Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I love socks

Christine, over at Pointy Sticks, is having a little anniversary contest. She wants to know all about socks - why we knit them, what we like about them, what kinds of yarns and patterns we like best - basically anything about sock knitting. I'm listening to my first ever Podcast right now as I type. Squeee!!

I learned to knit 14 years ago from a dear friend who worked a wonderful LYS. She worked on Sundays and I sat in the store, visiting with her, while she worked. That year I knit 5 Christmas stockings for my husband, myself, my mother and father in law, and one brother in law. I also became pregnant that year and knit tiny baby hats and a baby blanket.

Over the years, I knit many mittens, a slew of hats and the occasional sweater. The thing is, I hated knitting sweaters. I thought it was just because I didn't know how to seam properly so I took finishing classes but the fact of the matter is I really don't enjoy knitting sweaters. For years I felt like a second class knitter because I only knit small projects. I wondered if I could even call myself a knitter if I didn't knit fabulous sweaters or huge afghans.

I don't remember when I discovered knitting socks. It was a gradual thing. I knit the socks in the back of Homespun, Handknit and a couple of other socks that I found in knitting books or magazines. I loved the process and found heel turning and grafting to be quite easy. I made a couple of socks which didn't turn out so well because the first row was too tight and I didn't know how to make it any different.

Finally, one day I discovered the Socknitters list on yahoo. It was like I'd found a home. Now, the Socknitters list is not my all time favorite list by any stretch (way too heavy handed moderating for a darn knitting list) but it was on this list that I learned that I AM a real knitter. That I can be a real knitter even if I only knit socks for the rest of my life. Soon after this I discovered Nancy Bush and I knew that sock knitting had a real and deep history.

I recently went through a long period when I didn't knit at all. I completely lost my knitting mojo. When I returned to knitting last August, the first thing I knit was a simple pair of Regia socks with yarn from my stash. I started a new knitting blog and found wonderful knitting blogs to keep me going. I discovered all the wonderful new sock yarns and great new sock yarn vendors.

I love knitting socks because I love having socks that fit my large feet. I can knit socks exactly how I like them - wool socks with cuffs that aren't too tight, with cuffs that don't come up too high, and with long enough feet. Sock yarn has come a long way and I enjoy all the wonderful soft yarns available to me. Some of my favorites right now are Lorna's Laces and Cherry Tree Hill but I'm slowly discovering smaller indie yarns and I'll be sure to have favorites soon.

I prefer to knit my socks cuff down, one at a time, on two circs. I adapt all my patterns to be knit on two circs as I find it much more comfortable than using double points. There are too many favorite patterns to list but if I could only knit Nancy Bush patterns for the rest of my life, I wouldn't get too bored.