Second Socks

First Socks are finished and ends are woven in. Now I just have to figure out how to block them without those fancy sock-blockers I’ve seen around. (I know some of you will say that socks block best on one’s feet, but let me remind you I chose this yarn because of how well it wet-blocks. And I’m not planning to wear wet socks on my feet for a day.)

Meanwhile, Second Socks have been cast on. This time I’m going from the cuff down. Somehow I feel like it can’t be that much different from toe-up actually: you start with a tube, you turn a heel (from what I gather at least the short-row heel is turned the same way whether you’re going up or down), you do some more tube-knitting. The only difference is that with cuff-down you end with some decreases, while with toe-up you begin with some increases. It could be my lack of experience with sock-knitting that’s making me oversimplify, we’ll see… :)

I’m still sticking with magic loop for now, though, at least for the plain-tube-knitting part. I think these are Addi Turbos, and the cable is wonderful – not giving me any trouble at all (though it has gotten a been crumpled in places, doubtless from sitting in my needle bag all scrunched up without use for a long time).

I’m using Cookie A’s Kai-Mei pattern. A bit more complicated with the lace motif, but still a great chunk of it is just 3×3 ribbing, and I think I can handle it. ;) The thing that’s a bit harder to handle, though, is the tight gauge and, even more, the tiny needles used for sock knitting. I’m getting painful bumps at places where my needles put pressure against my fingers, and the tight gauge doesn’t really let me fly by with my knitting as I sometimes do. So for both physical and psychological purposes I think I’ll need to get another, looser gauge project on the go as well.

Tiny needles, eeeek! Do you have any advice for avoiding painful bumps?

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About fridica

I started knitting completely by accident, when I was visiting my parents for a holiday in 2008. On a boring Sunday afternoon, I decided to dig through their stash of books to see if there was anything interesting to take back to my apartment. A knitting manual happened to be one of the books I found. I got curious, my mom immediately dug out her old needles and yarn stash (which she hadn’t used in a decade at least), and in a few minutes we were both casting on - she by memory, I by following the instructions from the book… :) Since I normally prefer learning from books, this was ideal.. I took the book home with me, and very very soon - I was an addict.

17 thoughts on “Second Socks

  1. That yarn looks soft and cozy, perfect for socks! I think you are totally right about a sock being a tube with a heel in the middle. If you can work them toe up, you should have no problem with the cuff down. As for blockers, two DIY ideas I’ve used with success in the past: 1) draw a sock shape on stiff cardboard and cut it out 2)bend a wire coathanger into a sock shape (coat the wire in tape if you are worried about rust). Can’t wait to see your finished socks!

  2. I was going to mention the DIY wire coat hanger sock blocker as Sara did. You can do an Internet search to see what else comes up.

    Having never done the Magic Loop or a toe up sock, I’d like to hear about you experience/preference when you’ve completed your socks.

  3. You’ve been bitten by the sock bug!!! I prefer the toe-up direction because it’s easier to determine when to stop knitting and start the other sock. Or, my preferred method, leave the first sock unfinished (on a lenght of scrap yarn or on another pair of needles), knit the second sock up to the same height and then see how much yarn you have so that you can make them have the same number of rows. Wow, this sounds complicated, hope you understand what I’m trying to say :)

    • It sounds perfect actually, apart from the tiny fact that it means weaving in more ends (though actually, if you could make it so that you knit one sock from the outside end of the ball and the other from the center, maybe you could get around that). I think I’ll try it on my Third Socks ;) The problem I’ve found with toe-up socks has been that I bound off the first sock too quickly – once I was done with all the interesting stuff and had nothing but tube-knitting left, I lost interest and wanted to finish up quickly. So the socks are rather short now. When you’re knitting cuff-down at least there’s something to look forward to (though I can see that the temptation to make the cuff shorter is still there…).

      • I’m so glad you’ve been bitten by the sock bug. I’ve been knitting socks toe-up and top down for a while and find that if you want to use up every bit of “yarny goodness” the best way is to knit both socks, toe-up from both ends of the ball, at the same time. It gets a bit fiddly, knitting magic loop from both ends of a ball, but it can be managed. This totally allows you to better estimate when “the end is near”. Then you just snip what’s left of the working yarn in two and bind off each sock separately.

        Happy sock knitting.

  4. I agree with you regarding socks being a bit of a pain! I always end up with sore thumbs. Just do what you are doing tho’ – when it starts to hurt with the socks swap on to your other project till you get bored then back to socks again.

  5. Wire hangers into sock blockers: use a glass bottle to achieve the right curves and bends. Painful bumps: the only method I can think of is to put plasters (with lots of cushioning) on (as in: sticking them onto the areas that start to hurt) even though it’ll make you look like a crazy person, so that might only be something for at home.
    The socks have a very intriguing construction! They look as if they don’t have a gusset but the ribbing does take care of that area, how ingenious! I’m sure you’ll enjoy knitting them.

    • I’m still not really sure what a gusset is (I’ve yet to get into the sock lingo) but there IS a big section in the pattern called “Shaping gussets” so I’m guessing they do have it :) I’ll let you know more as I go through it :)

  6. I have recently been bitten with the sock bug! I struggled with needle and gauge problems because I was so used to knitting hats on worsted weight yarn. The skinny fingering weight yarn was scary! What I found worked best for me was addi turbo lace needles – 32″ length, doing the magic loop. At first I gripped the needles so tightly but now I have learned how to work it and my socks are making me so happy! Check out my socks on ravelry -user name runnergirlle.

    Good Luck
    Love your blog!

    • Hehe, you seem to be as crazy about hats as I am! :) I think I’m starting to grip the needles less tightly too. I’m also knitting on addi turbos (I think… they were definitely addis, don’t remember if they’re turbos) and they treat my hands much more gently than the DPNs (of the same size) which I also tried.

  7. Just “block” them by laying them flat. That’s what I do with my socks… and I have sock blockers! I think most sock blockers are just used to take pictures of socks. Well, at least that’s what I do! :)

  8. Looks like you’re on a roll. I kinda envy you. I can’t seem to actually finish a pair of socks. I usually start, then see my gauge is off, rip, start again, mess up the heel, rip back, get bored with the sock and move on to another project. Apparently my attention span isn’t that great.

    • I’m trying not to worry about gauge too much at the moment – there’ll always be someone whom it will fit fine, even if I have to go around making them try it out like Cinderellas ;)

  9. I’ve never used sock blockers. Can’t imagine ever getting a pair either, unless I DIY them. Mine just end up hanging from the drying rack long enough to mostly dry before I put them back on ;)

  10. Socks are so awesome! Especially Cookie A’s designs.
    Maybe you could use even smaller needles and knit a bit looser to get the same gauge? I think that’s how I prevent my fingers from getting all crampy.

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