I love socks, but I hate buying socks. I feel like I can never find a pair that are worth the money and that will last. When I sometimes do find a pair I like, I will mend them for years over. I’m very particular about socks.
I’ve wanted to make them for as long as I can remember, even going so far as buying a set of double point needles when I lived in California. I remember bringing them home and teaching myself how to knit on them, but I wasn’t very good at knitting, even on straight needles at the time.
This past October, some other teachers at my school thought it would be a good idea to have a “knitting club” after class once a week. This would allow students to have extra time to practice English as well as practice a skill and the combination of these two things would help the English stick.
We also wanted to make hats and scarves for the homeless.
Trouble was: I only knew how to knit on straight needles, and didn’t even know how to make stockinette, really. I mean, I would have figured it out, but out of the four of us that had decided to meet, I was probably the most experienced, and I wasn’t very good at it myself.
Then a new teacher came on board and she shows up in these awesome sweaters and the topic of our knitting club came up. She had knit her own sweaters! She agreed to join our group and from her, I learned SO MUCH in a very short period of time. Now I can fill in and show the other teachers things when she’s not around.
In any case, I finally was able to make myself a set of socks and when I did, I wore them for two days straight. I hand washed them on a washboard, wrung them out and hung them to dry in a warm window.
Despite my overall attachment to them, these are only practice socks. I made them out of worsted weight yarn that I had left hanging around, and as you can see, I even ran out of one color 3/4 through the project. Mostly with this project, I probably learned more skills than I even realized.
One thing I learned that is going to come in very handy is the Eye of Partridge heel flap stitch. This makes for a “double knit” which is exactly what I was looking for to make my knitted menstrual pads for when I am bike commuting, and, well… menstruating.
I learned to slip stitch, which is unfairly easy. I learned to turn the heel in short rows and some other Dutch method that I can’t quite recall, but is different than short rows with the same effect.
But most of all, I think I learned to have some faith in the process of my forefolk who figured out how to take one string and make it into a garment, and then lived long enough to write it down. The first time I looked at a written pattern, it may have well been Chinese, but I’m finding that with each project another skill is gained and another door opened to another type of stitch. Amazing world.