Originally posted 5/23/12:
A couple months ago, I wanted to step up my knitting ability and, to do that, I decided to learn how to make socks. A yarn swap proved fortuitous and I traded some yarn I didn't want for two different skeins in a fingering weight. I chose the one with the more enchanting color scheme to me at the time.
Plymouth Yarn Zino in Forest. I started this in March when winter was still clinging on with all its might. I think my color choice was in defiance.
So I began. I selected a pattern that in its essence seemed simple. I chose Hermione's Everyday Socks pattern, by Erica Leuder, a pattern designer I quite enjoy, as she does many Harry Potter inspired patterns. In the spirit of things, I call these my Slytherin socks.
Here's a close up of the pattern and you can see I've begun to knit the heel flap. I'll let you in on a secret right here.
The heel flap is backwards.
The mistake came from following the pattern and not realizing that the author of the pattern will assume you've made socks before and would know that you start a heel flap pattern facing the wrong side of the sock, not the right side. Uh huh. Yeah. That didn't make sense to me then, either.
Being my first pair of socks, I started meticulously documenting the stages. Here is where I began to turn the heel. She did include the directions there, so the heel turn is in the right direction.
Trying on the sock after completing the gusset.
You can see the color change from black to the yellow green where I finally attached the heel to the instep (top) of the sock. I had never picked up stitches before either, so I ended up picking up too many. You can tell more when the socks are off the feet, because it bunches up there. However, I have a really high arch to my foot, so the larger, longer gusset is actually good for the fit of the socks.
And the first half of the pair is complete! The toe was actually really easy. I closed it with the pattern's recommendation, the Kitchener stitch. It was like magic!
Just a short sock. I don't have the patience for knee high socks yet, and with my massive calves, I'd be changing the pattern to fit constantly. Right now, I'm just going to gleefully ignore the math I'd have to do to make long socks for myself.
And suddenly, there's half of the second sock! I wasn't nearly as meticulous with this one, and this sock went by much quicker than the first. I'd say almost twice as fast.
Here is what they look like off the foot. You'll notice I continued to do the heel wrong on the new sock. As long as the socks match, it doesn't matter if you do something wrong. The beauty of socks.
I went for a little while without photos, so the last ones you'll be getting are the final product! I wore the pair for the first time all day yesterday at work. I certainly had warm feet, which is desperately needed at my freezing desk. I showed them to the ladies at my knit night afterwards.
Backtracking, I got to the end of the second sock and found a problem. I closed the toe and discovered this second sock was too short in the foot, too tight. It just plain didn't fit. So I ripped back the whole toe, played games a bit to get back on track with the pattern, and began again. I ended up going to the end of the old yarn before I even began decreasing the toe the second time around.
Don't get too cocky! Just because the first was a beautifully fitting fluke doesn't mean the second will be! I love how they are fraternal socks instead of perfectly matching. It gives them way more character. I didn't even swatch and got a lecture from the grandmotherly woman at the yarn store I went to looking for inspiration. The cardinal sin in knitting seems to be not swatching.
I'll tell you another secret. I've started another pair of socks.
The secret is... I didn't swatch them either.