I still have the first pair of socks I knit and yes, I still wear them
Sock knitting always amazed me but it was so intimidating. I guess I thought you had to be a knitting wizard or at least have very advanced skills to do it. But, I saw so many knitters raving about sock knitting, I wanted to give it a try.
I bought 3 different “vanilla” sock patterns and some yarn and the smallest needles I’d ever owned and set off for a new challenge.
Stress-free Solo Travel + Knitting
In 2018, completely stressed out and in desperate need of an escape, I booked a solo trip to Turks and Caicos. Solo travel is awesome if you’ve never done it. I’m not into the social scenes, going out, meeting people… it’s just not my thing. I load up my Kindle and download audiobooks and pack knitting projects.
On this trip, I was determined to conquer sock knitting. Lo and behold, I actually did! These totally vintage-Christmas socks were knit on my trip. Side note: socks are an awesome beach project… no one wants a giant pile of knitting in their lap when it’s hot and sandy.
Picture this – me with my yarn and needles and 3 patterns sprawled out in front of me. I bought three patterns thinking if one confused me, I had others to look at. Honestly, they were helpful but still super confusing for me to figure out.
There were a lot of instructions that just didn’t make any sense to me. Things like “the instep” I mean, what even is that? The top or the bottom? Seasoned sock knitters may know these terms but regular sock wearing folk probably don’t. I sure didn’t!
Figuring it out on my own
I didn’t know anyone who knit socks. I was on my own for this little adventure and needed to figure it out.
Between the 3 patterns and my persistence, I got there in the end but I can’t tell you how many times I sat just staring at the pattern(s) and my knitting with a scrunched face thinking “Whaaaat?”
I actually pulled out one of my store-bought socks and was looking at the machine stitches to compare what I was doing. Hilarious, I know, but it helped.
In hindsight, I think if the patterns I had were broken down into the segments of the sock (in a way I could understand) everything would have been easier to figure out. At least I would have known what I was supposed to be doing, and why, along the way.
No matter though, I learned a lot from the challenge and even more over the countless pairs I’ve knit since. This is a success story!
My Sock Patterns
Just a little additional note here… this whole experience is a big part of why I write patterns now. My sock patterns and support are for those like me that want to tackle a new project and may not be familiar with specific techniques. I really hope all my patterns are clear so no one gets “stuck” trying to figure out what to do next.
Far from perfect
These socks are 5 years old and have been worn a lot, machine washed and dried and boy does it show. The yarn I used was KnitPicks Stroll Tweed. It looked a lot better when I knit with it, but I’m pretty happy with how it’s held up. It’s super soft too! I used the same yarn for my Tiny Toes Baby Socks if you want to compare old vs new.
Look at that heel join… yikes. And clearly I have a run up the leg on one heel, but I think that’s new from wear. And the toe has held up but it was way too short.
The point is, my first socks were far from perfect, but not bad I think for my first attempt. I sure have learned a lot to make the finishing details neater and make my joins tidy. P.S. The tricks I’ve learned are in all my sock patterns here
Knit your first pair of socks
I’m working on a bit of a tutorial for a “first pair” of socks. If you have never knit socks and want to give it a try, make sure to subscribe for the information (and giveaway) or check back soon.
Socks are my favorite thing to knit now. I always have at least one pair on my needles. I could go on and on as to why, but that’s a story for another day.
I’d love to hear your experience with becoming a sock knitter or why you maybe haven’t tried yet.
For now, these treasured socks are headed back to the drawer. Imperfect though they may be, I feel quite attached to them!