I have achieved the first finished object of the year. It is a new pair of socks (big surprise to those who know me). My journey to sock land was not an easy one. For years, I would look longingly at sock patterns. I would undertake (and sometimes complete) the first sock in a pair, but I NEVER EVER made the second sock. I would start with the best of intentions, but by the time I finished the first sock, the charm of making my own socks would have faded.
Then I discovered that I could do two socks at once using the magic loop method. You would have thought that this would have solved my sock issues, but no I still had to graft the toes. Words cannot truly express how I feel about grafting (though I sometimes try).
Then in April of 2005, I did my first pair of toe-up socks (two at a time of course) and I haven’t looked back since. I initially used the figure-8 cast on (fiddly, but worth it). I learned this technique using WiseNeedle’s (Kim Salazar) instructions which can be found here. This was actually the pattern that I used for the first pair I made using this method (and in a major departure for me I not only used the yarn specified, I even used the same color). I think that Kim probably saved what little sanity I have by letting me know that it was possible to tighten up that first row of stitches later. Then I discovered the Turkish cast on (tutorial by FluffyKnitterDeb here). I will admit that I don’t actually follow these instructions. I have never used a slip knot, I just wrap and go. I find the Turkish cast on to be less fiddly. Another advantage is that all of your stitches are oriented correctly (or incorrectly depending on which direction you wrap). In the figure 8 cast on, only one side is correct. Not that this is difficult to overcome, but is is annoying.
When I made this first pair, I kind of made up my own heel. The Widdershins pattern has a very similiar heel construction.
Now I would never presume to say that this is the best way to make socks, but I will say that it is the best way for me to knit socks. I know this because, as previously mentioned, when I knit socks on double pointed I never made the second sock. When I did the first pair on the magic loop (top down), I didn’t knit another sock for 6 months. I knit the first pair using this method in April of 2005 and I now have 25+ pairs and more on the way.
Yarn: Meilenweit Mega Boots Stretch
Needle: Addi Trubo 2.5mm 60 inch needle
Pattern: My standard foot with Textured Strip (December 27) of 365 Knitting Stitches a Year up the leg