Friday, 6 October 2017

Knitting: My first socks!

What's your attitude to trying new techniques? When I'm sewing I'll happily dive in and give things a go, but when it comes to knitting I tend to be a bit more reticent. I think that's in no small part because knitting involves a much bigger time investment so there's more to go to waste if things don't work out quite right. That's why it's taken me until now to get around to knitting socks, even though the idea has intrigued me for a while.


To give me added incentive to finally give sock knitting a try, I included knitting a pair of socks on my #2017makenine list. So when September came around, I thought I'd better get on with it before the year completely slipped away.


The pattern that I chose was, appropriately, My First Socks by Sandra of Cherry Heart. These are top down socks with a simple texture pattern, flap and gusset heel and rounded toe. I thought the pattern was excellent. As it's intended for beginner sock knitters, it's really detailed with plenty of help along the way and helpful photos to illustrate all the key steps. I didn't have any trouble at all knitting these socks - I was actually surprised by how simple it all was. I don't know why, but I was imagining all sorts of magic and trickery would be involved in knitting socks, but that couldn't have been further from the truth. If you're new to knitting socks, I'd definitely recommend this pattern.


There are instructions in the pattern for using both DPNs or the magic loop method on one circular needle. I've used both techniques in the past, but marginally preferred the magic loop method so that's what I went with. I started off using the Pony circular needles that are readily available in most knitting shops, but moving the stitches around the needles started getting on my nerves as they kept getting caught on the join between the needles and the cable. I'd heard other people mentioning HiyaHiya needles, so I decided to give them a try - and I couldn't believe the improvement! They may be over twice the price of the Pony needles, but they're well worth it in my humble opinion.


The yarn that I used is Stylecraft Head Over Heels in the Etna colourway, which I picked up at a local yarn shop. It's a 75% superwash wool/25% nylon blend and from wearing the socks for the first time they feel lovely and cosy, and not at all scratchy. It was also nice to knit with, and I love all the colours in the yarn. Actually the colour changes made knitting these socks quite addictive because I kept wanting to get to the next colour.


Overall, I loved knitting these socks and don't know what I thought would be so "scary" about knitting socks in the past. I'd really recommend the My First Socks pattern if you're also tempted but slightly intimidated by the idea. I'm looking forward to having some handknitted socks to keep my toes warm this winter, and I don't think it'll be long before I'll be casting on another pair. Does anyone have any recommendations of other sock patterns I should try?

11 comments:

  1. Lovely socks, you'll be hooked now I bet. I'd recommend Vanilla Latte socks, it's a very popular free download on Ravelry.

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    1. Thanks - I can see myself getting hooked very easily! Thanks for the tip on the Vanilla Latte socks - I think that pattern may already by in my Ravelry favourites so I'll check it out!

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  2. Your socks are brilliant!! And I love the yarn you've used too. Good luck with your next pair!

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    1. Thanks Lynne - I'm so pleased with how they turned out!

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  3. Great post, thanks so much for the lovely words and well done on the socks! ��

    S x

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    1. You're welcome - I always like to spread the word about goo patterns!

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  4. Love the rainbow yarn. I just finished my first beanie in the round and that was tricky enough! (I switched from circular to DPNs)

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  5. Yay for handknitted socks! Yours look deliciously cosy and squishy. Thanks for the heads up for the HiyaHiya needles as the stickiness at the cable join of the Pony circulars often bothers me too.

    I was also pleasantly surprised at how easy socks are to knit. I've always been pretty fearless with knitting though, probably because if things go wrong I can unravel and reuse the wool, whereas if a sewing project goes badly wrong I've wasted good fabric! My next socks are going to be "Favourite Socks", a free pattern by Voolenvine on Ravelry.

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    1. That's true about being able to rip back knitting, but cutting into fabric being irreversible - I should try to focus on that instead of the time it takes to knit things! Thanks for the heads up about that pattern - I'm not sure if I've checked that one out yet. As it turns out, I'm going to use this pattern again for my second socks because they're for a gift so I want to use something that I know works being as I'm on a deadline!

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  6. Likey, likey your socks. I have been knitting them for about a year now and I am about to move onto a new slightly challenging new pattern by doing a toe up version.

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    1. Thanks Jo! Good luck with your new pattern - it's always satisfying to take on a new challenge!

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