I just got round to pulling all the pictures off my camera – something I clearly need to do more often, because christmas was still on there…. One of my gifts for my sister was a pair of socks. They are, to date, the most intense thing I’ve ever knit, and on the smallest needles (size 1 – five of the little buggers!) I spent most of the Oliver performances sitting downstairs in the greenroom, waiting for costumes to break (with 17 kids in a cast, that’s not a really long wait), doing crossword puzzles with a couple adult actors, and knitting. The first sock took about 2 weeks of performances, which had me a little worried. Fortunately, knitting goes faster when you’re not in a theater, so the second sock only took about 10 hours. (I swear, I really am one of the world’s worst knitters.)
I was very proud of myself for getting the stripes to line up. They’re a 72 stitck round. The first inch is a 1×1 rib, and the rest of the leg/top of the foot is a 2×2 rib. The pattern uses an “afterthought” heel. (This is where you just knit in a scratch yarn as a placeholder for the heel, then after you think you’re done with the blasted sock you have to go back, carefully pick out the placeholder and pick up the stitches without dropping or twisting them, then knit a heel pretty much just like you knit the toe. Now, this seemed like a very good idea when I picked the pattern, but in reality, it is the SINGLE WORST THING I’VE EVER DONE ON KNITTING NEEDLES, and was made better not at all by the fact that one has to make socks, rather than merely sock. The afterthought heel is for the birds, as far as I’m concerned, or for people who use larger needles and never drink while knitting. It’s hard enough to juggle five needles and a martini glass. I can’t be bothered with stitches that have to come out. Once they are in, they should stay there.) The toes and heel are sealed up with the much-maligned Kitchener stitch, which was complicated slightly by the fact that a) I’d never done it, and b) my yarn needle is thicker than the knitting needles I was using, so the tension was dicey.
That was pretty much the only trauma involved, though. I’ve since knit another pair, with a slightly thicker shade of sock yarn, larger needles, and a heel-flap construction, and it went much better. And by better, I mean faster.
And there’s the socks, on sister’s feet. Yay! I was worried they wouldn’t fit. I think the toes are a little odd, but she swears that a) they fit without sliding or budging all day, b) they’re full of woolen warmy-goodness, and c) they’ve got that magical wool-doesn’t-get-wet thing going for them. She stress tested them by wearing them while helping a friend move across her apartment complex (literally, from one building to the next – down stairs, through snow, up stairs, lather, rinse, repeat). She said at the end of the day, she had the only pair of warm, dry feet. I said, “Of course, silly, wool is a hygroscopic fiber.” “Oh,” she said, “Of course. It’s totally obvious now.”