I have been struggling with socks for several weeks, which is partly a result of being fairly new to sock knitting, and also because I bought some wool in the January sales, of my big local department store that is "never knowingly undersold". In this case it is probably true, as these balls of My First Regia were only 50p each. (I guess it is probably meant for baby garments, but as it is 4ply socks seemed like a good idea.) The problem with buying bargain wool is that you then have to find a pattern to suit. This will be my third ever pair of knitted socks, and you can see the others here and here.
My first idea was to use both colours and knit some spotty socks. I still really like the idea of spots on socks. The pattern I found used two threads at once. You knit in rib and alter which thread is brought forward to make the spots. Sounds complicated - it was! Well it beat me, as I just got very confused counting stitches in my head, about which row I was on and which set of brackets I was following. This isn't meant as a criticism of the pattern, just an illustration of how hard socks can be.
So I unravelled, and decided that perhaps I could use this double knitting technique, but just forget about the spots. Half way down the first sock I couldn't bear to keep going. There were just too many mistakes where I had used the wrong yarn, and although the errors probably wouldn't have been noticed, I just couldn't face continuing with what I knew was a bad job. So they were unravelled too.
Some hunting on ravelry, and I found a new sock pattern Hearts for You by Sabine Riefler. The hearts on the sock cuff looked really pretty. I had the idea of knitting the cuff in yellow, and the rest of the sock in pink, but teenage daughter told me this would look awful, and for once I took her advice, and stuck to just one colour.
|Wrinkly socks before I had done any blocking|
|... and lovely and smooth after blocking|
Socks done I decided that blocking them might be a good idea. I am not a frequent blocker of knitting, mainly because I think it is only really essential if you do lace knitting (or clothing), and I don't do a lot of either. So looking online I see there are such things as sock blockers (which I don't possess). I also found a great tutorial on Craftsy, showing you how to make a sock frame out of a wire coat hanger. Alas, I could not even find one of these, so I decided to improvise with a piece of plastic packaging material. It really has improved the look of my socks.
|I started off drying them on a towel ....|
|... but then decided they would do better on the line|
Here are the finished socks, which I think may become bed socks for next winter. I still have the pink wool, and thought I might have a go at some more socks perhaps with a slightly fancy stitch on the whole sock. I would welcome any suggestions of patterns, but nothing too complicated.
I also have another idea for a jokey knit from my leftover bits of wool. Can you guess? Every time I look at this yellow and pink I can't help thinking of something tasty.