*Warning* Sock knitting is highly addictive.
One of the knitting/fiber groups I’m in came up with the perfect ‘gateway’ activity to sock knitting – Christmas Stockings. For the most part they are nice and big, so heavier weight yarns make sense; and since it is a decorative item, you don’t need to worry about fit. Also, since they aren’t intended to be worn on feet, you don’t need to worry about fit or *second sock syndrome* (the lack of interest in knitting the second sock of a pair).
At first I thought finding wool would be difficult in Kizugawa. Unlike shops in Osaka or Kyoto, my LYS’s lock away their wool and replace with with cotton and linen for the spring and summer – but surprise surprise! When the cicadas are blaring outside and the temperature climbs up to 41ºC (105.8ºF) with major humidity, the clerks take it as a sign to bring back the wool!
To be honest, initially I wasn’t particularly interested in sock knitting or in having my own hand knit Christmas stocking. It’s not that I didn’t want or need socks that fit my size 8.5 clompers (ginormous by Japanese standards), but it was one of those things on the back burner for after I have a complete wardrobe of perfectly tailored Teresa Bolen original sweaters and tops. Kind of like the mythical pot of gold at the end of the rainbow…
So the main motivation for becoming involved was to be in with the cool crowd and have something fun to talk about. I think it took me longer to find a pattern than to knit it. Once I finally settled on a pattern, my friends piled on with the first hints of how addictive sock knitting can be. Enablers, the whole lot of them! Bless their hearts.
Just A Bit Of Victoriana by Meagheen Ryan was very well-written and easy to follow, and I just couldn’t put it down once I started it. It knitted up in 3 days! Just me and my wool, sitting directly under the air conditioning. It’s done in a worsted weight yarn, so I had a size in my trusty Addi interchangeables that would do a nice magic loop for me. The whole experience of the heel was freakish and wonderful for this first-timer, and as you’ve probably guessed by now, once just wasn’t enough. I had to make more socks, this time ‘for real’ – love-drenched coverings for my tootsies!
But there was a problem. Actually, it was more of a fear than a problem. I didn’t have small enough circs to do magic loop for socks, and I can’t just go to the store and get my favorite Addis here in Japan. I have to order them and have them imported.
However, I do have a shiny new set of Dreamz DPNs that I ordered from my friend at Knit Bin that I had set aside for i-cord. They say ‘sock needles’ on them, but as the name indicates, double point needles are pointy – like really pointy – like the cactus of the knitting world. OK, not really, but that was how I thought of them.
I just couldn’t wait though, since the new sock addiction was already starting to take hold. Before I knew it, I had my gorgeous 2 x 2 ribbing tubular cast-on over all those pointy needles, and soon after that, the cuff was done and my sock was off and running so to speak.
With each round it became less like knitting with a porcupine, and more and more a feeling of “I’m a ‘real’ knitter now!” I love it when a project brings me multiple new learning experiences like starting my sock adventure has. If you have an interest in sock knitting, or would like to explore it without the pressures of completing a full wearable pair, doing a Christmas stocking is a great way to test the waters.
Pass the iced jasmine tea and the ‘porcupine’ – I need to finish that second sock!
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