I have news.
I have knit the leg of the first sock of my third pair. You heard that right. Third pair—first leg: done.
The real kicker: I am using a stitch pattern! This is not, repeat, not, a plain stockinette sock.
As my first real stitch pattern, I chose Alternating Slip Stitch on page 28 of Field Guide No. 11.
Alternating slip stitch is easy to work and it’s easy to count repeats (so socks will match in size). The slipped stitches do a great job of mixing up the color in this lovely yarn: Neighborhood Fiber Company Studio Sock (shade: Swoon).
What Was Holding Me Back
The reason I knit not just one, but two starter pairs of socks in plain stockinette—a lovely but let’s face it, snoozy stitch—was my donkeyish resistance to learning anything new and/or fiddly.
The part I was avoiding was where, after turning the heel, you center the stitch pattern on the instep, and knit the sole of the foot in plain stockinette.
Ooh, centering a stitch pattern, very scary!
Continuing the stitch pattern on the instep only, while working the sole in stockinette, makes sense because it avoids making the sock wearer stand on a textured stitch pattern, which might feel weird and would certainly mash all the texture out of it.
The complete Kay Gardiner Sock Collection to date. Yarns on the completed pairs are Neighborhood Fiber Company Studio Sock (shade: Alice GadzinskY) on the left, and Lichen and Lace 80/20 Sock (shade: Coral) on the right.
Why would a person deny herself the rhythmic fun of a wonderful, speedy stitch pattern like Alternating Slip-Stitch (just the name sounds exciting) simply because she has to figure out a thing as trifling as how to center the stitch pattern on the instep?
Now that I am doing it, I remember: the instructions tell you exactly how to center the stitch pattern. In this case, it involves ignoring one stitch on the instep. One measly stitch. The last stitch on the instep?—You just knit that one.
The pattern centers itself.
A related development is that now I can’t wait to knit all the allover stitch patterns, every last one of them. I will now proceed to avoiding the panel stitch patterns, because I think I will have to learn some other simple thing to do them.
Ooh, centering a panel, very scary!