what I wore yesterday

Guess what I wore yesterday? My first very own knitted socks! :)

This has been a long time coming, but better late than never. I got my basic instructions and stitch counts from Wendy Johnson’s book Socks from the toe up. I really can’t recommend this book enough, if you’re a sock beginner it’s the perfect thing, with detailed explanations of sock construction, many drawings for basic techniques, and a choice of several techniques to use for each section of the sock. (And after you go through all that, there’s a good number of sock patterns too.)

My socks are constructed with:

Judy’s magic cast-on – a small miracle, if you ask me! If you don’t know this method, you should really check it out.

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A short-row heel – this was OK, but not great. There are definitely some holes on the join between the short rows and the front of the foot (even though I picked up extra stitches to prevent it – it didn’t help), and the heel doesn’t feel terribly sturdy. Having tried a slipped-stitch heel in the meantime, I’d say I much prefer it to this method.

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A Russian bind-off – again, I was so-so about this one, and I’ll be looking for improvements. It’s just stretchy enough, getting the socks over my heel is a bit of an effort but it works. Next time I do a toe-up sock I’ll be trying Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind-off (don’t you just love these names?).

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When I started the socks, I thought it would be best to just do plain socks without any stitch patterns, to get the hang of the sock construction itself. However, pretty soon I got bored. Most of it, after all, is just plain tube knitting. So I started thinking – I wanted to add something that wouldn’t distract me too much from the construction but would add a little bit of interest. And then I remembered the socks I had been admiring a few weeks earlier, made by two blogging friends (and my most recent favourite discoveries in the blog world) Jenny and Dona. A simple cable at the back, yes – that was exactly what would do the trick!
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Mmmm, what a brilliant idea from those two girls! When I did the second sock, I actually mirrored the cables, to add a bit more interest, though I can’t tell you which one is right and which one left! It doesn’t really matter… Finally, when it came to ribbing, I thought it would be nice to make something that would flow nicely with the cable in the back (I love patterns that flow well from one section to the next), and did the cabling in the same cable pattern. I think that was a good decision! :)

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And there you go – I made my first socks. I’m so happy that this watershed is behind me now and I’m looking forward to many more socks to come. There was a special kind of thrill yesterday when I realized all my socks were in the laundry and I had to wear my handknitted ones. ;) Oh, and yes – they are as warm as people say…

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All the details on how I did the cabling and construction can be found on my project page.
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