Socks are the best. To be more specific, socks that actually fit one’s feet feel better than just about anything else one can wear, in my opinion. I did not know this feeling until my late twenties, because I never wore socks that actually fit until I knit my first pair. All those wasted years without my feet knowing true love. It’s sad to think about now.
Even though I first came to knitting for the sweaters, I quickly decided that socks were just as admirable a pursuit. After all, they take me less time to knit, there’s not as much need to worry about them fitting because there are fewer variables contributing to the fit, and they’re small enough that ripping and reknitting is not so daunting a prospect.
I’ve found that I fall completely in lovetothepointofdistraction with just about every new pair of socks I knit. I get excited about the progression of the color or stitch pattern. I show them to my husband every 3 or 4 rounds – “Look how pretty my new socks are!!!” I put them on when they’re done and marvel at their perfect fit, their indescribable beauty, and the impressive amount of technical skill displayed in their stitches! I shove my feet in my husband’s face so that he might appreciate.
I think this means I’ve settled on just the right hobby.
I’ve even come to love things about sock knitting that I really did not like at first. My first top-downs with a heel flap? Hated knitting them, hated how the heel fit, though I was totally in lovetothepointofdistraction with the self-striping yarn and could not wait to get to the next stripe. After several toe-up pairs with gusset heels and some mildly unsuccessful attempts to modify heel flaps to other heel styles, I felt I knew much better how to knit a sock that fit me just right just about every time, so I tested my new theory on some top-downs with heel flaps. And, “Oh, my,” I said to myself. “These are awfully nice indeed.”
(I went through a similar skepticism-to-love progression with textured stitch patterns. I just hope this doesn’t mean I’m going to love lace socks someday. I can’t even imagine.)
My favorite part of any sock is the first 2 or 3 inches of knitting. If I’m working top-down, this is far enough to have finished the ribbing and started the leg, so I can see that I’m making progress. For a toe-up sock, I’m done with the toe and onto the foot and I can start trying it on to check my progress. In either case, there’s enough of a shape to the thing that when people ask what I’m making I can hold it up and say it’s a sock and they’ll sort of be able to see it.
For me, the most important part about this first bit of knitting is that when I’m working with a multicolor yarn I can tell if the second sock is going to look like the first or if it’s going to misbehave. I’m just at this point on the second sock of my current pair for the 2012 sock project. I’m excited to say things are going well.
I’m taking a bit of time off from socks this weekend to knit a secret shawlette, then I think I’ll have these done with time to spare (deadline’s the 11th). I’m plugging away at the Oceania shawl as well, doing a few rows every night. I’m getting awfully cold at work these days and something squishy and warm to wrap up in would be nice.
Though, of course, whatever I’m knitting, I’m usually thinking about my next pair of socks.