Sock it to Me

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).

 ImageI’m very sorry to say, despite starting them in January this is their current state.

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

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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

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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!

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About snailishknits

22 years old. Knits, crochets, and pretends to sew. Lives in Dublin, Ireland.
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13 Responses to Sock it to Me

  1. Tina says:

    Oh what gorgeous socks!

  2. Den says:

    Oh my goodness! The Water for the Elephants socks are truly stunning! I’ve never tried color work before. I’m so intimidated!

    • Honestly try that pattern, it does all the work for you! I just wouldn’t knit one fully and start the next, unless you’re made from stronger stuff than I! Once you get a little practise it’s fine.

      • Den says:

        Ok, you convinced me. I have a couple of other WIPs to finish up and then will tackle those. Oh how to decide the colors! 🙂

  3. sybilqiu says:

    Sooo gorgeous! I love the colors you picked.

    For me, after knitting one pair of socks two-at-a-time, I will never go back to one at at time socks. Second Sock Syndrome bites me sooo hard all the time!

    • Thank you! I kind of wish I’d picked stronger colours, but they also remind me of Bagpuss so I still like them.
      I’m half doing the Hermione socks two-at-a-time, and I’m not sure how much I like it. I think each round takes too long and the pattern repeat gets dragged out forever (at least in my head). I prefer to do short, “fast” rounds on one and then swap to the next, if you get me. I just do a few rounds or one “part” of the pattern, ie the leg, or the gusset and then do the same on the other sock. I know that in itself is a delay, but it’s just the way I like to do it.
      I’m still learning what I like I suppose, but yeah, I don’t think I’ll EVER knit completely one-at-a-time again.

  4. iknead2knit says:

    Water for Elephants socks are amazing! Great post and thanks for following!

  5. Janet says:

    Beautiful socks! I’ve never been brave enough to try colorwork socks. Yours are lovely. I’m working on a pair of Hermione now. I love the pattern too. 🙂

    • Thanks! I enjoyed doing them and the look of them, they’re just taking so long. I’m going to try cables next, very excited. Thanks by the way for letting me know the name of that yarn. Is it very soft? It’s so pretty.

  6. kiwiyarns says:

    I’m impressed that you chose to knit such a complex colourwork pattern for your first socks. I have to say I’m not overly fond of colourwork, so am doubly impressed! Your effort reminds me of the first time I knit a pair of cabled socks. They were a real challenge. I ended up sitting on them for a year before finishing them, but I am very glad I did. I’m still so proud when I wear them. You only have 25% of your socks to go and they are done. Take heart!!

    • Thanks though I put that down to how well the pattern is written, and I’m a huge fan of colour work! I also in hindsight found the gusset easier than normal because the stitches were all divided by colour and I could see more clearly when I needed to do a decrease. I’m knitting a cabled pair at the moment, and they are tough. It’s my first complicated cable pattern but they’re working up fast and look really good already. I’ll get knitting! Thanks for commenting!

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