24 October 2006

Baby's First Socks

I knitted my very first pair of socks recently, and am now a convert. How could I ever have doubted the wisdom of spending considerable time and money on something you can buy five of for two quid in Primark? These are a different article altogether from my drawer full of limp, defeated-looking Primark versions, which do nothing more than stop my shoes sticking to my feet. Socks that fit and keep me warm are a revelation! One problem is that I now resent wearing any others (better get knitting) and another is that I sound quite, quite mad when evangelising about handknitted socks. Which is why I'm doing it here, rather than further tormenting Mr L.

I started off using the 'Universal Toe-Up Sock Formula' from Knitty, and discovered how much fun short row toes are to knit. The way they make a little pouch of themselves is just so clever, and every time I use short rows for anything I seem to grasp a wee bit more firmly how knitted fabric works. I didn't want to do a short row heel, however, because I suspected that this might result in the sock bunching up at the front of the ankle, which would annoy me. (The socks in the Knitty photo do appear to have a little wrinkle at the top of the foot. It looks uncomfortable, but I'll have to give it a go some time and see.) I liked the look of the modified strong heel from 'Amy's Socks' (free pattern at
  • Sock Album
  • ) so I adjusted it to the number of stitches I was using, which worked quite well. If I was doing it again I'd make a smaller pseudo-heelflap, because the heels are a bit too baggy, but that may be because the foot is an inch too long, due to inexpert fudging between patterns. These are still far and away the most comfortable socks I've ever worn. I love them. I even love handwashing the bastards - really they should be OK for a cool machine wash, but I'm paranoid and our washing machine's unreliable.


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