Knitting · Tools · Yarn

The Magical Sock Saga: Part One

Socks are important. No, really. If you live somewhere soggy like England and have to wear nice waterproof shoes, you want your feet to be cosy inside. If you live somewhere cold you need all the layers you can get. They can be decorative (rainbow toe socks) or just plain functional (my dad’s 20 pairs of identical navy blue socks).

Here’s what Wiki has to say about socks and yes I’ve left the [1]s in so you know it’s the real deal, man:

sock is an item of clothing worn on the feet. The foot is among the heaviest producers of sweat in the body, as it is able to produce over a pint of perspiration per day.[1] Socks help to absorb this sweat and draw it to areas where air can evaporate the perspiration. In cold environments, socks decrease the risk of frostbite. Its name is derived from the loose-fitting slipper, called a soccus in Latin, worn by Roman comic actors.

The earliest surviving cloth socks, thereby proving that ancient Egyptians were Nightcrawler.

Well, that told you. Who doesn’t need a loose fitting slipper to cling to their sweaty skin? Exactly. Now that I’ve made the art of socks seem positively divine, I can proudly announce that I’m on an epic mission to produce one.

First up, I bought DPNs (double pointed needles). I have 10 sets of 5 DPNs in different sizes, all bamboo. Ebay is wonderful for that crap. All of that only cost me six quid! I adore bamboo crochet hooks and needles so this seemed to be the logical choice.

Next up, I purchased a yarn which is pretty enough to make me want to keep going. I would not work well with a solid colour as my attention span is not great. I am lucky enough to have a couple of brilliant yarn stores in my town which a wide selection of beautiful fibres but as I cannot resist anything vaguely rainbow (as anyone who knew me at college will attend) I had to go for Lang Yarns – Jawoll Magic Dégradé which is 75% new wool and 25% nylon which, in my research, seems to be a fairly good percentage for socks.

It's almost as classy as my flower-explosion purse/glasses.

I mean, look at it. How could I resist?

The next bit was the fun part. I’ve already tried knitting in the round on circular needles, resulting in a cowl that was absolutely lovely until I cast off way too tightly and it doesn’t fit. Clever Polo. I’ve tried ribbing in the same project. I’ve never tried to use DPNs so working out to handle that many sticks at once was a bit of a nightmare! First step? Casting on.

I always cast on/off too tight so I learnt how to use the Long Tail Cast On – that’s a link to a youtube video that got me perfectly capable of casting on well in no time at all. It’s really fun and rhythmic! I ended up casting on way too many stitches just because I couldn’t help myself.

As for swatching, well… I tried. By which I mean I have the attention span of a dead dog. I managed a few rows before I got bored and decided it was a good time to start knitting a the sock itself. Here’s how far I got:

Not very far at all, as you can see...

Still, who needs to be sensible and actually follow the process? It’s much more fun to wing it, right? I’m an expert at that. So I cast on my sock and I’m a couple of inches in but you don’t get a picture of that until next time.

And there will be a next time. I fear a new obsession may be born!

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