a look back and a look forward

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Lolly, headmistress of this whole Socktoberfest business, asked us to share our sock history. I’m fairly new to the world of sock knitting, but I thought it would be fun to sort of recap the development of my sock-addiction.

When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?

I taught myself, using Grumperina‘s Jaywalker pattern. I had no idea how on earth one turned a knitted tube into something sock-shaped, and was quite pleased to find that it really wasn’t so hard at all.

What was your first pair? How have they “held up” over time?

My first pair, as I mentioned above, were the Jaywalkers, which you can see pictures of here. Since I only just knit them this Spring, I haven’t had too much time to see how they hold up. But so far, the Socks that Rock yarn seems to be making a very sturdy sock, and I’m quite happy with them.

What would you have done differently?

I can’t really think of anything I would have done differently. Completely by chance, I discovered Grumperina’s “pretty way” of picking up gusset stitches for myself, so I’m very happy with how those turned out. I did flub the pattern in one spot, so I guess I’d fix that. But I really love the socks, and I’m really in love with the fact that I can knit them to fit my different sized-feet perfectly.

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?

So far, I have used Socks that Rock, Vesper Sock, Yarntini, and Lorna’s Laces (for the gauge swatch for my mother’s doomed socks, which Stimpy destroyed the yarn for). I have to say, I really like all of them. They’re definitely different, but they all have qualities I like. So I guess it probably depends on the project. I’d love to try Fleece Artist sock yarn sometime, but that will have to wait until my self-imposed stash-bust is complete.

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?

I like to knit them on DPNs. Part of the reason why I’ve not done them using 2 circs or Magic Loop is because I don’t own circs in a small enough needle size, and the ones my LYSs always carried were nickel-plated (Addis, mostly), and I am allergic to nickel. I tried knitting with a larger size of Addis once and wound up with horrible, oozing welts on my fingers. Not fun. But it isn’t just the lack of needles, I do actually enjoy knitting on DPNs.

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)

I’ve only done heel-flaps, and I’m not keen on knitting a short-row heel any time soon. I may do it just to learn the technique, but I really like the cushioning of the heel flap, and I feel like they’re sturdier (maybe I’m wrong, but it certainly seems like they would be, what with all the slipped stitches and everything).

How many pairs have you made?

I’ve made 2 pairs, and am working on a third (my Candy Corn socks).

And now that my little look back through my sock-knitting history is complete, I thought I’d take a look to the future, and set a few goals. So, here they are:

Knitting Goals for October:

  • finish Rogue
  • finish Candy Corn socks
  • finish Estonian-inspired mittens (before it gets so cold that I need them!)

Knitting Goals for the rest of ’06:

  • finish at least the body of my mother’s Rogue, so that I can let her try it on at Christmas (but finish the whole thing, if I can)
  • finish Andrew’s mom’s giraffe
  • knit a little toy for our friend’s new baby girl (I knit her little brother a toy mouse, so I’m thinking I’ll knit her a bunny, so that it’s distinct from her brother’s)

Knitting Goals for ’07:

  • Design and knit a sweater for Andrew (perhaps by our anniversary?)
  • knit at least one sweater for me (if not several more)
  • knit a lacy shawl
  • knit all of my sock yarn into socks

I’m sure I will come up with more things I want to do in ’07 once I get there, but that’s plenty for now. While I’m at it, why not state a few non-knitting goals?

Non-knitting goals for the rest of ’06:

  • keep running consistently, get to running over 30 miles a week
  • work though the Bruch violin concerto so that I am able to play it well again

Non-knitting goals for ’07:

  • train for and run the Rochester Marathon in the fall
  • work through the Mendelssohn and Beethoven violin concerto

Well, this post has gotten quite long enough.  Sorry for the lack of photos…I promise I will take an updated picture of my Candy Corn socks and my Rogue sleeves before I post again!  But now that I’ve shared my goals, both knitting and otherwise, I’m curious to know what other people’s are.  Care to share, anyone?

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