Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A new adventure

Here's a confession. I am afraid of small needles. When I first started knitting, I was all about 15, 17, 19, and 35 size needles and bulky yarn. Scarves were flying off my big, fat needles at a rapid pace. It gave me a great sense of encouragement and satisfaction as a beginner. Of course, I eventually downsized to worsted weight and number 8 needles. I have done a couple of shawls on size 6 needles and maybe a baby sweater on size 5s. In my mind making socks was for the insane. The size 0 and 1 needles are teeny tiny, so scant compared to a robust 15. The anorexic runway model of needles in my world of healthy sized needles. I love needles that could stop a vampire.

A couple of years ago for Christmas, I got two pairs of knit socks from my friends Ellen and MaryJo. They were my first pairs of knit socks and I love them. So my thought was maybe some day I will knit socks. Well, the tipping point came after a daily browsing around Ravelry and coming across these particular socks.
The Burning Stripes Socks by Susan Luni.

I love stripey socks and this pattern gives me stripes and variegation. They remind me of the Noro Striped Scarf by Jared Flood. It's a pattern I love. While finishing my dissertation I made quite a few of these because the pattern required no thinking but the Noro colors kept me interested. It was the perfect project for my stressed out brain. What else I like about this sock pattern is that it looks fairly straight forward...no lace or cables or anything too fancy.

Now I already know I would be one of those second sock syndrome people. Second sock syndrome is when you knit one sock and then never knit the other one. I know this because I once tried to knit a pair of gauntlets. The funny thing is I never even finished the first one and it was almost done. I think it may still be on needles in some long ago project bag. So sad. That said, I definitely needed a two socks at a time method.

This book seemed to cover everything I might need to know like two at a time, toe up or cuff down. This is also a two needle method rather than the magic loop. My friend Mary Jo, who knit me socks, she says she prefers this method.

For cross referencing I picked up these two books at the library. I love the library.

A bought two balls of Schoppel Wolle Zauberball. I love the colors.

This method uses a 16-inch needle and 24-inch needle. On Mary Jo's recommendation I got two different colored needles. She says it's easier to keep track of your needles that way.

Look at these toothpick like needles. These are size 1. Did you know that there are 2 different size one needles? You probably did, but I didn't! It's really like a 1 and 1.5. Yes, it's a little bit confusing.

Never say never. I am about to try my hand at sock knitting. Now if you have any experience with sock knitting I am happy to take any advice, since I don't have a clue about what I am doing. Already I am thinking I need to divide up these two balls of yarn since I am knitting two at a time. Am I on the right track with that? Will it get too crazy if I am knitting from outside the skein on one pair of socks and the inside on the other pair? Just writing it sounds like a mess so I think I answered my own question. But please chime in if you have an opinion.

I will let you now how this sock adventure goes.


Laurie Ann said...

I'm very excited for you. I just jumped on the Sock Train myself, although, I'm starting with anklets and doing them one at a time. I say "yes" to the divide the skeins question.

btw, my word verification is "sockya." How appropo!

gale (she shoots sheep shots) said...

Love those socks!
You're going to rock the sock knitting is my bet.
ps I think dicinding the balls into two is a good start, it sounds very tangly otherwise.

Ellen Bloom said...

My hat's off to you, Ms. Natalie! Best of luck. Thanks for the blog shout-out! I've only managed to ORDER knit socks from Lynette at Fernwood Socks in Oregon!

Beth McDermott Oliver said...

Good for you, tackling this challenge. I hope you love the process - because for me, that's what it's all about - the process. And then, I hope you love your new socks.

Natalie said...

Ordered or not, I love my knit socks form you.

Paige said...

Well, if anything's gonna get you started on the sock journey, it's gonna be those Burning Stripe socks. I love 'em! I want 'em!
Anyhoo, I don't have any advice on knitting 2 at a time on 2 circs. I'm old school and prefer 1 at a time with 4 dpn's. Socks are so fun to knit, though - I've always got a pair in my purse to work on.
Good luck - you can do it!

Anonymous said...

This is a cool post and you used to feel exactly how I feel about little needles and skinny yarn. I have only knit 2 scarves ever and I learned never to say never a long time ago. But that is one thing that I am unlikely to take on in my lifetime.