It might have been the (fortuitous, apparently) 2mm needle breaking - which liberated me to move to a 2.25mm needle. It might have been the moment when I actually stopped caring and gained a rhythm. No doubt it had everything to do with your chorus of comments - each of which gave me key information in moving forward.
Sock 1 took 20 hrs. Sock 2 took 10.
Here's the result:
|Yeah, they're really blue...|
Yeah, I realize these are not the best socks in the world. They don't have the smoothest stitch, the yarn (I now know) is suboptimal for socks; it's too spongy. I don't much like the pattern.
But my kid took one look at these and it was like someone gave her a puppy for Christmas. OMG - she LOVED them. I made her an entire freakin' sweater and I got a respectful thanks. These socks, I sense she would have cut me for them. What with my not liking them particularly, it was a win-win. :-)
Then it occurred to me that if I'd never made another sweater simply cuz I didn't like the pattern, outcome and process (each of which has occurred at times) then I'd never have got anywhere!
So, grudgingly, here's to the merits of socks:
- What appeals so much - I suspect - to so many people is the formulaic nature of sock-knitting. Don't get me wrong. You can make super-complex socks in zillions of ways. But once you've cracked a code, you can make them again and again and again and again with nary a second thought. My own disastrous first sock experience followed by a relatively smooth second sock experience proves that point - and I've only ever made one pair.
- They really are much beloved. You sock-makers are like a cult! :-) And you've somehow inculcated my kid! There's got to be something to these "handmade socks". I owe it to generations of wonderful sock knitters - and my excellent commenters - to investigate further.
- Can't get more practical than a pair of socks, no? And I am a pragmatic woman, after all...
- Apparently - and I can't defend this yet - they last way long and keep you toasty warm.
- The best sock yarn is 75% wool and 25% nylon.
- 10 stitches per inch (horizontal gauge) will knit an optimally strong fabric, though anything above 8 stitches per inch is fairly strong.
- Regia is a very respected sock yarn brand, from Germany. It's not exciting, particularly, but it makes the most durable yarn and the first-wave knitters really appreciate it for that reason.
- Plain is good. I mean, if ribbing seems too showy, maybe I've got off lucky. Cuz stockinette socks are much easier to knit than crazy patterns. That's ok.
- Variegation (and patterns) keep the project interesting. I want to say they're the only thing that keeps it interesting, but I don't want to incite mutiny! I suspect, if I get to watch some kind of colour-work emerge, I'll be more excited to go from beginning to end. And, who knows, under boots I may just wear them even if they're not black!
Here's a (somewhat wan) pic of the yarn, which is actually pretty snappy in that crazy variegated way I don't understand:
|Photo source: Mariannes Wolle|
I don't want you to think I'm a sock convert. This may well be the last pair I ever knit. But at least I'll have given it the college try.
So, what do you think of my new stance? Am I seemingly schizophrenic, what with the sock hate and then the sock acceptance? Do you think the new yarn is utterly hideous - no leading questions here, the photo really isn't flattering. Let's talk!