Saturday, 14 May 2016

Confessions of a Novice Sock Knitter

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. 

All was going well until of got to turning the heel, and just couldn't work out to knit the short row heel. (As I said I am a newbie sock knitter.) But the pattern does say you can use your preferred heel, so I managed to do a standard heel I have done before, and returned to the pattern for the toe. A bit of a shame, as I would like to try and learn some different sock techniques. Toe-up, magic loop or patterned, but I guess I can always try on the next pair

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. 


  1. I think your socks are so pretty, love the cuff detail. No good asking me about another pattern as not sure would master socks. Something to add to the To Do list.

  2. I love the colour and the pattern too, I'd have no idea how to even start with socks.

  3. Very pretty, I am not sock knitter so stand in awe! I would probably check out ravelry for a pattern.

  4. They are pretty and they fit - bonus! I've seen quite a few people I follow on instagram knitting socks recently, it's very on trend!

  5. Well done for persevering and making such pretty socks. I've used the My First Regia for socks as well, it's a nice one to use. Two of the most popular sock patterns are Hermione's Everyday socks and Vanilla Latte. They both have some texture but work well with pattern yarns. So you may want to have a look at them.
    As far as your leftover pink and yellow yarn is concerned (as you know my favourite colours) I can only guess that you're thinking of a piece of Battenberg cake - because that's what I would make!

    1. Well guessed. That is exactly what I was thinking of. Thanks for the pattern ideas. I had shortlisted the Hermione ones, and will take a look at the other.

  6. Hey, don't put yourself down. You did a great job! - THEY FIT!! - I'm no where near as "brave" to give it a go yet! [still have to teach myself Cables first!] And even if I did, I probably wouldn't want to ruin them by wearing them!! - I'm rather wicked at wearing out my store-bought wool socks as it is! [must learn how to DARN...]
    BTW, if you want some good sock how-to info, check out - Susan is an American knit instructor who specializes in socks and making knitted toys. Although personally, I think YOUR stuff would give her some rather stiff competition!

  7. A pesar de todos los problemas que has tenido para tejer tus calcetines, debo decirte que han quedado estupendos. Un saludo

  8. They look so cosy and comfy. A knitted Battenburg sounds good too!

  9. Ohhhhh I love those socks!!!!! Regards!!

  10. Well done! I would never have guessed you were a newbie to sock knitting.

  11. This is something I will probably never try, because looking at the patterns makes me feel dizzy. But you did a great job and you should be really proud of yourself! Pinned to The Really Crafty Link Party Pinterest board! Thank you for sharing!

  12. Vengo de la FIESTA DEL ENLACE. Qué calcetines más bonitos, seguro que son calentitos. Felicidades y besos😘

  13. You've made these look so effortless! Beautiful xx

  14. excellent socks, a great work :) congratulations :)

    Sandra and Dani