Knitting is such a time-consuming hobby, and for me it’s difficult to knit something that my heart isn’t set on. One day on Ravelry I stumbled across Rose Hiver’s designs and instantly fell in love with pretty much every single sock pattern she’s ever made. Before this, I’d been against knitting socks, for a lot of reasons, mostly because spending 3 weeks knitting something that I was going to wear on my feet for an entire day while walking around didn’t seem like a particularly good way to spend my time. But my heart was captured by Water for the Elephants and so, I bravely announced (to myself) that 2014 would be “Year of the Socks” and treated myself to a Christmas present of 3 balls of yarn to make them. Making 2014 all about socks, or rather sock yarns, was also influenced by the fact that I had finally decided to start the Bee Keeper’s Quilt, meaning I would need to knit a lot of socks to have a lot of leftovers to make hexipuffs from (which is of course a very backwards way to think about it).
I have learned a lot from my first pair of socks. If I were knitting them again I would not knit them completely individually. I would knit a few lines of one and then swap to the other. It’s very hard right now to pluck up the courage to finish the second sock knowing how far along I still have to go. I think had they been knit at the same time it would have been a lot easier.
Because the colourwork in Water for the Elephants is so “difficult,” (read: doesn’t have many pattern repeats, if any, in one line), the socks are not a practical knitting project for someone who knits a lot while moving around. I constantly have to watch the chart as I go and I’d much rather knit one where I can memorise a simple repeat. I was a little bit frustrated with how slow my progress has been on my second sock and so I (naturally) decided to cast on a second pair. I stumbled across the Ravelry group Sock Knitter’s Anonymous and decided now was a good a time as any to take part in one of their mystery knit-a-longs.
The funny thing was, despite being optimistic (I love mysteries and surprises) about these socks and happy with what I had seen so far of the pattern, they did not go well for me. I kept making stupid mistakes, mistakes that I would not normally dream of making. I was doing the cuffs two at a time with the magic loop, and I somehow added an extra stitch onto one of the cuffs. Then, as I carried on knitting I often made mistakes over which colour was CC and which was MC and more than once I accidentally repeated a line of colourwork. It just wasn’t happening for me. When I posted it on the forum that this was happening, someone blamed the yarn. Which I thought was particularly odd because this pattern had not been the one I’d intended to knit with this yarn. So I went with my gut and frogged it.
At this point I was left with a very loose and self inflicted plan to knit a pair of socks a month in 2014, which was rapidly becoming a struggle. I flicked through patterns once more and impulsively cast on Hermione’s Everyday Sock.
In my Ravelry browsings I’d seen this pattern multiple times, they’re nearly always first when you search for sock patterns, but I’d never really liked them much. They weren’t even in my queue (and now that I think about it possibly still aren’t – must update my project page). But I don’t really know why I picked them. I just wanted something to knit for the sake of knitting that possibly wouldn’t take too long to do. I love knitting with different colours so I decided to do the cuffs, heels and toes in contrasting colours just to spice things up. Even after I finished the cuffs and began the first few pattern repeats, I still wasn’t fully sold on them. It probably took me three or four pattern repeats before I fell in love with these socks. I’m getting that elated “this is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever knit” feeling again. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be forever proud of myself if I ever finish my pair of Water for the Elephants, but I think the simplicity of Hermione’s Everyday Socks are part of what makes them so beautiful. They’re socks that I would love to show a beginner and say “look at what can be created with just a knit and purl”.
Hopefully I’m able to catch up and finish my sock per month in the next few weeks.. Though I already know what pair I’m going to cast on next!