Adventures in Sock Knitting

Sock knitting has been one of the things that I’ve always been most intrigued as well as most intimidated by since I learned to knit.  I’ve tried to knit a simple sock on a few occasions and have failed rather spectacularly.  I’ve always been terrified at the thought of a toe up sock – the top down was more than difficult enough for me.  So I got this New Pathways for Sock Knitters book out of the library a few months ago (I’ve renewed it twice now; I really need to buy my own copy) to check it out.  I was so impressed with the Coriolis sock that I was emboldened to try it even though I was sure I was going to fail just as horribly as I have in the past.  I did the practice sock since I hadn’t knit on 2 circs before and even though I’ve done several things with Magic Loop, I didn’t want to deviate from the instructions at all since I knew I was going to be intimidated enough to begin with.

I used Socks that Rock Medium Weight in the color Hot Flash which I bought as a gift for a friend (I was going to knit her something with it) that I never got around to doing.  I thought the color was WAY too pink and bright and I really didn’t like it much – until I wound it and realized that it was actually a gorgeous color.  I started a pair of Monkey socks with the yarn, but frogged it when I decided to try the Coriolis socks.  I decided to use the Spiraling Coriolis master pattern and got started.

What I’ve discovered is that toe-up socks are much easier for me than their top-down counterparts and that sock knitting is not the frightening concept that I thought it was.  It took me about two weeks of working a few hours a night to finish sock #1.  The biggest problem I had was binding off in a way that made the sock go over my foot.  After tearing out several different B.O. methods, I settled on Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Sewn Bind-off, and that worked for me.  I just finished the heel turn on the second sock (no “second sock syndrome” here) and I’m hoping to have the pair done before I leave in a few weeks for three weeks in CA with Jake, visiting my mother and going to the David Cook concert (which I’m so excited about I’m like a 14 year old teeny-bopper….mmmm….David Cook).

The thing that I found most intimidating was the short rows with the wrap and turn and then concealling the wraps as well.  I think I’ve finally mastered it, though, or at least it’s not so scary for me.  I think the heel turn is my favorite part of sock knitting; there’s something magical about it to me.  I simply love sock knitting and now I completely understand why there are people who are so obsessed with it.  I love having a project that is small enough to take anywhere, yet interesting enough to keep my mind occupied.

What I really need to do is to get back to spinning.  I look at my wheel every day and I never seem to find the time or energy to pull out fiber and spin.  I think I’ll take the wheel with me to CA.  I’m sure I’ll find time at Mom’s house to get some spinning done.  I have some great bamboo batts from Loop that are deep brown, scarlet red and amber colored bamboo in layers.  I have 15 oz. of it and I think I’d like to spin it to fingering weight in a 2 ply and then make a shawl for myself out of it.  We’ll see how that goes since I’ve never spun bamboo before.  Maybe I should grab some bamboo in a single color that I don’t love as much as these batts and give it a go first.  Any hints/tips on spinning bamboo would be appreciated.

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