12 in 2012 – Knitting Socks

There’s already been a couple people who are ready to join in the 12 in 2012 challenge!  Click the sock button like that shown here in the sidebar or the link at the top of the blog to the page of info re the challenge.

I did HAVE to make one amendment to the original challenge rules — but only that one!  I forgot about the Eat Sleep Knit black friday sale (how soon I forgot since I just received my two packages this week from that sale and a good sale it was).  Thank you Judy for reminding me that I won’t want to miss that sale next year if they do it again.  So I have allowed myself (and Judy 🙂 who is in for the challenge) two occasions to shop during the year.  Camp Loopy, if the Loopy Ewe does that again this summer where we’ll need to buy specific yarn for specific projects in order to win the rewards (which last year was free Wollmeise) AND Eat Sleep Knit’s Black Friday sale (of course you could substitute in someone else’s Black Friday sale).

If you join in the Challenge, feel free to snag the image from the button to add to your blog.  Also, if you create a page on your blog or website to post the photos of your finished socks, email me the link to that specific page and I’ll add it to the bottom of the challenge page as a link (Mr. Linky will not work properly on wordpress).  That way others joining in the challenge can check out what you’ve finished and help urge them on to work on their own finished socks to show.

Someone said they knit but have never made socks and asked how to start.  You just have to jump in “feet first” (bad pun) and stick with it.  Ravelry.com is a great source for patterns – lots of free ones and others for purchase.  You just have to create a free account for yourself to access the multitude of patterns available.

I personally prefer to use double pointed needles and work from the top down on my socks.  But there are magic loop methods, toe up, all kinds of different methods.

I just found this   http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/silvers-sock-class.  It is a great tutorial for beginners with tons of photos of each step.  It’s for a top down ribbed sock.  But you could easily just put an inch or however long you want your ribbing at the top and then change the main part of the sock to all knit to make it even easier.  (I hate having to do a lot of purling in the round – slows me down.)  But whatever pattern you use – the photos on that site will give you a close up look on many of the basic steps for any top down sock pattern. And clearly the writer has sense of humor (tips like when you think all those needles are trying to just poke you in the eye – perservere) – seriously it seems that way at first! LOL

I started knitting socks using Knitting Pure & Simple’s Lightweight sock pattern.  It’s my basic go to when I want to knit a sock without having to pay much attention to it.  Patience is the key.  It takes a while go get use to using the multiple needles.  My first sock I ripped back several times but it was well worth sticking with it.

As to yarns – that’s personal preference.  I use fingering weight yarn since I don’t want a thicker sock.  But if you want socks for in boots or to wear like slippers, socks calling for heavier weight yarns might be what you want.  Just be sure to check what your pattern calls for.  Also the type of yarn is personal preference.  I usually use a yarn that is “superwash wool”, generally a blend of wool and a little nylon so that they can be washed in the washing machine.  Check the yarn care instructions.  Many say they can be dried in the dryer too but I think they look better if they are just laid flat to dry and they don’t take long to dry at all.  I put them on a towel on top of my dryer and the heat the dryer gives off in my little laundry room helps them dry even quicker.

Wool socks are fantastic.  Even during the coldest days of our Wisconsin winters my feet don’t get cold in them and they also don’t get hot.  And there’s something very fun about having cool colored socks peaking out from under those boring work pants or jeans.  And the best part – they are so comfy.  I have big feet – truly – size 11 and you make the foot long enough to match your foot.  Store bought socks, if they start out long enough, always shrink in length with washing and get too short and too tight and just aren’t comfy.  My hand knit socks are the perfect length and I don’t like tight tops on them so I can adjust that so they are a bit looser, and I don’t like real long socks so I can adjust that too.  Did I say there’s nothing better than hand knit socks??? 🙂

In connection with one of my challenges – trying new patterns – here’s a couple I have saved in my Ravelry pattern library that I want to try: