Off The Shelf...
Scared of socks?
Tuesday 17th November 2020
I love knitting socks a lot, and I love sock yarns a lot. It seems like lots of you like knitting socks and sock yarn too as I sell A LOT of it in all the colours and fibres from basic sock yarn, to some of the most luxurious Cashmere sock yarns available - it flies off the sock yarn shelves!
And I am also finding that there are lots of knitters out there who want to knit socks but are just a little bit scared, for lots of reasons. Turning the heel seems to be the thing that 'scares' the most people, and makes most people hesitant to have a go.
I have to admit that when I started my first sock (cuff down, simple traditional style), I had no idea what I was doing - I am not a good visionary when it comes to anything (give me a pattern to follow and I am good, ask me to understand the complexity of designing a pattern I am lost) and I could just not see how the heel was going to appear.
However, I followed my own advice and stuck to the pattern, and was completely amazed at how the little heel shape started to form - I think that first heel was my sock eureka moment, I could finally see how it worked. Since then I have made many socks and loved making every single one. Which is why I always tell nervous newcomers to just choose a pretty yarn, follow the pattern instructions exactly and have a go!
I also get asked the 'best way' to knit socks - and I usually answer with 'there is no best way' as there are so many different needles, techniques, patterns, styles and yarns.
My preference is still the good old traditional cuff down socks, and I use the tiny 25cm circular needles as I find I can get quite a speed up on the tubular parts of the sock using those, but I know other sock knitters who swear by Magic Loop or Double Pointed Needles. New sock knitters usually get a good old chat from me about needles, and can hopefully make an informed choice as to which they might prefer. Each persons own 'best way' will come to them with practise and experience.
And finally, there is the yarn choice to make! So difficult as there are so many colours and makes...I stock yarns from the 'standard' 75% wool and 25% nylon blends, cotton blends, and more recently some luxurious alpaca or cashmere blends for a little bit of something special on your feet! My advice on this one to start off is just choose your favourite colourway from the shelf, as the prettier your yarn is, the more you will want to keep going to see how pretty your sock will be!!
So basically what I am saying to those people who want to knit socks is choose a nice pattern, nice needles and nice yarn and just go for it - your first turned heel Eureka moment will definitely not be your last :-)