we will do is knit a regular pair of plain socks (yes we, you can knit along if you like and we’ll make it an impromptu Knit ALong – KAL), then a fancier pair with some texture, then a pair from the toe up, then two at once.
Don’t worry, this isn’t an overnight project. As a matter of fact, it will probably take quite some time, as I don’t intend on stopping any of the other projects I have on the go. That means the 52 in 52 is still on the board, and the next cable ebook is still being worked on, and I’m still doing patterns for men’s sweaters (Jason, yours will be finished in the next 48 hours). That brings me to another great point about knitting – you can be multitasking all the time. As a matter of fact, knitting is more enjoyable (well, to me) when you are multitasking. If you have more than one project on the go, you can drop one and pick up another as you please depending on the mod you’re in. That’s hard to do in other areas of life.
So for the socks, let’s pretend we’ve never made any before and go through the process together – from yarn and pattern selection right through to the dreaded Kitchener stitch (its not really that dreaded – you’ll find out later). I’ll do at least one post a week on the socks as we get to the different areas of it – cast on, heel, toe, etc. There might be two if necessary as we go along. Let’s see if we can knit a pair of socks together in a month. Who knows, maybe we’ll even convert some of you (and myself) into bonafide sock knitters. So to start this project, we’ll need to get some materials. We’ll need some sock yarn, appropriate needles, and a pattern. Let’s talk about each very briefly here – I’ll do a more detailed post on yarns later …
- Needles – can either be double pointed or circular. since we’ll be doing the socks in the round, you’ll have to have needles capable of doing that as well. I’ll demonstrate how to use both throughout and you can try both if you like or just stick with your preference.
- Yarn – for this first pair I am going to use Regia 6-ply because the gauge is larger and hence, the needles are too. This will make it easier to show in pictures some of the detail that will be required. You can use any yarn that is appropriate for socks – which is any that has a nylon component of between 15% and 25%. Yes, I know there are many variations on this, but we’ll get to them later. Remember, this is our first pair. I’ll delve more into the yarn in a future post.
- Pattern – I will dissect the basic sock pattern when we start this project and provide a generic one for different gauges, so you won’t have to worry about a pattern if you’re going to be knitting along.
Okay, so if you’re going to be doing this with us, your homework is to get your materials ready. On Thursday of this week I’ll do a post on knitting with double pointed needles. I’ve already done one on knitting with circular needles which you can find here – Circulars – if you need a refresher. After that, you’ll try it, get your gauge, and we’ll get started on our socks! For everybody else, don’t worry, I’ll still be chatting about everything else in knitting (especially cables) as we go along.