This summer marks a strange anniversary. It’s been ten years since I learnt to knit socks.
The story of how I learnt is tied completely up with summer. I learnt while on summer holiday abroad, taught by my patient sister who kindly refrained from pointing out the yarn was entirely unsuitable for knitting socks. It was bright ocean blue, incredibly soft and had, I can only assume, negative nylon content.
I wish I could share a photo, but not only did I never finish the socks, any photos I have of them are lost. They live on clearer in my memory for that, I think. But the second pair was more successful than my first, and on after that.
Sock knitting remained tied up with summer holidays. I was a teenager at the time and I still wasn’t knitting all that much. It must have only happened a few times, but the experience of getting in the car to go away and casting on socks while in the back seat as we drove to our summer holiday feels like a quintessential summer tradition.
A decade later, I don’t feel all that different. Yes, I know more about sock knitting since that first deformed sock. My preferences have changed and I now tend to knit toe up with magic loop instead of poorly with DPNs. But I’m still that girl knitting on her sock outside the shop waiting for her sister.
I didn’t set out to celebrate a decade of socks by having a sock knitting fiesta, but it did somehow turn into one. I started a pair in June, with a lovely self-stripping yarn I bought as a treat back in January 2020. That turned into me pulling four more skeins of yarn from stash. By the end of July, I’m pretty proud of what I ended up with.
I’ve knit about a sock a week for the past two months. They’re all toe up with various patterning / contrast heels / stitch counts but using my Pewter Heel pattern or variations I’ve been coming up with.
I want to write a post at some point about how I knit socks. I love thinking about sock construction and I love reading books it. What stops me is that I think there’s enough resources out there for beginners. What I’m interested in creating is for intermediate to experienced sock knitters. I’m thinking about people like me who can knit a sock without thinking too much but find it fun to keep thinking about different elements of it.
I actually found something which scratched that itch – Knitting University by the Bakery Bears is run for their Patreons but has a sock course in August. This is the first thing I’ve supported via Patreon but I’ve been loving the content so much.
The socks are going to be knit top down in DK in a merino silk cashmere yarn which is so out of my comfort zone it’s amazing. The pattern even uses bobbles (sorry, ‘knots’) which I’ve sworn never to knit. It’s actually so out of the norm for me, it reminds me of those ocean blue socks which were my first socks a decade ago. But I think I’ll be sticking with magic loop; DPN sock knitting just isn’t for me.