It was so inspiring seeing you wearing a fresh pair of handknit socks every day, as we wandered the streets of Cleveland and the floor of the The National Needlework Association summer trade show. All the while, I was working on the second sock of my very first pair.
Which I just finished yesterday.
The yarn is Neighborhood Fiber Company Studio Sock in the shade Alice Gadzinsky. I like the naturally-occurring diagonal.
This is the Cuff-Down Sock from MDK Field Guide No. 11: Wanderlust. Right on theme, I knit almost the entire second sock while traveling to Cleveland and back. I finished the shaping on the toe yesterday on the New York City subway, on my way home from lunch with a Seattle friend who was visiting with her own wandering sock.
I guess you could say for sure that I have been impressed with the portability of sock knitting. Such a tidy little handful of knitting to pull out of a pouch.
What I Have Learned So Far
- My socks are not all they could be, or all that my future socks will be.
- I learned that you, Mrs. Shayne, knit your socks according to a fixed recipe of how many stitches you cast on (64), how many rows are in the cuff (12?), leg (60?), and foot (60 again?) before the toe shaping begins. I measured the lengths with a ruler on the first socks, and then counted rows on my second sock, but it was all a bit approximate. Next time I’ll follow a recipe and keep track of my rows.
- I think I kind of messed up on the heel a little. Or at least, it could have been neater. But it was a thrill to see the leg turn that corner into the foot, through the magic of short rows. I think I will enjoy that moment, every time.
- I fixed my laddering problem! It really was as easy as snugging up on the first or second stitch (or both, really) after the switch from one needle to the next. On my second sock: no vertical line of loose stitches!
- In a big moment of Sock Revelation: I realized that I had knit the wrong size. At least it’s the wrong size for me. 72 stitches is a bit loose on my foot. Luckily, and I cannot stress this enough: feet come in a variety of shapes and sizes and I am 100 percent certain that these lovely socks, warbles and all, will be appreciated by a friend or relation with the exact right-sized, right-shaped foot for them, in the near future.
- At long last, Kitchener stitch and I are friends. I am so happy that the instructions are right in the Field Guide, so it can be by my side when I need a between-socks refresher. I’m also grateful to Lorilee Beltman for her invaluable video on the technique. My Kitchenering is getting faster and neater thanks to Lorilee’s clever memory aids. I love it when I can just look at my knitting for the clues on how to do something.
I am absolutely stoked with soaring sock ambition right now. I feel like my life up until now has been a long, sad journey of not knitting socks for people. A rear view strewn with missed opportunity to provide footwear comfort and joy.
For my next pair (in Lichen and Lace 80/20 Sock in Coral), I’m reprising the Cuff-Down Socks, and I’m also sticking with stockinette stitch, so that I can get the recipe and sizing right this time, and improve my Heel Tidiness Score.
Next year at TNNA, we can have a sock-off.