Well, I’ve been spending a lot more time with my projects. My career is in fine jewelry, which is pretty much the definition of non-essential, and I work out of New York City. The Covid-19 pandemic means that I have been called upon to help save the world by staying home.
That’s okay. Luckily I’ve been working on my knitting. I’ve always wanted to be able to knit socks. I started to learn years ago but the first attempts were not much to look at, since my only previous knitting experience was a single scarf. Granted, the same is true now, but with the help of several books I finally have a complete pair:
I can see pretty clearly how my knitting improved over the course of the project. The color block effect comes from using Mandala yarn from Lion Brand, which is designed for bigger projects and changes color far apart. I’m finding it fun to learn with even if the finished product is a bit unconventional. These also came out a little small because I was knitting far too tightly. I’m working on it.
The main book I’m learning with is Getting Started Knitting Socks by Ann Budd and I highly recommend it. It includes plenty of complete, start-to-finish patterns in different weights of yarn, but also breaks down tips and alternative techniques for different parts of a sock so you can make variations on the projects offered. It’s making a useful reference book as I embark on my second pair, which are an attempt at the “Gentleman’s Bicycling Stocking,” a horizontally ribbed pattern from Weldon’s Practical Stocking Knitter.
I purchased this reproduction book from Iva Rose Vintage Reproductions. Peggy’s shop is loaded with patterns for all sorts of things, and a lot of them are sold as PDF’s. I opted for a hard copy for easy marking but I like the idea of reducing craft-room clutter with a digital library.
These are meant to be quite long but also knitted from fine silk so obviously some changes for size are necessary, or I could end up with a sleeping bag instead of a sock. I’m using a different colorway of the same yarn, so good or bad these socks will be making a statement, but I want fun colors to look at while I master the basics. I’ll make some more conventional yarn choices in the future, but for now it’s more about process than product.