Saturday, October 07, 2006

Sock Preferences and History - week 1 of Socktoberfest

When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?
My friend Carolyn started emailing me about knitting socks and the new sock yarn that made the design as you knit. Up to that time I had never made a sock but the yarn intrigued me. Carolyn coached me via email from Whidbey Island, my cousin Pamela helped from Colorado and I struggled through here alone in San Diego. At times the directions made no sense to me but I was told to "just do it" all would make sense eventually and it did.

What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time?
My first test sock was made in scrap acrylic worsted - I have no idea where it is right now but it does show up around here once in awhile; my first pair was made from a very early Opal yarn that didn't even have a name and they fit! I still have the socks but all the fuzz has worn off the heel - just the nylon is left - although there isn't a hole. They're put away now for historical preservation.

What would you have done differently?
I would have picked up a couple of stitches at the top of the gusset which is what I do now to make sure there is never a hole there. And I don't decrease at the toe as much as the pattern calls for; I have more square toe profile rather than the pointy end the pattern give me.

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
I have really enjoyed all the Opal yarns, I've recently discovered Trex yarns and of course, all the new hand-dyed yarns available now all over the internet. Just the other day I bought Flowers from Yarn Pirate; I'm anxious for it to arrive.

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
Knit, Knit, KNIT!!!
It's size 0 DPNs always. I've tried 2 circs and 2 socks on 2 circs and found both to be a real bother. I can knit rounds with DPNs with out looking; I hated fishing for the ends of the second circ.

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
The question of toe-up or top-down needs to be answered first. I prefer top down but only because that's my standard stock and I do a heel flap with that. Toe-up is ok too but I have to think and watch what I do there; toe-up I do a short-row heel. Learned toe-up originally from Judy Gibson's pattern - You're putting me on Socks. One pattern I've been wanting to try is Wendy's feather and fan sock

How many pairs have you made?
I went and counted and it's 37 pairs in nearly four years. That includes a few that got felted by mistake and others given away as gifts. (I'm very particular who I gift my socks to. The best reaction I ever got was from my Sister; right in the restaurant in downtown La Jolla she pulled off her shoe and put her socks on. She wore them all through lunch before she took them off.)

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