OK, I’m jumping in and will start with a past project. My first pair of socks was made with yarn I received as a door prize at a regional fiber conference. I started them in September 2006 and completed them at Thanksgiving. This was the first time I made something that wasn’t a flat rectangle. I tried several patterns before I settled on one. Unlike JQ, I don’t seem to get things on the first try, which I guess is good for learning.
First I tried the pattern that came with the yarn, which was for toe up socks. I kept having trouble with the cast on and so abandoned that pattern. This was my first experience with double pointed needles, which added to my difficulties. I then tried the general sock instructions in the Yarn Harlot‘s Knitting Rules! which gave me a good understanding of sock construction. However, the heel wasn’t working out. I think I have narrow heels and I probably wasn’t following the instructions correctly. Whatever the reason, the heels definitely did not fit. And this included a couple of failed attempts to pick up the stitches. I found out later that the way I figured out how to do it matches the Grumperina‘s happy accident.
I finally settled on a basic pattern from Nancy Bush’s Knitting Vintage Socks, which uses a Welsh heel and a star toe of three points.
Pattern: Lichen rib sock, Knitting Vintage Socks
Yarn: Sandy’s Palette (wool/nylon blend)
Needles: 0 (5 needles)
Began: September, 2006 ; Completed: November 2006
Modifications: cast on 64 and worked until the leg was about 5.25” (42 rows). I should have made them a bit longer, but I was concerned about the amount of yarn (plenty) and my mighty calves. I kept heel gusset as 31 stitches (leaving 33 for pattern). I picked up an extra stitch at the gusset where heel flap joins instep. I made the foot 7” before starting on the toe. I switched to 4 needles and arranged the stitches like this: 21 22 21. I then fiddled a bit with the first row to get 20 stitches on each needle (1st row where p1, change to p2 tog & toss in extra k2tog on top).
The socks fit well and I like the toe. It is so different from a commercial sock! However, I’m still not entirely convinced this style of heel yet (possibly the style, possibly the size I have made them).
I found that from one end of skein, colors did not spiral well and so I frogged that sock. I think I knit close to 4 socks if I add up all the false starts I made!