Sunday, August 31, 2014

Warm Winter Socks

Thank you for stopping by! For my first post, I thought I'd show you some socks I have knitted. There is nothing in the world like a hand-knitted sock. Hand-knitted socks are warm and thick and, when constructed correctly, cradle your foot with a perfect fit. They can't be compared to the machine-constructed socks you buy at the store. They can be made with any sort of yarn, from the most elegant cashmere to the silliest mismatched patterns. There is no limit to the possibilities.

I've been knitting socks for a long time. I first learned to make them when I was an exchange student in Germany nearly thirty years ago, but I didn't really start churning them out in earnest until about ten years ago, when I decided that I wanted to be a great knitter. I thought that knitting socks was the ultimate skill to master - if I could knit socks, then I would be, by definition, a great knitter.

There are many, many ways to construct socks. Most of the ones I have made have been fairly traditional, knitted from the top down on double-pointed needles, with a round heel and a wedge toe. I have also knitted a few from the toe up, some with round toes, and some with different sorts of heels. I've tried making them two-at-a-time on circular needles. I've made cables and stripes and plain black work socks. I've covered a lot of bases over the years.

I started by making socks for my children, who were small at the time. They loved their homemade socks and didn't much care whether they were perfect or not, or whether they matched, so they gave me tons of opportunities for practice. Now, everyone in my house wears adult-sized socks, but that hasn't cramped my style. Here are some pictures of my favorite creations:

Socks for my sister, made from self-patterning yarn.

Green staggered-rib socks for my cousin.

Fuzzy warm socks for myself.

Among my favorites: blue self-patterned socks for my sister's mother-in-law.

Awesome marigold-yellow socks.

Blue and green stripes.

Socks with a braided cable running up either side

Plain green ribbed socks in chunky wool
I am working, at the moment, on a pair of off-white cashmere socks. They will look something like the marigold yellow socks pictured above, but they will have an afterthought heel. (An afterthought heel is a heel attached to the sock after the rest of the sock has been completed. In my experience, it's one of the easiest heels to construct, and it has the advantage of being easily replaced if it gets worn out.) I'll show you the finished project as soon as it's done, and I'll take some step-by-step photos so you can see how I made them.

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